OEM gets rave reviews on 2013 off-road lineup
Talk to a few Polaris dealers, and there’s no doubt what they’re excited about for 2013. The Ranger 800 Mid-Size and XP 900 have dealers contacted by Powersports Business looking forward to expanding their side-by-side offerings.
The new Ranger XP 900 has more than 500 new or improved features for the Ranger lineup, including a new ProStar 900 engine, an all-new chassis, a restyled cockpit, flip-up seat storage, new Lock & Ride PRO-FIT cab accessories and a repositioned engine for a quieter ride.
“The Ranger is what I was most excited about, and the new 900, of course, with all the accessories that mount into the frame real well, that’s going to be real nice,” said Jeff Tarver of Greenville Motor Sports in Leland, Miss.
Mike Trulen Sr. of Power Pac Inc. in Marshfield, Wis., said the Ranger XP 900 is also what he’s most looking forward to selling.
“The whole thing is very well designed — it’s a nice unit,” he said. “Everyone’s looking for more power. Bigger, bigger, bigger all the time — that’s what they’re looking for.”
The new Ranger 800 EFI Mid-Size has been presented as a Big Bore two-seat machine that fits in the back of a pickup. It includes On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive with VersaTrac, Independent Rear Suspension, heavy-duty front end protection, high ground clearance and the longest suspension travel in its class, according to Polaris.
“The mid-sized 800 Ranger, I’m tickled to see. It’s going to give us a good price point to compete with the higher priced Ranger models,” said J.L. Smith of YPK Motorsports of Jackson, Ky.
Polaris also introduced its new Scrambler 850 ATV and minor updates to the RZR lineup.
Dealers have been so happy with Polaris’ models that they don’t feel much could be added to the lineup. Smith, in fact, said he’d like to see fewer SKUs.
“They’ve got so many different models, and they cover such a wide range of interests,” Tarver said. “Honestly, about the only thing they’re missing from the lineup is a bigger electric Ranger, and I think that’s probably in the works. They own the GEM car and a couple other electric companies, so it looks like they’re doing a lot of research and development in that area.”
The dealers listed Can-Am, Yamaha and Kawasaki as possible competitors to Polaris, but they said all three OEMs are far off, especially in the side-by-side category.
“Polaris is continuing to come with new products, and it’s exciting, and I think that’s the biggest reason why Polaris continues to take over market share,” Trulen said. “Everyone else has been standing back, waiting for the economy to change.”
The new model lineup proves to dealers that Polaris is still on the gas.