Honest reliability question before purchase. - Page 2 - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 01:34 PM
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Brand bashing.... it's hard to not let your mind and fears wonder with what can be said by the "unknowing" owner of a competitors brand.

If your looking for the perfect machine...... it doesn't exist under any brand name. They are machines and WILL break down at some point!! It's also true, that each brand has it's strong and weak points.

I too was a past Honda owner (see sig line), that was blessed with flawless mechanical / electrical machines. And did nothing to them except the usual "fluids & filters" maintenance. Which is also all I've ever done to either of our Sportsman's while we've owned them. (Note: Bought the 2012 800 Brand New & 2005 400 @ ~1700 miles). I have had to clean the clutches and replace a belt (maintenance), but I'd rather replace a $65-110 belt then a $3000 Honda automatic shift transmission.

When I went to buy I went to a semi-local dealer that sold both Honda & Polaris and talked to them for quite a while about the two brands..... Long Story Short, I then bought my 800 Sportsman!!

Between the best "Ride Comfort", the best "AWD System" and (to me) best "Body Styling" in the industry.... not to mention being the Sportsman being the #1 in sales, I knew which brand I was going to buy.

I loved my Honda's, (and not to brand bash) but after owning a 2005-Current Sportsman.... riding a Honda just plain feels "clunky", to say it nicely.

So, are there a few issues..... Yes, of course there are!! But for every 1 or 2 cases you read about on a forum.... there are 100's -1000's of machines with no issues what so ever. As forums are generally a place to congregate and ask questions. And when do you have questions.... When your looking for help on a DIY repair or looking to Research which model to buy.

Now for the 570.... the only issues I've seen, are in regards to "Cold Starting Issues". But since I don't own one.... I can not comment. But a search of the forum should reveal those 1-3 threads about it, and likely the cure or fix!!

Good Luck deciding and Enjoy whatever brand it is you buy!!

Matthew "MustBeNice"

2012 SPORTSMAN 800 EFI (INDY RED) Sept. 2015 ATV Of The Month
Mods: SuperWinch 3000 Winch - MotoAlliance Line Stopper - Glacier3 60" Plow - Polaris Rack Extenders - Polaris Bumpers - LowPro Shield - Polaris Hand Guards - Warning Debadge - 3Way Head Light (Relay) - Cabelas Mirrors - Wes Ind. Std Seat/Box - Kolpin Fuel Pack Jr - 26" Kenda BearClaw HTR Tires - HighLifter HD Springs - MotoAlliance Sirius 6" Pro LED Light Bar

2005 SPORTSMAN 400 (SONIC BLUE)
Mods: Warn 2500 Winch - MotoAlliance Line Stopper - Polaris Mid Shield - Wes Ind. Seat/Box - Shift Interlock Delete - Coleman Mirrors - Polaris Bumpers - 25" Kenda K590 Tires - PVC Spring Spacers

2014 RZR 570 EFI EPS LE TRAIL (WHITE LIGHTENING)
Mods: HarborFreight Badland 3500 Winch - MotoAlliance Winch Mount - MotoAlliance Line Stopper - Polaris Sport Roof - 1/2 Windshield - Warning Debadge - Rear View Mirror - Seat Adjuster - 26" Maxxis Tires - MotoAlliance Sirius 10" Pro LED Light Bar

Last edited by MustBeNice; 02-17-2014 at 01:37 PM.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 02:04 PM
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I was always the guy against polaris. Ive had a cat a honda a yamaha and a can am, and let me tell you I will only from now on buy another polaris or a can am both are great machines but the polaris is what fit me the best. Got my 800 brand new last august and so far i love it. Lots of power and been reliable. At 85 miles i had to have the dealer replace the hub but i think it was just a faulty hub from new and it was covered under warranty. Ive notice polaris riders seem to be the happiest and friendliest out on the trail
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 02:24 PM
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To me your thoughts should be:
What am I going to use it for? (If the answer is strictly work and you tend to treat a quad like an old lawn mower, Honda is probably best)(Honda's often just won't die, they are generally very impressive in that regard)(If its a play & pleasure machine, then Polaris hands down)

I am not brand loyal and have owned tons of Honda's a few Kawasaki's and a few Yamaha's. My '13 Polaris 850 Touring is my first Polaris and like you I had heard more bashing of Polaris than any other brand. I was nervous too. I test rode all the competitors and rode my Polaris last. It was an instant done deal. They ride so much better than the competition, at least in the big bore category. I have been nothing but pleased in every form with mine.

Do yourself the favor of at least riding one and compare it to your other choices.

