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2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure Preview


by Guillaume Rivard ,

Polaris' legendary Indy family, which was resurrected last year, expands in 2014 with as many as nine new models -- arguably none more versatile than the 550 Indy Adventure, which borrows its name and some features from the more powerful 600cc and 800cc Switchback Adventure models.

This machine is designed for on-trail riding with occasional utility use and lightweight two-up riding. It also has the largest storage capacity of the three long-track, fan-cooled Indys.

Polaris 550 Indy Adventure 2014
Photo: Polaris

What you'll find in the 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure
Developed in conjunction with the Polaris Racing program, the front suspension's performance and durability have been proven in extensive on- and off-track testing for lighter steering and sharper cornering. It uses RydeFX shocks, just like the coil-over rear suspension (with redesigned torque arms and no torsion springs). Expect a mere 7.1'' of travel up front, but as much as 14.1'' at the other end.

The 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure will deliver honest but basic performance from a Fuji-built, carburetor-equipped, 544cc, two-stroke twin that produces 55 hp with the help of a new CVTech Powerbloc 50 drive clutch paired with the Invance driven clutch (that's right: no in-house drivetrain). This clutching is said to deliver smooth engagement, enhanced low-speed ridability, quieter operation, and easy tunability. Air cooling makes the engine lighter, resulting in a slightly better float over the snow.

As far as ride and handling go, the 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure features Pro-Steer skis (with a non-adjustable 42.5'' ski stance, however) and a long 15''x144'' Cobra track with 1.35'' lugs that still promises nimble performance.

The new Indy Pro-Ride seat not only allows easy transition between seated and standing positions (together with the 15-degree flatter steering post angle), but its modular design also provides occasional two-up flexibility with the Lock & Ride convertible passenger seat, and greater storage capacity when combined with the Adventure rear cargo system. The latter includes an aluminum rack and Lock & Ride hard saddlebags which, alas, can be awkward to access as you must first lift the passenger armrest.

The tall windshield on the 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure enhances comfort, while the lightweight, aluminum front bumper provides extra protection. Also, the new one-piece handlebar features clean, durable construction, with full-length grips that improve control, and heater elements that extend to the ends of the bar for greater hand comfort.

Summing up the 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure
Starting at $9,399, the versatile 2014 Polaris 550 Indy Adventure looks like an interesting, inexpensive sled that will prove just right for fun weekend cruising. While the list of parts won't impress anyone, expect the whole package to be greater than the sum of said parts.