At Polaris, the motto goes something like: "Three in a row makes it go." Making the new Indy XLT go is an all new 580cc three-banger that will join a long list of Polaris triple cylinder power sources that started back in the 1970s with the original limited edition TX triples. In the modern Polaris era, triples have been the top line models for Indys since the old TX-L based Centurion sprouted an IFS front end and became the Indy 500. Over the years, the Fuji-built triple grew from a 500 to a 600 and up to the current 650 version - in either carb or fuel injection version.
In a return to basics, or at least a return to pumping more performance into the "500" class, Polaris is increasing displacement by adding a cylinder. The Minnesota-based snowmobile maker is also revamping the Indy rear suspension - and, it is rumored, eventually the chassis (but not on this specific limited and late season build).
The new entry is designated XLT, which stands for "Xtra Light Triple." The late season build comes with a liquid-cooled, 580cc, light weight, three cylinder engine that is cast in one piece, which should provide smooth response and reduced vibration. A piston ported design, the engine relies on three 34mm Mikuni slide valve carbs to meter the fuel and air. As with the new 580cc Rotax used in the Formula Plus for 1992, the Polaris' smallish sized carbs are used to enhance fuel mileage.
The new Fuji/Polaris triple is designed to provide strong midrange and ample low end torque. According to Polaris officials, the XLT Special is better out of the hole, through midrange, and at top end while still offering good fuel economy.
Polaris claims the engine's new manifold, resonator, and single pipe exhaust system greatly reduce sound level. The official word is that noise levels are around 13 decibels, less at idle than Polaris' existing three cylinder models.
In an official release about the new XLT, Polaris states: "Not only is the XLT Special the performance leader, but weight savings in the engine and chassis result in it having the lightest actual dry weight in its class."
This is an encouraging development, because this machine has the new large capacity 11.9 gallon fuel tank. Add that into the suggested dry weight of 472 pounds. We like the concept of reduced weight, but since Polaris offers an optional reverse gear for this sled, getting this machine off a trailer needn't be a hassle.
Although there is a weight reduction, there is also a strengthening of critical components to insure durability in this new machine. Polaris engineering revised the jackshaft side bearings. They feature special retaining systems and a wider outer race. Also the jackshaft and driveshaft have been redesigned to accept a new thirteen wide chain. A new stronger diecast chaincase cover is standard. A new water pump design, larger diameter pump inlet, longer cooling extrusions and fins on the crankcase are said to improve overall cooling.
The XLT Special comes with the new Improved Transfer Suspension (ITS). The Dial Adjust knob is gone. The dial's control arms have been removed and adjustment is now cam activated. The front and rear mounting points were moved ahead two inches. The end result is a lighter weight rear suspension
and one which transfers more weight to the rear suspension resulting in a smoother ride with better performance out of the hole. Suspension wheels were repositioned to improve track guidance.
For more reliable ride and less suspension shock fade, Fox gas shocks are standard front and rear. It's the same as the XCR set-up with its front gas pressurized emulsion shocks and chrome silicone springs. The front torque arm features a gas pressurized, internal floating piston (IFP) shock with chrome silicone progressive rate spring. The rear torque arm shock is also gas pressurized IFP. The ski stance measures 38 inches from ski center to center.
Other "Special" features include standard thumb and hi/low handwarmers, carbide ski runners, full instrumentation, easy throttle system, and Kevlar reinforced 121 inch full block pattern track. The new Indy XLT is pegged at a suggested retail of $6,149.00.
INDY XLT SPECIAL (Tentative production specifications as of December
Dry Weight - 472 pounds
Height - 38.5 inches
Length (including skis) - 106.25 inches
Width - 43.12 inches
Ski Stance (center to center) - 38 inches
Fuel Capacity - 11.9 U.S. gallons
Pan - Polyethylene
Bulkhead - Aluminum
Tunnel - Aluminum
Hood - Metton
Hood Color - Deep black
Power Train Specs
Cylinders/Displacement - 3/579cc
Cooling - Liquid
Bore & Stroke - 64mm x 60mm
Carburetors - Three VM34SS slide
Oil Injection - Standard
Ignition Type - CDI
Alternator Output - 12 volt/170 watt
Timing, Degrees BTDC - 28 at 3,000 rpm
Clutch Weight - 10m bushed
Center Distance - 12 inches
Clutch Offset - 5/8 inch
Brake - Hydraulic disc
Composition - Molded Rubber
Track Pattern - Full Block
Track Reinforcement - Kevlar
Track Width/Length - 15 x 121 inches
Track on Ground - 49 inches
Front Suspension Type - IFS, parallel link
Front Shocks - Gas pressurized
Front Travel - 6.25 inches
Rear Suspension Type - ITS/IFP shock
Quantity Bogie/Rear Idlers - 6/4
Rear Torque Arm Limiter - Adjustable
Front Torque Arm Shock - Gas pressurized
Rear Torque Arm Shock - Gas pressurized IFP
Front Torque Arm Spring - Chrome Silicone Coil
Rear Torque Arm Spring - Torsion
Real Travel - 7.75 inches