- Our Snowmobile Predictions for Model Year 2017
Our Snowmobile Predictions for Model Year 2017
Posted by Emily Hare
on Thursday, February 04, 2016
We've been spending the last few weeks learning what the "Big Four" have in store for snowmobilers in 2017, but a month ago, we were just guessing. Taken from the pages of our February 2016 issue, here are our predictions for the new model year:
Will Arctic Cat have a new 800cc version of their C-TEC motor for 2017?
Was 2016 the last model year for Polaris' Switchback Assault?
Will there be even more 146-inch Ski-Doo sleds in the future like the Renegade Backcountry?
Will there be a big new 4-stroke turbo in a truly Yamaha chassis in 2017?Arctic Cat
A three-quarter sled is on its way? Gosh, we hope so! It’s time the OEMs, not a Chinese knockoff came out with one! The 65-hp 4-stroke introduced in 2016 in the utility segment might work for the motor. We could easily see a new mountain chassis as well, although we’re maybe another year away on that. It’s the last piece of the mountain sleds left to change… unless they bring a new 800cc CTEC engine, which seems likely as well. But we’ve swung and missed on that one a lot! Look for more in the touring/enduro venture side of the market. Motorfist is in Cat's dugout too so they will look to have more in their garment biz. Then there’s the single ski snow vehicle machine teased at Haydays that’s “not a snowbike.”Polaris
Possibly a new 600cc engine going after the same weight and efficiency principles as the 800cc H.O. engine did in MY15? Cat’s C-TEC2 and the E-TEC H.O. have set the stage nicely for Polaris on this one, plus there’s lots of ‘creativity’ out of Polaris race trailers this year. We kind of think Polaris will do away with the exposed rear suspension and go back to a more traditional tunnel like on the Indy and new Polaris race sled. But there is a lot of engineering time, money and energy into perfecting the Rush. We also see the SKS replacing the Switchback Assault. There’s just not room for both in the market. Is a 128-inch Indy wishful thinking? Look for leveraging of the Klim brand on the PGA side and certainly more RiderX hype and Lock and Ride accessories.Ski-Doo
Do we finally get a turbo offered for the 1200 4-stroke? Probably not. We guessed wrong on that last year, but we still want it! Two OEMs already offer them and they are oh so fun! Further expansion of the 129-inch rMotion is almost a given. Will we see more146-inch models? It is a great length for folks who want to ride deep snow AND trails and the Backcountry went to that length last year. Ski-Doo is the only OEM to attempt the ¾-sized sled in recent memory with the Freestyle, but got burned… are they willing to try again? Some Ski-Doo folks would like to see a ‘trail friendly’ version of the X-RS with a big windshield, hearty bumpers, and some other cool stuff. Like the Enduro, but even more performance oriented. Never to be outdone on the tech side, a new standard GPS display for spring models is appropriate.Yamaha Something big is coming,
we can feel it! We hope it's a lighter chassis to replace the Delta Box II so no more Vectors or Apex's. We are BEGGING for a new true Yamaha chassis! Also, the current 80hp Phazer might finally fade away. We’d love to see a factory turbo offering rather than the current dealer-install option too. Look for more suspension upgrades and don't be surprised if there is something that resembles a Snow Scoot in the works – another joint venture with Cat on a three-quarter sled? Going out on a limb, we know Yamaha has looked at the snowbike market A LOT so hopefully there’s a new snowbike-ish in the works, but guessing it will be more trail oriented.