Of all the news that broke Monday night (March 2) when Polaris threw the wraps off its 2021 snowmobile lineup, there weren’t many things unveiled that were bigger than the new 650 Patriot engine.
The 650 Patriot comes on the heels of the 850 Patriot, which got off to a little bit of a rough start when it was first introduced but has since roared back to be one of the strongest engines on the snow.
Why should we, lovers of the mountains and deep snow, care much about the 650 Patriot engine, especially in light of the fact that it’s only found on select trails sleds for model year 2021?
Because we’d bet a pair of Gripper skis that the 650 Patriot will make its way into the RMK lineup much sooner than later. We don’t have any official word on that but it’s not a stretch to think that change will come in the near future.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the 650 Patriot we should point something out that we think might have got lost in all the hype of unveiling Polaris’ 2021 lineup. There is no more Liberty 800 in the mountain lineup for 2021. All mountain sleds (aside from the 600 and Polaris RMK EVO) now come with the 850 Patriot and that includes any SnowCheck as well as in season models.
We definitely like that news.
But back to the 650 Patriot, which we did get a feel for when we rode several new Polaris Indy VR1 trail sleds, including those with the new powerplant. It’s a stout powerplant that rips on the trails, even at horsepower-robbing elevation.
The 650 Patriot shares the 850’s architecture. Other details include:
- The crank, rods and bearings designed and used in the 850 Patriot are used in the 650 Patriot but have been balanced for the smaller powerplant.
- The 650 inline twin has the same stroke as the 850 but has a smaller bore.
- Compared to the current Liberty 600, the 650 Patriot offers a 60 percent fuel economy improvement. More specifically, The fuel economy improvement is up to 22 percent better when cruising along at 45 mph. Between 20-50 mph, the fuel economy improves up to 40 percent and when riding at 25 mph, the fuel economy is near that 60 percent figure.
- The 650 Patriot has 10 percent more power and 14 percent more torque compared to the Liberty 600.
- The new engine’s optimized airflow is built around Polaris’ new Matryx platform, giving the sled increased throttle response and power.
- New V-Force reeds are used for the first time in a 600 class sled.
- New throttle body adapter.
- The engine mounts are designed for less vibration while still maintaining stiffness in belt pull direction for center to center distance control
- Polaris utilizes new software to improve starting with less fuel, which means less smoke and minimized plug fouling.
- A new ECU and exhaust valve actuator provides 25 percent faster valve acuation and improved control. The 3-stage valve control provides better low speed drivability and fuel economy.
- The 650 Patriot is designed to be able to use 87 octane fuel with up to 10 percent ethanol. It can, of course, run on premium fuel as well.
- Oil consumption is 10 percent less compared to the Liberty 600.
Unlike when the 850 Patriot was released and available only as a SnowCheck option, the new 650 Patriot is available both during SnowCheck and in season. Here’s that breakdown:
- 650 Switchback Assault 146
- 650 Indy VR1 129
- 650 Indy VR1 137
In Season Models (Limited Quantities)
- 650 Indy XC Launch Edition 129
- 650 Indy XC Launch Edition 137