A bolt-on conversion kit for 1983 to 1997 Polaris Indys
Polaris made a zillion Indys for 14 years-Gen Is from 1983 to 1987 and Gen IIs from 1988 to 1997 (I could be off a year or two). Now after 14 years they are quite affordable. They were always a great sled although today the handling and suspension are a bit dated. You can buy a low mileage one in very nice condition for $1000 to $1500. There are a huge number of fixer-uppers which can be had for $500 (give or take).
Because old Indys are so cheap you may want to have fun turning one into a unique looking custom sled based on the 1976/77 RXL Sno-Pro racer. This replica racer wouldn’t your regular weekend sled-you would use it on groomed trails and to ride to rallies. Now if you are racing an old Indy, you could drive the race promoter and fans ape shit by entering your Indy in its regular class, with an RXL body kit! (You’d probably want to clear your Indy RXL with the tech guys, because I know the other racers would point to you on the start line and action would come to grinding halt to square things away).
Let me tell you about the kit parts. First the hood, it would fit normally and hinge with Gen II hardware. Then we have the nose scoop. It will mount in the same holes as the stock nose. The left scoop opening will be wide enough to accommodate a Gen I headlight. I recommend you open up the right scoop opening for cooling because the hood won’t have as many air intake openings as a stock hood. For sure the scoop will come in black because most Indy belly pans are black and I want the two to blend.
I will offer an RXL styled graphics kit to adapt to a black or midnight blue hood. I know the RXLs were blue/white/red but most of the Indy belly pans are black and my colors would keep owner painting costs to a minimum. I haven’t figured out what color to make the hood-probably white because black is such a nasty color because it show scratches so easily. A number of you have asked for mid night blue hoods. If this hood/nose kit beomes popular I could be talked into mixing up a special batch of blue gelcoat. Let's see how it goes.
To achieve small race style skis, I’m going to suggest cutting the low profile Indy ski in half, take out a chunk out and re-weld. I may offer inexpensive motorcycle drag bars for the right race look.
Right now I’m guessing and I know my pricing will be “off.” Hood and nose-$395. Graphics-$225. Seat -$355. Each part would be sold separately.
It now begins. What you see is my custom Velocity hood which I made for early Indys in 1992. You can see what that hood looks like here.
The Velocity hood will be the basis of the RXL--its overall shape is right. I am not going to mold in air scoops. I polled all the folks on my 'list' and they said "no scoops". Most will use LC sleds. I will have a jig to cut in air scoops for us F/C owners.
One of the biggest challenges will be to minimize the hood hinges. I have to use the Gen I style hinges which mount to the backside of the forward bulkhead. The Gen II hinges mount outside of the bulkhead and will get in the way of nose mounting.
With my advisors, the Sayen family of ardent Polaris fans, it has been determined that the smaller Polaris gauges (3" ?) will fit on the dash. The next photos you will see will be the cutting part where the headlight pod will disappear.
Okay, you can see that surgery has begun. I knocked off the headlight pod. I sent a questionnaire to all you who have asked to be on my "list" for progress news. I asked "should I make the hood with scoops?" The answer you sent back was a resounding "NO", no scoops. Note: work will stop for a period on the RXL. It won't be ready until spring so it's going to be a 2012/13 release. I'm going to jump over to my 650 Yamaha Storm motorcycle kit and finish it for a Spring into. Then I'll get back to the RXL.
Progress (the result of one day's work). Work has resumed on hood as of June oneth.
Hey board members you came thru in the last poll. I stopped counting at 11. The vote was 11 to 0 in favor of a seamless hood and nose. You guys are great-and it's kinda of fun to design a product with help from my potential future customers. I guess that's rather rare in any business.
After the work this week I have discovered good news/bad news. I won't be able to make a one piece hood and nose. Yes I could make it but it couldn't work, here's why. The nose is going to wrap under the side bumper about 10 inches back from the front edge of the bumper. If the nose were part of the hood it couldn't fit the sled because I am using the side bumper channel to anchor the hood. The hood drops down into the channel and the nose butts to the under side of the bumper-it can't work.
So here's my current thinking. I will make a separate hood and nose. I am going to eliminate the hinge. That way I can butt the hood to the back side of the nose. If I'm good, the joint between the two will only be 1/16". That will get us a seamless look in a practical way.
Ski-doo Mike and I have been talking about a headlight location. He said take it off the handle bars and put it in the nose. With a separate nose bolted to the front end, I will have the strength to support a light. This will be my goal.
One of the draw backs of a take off hood are instrument cables and wiring. They tether the hood to the sled and make working in the engine compartment more difficult. This is solvable two ways. The light in the grill eliminates the wiring issue. I'm reasonably sure I can come up with a small metal dashboard for gauges and idiot lights so they won't need to be attached to the hood. The dashboard would mount under the handle bar mount block, lower than the hood and over the tank.
This week I filled in the left deck side and raised a side mold line so there's room for RXL side decals. I have also started roughing in the nose.
Work progresses. Now you can see the nose forming and how it will blend with altered hood shape (changed since 6/11/12 report). I will now be spending my time on the nose to get it finished. This will allow a standard for conforming hood lines. If you look closely you can see the hood/nose joint line. I am hoping for a flush fit or no more than a 1/16" gap.
More when I have more.
Work this week was shaping the nose. It must be finished first because its position on the sled is fixed and the hood's position can be adjusted to some degree to the nose to achieve a flush fit. I didn't realize how big the nose piece would be-its 32" wide.
