Patriot 9R vs Patriot Boost!
MS test dummies Sean and Pat had the chance to ride two prototype model year 2023 sleds—Pro RMK Patriot 9R vs RMK Khaos Patriot Boost—with the goal to experience the differences between the two engines in characteristic and feel.
The two RMK mountain sled configurations were:
- 2023 Polaris Pro RMK Slash Patriot 9R 155 x 15 x 2.75″ Series 8 track
- 2023 Polaris RMK Khaos Slash Patriot Boost 155 x 15 x 2.75″ Series 8 track
We chose these two sled configurations specifically for a number of reasons. First of all, where and when we rode them it hadn’t snowed in forever, and the base was very low.
It was rideable in the trees, sure, but just about anywhere there was an opening, the snow was track packed into a concrete parking lot.
To find fresh snow we had to pop into the trees and look for some openings and areas where the trees weren’t too tight to fit a snowmobile through. So that was the primary reason we decided to ride the shorter 155″ tracks rather than going for a longer 163″ or 165″ track.
Prior to riding the sleds, we learned from Polaris that the 9R is designed to be a quick revving engine with lots of grunt down low. To us, this suggests an engine that shines in the tight, steep stuff, where a rider is working more slowly and maybe chopping the throttle on and off at low revs. But when you want power in these tricky and technical situations, you want it yesterday! So the snappy, quick revving promise of the big bore 9R seems particularly well-suited to the type of riding a person who prefers the handling of a Pro RMK chassis might want. So for that reason we decided to take out the 2023 Polaris Pro RMK Slash model with the Patriot 9R.
As for the Boost, we already know a fair bit about that engine, having enjoyed riding it previously (and for some Polaris owners having spent time on it this winter).
The Patriot Boost is a very strong engine! When you squeeze the throttle, it is there, and the skis will lift! The ability to use power to change the attitude of the sled pairs very nicely with the RMK Khaos model design, which offers a more playful feeling by allowing more transfer and lifting the skis a bit easier than the Pro RMK.
So, our thinking led us to match the Patriot Boost with the 2023 Polaris RMK Khaos Slash model for this experiment.
Patriot 9R vs Patriot Boost
The video from our experience riding these two sleds is below. Pat first talks about some of the specific changes that differential the big bore 899 cc Patriot 9R from its likewise naturally aspirated sibling 850 Patriot. Then the guys get a chance to hop back and forth and experience both sleds in the open and down in some of the tighter trees before summing up their thoughts on the two engines.
As you can see from the opinions of our riders, both engine packages are appealing and there’s really no way to declare that one is outright superior to the other.
Pat and Sean certainly enjoyed the fun, arm stretching factor of the Patriot Boost engine in the open areas. Especially at the elevation we were riding (around 2700 m/9000 ft), the Patriot Boost has significantly more power.
However, with the conditions being what they were (low snow and tracked out open areas), it was really a challenge to even be able to tap into all that power. Even still, Sean declared the 2023 RMK Khaos Slash Patriot Boost 155″ a 10/10 for fun.
However, if you’re the type of rider who spends more time traversing tight tree lines, exploring through timber and drainages or riding areas that don’t have much open terrain, then the instant torque of the 9R engine is probably well-suited to your riding preferences.
The Patriot 9R is certainly more snappy and strong than the 850 Patriot, especially in the low end of the rpm spread. We discovered that the Patriot 9R engine shines with a responsive and torque-y characteristic, rather than the outright, blow-you-away power of the Patriot Boost.