Big Change Seems to be The Norm with Polaris
Last week letters went out to all the dealers inviting them to attend the snow dealer meetings. The letter stated that there would be three 45th anniversary models shown. We don't know what machines these will be based off of, but they will most likely be nice machines... in the past when Polaris has released special edition sleds they have been in pretty high demand.
Ok, so on to the juicy stuff. Sources tell us that for 2000 the Polaris Evolved and Aggressive chassis' are history. The Gen II appears to be a hit with consumers and so the whole line will be switched over to that chassis. This should be especially exciting to those who like to ride the big triples... we're hearing that the 800XCR drops 15lbs simply by going into the Gen II chassis. Its also getting some motor tweaks to give it even more top end. We've also heard speculation that we've seen the last of the 700 triple and that the XLT motor has finally been put out to pasture.
We're also hearing that Polaris is going to make the 600 XC SP stand out a bit more for next year. The motor gets a change to a VES unit based off the 440 motor. It's also getting a couple of minor goodies off the EDGE such as the seat and tank. We'll be very disappointed if this is the only part of the EDGE we see in/on a general consumer sled. Rumor also has it that this same VES 600 motor will find its way to the touring platform... a big technology motor in a touring sled, things that make you go "hummmm...", but this would help explain why the 700 triple may be gone.
For the mountain guys the RMKs get some changes. We know, we've heard the persistent rumors about an 800 twin, but that rumor has been around for a couple of years. Actually, motor changes for the top end RMK are not even being rumored this year (maybe that means it will really happen). But, we are hearing rumors about a new cooling system which eliminates the rear seat cooler and puts coolers in the tunnel roll giving more cooling along with strengthening the running boards and keeping them free from snow buildup, new suspension front and rear and a bigger, 12.5 gallon, gas tank. The front suspension will be fully adjustable in width giving the rider the ability to vary ski width from 37" to 41". The seat also gets a rework to lighten it up and the bars gain a 2" rise for comfort and easier boondocking. Lighter than the 1999s you can bet... would 15lbs be too much to expect? Our sources say that current prototype is 17lbs lighter and the goal is 20lbs.
And what about the smaller RMKs. Just maybe the 500RMK will be getting a new motor this year, and not the motor that is in the 500 XC. This one is a bit iffy, but the 550 Trail RMK has really done well in the mountains this year and that has had an impact on the mind share that the 500 piston port has enjoyed. An update to this motor which would put it in the running with the other economy mountain sleds would definitely be a plus.
Yes, speculation is running wild, but that is part of the fun of this sport. 2000 is going to be an exciting year in a lot of ways... snowmobiles included.