With the initial breathless hype subsided and time to make a spring buying decision, the staff at On Snow Magazine is bringing you 19 days of new snowmobile and technical innovations along with our first impressions.

The new big bore motor from Polaris is an absolute home run! There we said it, and while some may say it’s too early to judge, we have nearly 500-miles on the new motor at both sea-level and altitude and have experienced nary a glitch. From every view, it appears Polaris has done their homework with this engine. Remember, this is the first all-new from the crankcase up motor for snowmobiles since the infamous 900 Fusion, and we all know how that turned out. This time around no stone was left unturned, and the end result is an engine that is an absolute beast in terms of power, silky run-quality, rev-happy demeanor, and is deemed rock-solid based on the standard 4-year warranty Polaris has included. If you thought the 800HO was a quick revver, the new Patriot is every bit as good if not better. What’s more, the engine has a what we’d call another gear, a point in the powerband where the exhaust valves fully-open, letting the big twin breathe free. The “tune” of the engine transforms from howl to growl and the power is stunning. While Polaris won’t disclose actual horsepower numbers, the official word is the new 850 delivers 9% more, or as one engineer put it, “it’s more than enough.” Better than the Ski-Doo 850 you ask? We think so.

The crew from OSM was one of only three publications who had the opportunity to ride the new 850 Patriot direct from the Polaris headquarters in Roseau. Editor Bourgeois joined SnowTech and Sled Magazine from Quebec along with Polaris engineers for an official burn on a brisk day in January. Bourgeois came back singing the virtues of the Patriot.