Recently, we got a chance to swing our legs over one of the machines offered by Polaris India, the Phoenix 200. As we know Polaris is a world leader when it comes to making off-road vehicles, and its machines are most needed where it is impossible to reach with usual vehicles. The company offers a wide range of products in India, including the RZR series, Ranger series, SPORTSMAN series and last but not the least Youth series under which Phoenix 200 is listed.
The occasion was the inauguration of the new ‘Polaris Experience Zone’ in Sonepat. The company has quite a good number of PEZ’s in India, and with this new facility the number has just touched 40. After marking their presence in Faridabad and Dharuhera, this is the 3rd Polaris Experience Zone in the state of Haryana. It is situated at a distance of 50 kilometres from Delhi on the National Highway leading to Chandigarh.
If we have to sum up our experience of driving the Phoenix in short then it was pure fun, it was exhilarating and the kind of confidence Phoenix filled in us was amazing. As soon as you get on it you notice that there is no throttle to twist. It actually deploys a lever mechanism within your thumb’s reach to accelerate it. Since the engine utilizes an automatic transmission, it prevents the hassle of changing gears continuously.
As there is no clutch lever because of the automatic transmission, both the levers on the handle bar operate the brakes. As soon as you press the accelerator lever, you will feel the power being transmitted to the rear set of tyres and you start moving at a stable pace. The engine feels refined and responsive, especially on those muddy corners. When you are exiting the corner and you press hard on the gas, be ready to get dirty because this 196cc Single-Cylinder carburetted power mill delivers enough torque to push you rocketing through almost everything. The brakes on the contrary needs to be pressed really hard due to minimum traction on dirt.
Since there is no meter console on this, you don’t really get an idea about your speed. There are only two lights on its top front head that indicate the engagement of rear or neutral gear which can be selected by the lever given at the right side.
We were most impressed by the suspension duties on the Phoenix 200, it is equipped with Dual A-Arm with 7 inch (17.8 cm) travel on the front and Mono-Shock Swingarm with 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) travel at the rear. The ‘Polaris Experience Zone’ offers real life obstacles as high as 17-20 inches and even more. This suspension works well in soaking all the bumps any rough terrain can throw at it. The kind of experience you get while riding one of these things really fills you with confidence to overcome your fear for off-road. Unlike motorcycles you don’t really have to worry about losing balance at any point of time as the whole machine is supported by four wheels not two, and power being delivered to the rear set of wheels.
At a price point of nearly INR 5 Lakh it is on the steeper side for something you cannot even take on the roads. On the other hand, it is quite a decent option to enter into the world of ATVs that is meant for sheer fun and excitement.
Photography - Mohd. Nasir