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1999 Polaris Indy 600 RMK

Spending time in the Yukon with the Indy 600 RMK helps us understand why Polaris riders are so fanatic about this sled.
We admit it. Last season we were harsh on Polaris. Our favorite models were the two domestic-engined models. Interestingly, we had a chance to ride and compare a long-tracked 600 and a short-tracked 600 for a short term test session. Overall, we like the two domestic-engined models. They are extremely stout of performance and are easily the best performing in their displacement classes.

But, it wasn't until I had a chance to ride the Indy 600 RMK version in the Yukon that I learned exactly why Polaris riders are so fanatic about these sleds.

The Yukon is truly "The Great White North." There are many miles between fuel stops and even more between snowmobile dealerships. Your sled has to be tough, durable and dependable.

Those are well-founded Polaris qualities. Riders who ride hard often aren't as concerned about the "little" things like the position of the handwarmer switch or the dated wedge-shaped styling. In the Yukon,a rider wants to know that when he pushes the throttle to the handlebar,the sled will respond. He wants the sled to float over deep snow. Carry him easily up steep inclines. Have power to torque around narrow "goat"trails. In the Yukon, a dependable sled can be a matter of survival.

There I was, riding around the Yukon on a 1998 Indy 600 RMK. I was thinking about the unkind cuts we'd made about the sled's styling and some of the ergonomics. I even knew that for 1999, the ergonomics were changed for the better and the styling was much more palatable for us city-slicker types.

Fortunately, Polaris decided to retain the strengths of its Indy 600.The made-in-the-USA twin is a strong suit at 109 horsepower. Running the121-inch short-tracker on flat land, it can hit over 94 mph in under 13 seconds. It can get to 60 mph in less than five seconds, while accelerating from 30 to 50 mph in 1.73 seconds. That's solid performance.

The RMK version can probably reach the shorter distances a little quicker due to the greater traction of the 136-inch track. Along with the track extension comes a requisite tunnel length.

For 1999, the Indy 600 RMK has all the positive features of the '98 plus some stronger reasons for making a switch to the newer model. Much improved styling and ergonomics aside, the '99 offers a vastly more effective braking system. And of course, there is the very effective XTRA-10 rear suspension with 11.5 inches of travel, controlled by Polaris' Nitrex and Indy Select shocks. Up front is the XTRA-10 with 8.25 inches of travel and threaded shocks for more precise adjustments. Composite skis and carbide runners are standard.

Also standard, of course, is the torque producing 593cc USA twin with its electronic ignition, case reed intake for altitude, tuned dual 39mm Keihin carbs, and two-into-one power stroke exhaust.

The '98 600 RMK made me a believer in what it takes to conquer The Great White North. The 1999 Indy 600 RMK adds the bonus of better style, easier-to-reach controls and planned evolution of a tough breed of snow machine.

Polaris 600 RMK
Overall Height: 45 inches
Overall Width: 43.5 inches
Weight: 496 lbs.
Ski Stance: 38 inches
Engine: 593cc, liquid-cooled, US built twin with case reed
Exhaust: Tuned pipe
Drive: Polaris P-85
 Driven: Polaris
Suspension Travel:
 Front: XTRA-10 CRC, trailing arm, torsion bar, Nitrex shocks, 8.25 in. travel
 Rear: XTRA-10 Nitrex, Indy Select shocks, 11.5 in. travel
Fuel Capacity: 11.8 gallons
Key Features: High performance hydraulic brake, Gen II styling, left hand control switches,mid-height windshield, composite skis
Retail Price: $6,499
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