A bolt-on RXL conversion kit for 1983 to 1997 Polaris Indys
Polaris had 14 year string of success with its Indy Wedge from 1983 to 1997. The snowbelt is littered with thousands of used Indys priced from $200 to ones in primo shape. Since 1976, the year the RXL was introduced to the track, Polaris people have lusted after that hallmark sled for its design and performance.
The RXL/Indy hood/nose is made from fiberglass and is available in white, black or midnight blue. The rear opening of the hood will fit pre-1988 small tanks or later big tanks. Graphics will be tuned to the owner's hood color choice and will fit tunnels with and without rear bumpers. The kit will fit any Wedge with an extruded aluminum bumper.
Other options complement an RXL build: hood mount kit, RXL graphics kit for hood and tunnel, headlight, oval bars, lightweight aluminum IFS skis and a right side oval stirrup is coming. RXL seats can be obtained from Conrad Van Batavia at 218-639-1815.
Pricing (as of 4/11/17)
|Hood and nose, in midnight blue or black||$659.00|
|Hood and nose, in white (does not look good with my graphics)||$569.00|
|Duez ¼ turn hood latch kit||$50.00|
|Specify tank: Pre-1988 small tank or 1989-on big tank--I trim hood to match|
|Tunnel graphics with bumper cutout||$49.00|
|Tunnel graphics without bumper cutout||$49.00|
|RXL headlight - Mounts to roof in nose opening||$29.00|
|Light bracket for steering column||$27.00|
|Flat oval-style handlebars||$29.00|
|Custom hand-built carton & plastic protection bag (see photo)||$45.00|
|Shipping (ordinarily Speedee or Greyhound)|
|SpeeDee ND, SD, IL, WI, MN||$75.00 (approx.)|
|Ship to Norway||$340.00|
|Ship to Canada - I ship to Pembina ND. You drive across the border, pick up and pay a small fee to take back across. Formal shipping is wildly expensive with taxes.|
If you wonder why I charge 45 bucks for the carton, this is why. Firstly, the raw box is very expensive because one, it’s big, and two, its thick dual-wall cardboard. Then I layout all the cuts and folds then assemble it. Each carton takes about an hour and a half. The wedge-shaped design does not permit top loading--you don’t want a tractor tire on top of your hood.
The design is so good that I’ve never had a damage claim. That’s a good thing because unbundling a damaged shipment claim can gobble up a lot of time neither of us needs to waste.
Visa, Master, DiscoverCard. Minnesotans add 7.5% tax. Cards charged only on day of shipment. PayPal purchases will be subject to extra fee, particularly foreign sales. (They whack me hard!)
Acceptance is highly subject to condition. Restocking charge is 15%. Shipping charges not compensated.
Specs and prices may change without prior notification. Specs and prices will change without prior notification. Product designs by Phil Little Racing are copyrighted.
We can apply them for you (recommended--it's a bitch) or you can save the money and apply them yourself. It helps to have experience applying large-area graphics using the wet method. Tunnel graphics are not shown. I have two versions, one with cutout for rear bumper, the other for no bumper.
Halogen driving light
This light is not some cheapo tossed in to keep the DNR happy. It is a 55 watt Halogen light that tosses a narrow beam about twice a normal car light. That is needed for sledding at night where you have to spot open ice, ice chunks and lazy deer well in advance. A replacement bulb is easily found at an auto parts store--ask for a Peterson 55w Halogen bulb.
The case is chrome and the mount is adjustable for height. I have selected a slightly different light now so it can be mounted in the RXL nose scoop or up on the handle bars so it points where you are going which is a tad safer. I am working on a bent plate that mounts under the handlebar perches. Two wires--negative and ground. See price list for light and bar mount. [Guys-take it easy at night, it's the most dangerous snowmobiling time.]
Flat Race Bars
How to make an RXL seat out of a big tank indy
Mark Elgar from Hubbell, Michigan bought an RXL hood but wanted to use the big tank. He and I talked it over and he was willing to lose the trunk and the stock taillight. That made getting the RXL shape possible. Mark decided, and I agreed, to not cover the tank. Looks more like a race version that way. He will add an SLP or other type of taillight/stop light mounted to the bumper.
