Category Archives: Snowmobiles

Jack Rabbit Revved Up on Rockstar – 1st Ride on the 2016 Polaris 800 Pro-RMK

My first ride on the Polaris Axys Mountain Snowmobile Chassis in Alpine, Wyoming

Better than Burandt?

2016 Polaris 800 Pro RMK 155IS an average mountain rider better on the Pro RMK Axys than professional rider Chris Burandt on his “old” 2015 Pro RMK? Nope. However, the thought that came to me riding the new 2016 Polaris Pro RMK 800, “I might now be a better rider than Chris Burandt on his 2015 Pro.” I could make the sled do whatever I wanted. Later, I got it stuck in a hole surrounded by trees – I dug a nice, deep trench. Yep, I proved you can still get stuck on the immortal 2016 Pro RMK. I might have been the first to get the 2016 Pro RMK stuck. But I won’t be the last.

All the stuff that feels so good on the Pro chassis is still DNA of the new Axys RMK chassis. The running boards, the handlebar orientation, the feel of the quick belt drive, it’s all there. Polaris did not fetch it up, they took the ProRMK to the “NXT” level. Literally. The ride was out of Dan Adam’s NXT Level Clinic‘s shop in Alpine.

The new 2016 Polaris 800 Pro RMK 155 is more powerful, more responsive and more controllable. It transfers the mood and personality of the rider right into the sled. What ever mood you’re in and regardless of snow conditions, the  sled will do what you want with less effort than ever before.

CONCLUSION: The new 2016 made me a better rider, but only in my dreams as good as Burandt. I may have to wait a few more years for that sled. How can it make you a better rider?

Jack Rabbit on Rockstars

Jack Rabbit playing in SnowBest part….the button that turns on the power. Power is reeling out the track, in a hypersensitive way. It’s like they replaced the throttle lever with a control button that fires the power instantly to the track. I did not really notice hesitation before, but Polaris engineers made it more responsive. A new electronically controlled oil pump makes the engine as responsive as a light switch. The new 2016 Pro RMK hops up on the snow like a jack rabbit revved up on Rockstars. 

168 Horsepower

The 2016 Polaris Pro RMK 800 engine puts out 168 horsepower. DISCLAIMER: “At some dudes dyno shop somewhere on some day in some conditions.” Regardless of the numbers being thrown around, this sled is more powerful and more reliable – as proven on the flat-lander sleds the past season.

The devilish details include a lighter crankshaft, grooved pistons and 3-stage electronic exhaust valves. Polaris engineers fine tuned their power plant recipe to even the horsepower playing field with Cat and Ski–Doo. The dyno wars will be buzzing, but the real tests will continue to play out on the mountain.

408 Pounds Strong

I know what your thinking, “Did they use more glue on the a-arms?” Or, “Are the a-arms going to fold at the first mogul now?” Nope. In fact, the new a-arms are forged aluminum. Lighter, check. Tougher, check.

Track. The all new track has mean, lean 2.6” lugs. More traction and even lighter than the 2.5 track.

Benchpressing a 2016 Pro RMKSIDETRACK: Watch a guy bench press a 2016 Polaris 800 Pro-RMK (basically)

To Play Video of this guy bench pressing 408 pounds CLICK HERE.

Headlights. The new LED lights are lighter in both ways.

AXYS Platform. The new chassis is actually reinforced more at the weak points on the chassis making it stronger than the 2015 Pro chassis. But, they still managed to make it even lighter.

 

Have Fun Pretending

I am Chris Burandt while riding my Pro RMK the same way I was Michael Jordan on the Elementary School ball court. Kudos to the engineering team at Polaris. 408 pounds made it a little easier to lift out of that treacherous hole in the trees. Now we’ll have even more power, lift and energy to boondoggle through the pow and pretend like we’re Chris Burandt.

 

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Worn Out Tires and Peace on Earth

The Riding Experience1928 Indian Scout

Robert M. Pirsig described the powersports experience best in his book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values”, when he states; “In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

That sense of presence is the common experience of riders of all types of powersports vehicles on the open road, the windy forest trail or the snow powdered mountainside. Small machines, built for one or two riders, enable us to feel the surface beneath us, to smell the scents of our surroundings, to feel the breeze and fluctuations of temperature in our bones and to see the world we are in. I love the scent of campfires, the brisk air when passing by a brook, the sights seen in the open air environment. Being “in the scene” as Mr. Pirsig puts it, can be enjoyed on a motorcycle, dirt bike, snowmobile, or an ATV/SXS.
So, why do so many motorcycles and ATV’s get stored away in the corner of a garage collecting dust? What can the powersports industry do to ensure utilization?
The Manufacturers Mission
The design and manufacturing process of powersports vehicles is fundamentally based on the mission of creating the ultimate user experience. Mr. Pirsig continued, “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right.” The first Indian Scout, the Honda Dream, the Suzuki Hayabusa and thousands of other “satisfaction machines” have passed the test. However, building great machines is not enough to achieve the desired experiences. Manufacturers that establish a strong dealer network will win.
The Dealers Responsibility
Motorcycle ShopFinal execution of the mission to give “satisfaction” and produce “tranquility” is delivered at the motorcycle shop.  The dealer is the face of the brand. Unfortunately, there are some ugly faces in powersports. It doesn’t even matter so much if the face is small or large. What matters most is a buying experience that matches the motorcycle mantra. The motorcycle buying process largely determines the ownership and riding experience.
I will be delighted with my motorcycle to the extent that I repeatedly have good rides. If the sidewalls on my tires start cracking before my tread disappears, it has sadly become an ornament in the garage. Dealers have a responsibility to instill confidence in buyers so they want to ride often. This can be accomplished by engaging the buyer in six ways.
  1. Sell the right machine based on needs and desires after a consultation and test rides.
  2. Set up the motorcycle for the specific rider and terrain.
  3. Teach the rider how to utilize each function of the machine well.
  4. Instruct the rider on the proper break-in procedures, pre-ride inspection routine and maintenance requirements.
  5. Ensure the rider has opportunities to participate on group rides and/or receives riding resource information.
  6. Provide continuous, befriending service support.

If the dealer fails to execute any of these, the rider will be less likely to make riding a priority, losing interest. Confident motorcycle owners become passionate riders. Passionate riders experience satisfaction and demonstrate fierce loyalty. Passion is the ingredient that separates the auto industry from the powersports industry. It’s the magic potion of powersports.

Peace on Earth
Motorcycle manufacturers drive innovation to create the ultimate user experience. This is derailed in the retail channel when bad buying experiences bleed into the ownership experience. The six dealer/rider interactions will inspire confidence if executed. The results are simple: worn out tires and peace on earth. – Jared Burt
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