Never willing to rest on its laurels, Polaris has upped the wager another notch by bringing a very sexy 900 XC into the game. It is the only 900 ACE available this model year and the idea behind it is pretty visceral, really. It hinges on this: Give performance buyers what they want: Performance.
The product planners started with a jump to 78-hp for the 875cc ProStar parallel twin. This mill uses dual overhead cams cycling 4-valves per cylinder. EFI delivers fuel to the combustion chambers and it all runs through a Polaris CVT to a selectable AWD/2WD transfer case.
Power is always a good thing, but here’s where it gets interesting: Polaris widened out the XC’s stance to 59-inches – that’s 11-inches wider than the 570 and it netted an increase in wheel travel to 12.3 inches up front and 12.6 in the rear. Besides this, the XC has big 27-inch GBC Commander tires on slick looking cast aluminum wheels resulting in a big boost in ground clearance. Those tires are monsters and add about five rating points to the looks of this ACE. This is a very aggressive chassis layout and obviously, is not intended for simply coasting down a trail gingerly while smelling the roses.
Just to leave no doubt about the ACE 900 XC’s performance intentions, Polaris added a full set of Walker Evans Needle compression clicker adjustable shocks. These are serious dampers and offer the adjustability to tune the ACE’s ride perfectly despite the weight or riding style of the driver or the type of terrain or speed you might be running over it.
As it is, you can lean on the XC really hard in corners and theres ample power to break the rear wheels loose and get the tail out so you can oversteer through apexes in perfect, predictable control.
Speaking of which, this thing will puree those rear meats in 2WD on straightaways, snapping you from corner to corner like there’s a big elastic band attached to the front bumper and generate enough fun to put Disneyland out of business. At the same time, in 4WD you can attack steep uphills on loose dirt and know for sure that 900 has the grunt and those big GBCs have the bite to catapult you up and over the crest without a worry in the world.
Is the ACE XC for everyone? A better question would be: Is the ACE, period, for everyone? We think the answer is being worked out in Polaris showrooms and demonstrated on off-road trails. Riding any ACE is an eye-opening experience that delivers major gearhead satisfaction.
There are ATV people and there are SxS people. Yes, and now there are ACE people. Sales are proving there’s much more crossover between the three venues than you’d think. Products like the radical, aggressive ACE XC seal the deal.