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 be 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. At his point in time (3/5/14) I have not devised a hidden hood hinge so until that happens, the hood will just drop in bumper tray and be held down with four bungees. The nose mounts in the same holes as the stock nose.
I recommend you open up all the big holes (2 ½"?) in the pan for cooling because the hood won't have as much air intake as a stock hood. Later I will make a pan-mounted scoop for 500 F/C engines. I have drilled holes inside the nose scoop for the headlight I offer. The headlight can be mounted to left or right side and it hangs inside the nose scoop.
Hoods come in black, Midnight Blue and white-white being the cheapest. Note-most stock belly pans are black and the portion of it behind the suspension cavity remains black after hood and nose are installed. Give some thought to color matching the rear pan if you choose blue or white.
|This is a menu. There is no package or volume pricing.|
|Hood and nose, in midnight blue or black||$639.00|
|Hood and nose, in white||$555.00|
|I need your tank size for graphics orders - 7 gallon or big tank?|
|Graphics uninstalled - blue and black hoods||$249.00|
|Graphics installed||To come|
Mounts to roof in nose opening
|Flat race handlebars||$29.00|
|Aluminum IFS skis||$379.00|
|RXL seat - get from Conrad Van Batavia at (218) 639-1815|
|Custom hood carton & plastic protection bag||To come|
|Shipping (44 x 37 x 14, 30 lbs)||To come|
UPS and USPS
Visa. Master, DiscoverCard. Minnesotans add 7.5.% tax. Cards charged only on day of shipment.
15% restocking charge, subject to condition. Shipping charges not compensated.
Specs and prices may change without prior notification.
Products made and sold by PLR are copyrighted. Some parts are not DOT approved for street use and are for racing only.
It has been 56 days since we started the graphics project. I knew it wasn't going to be easy and that's how it turned out. This is the final design. For quality and fit reasons this is not a nuts-on exact RXL copy. [Don't worry about that jag in side stripe. You or you supplier will install graphics after hood and nose are installed and aligned.]
Now I have to modify the hood mold. I discovered I had to add depth to the nose edge to lift hood out of bumper tray by 5/8" or so.
I think we have solved the fastening of the hood front with Dzus fasteners-more on that after I do a search. Hopefully it can be hidden by the wide white strip that borders the hood deck and nose
At this point we are in the middle of fine tuning the RXL graphics. It's not an easy task. We had to adapt the RXL theme to the precise shape of my RXL hood and nose. The various parts of this sticker package are keyed to the mold lines in the hood. Here Cece, my long time sign gal, is in round two of the fine tune process.
Now I told you that I am making changes to the original Polaris RXL graphics and I have but I challenge you and those who screamed "sacrilege" to see what I changed. (Note some elements of what you see in photo will be altered to look more like original). A happy note for you guys who will not use rear bumpers. The tunnel graphics will be made to fit bumper and bumperless Indys. You tell me at order time and we will cut (or not) to fit. Are we easy or what!
Cece gave me an idea of what kit will cost-it will about $249. Mind you this is for nine separate pieces in multiple colors. I will write installation instructions. If you don't have vinyl application experience you should seek the aid of a pro. I may offer this service-we'll see.
Okay I laid out the graphics over the weekend. Now, I'm not going to apologize for modifying the original RXL graphics. They were not well executed at the factory. All I did was what they should have done at the time. This week I head out to Cece, my graphics gal, for the hard work to begin.
A little FYI... I just received notice of fiberglass resin increases. This may or may not effect Tim who makes the hoods. If there is a bump, I'll so note on my site and will send notice via this Report format.
A couple of days ago I got a black hood set and a blue one. The nose on each suffered some minor cracking because they came out of a reverse draft mold-my fault. Luckily the problem is easily solved and my glass man, Tim, is working on it now.
I dropped the nose and hood on my sled the frantic day before the Waconia meet. I was surprised how well they fit-often horror stories are discovered at this point. I didn't have much time to fiddle with mounting but I do have clues.
Two things will happen now. I'll begin making the graphics and orders will be filled. Oh, that blue hood-that is going to Donny Sayen, my Polaris guru and the guy who will finish building my sled. More when I know it. Enjoy photos.
(No, the hood will not be at Waconia--I have no way to protect the loose parts from getting all scratched up.)
A week or so ago I got molds from my glass guy. I took them to my shop to fine tune the surface and dress the edges. I sanded the entire surface with 2000 wet/dry. This is the best way to rid the mold of imperfections. Next I will polish the molds so the surface is like glass. This will determine the part quality.
Most other glass people don't do this step because their customers paint the parts. In our case your color comes right out the mold and it's gotta be perfect or you will scream about a scam. Not on my watch! Molds will go back to glass guy (Tim) so I can begin to satisfy you folks who have placed orders.
When the first part comes out I go into my graphics designing mode. Later when I have more to report.
Tonight we are gonna talk about tunnel graphics. RXL and Indy tunnels have different shapes. The Indy tunnel has a rear grab bar/bumper, the RXL does not. I have designed the above graphic similar to the RXL but I've worked around the Indy bumper which is very practical.
Decision one. Are most of you going to retain the bumper or are you thinking of removing it? (Majority rules just like the hood scoop issue months back. You voted no vents).
Decision two. You know the cost issue is big with me. I want all costs to be low as possible-none of us should dump a pile into an old Indy because it is smart to recoup your money when you sell. I would very much like to put "RXL" on the tunnel graphics not cc sizes like on the racers. This way I can make one-size-fit-all stickers and not have to stock and charge extra for seven different sticker sets; (400, 440, 500, 600, 650, 744 and 800.) Can you accept this?
