It is literally amazing how different snowmobiles are from what they used to be, and by different, I mean much better. Polaris has always been my go to brand because its what I’ve been riding since I was 8 years old, and after riding the 2016 800 Pro-RMK with the 155″ track its pretty obvious why this sled has received such high praise from almost every snowmobile publication out there. Even die hard Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo fans had to swallow their pride and give credit where it was due, to the undisputed king of the mountain snowmobiles. But one thing that Ski-Doo has had that could be argued as a “one up” is the option of getting the ridiculously long 174″ track. Even saying that blows my mind. I literally remember when the 136″ track was considered the “long track” back when Polaris released the SKS (Snow King Special) which of course led to the RMK that we know and love today.
Well for those of you that are looking for a sled that will get you to the top of almost any hill you point it at, and you want to have that Axys chassis that has won over heart across the country, I bring you good news. Polaris announced yesterday that they will offer a Limited Edition package with a 174″ track for the snow checked 2017 models and can we just say that it looks absolutely gorgeous with the grey and green color scheme that’s only available through snow check.
My first thought is, wow that is so much track it must be very difficult to do what I consider to be the funnest part of sledding, and that’s what they call Boondocking, which is out running through the deep powder in the trees. This requires the sled to be very nimble to switch directions at the drop of the hat. But everything I’ve read about Ski-Doo’s Summit 174″ and everyone I’ve talked to about it has said it’s a lot easier to throw it around then you would expect. So considering that and the fact that I know the Polaris Axys Chassis is incredibly nimble, more so then Ski-Doo’s with similar track length, maybe there is something to this 174″ track. Nobody could argue that having 19 inches more of track length would be a bad thing when it comes to hill climbs or deep powder. There would literally be no hill too steep or ditch too deep for this sled. Especially with the high output 800 2-stroke engine that has best in class horsepower under the hood to pull you up or through the best riding spots in the backcountry near you.
One thing that we need to consider with this though is when the very first 151 inch track was released, all the walk was about how hard it was going to be to ride it, and how difficult it would be to do any sort of boondocking. One dealer I’d spoken to flat out told me that unless I planned on using the sled for hillclimbing only, do not buy the 151″ because its just “too much track”. Now granted this guy was old school and had been snowmobiling since the 60’s when John Deer made snowmobiles, but he could still shred it up once we got up on the hill. On today’s mountain sleds the 154-155 inch track comes standard and I know for sure it’s not difficult to do anything on that Pro-RMK 155″.
We think the blue color scheme on this Limited Edition snow check model that we built on Polaris’ website is gorgeous, but we kinda wish they offered the 174″ track (also only available through snow check) with this color. This blue 163″ 800 PRO-RMK would sure do the trick for me. Hopefully we will be bringing you a detailed article about these new sleds in the future.