Sportsman 570 SP Hunter Edition vs. Honda Rancher DCT IRS EPS - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sportsman 570 SP Hunter Edition vs. Honda Rancher DCT IRS EPS

Hereís a competitive comparison: Polaris Sportsman 570 SP Hunter Edition versus Honda Rancher 420 DCT IRS EPS

Ownership: The 570 SP Hunter Edition lists for just under $10,000; The Rancher FA6 lists for $8,100.

I did not pay anywhere near that for either. I own both currently. Iíve put 75 miles on the Honda, and approximately 600 miles on the Sportsman. I've owned the Honda for about a month; the 570 for 2 years.

Features versus price: The 570 SP Hunter is loaded with features off the showroom floor. Radial tires, power steering, camo plastics, heated grips and thumb warmer, handlebar mounted light - with the ďmodĒ straight from the factory, 14 inch aluminum rims, 2,500lb Polaris winch, gun boot, gun holders, 12v accessory outlet, front and rear bumpers, and front and rear rack extenders

The Rancher: power steering, nothing else, not even the 12v accessory outlet.

The Sportsman 570 SP Hunter is the better value in my opinion. In fact, I think this model of the Sportsman may be one of the better values in the Polaris brand. I believe after purchasing accessories to equip the Rancher similarly, I would exceed the purchase price paid for the Sportsman.

Motor: Both motors are strong. The Honda engine is really good. I am perfectly content with it. Sure, the 570 motor is very stout, we all know that. But the Honda has all of the power I want or need, and gets it to the ground quite well. It doesnít have the HP of the Sportsman, but I guess it feels more powerful than it actually is, likely due to the transmission. Either way, the nod has to go to the Sportsman. The 570 engine is incredible.

Transmission: The Honda has a very unique transmission. The Auto mode DCT works very well. It gives me the flexibility to go to thumb actuated electric shift. Itís also slightly more fun. I canít put my finger on why, but its fun to shift at times.

The Honda transmission hooks up immediately, of course. I really like this. It pulls well; a nice linear strong pull.

The Sportsman transmission is your typical CVT. It doesnít have that immediate hook up of the Honda, unless in LOW range. The Sportsmanís transmission is also a little clunky and noisy, and not always perfectly smooth when shifting. The Honda doesnít make any of the clunking noises, and moves through the gears smoothly.

I would give the nod to the Honda in the transmission category. This is just my opinion. I like it a little more than the 570ís tranny.

Engine braking: Both have very good engine braking. We all know how stout it is on the 570. The Hondaís is more natural, of course. But I appreciate not using brakes, but rarely. Both the Honda and Sportsman do this well. I canít decide which I like more.

Suspension: The 570ís suspension is incredible. I canít imagine any atv being better. The Rancher is no exception. While itís very good, it doesnít meet the plush, planted feeling of the Sportsman. The Honda is agile, and it handles ruts, corners, and just about anything you throw at it with utter competency. The 570 is just better at it. I was afraid the Rancher would be harsh, but it isnít at all. The IRS is really good. Honda seems to have done a good job with it.

Tires: My SP Hunter has radial tires. The PXTs are really good, despite what some on here have stated. I canít figure that out. They are really good all-purpose, all-terrain tires. Exactly what I want. The Honda, however, comes in a 24Ē Maxxis OE type tire. They're not bad. But the Rancher can be better with a set of lighter weight radials.

Comfort: I like the Sportsman more for comfort. The Rancher is good, but not as good as the 570. The seat on the Honda sometimes slides me forward. I donít like that. The grips are also kinda hard feeling on the Rancher. I will replace the grips this summer for a pair that has some cushion. The grips on the 570 are fine, in my opinion.

Hereís the weird thingÖ after 30 miles on the Honda, my legs are tired. I think itís because the angle of the seat slides me forward. I end up planting my feet a little firmer to stop it.

After 30 miles on the Sportsman, generally my arms are more tired. I think itís because of the engine braking. I usually brace myself while going through undulating sections and switchbacks. If I donít feather the throttle just right, the engine braking grabs a hold and puts a lot of pressure on my arms.

Other: The Sportsman is better in the storage department, as well as the gauges. Hands down winner in these categories.

The Honda has better foot pegs, especially for spirited riding.

Brakes are a wash. The ergonomics are a wash as well - both really good. Steel tube racks versus plastic racks - again, I donít have a preference.

Overall: I really like the Honda Rancher; super pleased with the purchase, especially at the price I paid. It has an excellent build - it feels solid, and it feels, sounds, and rides like a quality machine. I really, really like this about it. The quality of the Rancher feels better than the Sportsman, and better than anything I test drove. AgainÖ my opinion. I wish it had more onboard storage and better tires. But I would not hesitate recommending it. The Sportsman is strong, plush, and has great features. You canít beat the value of a Sportsman. It's still my favorite. All-around, it's an excellent trail machine.

2017 Sportsman 570 SP Hunter Edition
2019 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 FA6
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 01:58 PM
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Nice in depth review. I know Hondaís do get a lot of love from the outside world.
It is amazing how all these machines are built for the same purpose for the most part but ride, feel and run completely different.
I currently own a brute force and the new sportsman 850 sp. Iíve owned the brute for three years and just got the sportsman this year. I was amazed when I got the popo how different it is. It rides soooo smooth and comfortable compared to the brute. The awd is amazing. But I still do have a soft spot for the brute. Itís rougher riding but I do like it turns sharper feels sportier and the low end power of the v twin is addicting.
I was actually pretty disappointed getting the 850 with almost 30 hp more, it feels doggy compared to the brute on the bottom end


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. It's strange how the transmissions make a difference. The Brutes are awesome. They do have a different feel compared to the Sportsmans. It's hard for me to fathom that the 850 feels under-powered though. I've never had one, or even tried one. But I would have thought they were super torquey.

2017 Sportsman 570 SP Hunter Edition
2019 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 FA6
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 08:22 PM
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Yeah I think I was a little over optimistic on what 78 hp would feel like. The power is very linear on it I will say, it pulls pretty hard well past what the brute does.

My sil just bought sportsman 570 utility. And I must say for what little I rode it I fell in love. For woods trail riding itís about perfect. Good torque, smooth and sips fuel compared to the big bore quads.
I would love to add one to the arsenal some day


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