I had foam only 3” thick so I had to glue the pieces together. Hint: dense foam is easier to grind and sand with a bread knife, hand belt sander and rotary disc in drill. Use super upholstery spray glue.
Next step is the upholsterer. The foam took me a day and a half so don’t be a-comin’ to me to do this for you because I’d have to charge a bunch of money. Since the above photos were taken I flattened the back curve to more like the RXL shape.
Okay now you can see the longer slope on the tail back. Mark wanted an old time snap look for this seat. The cover is stapled to the base but the snap strip was just added as a visual. The snaps will work like the original seats. We added a race-style knee pad for the look but made it thin so it didn’t get in the way of his right boot.
The cost worked out to be $500... right where Conrad is with his small tank seats. There ya go--just one man’s way to get the race look with stock components.
RXL Builder Gallery
John said, “I purchased your kit this spring and love it. I've gone to three shows and won three trophies. I get a lot of people looking at it and I tell them how to get one. It looks great and I get a lot of complements. I used a '95 XLT triple with pipes, polished the tunnel, painted the suspension and new skis and ski skins.”
John Curtis is the Body Shop Manager of Royal Auto Group in Homer, NY.Read More
They are some tough cookies up there in Finland. Remember they kicked major Russian ass in the Winter War of 1939/40 and they were grossly mismatched against zillions of Russian soldiers with tanks and artillery. The Finns had almost no heavy weapons and still snuffed them. But we are talking about a different subject.
When Mika first wrote me he sent a photo of the most dilapidated early triple sled you ever saw and said he wanted an RXL clone. So I sent him a kit with which he did absolute wonders. I point out the seat. It was done in Finland by an artist...race style with taillights. Here you see my light in the grill.Read More
This sled is so fun to ride! I got 9 thumbs up today in just 60 miles. Understand I have a new 800 assault 144 and a XRS Doo 800 137" and never got a thumbs up on either sled. You have something here! Sunday, as I crossed a road, two sledders waited for me and from their truck they said "man that is too nice to trail ride"... they thought it was a real 78!Read More
I took my RXL out for a spin the other day and it was so fun, the looks I got were unbelievable! I would like to build another using a 1994 XCR special with triple pipes. I am hoping our dollar rebounds before this summer when I want to do this.
Tim from Conklin, MI purchased a kit from me then pulled his sled apart and detailed everything. Note the engine bay--it is superb. He did the same with the suspension system and and all other bits. The hood-off shot shows how good the RXL seat looks with a big tank.Read More
Greg Allen from Glen, NH, you might say is an ardent Polaris nut who likes the hotter Roseau vintage sleds. But more than that, he is one of those fellows who I would label as a "complete builder." You know one of those types who tears a sled to its essence and rebuilds a jewel. Greg has made an RXL/Indy of note.
The first thing I noticed about his sled is how low he dropped the front suspension. That one thing does more than any other to make his sled look like the RXL. Notice, too, Greg's attempt at a mesh grille. He hasn't figured out how to make one that installs easily. I haven't either. Maybe you can derive an answer. If you do, you can sell them on my site.Read More
RXL Product Development Story
What follows are periodic reports as the RXL kit was being made. Many of my plans, prices and features changed as the kit came together. Ignore all pricing in the following unless in matches with the above.
RXL Report 3/10/15 - Hope for Fan Cooled RXL/Indy owners
I think I have a cheap way to introduce fresh air right into fan. I've worried that the holes in the nose will not be able to flow enough cooling air. I found this vent unit at Home Depot with a 4" pipe--about 10 bucks. I believe with a bit of trimming it can be inserted into a DIY 4" hole in the pan and the tube is the right length to reach directly over to the fan. The tube should clear under the exhaust. My vent came in brown but flat black plastic aerosol paint should cure that. When I have it trimmed, painted and installed I'll show photos and tell you how to do it.
We are now fulfilling hood kits orders at the rate of about two to three per week so that part is working.
RXL Report 1/19/15 - Is there a market for a free air Wedge?
I've been hearing you guys are doing strange things with old TX and Wedge Polari. Donny Sayen, my RXL builder, suggested a Wedge-based free air sled. Hmmmm, I thought. Building a hood would be a piece of cake. I'd simply modify my old Velocity hood (see sled toys). I'd fill in the scoops and open up the left hood for a free air engine. (Yes, I would make the opening accept Polaris ATV 250 jugs and cylinders.)
