My heart filled with love as I looked at him and all of his sexiness. “How lucky am I?” I thought to myself. To think a 47 year old redneck/hippie kind of woman landed such a magnificent beast to spend time with. While I love my super sexy snow stud husband, the sexy beast I speak of is my Cycle Works West 2019 850 Polaris Patriot 163 2.6.
It was Christmas day, and my husband Kev and I were out breaking in my new Polaris 850 Patriot. The snow-pack was still pretty skinny so a road ride was all that was safe at the time.
Waking up in the morning I felt an excitement in me that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. The feeling was so strong, 4:45am was all that my mind and body would allow for sleep. I had found my “WOO HOOOO NESS” again. Seriously Kev… wake up.. lets go!
Jumping back on to the Patriot felt so natural. I was lucky to have ridden prototypes with Polaris Corporate in Montana last February. Never have I been on a sled that I instantly felt at home and one with to this extent. So responsive to every shift of my body weight, a snowmobile this epic had to have an outstanding name. You do notice the lack of vibration after riding a full day on a Patriot. Less muscle fatigue is a wonderful plus.
My initial testing of 850 Patriot Prototypes in Februrary of 2018 was a little fuzzy. While it was an incredible blessing to be invited to test out these new sleds with a crew of elite epic and awesome snowmobilers in the industry I was incredibly ill at the time. Running a fever of a hundred and whatever, combined with Pneumonia, ridiculously high blood pressure and dash of altitude sickness, I was determined to get out there and try the Patriot out. “Trish how are you feeling?” Phatty asked continually (Thank you my friend for looking out for me) “Awesome” I’d reply in a laryngitis filled voice that resembled a cross between a Demon and Bull Frog. (Oh ya, I totally rode like a toad out there too during testing) Good times. Would the Patriot still be as epic as I remembered?
Although I had already dubbed my previous 2011 Polaris Pro RMK 800 Chuck Norris, the mind-blowing qualities of this snowmobile could only be best explained by that same name. Chuck Norris 2… my wonderful Chuck was back, stronger, lighter, faster and better than ever!
Kev was breaking in our friend’s 850 Patriot as well. Asking his input, I was truly dreading and bracing myself for his response. Yup, it knocked his socks off too, even during break-in. Not only did he LOVE the agility and the extra linear power of the 850 Patriot, judging by the look on his face I could see he would have a hard time jumping back onto his 16 Axys 800 and was already devising a plan to get his own Chuck Norris (Laura Croft??). It really is that big of a difference from the previous generation of Axys snowmobiles. The differences are so monumental that there are simply no words to fully explain. You must ride an 850 Patriot to truly get it.
If you’re riding a Patriot for the first time, be prepared to initially over- ride the sled. It requires less input than even the super agile Axys so your first hour could feel a little squirley until you get in the groove. I watched Kevs tracks go into the rhubarb a couple times during the first few kms of riding the super responsive chassis. It feels a little snow bike-ish but with 2 skis.
The running boards definitely have a sweet spot. Find that spot, and get a feel for the subtle shift of weight required for the sled to respond. Shifting your weight from side to side while travelling up the access trail will give you a good feel for the balance point. Use this time to become one with the feel for the throttle, and geometry.
When breaking in your 850 Patriot it’s important to give ‘er a little mustard while getting those first few miles on it. Slowly putting around will result in fouled plugs, so a little mustard will go a long way but not WOT, which could compromise an effective break-in. Your quick-drive belt will also need a little bit of breaking in, so transitioning in and out of the throttle on your initial break-in ride will allow the cogs on the belt to be worked in properly, preserving its integrity. Read more about Polaris Break in procedures here https://snowmobiles.polaris.com/en-us/self-help/article/KA-01150/
I had chosen a 174″ track length for my 17, and 18 Polaris Axys sleds which absolutely served their purpose. I wanted to become a little more skilled in the trees and gain some confidence in more techy terrain, so the 174 gave me the extra grace, flotation and traction to “get lucky” more often than not when schizzle was hitting the fan. Yes it was a long sled, with a 3″ track, but I did enjoy it. I could already sense, however, my transition down to a 163 2.6 was a good move with the Patriot. More agile, and less fighting with the 3″ track on harder packed snow was going to be fun! I am excited to really bust Chuck out when we get a little more snow to cover up some of the exposed landmines off the trail.
All in all, I can’t think of a better Christmas day to have. I am blessed that my husband is one who wants to ride during the holidays and truly blessed that we were able to spend Christmas Day aboard two spectacular Polaris 850 Patriots. If you don’t have an 850 Patriot… try one! You know you want to!