Polaris Matrix

Some history to the MSX build

The Matrix project started with MSX 140 hulls originally running MSX140 triple cylinder 2-stroke engines. The intention was for Polaris to begin selling them for the 2005 model year.

There are a few different versions of the Polaris Matrix PWC out there. Subtle differences in the cylinder heads, and fuel octane requirements. Some differences in carb tuning, too.

It is easy to burn down a Matrix engine if you aren't paying attention to the octane and carb tuning.

Also, Matrix came in several states of 'tune'. The base Matrix (sometimes called the Matrix 200) used stock MSX 140 cylinders. There are versions with ported cylinders, which I think were called Matrix 220, or something like that.

For the stock ported Matrix (and the MSX 140), one trick is to install double gaskets under the cylinders. This raises the port timing on the stock cylinders, which helps with high RPM power despite the slightly reduced compression from the extra gasket.

After Polaris announced the shutdown of PWC production, Factory Pipe decided to go ahead and offer the Matrix 'kit' themselves. Factory Pipe had actually done most of the development work, and was manufacturing the actual pipes. Factory Pipe sold Matrix kits to dealers and end users, and also did some conversions in their own shop. In every case, the underlying hull was a 2003 or 2004 MSX 140 (with a production MSX 140 VIN plate), which was then converted.

Since it never went into official production by Polaris (it would have been a 2005 model) the only semi-official Polaris Matrix are the handful of pre-production units made for testing. As I understand it, the cylinder heads for those early units were made by a different company than the cylinder heads used for the Factory Pipe conversions. Those different heads affect the fuel octane issue.

Then some Matrix machines were further modified and tweaked by owners and race teams.

Bottom line, you must research and understand your particular Matrix, as it may well be different in some ways from others.

Apparently the majority of Matrix out there require at least a 'splash' of high octane race fuel to avoid detonation. And that race fuel would be in addition to the 91 or 93 octane gasoline you must use. How much race fuel you must mix in depends on the engine, and the concern the owner has about being close to the edge, detonation-wise.

Find out as much as you can about your particular Matrix. If you want to run it safely on just premium pump gasoline without race fuel added, then talk to Randy at Watcon and Jay at Sharp's Marine. It may be possible to detune the engine just enough to live without race fuel, but this must be done carefully.