Polaris Industries Inc. at its annual dealer sales meeting Monday announced its 2009 lineup of snowmobiles, featuring more models with the Liberty 800 HO Cleanfire engine, an expanded selection of shift models and the first utility model built on the Polaris-exclusive IQ Chassis. With Slednecks riders Randy Sherman and Paul Thacker on hand, Polaris continued its support of the Free Ride segment with the introduction of the back-country-dominating 800 RMK Assault 146.
Nearly every model is built on the Polaris IQ Chassis, a platform whose ride and handling are optimized by premium IQ suspensions and shock packages and complemented by high-performance engines.
Nine snowmobiles in three distinctive model segments will feature the compact, efficient and extremely powerful liquid-cooled twin Liberty 800 HO Cleanfire engine in 2009. The 800 engine will be used in two Performance models (800 IQ and the 800 Dragon SP), two Crossover models (800 Switchback and 800 Dragon Switchback) and five Deep Snow models (800 Assault RMK 146, 800 RMK Shift 144, 800 RMK 155 and the 800 Dragon RMK 155 and 163). In addition, Polaris will offer six Shift models in three model segments (550 IQ Shift and 600 IQ Shift in Performance; 600 IQ Shift 136 in Crossover; 600 RMK Shift 144, 600 RMK Shift 155 and 800 RMK Shift 144 in Deep Snow) at an attractive price range. Snow enthusiasts will be able to personalize and customize the all-black Shift models to their taste.
Polaris also unveiled the new 2009 WideTrak IQ, the industry's first Utility model built on the IQ Chassis. Its long-travel IQ IFS (Independent Front Suspension) gives riders easy responsive handling on- and off-trail.
Polaris? industry-leading, innovative products are available to riders now via the pre-season Snow Check program. Customers who order their 2009 800 model snowmobile through Snow Check between now and April 7 are guaranteed delivery by Nov. 15. In addition, buyers will have the choice of electric start on select models or $500 ($800 CDN) in Pure Polaris gear, and a two-year engine warranty or three-year Extended Service Contract.
The 2009 Deep Snow lineup offers premium lightweight performance components, a new extreme Free Ride model and three new Shift models. Every Deep Snow model has new rails and the new RAW lightweight front bumper system to minimize the sled's weight. The 2009 RAW chassis touts a lightweight, narrowed front end and a new aluminum front bumper that is durable, functional and narrower. Premium Deep Snow models -- the 800 Dragon RMK 155/163 -- are powered by the Liberty by the 154-Hp Liberty 800 HO Cleanfire4 engine and feature new spindles and A-Arms that are reportedly lighter yet stronger, minimizing unsprung weight while still delivering peak performance.
The new 800 Assault RMK 146 is the sport's first purpose-built for backcountry riding. Also powered by the Liberty 800 HO Cleanfire engine, the Assault RMK features a new competition track, a freestyle seat to accommodate stand-up riding, and new Walker Evans adjustable air shocks, ProTaper handlebars, extreme duty suspension components and rail beams; lightweight components; and a race derived Cyclone brake master cylinder.
The 600 RMK Shift 144 and 155 are powered by the dual fuel injectors of the new 120-Hp Liberty 600 Cleanfire engine which delivers advanced acceleration and power and offers Cleanfire efficiency. "Deep snow riders get the power, acceleration and handling they demand from the 154-Hp Liberty 800 Cleanfire engine and the stripped down RAW RMK chassis in the 800 RMK Shift 144," notes Polaris.
Polaris continues to evolve the Crossover line with six sleds, including the new 600 IQ Shift 136, 800 Switchback and 800 Dragon Switchback, designed to provide riders with a new level of on-trail comfort and off-trail performance. All of the 2009 Switchback models are built on the premium IQ 136" rear suspension. For 2009, every Switchback model features a new lightweight freestyle seat, narrower fuel tank and lightweight cooling system. An electric start option for added rider convenience is standard on all Switchbacks except the 600 IQ Shift, and the Liberty 800 HO Cleanfire engine is available for the first time in the 800 Switchback and 800 Dragon Switchback Crossover models.
The new 2009 lineup in the performance category is led by the introduction of the 800 Dragon SP with the 800 Liberty engine, and the 600 Dragon SP with the class-leading 600 HO Cleanfire engine. Engineered to be lightweight yet deliver an aggressive ride and easy handling, the 800/600 Dragon SP models feature a special lightweight rear suspension that minimizes weight while reportedly delivering optimal traction, Walker Evans Piggyback adjustable shocks which let riders dial in the handling to suit their wants or the conditions at hand, and a new lower control arm with a new torsion bar to enhance stability for aggressive cornering. Additional lightweight performance components for the new Dragon SP models include a "wave" brake disc that delivers braking without additional weight, and a new RAW lightweight bumper system that is part of a lightweight, narrowed front end.
All Performance models (except IQ Turbo Dragon) have the redesigned Freestyle seat that integrates with the re-styled fuel tank which allows for easy transition between sitting and standing and allows for more aggressive riding, especially in the corners, according to Polaris.
The 2009 touring sleds (Trail Touring; FS Touring; 600 IQ Touring; FST Touring) feature a fully-coupled 136-inch comfort suspension that delivers excellent solo rider comfort and significantly improved passenger comfort for two-up riding. The chassis delivers a consistently smooth, comfortable ride for a wider range of loads with minimal adjustments required. In addition, the IQ Cruiser Conversion allows riders to tour in plush two-up comfort, or move the backrest forward, keep the touring cover on for sealed storage and cruise one-up.
All IQ Touring models also feature the exclusive "Rider Select" adjustable steering feature. All four models are available in 60, 80, 125 or 140 horsepower, and electric start is standard equipment.
The new WideTrak IQ and 550 Transport join the WideTrak LX in carrying on the Utility tradition of a durable sled with a strong work ethic, according to the OEM. The WideTrak IQ, powered by a 750cc four-stroke twin, combines the power and capability needed to haul cargo off-trail with ride quality and easy handling delivered by the Polaris IQ Chassis and its long-travel suspension. It is loaded with features such as underseat storage, storage rack and an all-new, work-enhancing cockpit that includes improved handlebar ergonomics for easier steering, easy-access hi/low controls, grab bar and a heated glove box.
Another new addition to the Utility lineup is the new 550 Transport which combines a Polaris 550 fan engine with the EDGE chassis.
The 120 Dragon is a youth-sized model that looks like adult Performance models with its white hood and dragon graphics, and is powered by a 120cc engine.