To say a new Polaris snowmobile I’ve been testing for a few weeks is a humdinger might be an understatement. It might also make me sound old, since no one under 35 knows what that word means. Dictionary definition: “Something that is remarkable and outstanding.”
I tested a Polaris 600 Rush Pro-S on the lake in front of my house. And on the official trails that cross in front of my house. And at the refuge that is a few miles from my house.
OK, I tested it pretty much everywhere in my area, coming up with any excuse possible.
“You know, I never did test it in the woods by that bridge over by the farm-field…”
“I wonder what it would be like to ride on that other lake near the creek-bed…”
“It would probably zip along a little faster if I tested it on that newly groomed trail over by the state park, you know the one where there’s undisturbed mounds of snow…”
These things take time. You need to be thorough.
There was one test when the sun was sinking low over the horizon. The fumes from the exhaust filled my lungs with a sweet aroma, the soft purr of the engine rumbling like my stomach right before a steak dinner. I punched the throttle and felt the power of the liquid-cooled engine catapult me across a clear stretch of ice. I waved as a guy in a fish house gave me the finger. It’s all part of the fun. (I went back to apologize later. We shared some refreshments.)
If you spring for this rig, there’s a few things you should know. First off, it glides like you’re riding on a layer of shaving cream. I could bore you with some technical details about the chassis making adjustments when you lean forward, something related to the carbon-fiber overstructure, but it’s probably best if I say the sled will bend to your will—it morphs in real time. Lean back, and the cushion goes even softer. It compares favorably to a couch pillow.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve tested countless ATVs, UTVs, and pretty much all of the Vs from Polaris and other motorsport brands, and the Rush reminded me of an all-terrain vehicle. It doesn’t actually have any tires, but it rides like it does. You don’t notice the bumps. There was that one time when I hit the remains of an ice fishing hole, likely built-up with hard-packed snow by a middle schooler named Jimbob and his dad just because that’s what you do, and went slightly airborne. I didn’t hang on for dear life but I was somewhere in that vicinity. Most of the time, the Rush barely noticed anything on the trail at all. It rides as smooth as glass.
I took my nephew out on the lake and had him time me going 0-60 MPH. We clocked it at around 9 seconds, but that includes some time skidding out when I punched it too hard. I kept asking him to retest, not because I was that interested in perfectly accurate results. It had more to do with wanting to prove to myself that I could hit 60 without falling off and injuring myself.
A version of the Rush comes with a much better LCD screen than I tested—it shows your GPS location and even allows you to connect your phone over Bluetooth to get alerts about texts and phone calls. It’s worth it, but honestly, I’m happy with the LCD that just shows my speed.
You can also pay $399 for an extra seat so you can ride with a passenger. I’d say that expense is worth it, but you might find yourself wanting to ride this monster sled solo. I’ve also taken it ice-fishing a few times, hauling all of my gear by strapping the bags onto the tail. I never had an issues getting stuck, slipping on the ice, or weighing down machine too much.
The 2016 Polaris 600 Rush Pro-S costs $11,299 in the base model without the fancy display and the extra seat. How you respond to the exhaust fumes is up to you.