The 2017 Model Year The 2017 Model Year
All in all, 2017 looks to be an excellent year for new model choices, from the speed demons and lake racers to the trail... The 2017 Model Year

All in all, 2017 looks to be an excellent year for new model choices, from the speed demons and lake racers to the trail riders to the crossover shredders and all lengths of mountain sleds. High performance sleds are where the action is because this is where the product demand and sales are at, it is that simple.

New engines and new platforms are always the coolest new features to report on, and anytime you can get both of them at the same time we truly have something new and different to get excited about. This is exactly what Ski-Doo brings us for 2017 with a new higher-powered 850 E-TEC II engine package offered in three variations; Summit, Renegade and MX Z models all featuring a new Gen 4 REV platform and chassis. The next generation platform and engine package together signal another round of snowmobile evolution from the industry leader. This is the first snowmobile engine ever designed from the ground up to be a direct-injection engine, now with booster injectors for explosive throttle response and mid-range torque.


     Next on our list for 2017 has to be the all-new turbocharged engine from Yamaha, as found in Yamaha’s (twelve different) Sidewinder models and Arctic Cat’s 9000-series models, including the mighty Thundercat, a special-build of the ZR 9000 in a 137” track length. This new engine has been designed by Yamaha to be factory turbocharged right from the start, but perhaps more impressive is the running quality and how well the engine works with the overall chassis and suspension package as a whole. Ya’ it’s heavy, but you need to ride one to be able to discount that as a liability because it just doesn’t feel or act that way with all of that power at your disposal. These sleds are unlike any others before.
See the 2017 Sidewinder First Ride report here!

     But as far as a single new model that could sell more units than any of these, we look no further than the 2017 Polaris Switchback Assault, now on the AXYS platform and fitted with a new IGX 144” progressive-rate rear suspension. This is the single best rendition of a true 50/50 crossover sled we have ever experienced, in the most explosive model segment in the industry. Here we have a sled that can truly claim the ability to conquer both on and off trail performance across a wider range of conditions. The 144” track length gives it flotation, tipped up rails and excellent suspensions keep it planted while railing around corners and motoring down groomed trails. Every single Polaris AXYS sled we have tested has been outstanding in performance and calibration, and the Switchback Assault is another great example.
Read our “First Ride” report on the Polaris Switchback Assault.

     In the mountains we also find Polaris tightening their grip with their new 174” Pro RMK 800. Ski-Doo brings their new 4th generation REV Summit X and Summit SP models, aiming to cash in on improved agility and responsiveness along with an even stronger engine & clutching package that should deliver exceptional long-term durability and reliability. Arctic Cat comes with a special-edition Mountain Cat variation of their M 8000, and then we have the new 162” Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX that produces 180-190 HP at any and all elevations (up to 10,000 feet), factory-installed and warranty-covered – a huge benefit, for sure.


There are a host more of new technology features from all manufacturers, so be sure to check out our 2017 Technology sections on each of the sled makers. The Spring 2016 issue of SnowTech Magazine is in the mail to subscribers, be sure to get your copy!

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