This hood would fit all wedge sleds. On 1980 to 1987 is would use stock nose and hinges. From 1988 on, the older nose and hinges would bolt on. The WEDGE F/A PRO would be a bunch less than my RXL kit since I'd just be doing a hood.
Okay, now its time to tell me I'm crazy. Or... maybe it could sell. I'm always wrong about selling cost but I think somewhere in the $375 range. Blast away at me. And if you know of F/A freaks, send this on to them.
Anyone interested in this project please write firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and to get on my report list to see development stages with photos.
~ Phil Little
RXL Report 12/15/14
One of you suggested making a mesh grill for the RXL. I saw a license surround on the back of a car today and figured out how to make the RXL grill. Question, should it be black or bright like stainless? Another question-do you even want one? Would you pay between $50 and $100 for one? Votes please.
Joel at SnoProUSA says he has vintage handlebar loops like the one on my sled. In time you'll be able to find them on my site and order them from Joel.
I talked to Conrad the RXL seat maker. We have come to an unofficial plan. Conrad will continue to make real RXL seats. He will make RXL/Indy seats like mine for the small tanks. (You'll have to mount an auxillary brake light on the bumper because he can't make a mount for the Polaris light for anything close to a reasonable cost.) He is undecided what to do about seats for the big tanks.
To achieve an RXL/Indy seat that looks something like mine with tank blended lines Conrad needs the wood built because he says the base gobbles up as much time as foam shaping and sewing. What I want to do is make a prototype seat base out of plywood and send it to one you guys to make them for us. So who is a wood worker and who would be willing to make bases for hire? My plan is to pay the wood man. Have him ship to Conrad. Then I'd charge customers cost for the bases or have Conrad charge the customer and Conrad would pay me back. However it comes down I want to make it possible for you to get a seat that won't cost a king's ransom. Willing woodworkers--call me at 952-607-6063
We are still prototyping the stirrup.
RXL Report 10/5/14
Boy this has been a long road but I think I see daylight.
The Duez ¼ turn hood latch kit is done and the first new style hood for Kevin Sondreal is being made. After we pre-fit his hood to proof our work it is into production we will go.
I have contacted the customers who placed early orders to see how many still want to remain on the list. After they have responded, yea or nay, I will take new orders on a first come basis. The following fellows have indicted a burning desire for hood kits so they will get first nod when they confirm; Allen, Swiller and Losvar. (They haven't seen complete pricing yet)
I suspect production rate in the beginning will be something like one per week. That rate may be condensed when every thing starts flowing. Once I pick up a hood kit from the glass maker, I have to take hood to graphics gal to have kit installed (for those of you who are like me and want no part of trying to install those graphics). Others may want graphics separate in the carton for installation later on-no problem. And I have to literally make the carton (ain't no off-the-shelf carton in creation that will take the hood [48 x 41 x 16"]).
To order just mention what you want from the price list and I will follow up with confirmation.
Thanks a ton.
RXL Report 8/19/14
I have been silent for the past few months not because I've not been working on the RXL. RXL stuff has been happening. We discovered a problem last winter with the hood and nose. Donny Sayen, my guinea pig, had the first hood/nose on his Indy and discovered the hood/nose contact began wearing away the nose trailing edge. We needed to find a way to keep the nose stationary-bungees couldn't do it. We also had another problem. The hood was a bitch to remove and replace. There was no good way to grab the hood front.
I enlisted the aid of super engineer Rick Jostrom, who also happens to be a TX freak. For months he has been working on a nifty way to solve both problems. Prior to his discovery we kicked around a hinge system but it just couldn't happen primarily because a hinge system would occupy the exhaust space. Whatever we would do I wanted minimal interruption on the hood surface. What it comes down to is a smallish depression in the hood of something like 2" x 1" and ½" deep-minimal. Here's a prototype depression in the hood
The depression will be molded into the hood and makes room for a Duez fastener with a one inch flip up D-ring handle. You might even be able to operate it with gloves on but maybe not. Here is Duez is a quarter turn fastener.
