Are you looking to buy a brand new Polaris snowmobile, and not so sure which model would be best for you? If you are new to snowmobiling, choosing the perfect sled can be quite a daunting task, especially since Polaris offers a host of different models catering to specific uses and riders.
Moreover, prices start from as low as $6,199 and go all the way up to $19,599 for bigger and more powerful models — so yeah, finding the right snowmobile is not always easy, and even harder if you don’t know what to look out for. Luckily, things should be clearer by the end of this article.
It’s also worth mentioning that one of the main issues with any snowmobile is the costly maintenance, often catching many new owners with their guard down. And even with a dedicated budget, there is always a much cheaper way to do it. If you are a bit of a DIY’er yourself, a simple Polaris snowmobile service manual can provide you with everything you need to maintain your sled and keep repair costs under control. Not to forget that saving on maintenance also means that you can now spend more on a more powerful and better-equipped snowmobile.
With that said, let’s look at some of the best Polaris snowmobiles in various categories and see which model would suit you best.
Types of Polaris Snowmobiles and Who Are They For?
Polaris is one of the leading Powersports companies in the world with snowmobiles gaining a massive following in the industry — and for good reasons. Every Polaris sled comes with sophisticated technology, impressive powertrains, a ton of accessories, and hours of deep-snow fun on tap!
1. Touring Snowmobiles
Touring snowmobiles are mainly built for leisurely purposes. You can basically call them the SUVs of the snowmobile world since they prioritize comfort over performance. Indeed, most Touring models are equipped for long-distance travel and come with all the amenities to keep you company, including wide and comfy seats, larger windshields, and some even have an MP3 player. However, being bigger also takes a toll on maneuverability, and as a result, Touring models are better suited for smooth trails than mountainous terrain.
Popular Touring models in Polaris’ current arsenal include the Voyageur 146, 550 Voyageur, 550 Indy LXT, and the 550 Indy Adventure. The top of the line, $14,399 Voyageur 146 gets a more powerful 650 Patriot engine than the 550 Voyageur’s 550 Liberty engine.
Meanwhile, the Indy LXT and Indy Adventure come with a 550 fan-cooled engine. And although the $10,499 Adventure gets a better suspension system, both models are perfect for ice fishing and exploring the Great Outdoors.
2. Trail Snowmobiles
Trail snowmobiles are similar to their Touring siblings but with extra power and can be considered hybrids between Touring and Performance models. They retain the characteristics of both — the luxury and comfort of a Touring model and the agility and power of a performance-oriented variant.
However, Polaris Trail snowmobiles are generally costlier than Touring models. The cheapest Trail model it offers is the $7,399 Indy Evo. On the upper end, we have the $15,299 Indy VR1, a powerful beast that doesn’t skip a beat while riding fresh powder. And if you got a little more money to spare, the $16,699 Indy Adventure X2 is a worthy investment. Apart from its stunning looks, the X2 is a competent machine and will put a smile on your face every time.
3. Sport Trail Snowmobiles
Sport trail snowmobiles are an upgrade over regular trail snowmobiles. They are lighter and more agile. On top of that, specially tweaked suspensions make them more resistant to treacherous terrains. You can actually feel the difference if you switch to a sportier version of a trail snowmobile, both in terms of power delivery and handling. Cornering around sharp turns and cruising through uneven surfaces is a cakewalk for this model, thanks to the lighter yet solid chassis.
The $14,799 Indy XCR and $9,000 Indy Sport are some of the best-selling sport trail models in the market. However, the $13,000 Indy SP is the ultimate value for money sled in this category and uses a 650 patriot engine built on the latest Matryx platform.
4. Performance Snowmobiles
Like sports cars, Performance sleds are the stars of the snowmobile world. They come with the most powerful engines and can reach up to 115 mph. But buying a Performance variant also has its drawbacks — the higher performance also calls in for extra care. At this point, I would suggest getting your hands on a good snowmobile service manual, performing some of the regular maintenance on your own, and saving a couple of bucks in the process.
Popular models include the Titan Adventure 155, costing over $16,000. However, its massive liquid-cooled 800 Cleanfire engine and Titan hydraulic disc brakes more than justify the higher price tag.
5. Mountain Snowmobiles
Last but not least, Mountain sleds are the pinnacle of snowmobile engineering, starting their journey where most Touring or Performance models would stop, competent enough to tackle the harshest of terrains. The lighter frame and high torque reserve of its engine help a Mountain sled climb impressive heights, without breaking a sweat.
Furthermore, most mountain models have a longer and specially designed track with more grooves and spikes. Once again, though, since rocky and uneven surfaces are quite rough on the components, Mountain models need a track replacement more frequently than other types. But don’t worry, most repair shops and snowmobile manuals will show you how to replace your track, and honestly, it’s not that complicated once you get the hang of it.
The Polaris RMK lineup sits at the top with the best Mountain snowmobiles, competing with the Yamaha Sidewinder — not a small feat. If you’ve got a good budget, I would suggest the $15,899 PRO RMK Slash packing an 850 patriot engine, while budget buyers should eye the $14,299 PRO RMK with a smaller 650 patriot mill.
Long story short, if you are a fan of the mountain and looking to travel out of the beaten paths, the RMK series won’t disappoint.
All in all, the most important thing to consider before signing the cheque is what you need your sled for. There’s no need to spend big bucks on a Mountain model if you don’t intend to go that deep in the woods and so on.
Then comes the budget, which should not only cover the initial purchase price but also additional expenses like add-ons and accessories. For instance, if you are mountain riding, you must take into account the cost of a transceiver, shovel, and backpack. Then there is the riding gear, including a windproof winter jacket, heated gloves and a helmet, which aren’t cheap by any means.
Furthermore, annual maintenance costs will also form a significant chunk of your expenditure. We are talking about costly replacement parts and labor charges. The only thing you will find cheap here is snowmobile repair manuals. Not only are they budget-friendly, but they will also help you reduce maintenance costs — what’s not to like?
But trust me, once all that is taken care of and you can finally get away from the city traffic and ride for hours on an empty trail, it will be all worth it!