Give me Yes/No. Thanks.
Body costs are more than I expected but when you consider that you are buying a hood plus the nose piece, two major large parts, it doesn't seem too out-of-line. Most hoods alone these days are around $400. If you and some friends want to place a multiple order, I will give you each a discount. The blue/black bodies are polished and ready to mount. The white parts are assumed to be painters and are not polished. When you order-specify the tank size you are using because we will trim the tank opening back for the large tank. Graphic prices are to come.
Perspective. A rough investment in an old Indy is about $700. To that add $700 for body, about $195 (guess) for graphics and you are at $1600 plus whatever you do to customize the sled. Could you get your money back when you sell? I think you could find a buyer for a tricked out Indy for under $2000
The headlight is rectangular (about 7" long) and has an adjustable stem that will mount to the upper roof of the nose-sort of hidden and out of the way
Flat race bars are 29" wide and provide plenty of leverage
I pick up the body molds this weekend. I like to polish them for my own sense of quality control then I'll wax them to be delivered back to parts maker on December 5. At that point parts can be made for you. To get on the waiting list call my cell 952-607-6063. I'll probably send each body kit in two cartons for safety and to keep the shipping parts as low as possible.
Thanks. It's been a long road.
I was flippin' through the Dennis Kirk catalog and happened by page 168 and saw the price for handle bars and about fainted. The cheapest was $34.00 and most were around $65. I will offer this bar for the RXL. I've used them on all my recent sleds. They are 27.5" long which makes them a bit longer than most sled bars. You get more turning leverage that way. The pull back is 3" and 7/8" diameter of course. They have knurling from 2" to 5" from center and best of all they only cost 29 bucks. Have me toss one in when you get a hood.
Say on the seat issue. I won't be able to supply seats because to fit the small and large tanks would really run the cost up. Two models plus the mold coats for foam would drive the price out of site. If you have good foam, do a search on ebay as I just did. They have some pretty nice seat covers some with tunnel side knee pads. Now if you want to be as authentic as possible call Conrad Van Batavia in Verndale, MN. He makes RXL seats and I'd guess if you sent him Indy foam and seat base and told him you want an RXL style seat he'd make one up for you. His number is 218-639-1815.
I've heard noises from my mold maker so I know he's working on the RXL molds.
All for now.
Great news. My first RXL report to you was 1/9/12. A year and nine months ago! Today I can report the patterns (nose and hood) are done and have been delivered to the mold maker. After two or three weeks I get the molds and go over insides with a fine tooth comb so the parts come out perfect unlike too many other fiberglass hoods that are made roughly to be painted. Then the first part will come out of the mold. (The second hood will be for my showcase sled and the third one will go to Donny Sayen, my old neighbor, Polaris devotee and early supporter of the RXL concept then it's first com,e-first served). Hood #1 will go direct to the graphics maker so we can make hood and tunnel RXL graphics. Then it's over and we can all get busy finishing our projects. Along the way I'll have pricing. I do not know at this time what it will be. I'm thinking give or take $450. I now have the Midnite Blue formula (thanks to Dan Buchanan) so I will make hoods in that blue with black and white as special option colors.
On an unusual side note, SnowGoer magazine interviewed me for a story in one of their next issues (I expect this coming issue in 30 days or so). They feature industry people who represent interesting positions in snowmobiling. They picked me because I am off in a weird little place making aftermarket hoods for vintage sleds. It is likely to be more than a half page. If you don't have a subscription go buy one at the newstand. SnowGoer would appreciate that.
Last Monday (10/7) we (Dan Buchanan and I) had Wayne Davis (the foremost snowmobile photographer in the world) take photos of Dan's completed Mini 120 RXL. I'll show you the photos soon and they will blow you away. We haven't offically introduced the mini conversion kit but already 5 hood/graphics kits have been sold. [$299 hood, $125 graphics plus carton and S&H]. Kevin Sondreal from Reynolds ND bought two. Kevin is an early report list watcher and of course an extremely exemplorary person.
Here's the RXL hood and nose "patterns" ready for 400 wet/dry sanding only 5 more sandings to go before polishing.
The Mini 120 RXL hood, on a completed sled, made its unofficial public introduction at the Douglas Drags this weekend and everyone was just blown away. The judging officials said to my partner and Mini maker, Dan Buchanen, that they almost bypassed the voting because the Mini RXL was everyone's choice. A word about Dan. He saw my plans for the big RXL Indy hood conversion and called to see if I'd make him one. I said I was too busy with the big hood but said he should make it himself. He did! And he did a great job. I finished the surface for him and had the mold made. He and I are partnering on the mini hood.
Say that brings up a question. Who knows the Polaris formula for midnight blue because that what we will be making the big and little RXLs in-if you have the color in PMS (printers color code book) that would be best. We have mini hoods available now in white for $299. The Midnight hoods will be a bit more. Mini graphics are available too.
I talked to John Zeglin about getting a prominent display area for RXL/Indy owners at the 2015 Waconia event. He said the board has to approve it but he thinks there will be no objections. If it's a go-I'll have a big banner done and we'll really big deal this with news announcements sent to all the snow mobile magazines before hand, etc.
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
(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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Progress (the result of one day's work). Work has resumed on hood as of June oneth.
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.
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.