Rick also developed the receptacle for the Duez that mounts to the back side of the internal aluminum bulk head. The mount system has right/left/up/down positioning so you can get a perfect nose/hood fit and lock it in place. This minimal system allows a finger hold to lift the hood and stabilizes it to minimize wear. This nothing little system has cost me over a thousand dollars so you'd better like it or I'm comin' after ya. All our plans are based on a sled bulk head that has not taken a deforming hit. If your aluminum bumper is off--mounting will be more of a challenge. Here is a peek at the Duez mounting system on the aluminum bulk head
This process has thrown off the overall time table and put back production. The upshot is that we'll miss Haydays and the big deal RXL/Indy thing at Waconia. That has been put off until 2016 because none of you will have had enough time to put together a show ready RXL
It was smart for us to mold two long tabs on the forward edge of the hood. These are deeper than they need be for a reason. The idea is that by grinding way on these tabs you will be able to lower the hood position on a level with the nose. I suspect that grinding will also wind up angled so the hood is able to move forward to kiss fit the nose. Here is visually what I'm talkin' about.
I'll report again when I got something.
RXL Report 4/1/14 - Graphics
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
RXL Report 2/27/14
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.
RXL Report 2/3/14-Graphics
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.
RXL Report 1/24/14-Hood/Nose on sled
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.
- You'll have to screw around with the nose mount holes--they are not nuts on with the bulkhead holes. Easily solved with a quarter inch drill.
- I noticed with a bit of pressure the left front of the hood seemed to drop below the nose edge. I suspect we'll have to find a way to support that corner in an artificial way. I'm guessing the experience of the first couple of buyers will yield a fix which I'll report to all of you. Surely this will vary from sled to sled depending on how true the bumper extrusions are from stock specs (years of use and impacts with immovable objects).
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.)
RXL Report 12/9/13.....molds done
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.
RXL Report 11/19/13
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).
- Note 1. Your rear bumper is probably black. This doesn't work for an RXL conversion. Hit it with Zip-Strip and polish it so it matches your polished tunnel (use Wizard polish-it works wonders and polishes fast).
- Note 2. The Indy tunnel has a bunch of round head rivets. I've tried to avoid some of them in my shape but you will have to deal with many. After you apply the stickers, hit 'em with a heat gun and try to press out air pockets and make them as form fitting as possible
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.
RXL Report 11/18/13
I just got my preliminary pricing from my glass guy. Here they are:
- Hood and nose, in Midnight Blue or black - $699.00
Parts polished & ready to mount. Specify 7 gallon or big tank.
- Hood and nose, in white - $599.00
Paint-ready parts not polished. Specify 7 gallon or big tank.
- Graphics - to come
- SnoPro light - $29.00
Mounts to roof of nose opening.
- Flat race handle bars - $ 29.00
- Aluminum IFS skis - $379.00
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.
RXL Report 10/21/13
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.
RXL/Indy Hood Report and News 10/14/13
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.
RXL/Indy Hood Report and News 9/23/13
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.
RXL Report 4/30/13
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
RXL-Indy Report - 4/22/13
- Lose the stars and the RXL-INDY in the center vertical panel
- Use the vintage Polaris logo
- Get "RXL" in the down on the front horizontal panel
- There's too much red in the center vertical panel, get the white back
- Personally, l like the original RXL graphics but the majority will rule.
(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
RXL-Indy Report - 4/15/13
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.
RXL-Indy Report - 3/4/13
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.
RXL-Indy Report - 2/25/13
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:
- Are you going to use 12 gallon tank? or
- Are you going to use the 7.5 gallon tank?
Email me and let me know.
RXL-Indy Report A - 1/2/13
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.
RXL-Indy Report B - 1/2/13
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.
RXL-Indy report 11/19/12
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.
RXL-Indy report 6/25/12
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.
RXL-Indy hood report 6/18/12
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.
RXL-Indy hood report 6/11/12
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.
RXL-Indy hood report 6/4/12
Progress (the result of one day's work). Work has resumed on hood as of June oneth.
- The hood scopes are gone as per your vote in my last pole
- The center line has been established as a guide for the new deck profile, (see the new center line in photo). This raised center line helps establish what will be the inverted V shaped crest on the hood deck-you'll see that develop next week
- The rear flip is beginning. I'm making the rear flip in the V shape of the 1978 RXLs
- I will now be working weekly on the hood and will send a zillion reports to you
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.