Polaris 600 Indy SP
This is more than just the return of an iconic name. The Indy is a light, affordable, fun and easy-to-ride snowmobile that should have mass appeal. The Pro-Ride front end offers high-end handling prowess, while the conventional rear suspension is unintimidating and not as odd-looking as the Rush’s Pro-Ride rear. Plus, the Indy’s rear suspension actually does better in repetitive stutter bumps than the Rush.
Polaris 600 Rush Pro-R
Look up “Fun” in the snowmobiler’s dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of the 600 Rush Pro-R. Responsive, aggressive and playful, the Rush Pro-R is a riot to truly wring out, whether taking advantage of the excellent handling on a well-groomed trail, or bombing down rugged ungroomed trails and pretending you’re a snocross racer. The 600 Cleanfire twin engine spools up fast and the front suspension tracks straight in all conditions.
Polaris 600 Switchback Adventure
Forget the Grand Tourings and Classics, GSXs, Ventures and Panteras. Yes, nice snowmobiles one and all, but it wasn’t until the invention of the Switchback Adventure that there was a truly cool touring machine for serious high-milers. Found in the stretched Pro-Ride chassis with high-quality touring cases left and right, a great front suspension and premium features, this head-turning machine is the one we’d select for a high-mile adventure.
Yamaha RS Vector
Perhaps the most easy-going snowmobile on the market, the RS Vector is a wonderful everyman’s (or everywoman’s) trail sled. With its laid back ergonomics, quick but easy going powerband from the 1049cc four-stroke triple, subtle exhaust and engine noise, the lightest steering effort in the sport (thanks to EPS) and quality wind protection, the RS Vector makes trail riding easy for riders who don’t spend their weekends in the attack mode.
Arctic Cat ProCross F 1100 Turbo LXR
Some riders have to have it all, starting with the most power available and ending with all the creature comforts. For these guys, the F 1100 Turbo LXR is the answer. The 177 hp, fuel-injected engine comes alive when the hair drier kicks in. Yet features like a heated seat, adjustable handlebars, roomy ergonomics, accessory outlet and rear storage bag make this a civilized sled — with the heart of a lion.
Ski-Doo MX Z Sport 600
The base MX Z has always been an appealing sled, but with its new pricepoint it’s a bona fide steal. Owners get the REV-XP platform, the SC-5 rear suspension, push-button reverse, RipSaw track, hooked handlebars, DESS anti-theft system, an updated seat and a carbureted 600-class engine for $6,999 — $1,000 cheaper than its closest liquid-cooled competition. It’s dependable, comfortable, capable, affordable and good looking.
Ski-Doo MX Z X E-TEC 800R
Break it down, and the MX Z X has the best components — the E-TEC 800R engine, the rMotion rear suspension, the REV-XS chassis, electric start, uber-adjustable shocks, on-board storage and 1.25-inch RipSaw track. Put it back together, and you’ve got one of the very best trail machines for aggressive riders, now with a fresh look, improved wind protection, better fit and finish and easier access to parts under the hood.
Ski-Doo Renegade Adrenaline E-TEC 800R
Looking for a machine that shines on trails but has the ability to do a little boondocking? You couldn’t do better than the Renegade Adrenaline. Among the trail-oriented crossovers, it was already a winner, but for 2013 it gets the best rear suspension — an extended version of the energy-erasing rMotion. Among the crossovers, it has the best trail manners, yet it’s still fun and playful in a powder-filled field or laketop.
Ski-Doo Summit X E-TEC 800R 154
The new XM mountain platform is interesting, but the innovative tMotion rear suspension and FlexEdge track are what make the 2013 Summit X really stand out. The suspension’s ability to lean 2 degrees left or right at the rear arm, plus the flexibility in the outer 2 inches of the track, vastly improve the Summit’s backcountry capabilities, allowing the Summit to carve and easily stay up on one ski.
Arctic Cat ProClimb XF 800 High Country
There’s a new class of extreme crossovers sled, aimed at the 50-percent-or-more off-trail riders. And the best one is the ProClimb XF 800 High Country. It has incredible off-trail prowess. It’s not as narrow or long as modern mountain sleds, but with its 15- by 144- by 2.25-inch track being pushed by big 800-class power, it can go virtually anywhere a mountain sled can get to, without being cumbersome on the trails.