The scoop opening is tall enough to accept the projector heads light I will sell. I am going to carry the side bumper forward into the nose where it will gradually taper away.
The bottom of the nose is level with the lowest portion of the front Indy belly pan so you are going to have to pick your trails carefully-stay pretty much to groomed trails. Raw tundra bashing will likely have you calling me for a replacement nose.
In a meeting yesterday with my advisors, the Sayen family, I decided that I will make a replacement right side lower dash panel. It will have holes for; ignition, choke, accessory switch plus odo and tach. That way none of the electrics will be attached to the hood. Next time-more nose.
Well, I am back on the case. Over the last 2 weeks I have spent 3 full days on the RXL but don't have much to show. I finished roughing out the nose and am working on the dash--visually unexciting work.
As I make the dash, I will make a space for the tach but not the speedo/odo. Since the hood will detach completely with four bungees, it wouldn't make sense to include speedo because of the long cable. You'd be out on the lake working on the sled with the hood off, tripping all over the cable. That they could see from across the lake... "What's wrong with that guy? Is he drunk?"
Other photos are the beginnings of my seat base.
Over the last unit of time I have spent goodly hours on the RXL. Most of that time has been on the left front corner and blending the nose with the deck. You can now see how I intend to blend in the side bumper into the nose-one of you asked how I was going to do that.
I will make a space on the dash for the tach for those of you that want that hassle but it won't be noticeable. I will be making a bar mounted headlight bracket and I think I can include a tach mount in it.
I show you continuing photos of seat mock up. When I got this far I realized the hump was too tall and I'm going to lower it by 1 ½" (see line on wood). At this point in time I am not sure whether I will be offering RXL seats.
There are several Indy gas tanks and that makes it hard to make as many matching seats. I may make a fiberglass hump so you can remake your seat. The decision on this will come my 44 advisors (guys who are on my list) whether they would want to spend somewhere around a $100- $125 for the hump then spend more on re-upholstery.
As you can see by these poor quality photos, hood work progresses. The left (right actual) of the hood top is roughed in. I am about 50% done with the right (actual) side of the hood. So the top and sides are almost done. Next I have to make the raised edge around the hood top which you can see clearly in the Mini 120 photos.
For those of you expecting enough room in the "grill" opening to mount a light-that may not be possible. I learned from our completed Polaris Mini 120 RXL hood that it is hard to get gelcoat and fiberglass into the protruding lips of the nose. I'm going to have to increase the angle of the lower inside grill lip to attempt to fix the problem-it's almost flat now. A reduced grill opening may prevent mounting a light in there.
The experience from the Mini also prevented us from using Midnight Blue gelcoat because bubbles needing repair may occur in the nose parts. Minis will be made in white. This may apply to the big RXL as well. I don't know yet. I also attached photos of the Mini 120 RXL hood final pattern for kicks. This will be released in March.
Real RXLs did not have dash boards. Ours has to because a big open backside would be tacky. I have to design something pleasing back there and I am not quite sure what I am going to do. You'll see what develops later.
I have a bit of a survey for those of you willing to respond. Notice the gap between the dash board and tank. That's the 7.5 gallon Polaris tank I'm going to use because it is more race-like. The larger 12 gallon tank is taller and fills that gap. My thinking now is that I will add a removable filler piece that can be removed if you are using the 12 gallon tank (a thankful suggestion from an RXL watcher at Waconia 2013). So the question I'd like you to answer is:
Short report this time. Added the raised hood deck trim edges. Just glued down strips of 2" x 1/8" oak and am now blending them in. The sides need to be altered to meet the new top edge of the deck. More later.
Most of you have been thinking "Oh goody I'm on the RXL list to get news about it". Wrong. As I have said before you are my Board of Directors. The issue before you today is the new RXL-INDY graphics.
I have never liked the original RXL graphics. Overall they are terrific. Something fell apart however with the stars on the wide deck strip. The side strips are busier than they need to be and that goofy old strung together logo is present.
The RXL-INDY is a departure and an opportunity to make changes with bold new graphics. My design is self evident. The only thing I have a problem with is the way the stars point on the wide panel. They look fine when viewed from the front but from the side they are not compatible with the big 'RXL-INDY' graphics. That needs your opinion. And I want you to critique the whole design. You have to judge and accept what I do because you are the person who will or will not buy it. So give me your vote and comments.
The portions of this rendering are off-don't worry about that. What you see in black around the white is the hood color-either black or midnight blue. This design will not work on a white hood.
Okay go crazy on me.
(Kevin Sondreal - we got voted down.)
Shown here is the new design. It isn't a copy of the original but pretty close. I can't do original or I'd toss lunch. I have to fiddle with the spacing of the stars in the center vertical panel otherwise I think we are done. The first time you get to see this design in real life will be on the new mini RXL hood. On it the gap between the deck graphics and side graphics is closed up because the side contours won't allow graphic application without wrinkling.
I told you in my last report that the dash board would take about three days to do. That's pretty accurate, I have two into it and by next weekend that part should be done with photos
I forecast 3 working days to complete dash and I was pretty close. I know it's tough to see shapes in light colored Bondo. Essentially we have a flat dash panel which turns a hard corner and drops down on either side of the tank opening then sweeps across and up the outside hood edges (next to the cut outs) and swings back into and merges with the bottom dash line. Simple and I think it gets the job done.
Next I'll close in the tank opening for the smaller 7 gallon tanks then I move to complete the nose. After that it's finishing time