Technical Dozen A CLOSE-UP LOOK AT THE LATEST NEW SLED TECHNOLOGY FOR 2015 STORY & SELECT PHOTOS BY PAT BOURGEOIS Just when one thinks that technology can go no farther in snowmobile evolution, there’s something new and impressive. The 2015 model year is no exception. There are innovations between the bumpers in each manufacturer lineup, and some creative technology so nice we mention it twice. RAS 2 Front Suspension Most would agree the engineering team from Ski-Doo has things dialed tight when it comes to suspension design and calibration. For 2015 the crew has improved upon the ever-evolving dual A-arm suspension with the Response Angle Suspension (RAS) design. The design features a taller spindle (12 mm) that raises the roll center of the vehicle, putting it closer to the vehicle’s center of gravity. This seemingly subtle move results in improved stability, reduced chassis roll and a geometry with minimal bump steer and camber change. What’s more, the entire system was scrutinized and the new design is 1.76 pounds lighter per side. – SKI-DOO Vertical Steering Post The idea behind a more upright and taller steering post for off-trail and deep snow riders is nothing new. However, the engineering required to equip the new SRViper M-TX mountain sleds with an upright handlebar system was a bit more complex than your typical design. With the 1049cc Genesis engine stuffed underhood and a tightly packaged rear exit exhaust expelling spent fumes, the vertical post and accompanying supports required plenty of forethought and engineering savvy. The vertical design improves leverage and control with the new M-TX. – YAMAHA LED Headlight The all-new AXYS platform from Polaris is bursting with new technology for 2015 as the star of the north brand celebrates 60 years of business. While others have dabbled in LED lighting as an accessory, the new AXYS models represent the first time high-intensity LED headlights come as standard equipment. The long life lighting system is said to be 30 percent brighter than a standard incandescent system and is also nearly 1 pound lighter, as well. The super bright and super white light casts a broad and deep light that is said to be very close to daylight spectrum in color. – POLARIS Slide Action Arm We admit Arctic Cat’s Slide-Action design of the front arm of its same-named rear suspension isn’t new 2015 technology, however this little-talked-about design feature found on most Cats (as well as Yamaha Viper models) is worth another look. The simple design truly changes the dynamics of how the Arctic Cat rear suspension works. The “coupled” suspension is given new life and more travel because of it. When the rear of the suspension dips into a hole or is compressed under acceleration for example, the slotted front arm doesn’t “couple” as soon as it would if it were a fixed mount. This sliding action allows the front arm to behave longer than it really is. This allows the front of the suspension to work longer, keeping the skis on the ground and the driver in control. – ARCTIC CAT 12 WSN - www.awsc.org