2013 Polaris Touring 850 -sold
Mods:
Superwinch Terra 35
Ricochet full skids in gun metal grey
Some used bighorns


2007 Yamaha Raptor 700
Mods: Alba +1.5 stem, ProTaper bars, ASV levers, ITP SS112 with GNCC, Pro Armor protection


2015 Yamaha WR450f
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 02:49 PM
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The EPS is amazing for an older guy like me. I'll never buy another without it!
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 03:19 PM
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I think I need a new belt on my 6x6... but other then that neither of them have been much trouble for me.
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 03:20 PM
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I just bought my first ever wheeler last week. I had no brand loyalty going into it. I checked out the other forums as well and they bash to some extent every brand but the forum brand. Most of the things you mentioned are attributed to either just bad design...the bushings are a complaint on Arctic Cats for example too...or things such as breaking axles attributed to mud or oversized rims/tires that the oem axles aren't meant to deal with. There are some design issues like water and oil getting into places that it shouldn't be able to but eventually those things got addressed. There are several reasons I went with Polaris ultimately. One being my lake house where my wheeler will live has a Polaris dealer/shop a couple miles away, two being I need a 2up now that riding two on a wheeler meant for one has been outlawed in my state as of last summer, three being Polaris dominates the dealers and shops around my house as well, four being Polaris has the nicest 2-up machines for what I think are fair prices. There is simply no way I could have bought a 300 mile, top of the line Can Am touring model with their biggest big bore engine with EPS for the price I paid.

2012 Sportsman 850 HO Touring.

Last edited by jkust; 02-17-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 05:21 PM
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Matching 2006 Sportsman 500's one bought new and one a few years later, slightly used. roughly eight years of riding and only one issue, recently the on off switch on one went bad and I lost all power and had to be towed for the first time. (Didn't figure it out until back in the garage and we weren't far from home yet anyhow) The only other issues are all the scratches, dings, some broken plastic, a couple of wheel replacements and a broken A-Arm but I attribute all that to some rough riding.

2015 Sportsman 570 SP

Last edited by GTOutside; 02-17-2014 at 05:26 PM.
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishhooker View Post
I have almost 5000 miles on my 04.5 Polaris 700. I've had to replace a few parts that have failed/worn out, but I wouldn't be afraid to take it on 500 mile extended trip today. I do A LOT of preventative maintenance on all my stuff and try not to abuse it either, that is the key. Just like lots of other things in life, you take care of it and it'll take care of you.
I feel the same way about my 700.

'13 Polaris 550 XP EPS (1K- miles/90 hours) (4/11/2013 build/Polaristar until 9/2018)(Road legal)
-Polaris Deluxe Front (2876595) & Rear (2876597) Brushguards
-Thor's best ATV mirrors
-Polaris Steel Front & Rear Rack Extenders
-Ricochet full 8 piece kit (black anodized)
-Cecco frame brace
-Silent Rider (ATV Silencer)
-WARN ProVantage 3500
-KFI Winch mount
-Polaris OEM grip & thumb heaters
-Polaris Front lock & ride box
-Thor's 3 Way ATV Hitch 1 1/4" Box type


'04.5 Polaris 700 SP EFI (3268 miles/302 hours) - Gen VI chassis (Original Owner)(Road legal)
'85 Honda TRX 250
Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA)
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:06 PM
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Like someone posted above; if your going to use your atv to replace your lawn tractor then a honda might work for you. Honda's transmissions are hard to replace on the trail too. Dont hear to many complaints about polaris, yamaha, kawasaki, etc. transmission leaving one stranded. A belt is an easy thing to destroy but also an easy thing to replace 40 miles into the woods.

2012 Sportsman 550 EPS Bronze Mist
2010 Sportsman 550 X2 Sage Green
2014 Sportsman 90 Sage Green
2006 Grizzly 125 Green
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:47 PM
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I had a Honda 400 and a 420 Rancher IRS and now I'm driving an 850 XP. Only when I bought the Polaris did I realize Honda doesn't make an ATV.

EDIT: I would like to quantify my response a little further. The Honda Ranchers I owned were fun machines and were very reliable and durable but were no where near as capable as my Polaris. I actually totaled the Rancer 420 on hill climb due to the lack of HP and being in the wrong shift mode (auto) and the ATV did not down shift as it is was supposed to ( I guess Auto is subject to interpretation) and the engine completely bogged down. I stopped mid climb and shifted into 1st and as I started to move again it flipped back over me, which I was part to blame but I would have never been in that situation with the CVT transmission and AWD and the abundant HP with the Polaris. I was kinda drinking the Honda koolaid about the transmission being superior to a Belt CVT but now I am a true believer in the CVT as it is always in the right gear, but you do have to be conscious of High and Low gears.

Also, mud was a fairly consistant problem as the Honda's are not true AWD. All in all, for the serious ATVer (Mountains, Mud, Water, etc..) I would probably choose almost everything over a Honda due to the mechanical (non CVT) drive system. It just never seemed to be in the right gear in Auto and shifting sucks. If I worked on a farm and didn't need all the bells and whistles then I would probably choose Honda as they are pretty much bulletproof. However, I have to say my 850 XP has been bulletproof as well.

Kevin (kemblkr)

2010 Sportsman 850 XP (Dark Green)
Koplin Overfenders
Polaris Front and Rear Bumpers
Polaris Winch
BlackWater Evolutions on 14's
Polaris Front and Rear Lock and Ride Cargo
Custom Bags on Cargo
Ricochet Ultimate Skid Plates
(Orange Anodized A-Arms)
Polaris Hand Guards
2- 1 Gallon Rotopax's in front storage

New addition: 2005 Honda VTX 1300R

Last edited by kemblkr; 02-18-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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