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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a 2008 500 HO EFI which I really like. I'd like to pick up another in the 500-800 range. Are there any models or year ranges to avoid? I think I'd like to find a 700.
 

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I cant remember what years, but there was an ECM recall. Run the number at your local dealer to fibd out if they were done.
 

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I'll give you the same advice I give everyone else. The only model to avoid is a used one. That is unless you personally know the previous owner and his riding habits.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well that's a tad broad and rather limiting. Of course I could argue that you can save several hundreds if not thousands of dollars by buying a late model, used ATV that is nearly new. I'll admit you're always taking a risk though. All in your perspective I suppose.

Every manufacturer has their problem models and years. I'm just trying to avoid those.
 

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Well that's a tad broad and rather limiting. Of course I could argue that you can save several hundreds if not thousands of dollars by buying a late model, used ATV that is nearly new. I'll admit you're always taking a risk though. All in your perspective I suppose.

Every manufacturer has their problem models and years. I'm just trying to avoid those.
Price new, the reason I went new was because used was literally the same money.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Makes sense. I'm more of a pick up a good deal and fix the problems kind of guy. Having something to tinker with keeps me off the streets at night.
 

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Makes sense. I'm more of a pick up a good deal and fix the problems kind of guy. Having something to tinker with keeps me off the streets at night.
Nothing wrong with that. You can easily score a gem that way too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I got the 2008 500HO EFI for $2300 including the unused original tires (in addition to the Mud Bugs on it) and a folding aluminum ramp. Needs a rear brake caliper and the front brushguard plastic is cracked and repaired, but it seems to run great.

A friend of mine got a 2006 (I think) 700 for $3K. Had 100 miles on it and essentially sat in a garage unused for the past 5 years. And I send him the Craigslist post.

The 500s seem to be one of the most popular Sportsman models and folks say they're pretty reliable. What about the 550, 600, 700, and 800?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I want to pick up another 4-wheeler. I currentl have an '08 500 HO and an '04 700. I really like the HP on the 700, but the 500 is clearly the most reliable workhorse of the Sportsman line. I want to get something in the 2008-2012 range. Polaris has had so many models I'm confused over the XP, deluxe, touring, or "value" models.

Comments or experience on the 500 vs. 550? What's the real difference?

Is the 800 just a punched out 700? Or is it a different engine altogether? What about the 850? I understand they had camshaft problems.
 

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The 550 is a totally different machine since its an XP chassis.
 

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Not 100% on this cuz i only own sporties, but I think the Xp/550 is a very different engine mount layout, it the engine sits like a honda, sideways compared to the traditional sportsman orientation.

Search around but I've heard lots more complaints about the 550s (not quite ready for primetime) mostly on heat melting plastics but some engine stuff too. The design i believe allows for a narrower seat area, if you appeals to you. I went used (cuz i don't want to afford new) and have had Lots of luck, just ride 'em and see what they feel like then if good check deeper into fluids, air filter (that tells alot right there), etc.

Luck deciding!
 

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there are good deals on used machines..but you have to evaluate the owner also..if its an older guy used for hunting and occasional riding thats not bad..but you get a kid who has mud tires..spacers...hack mods...stay away....I got my 02 500 from an older guy who used it for hunting an riding up at his camp in maine..it had 700 miles on it when i got it last year and got all servive records..Polaris OEM shop manual....a new set of tires...oil filters...a new spare belt...a winch...quad boss hard storage box on back...he bought RZR so he and his son can travel together during hunting seson...bike was pristine..so there are good deals used to be had
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, that's what I look for. I like a good deal, but try to avoid bikes with big lifts, snorkels, way oversized tires, etc. That stuff just screams abuse to me. I guess what I really want is a 500 HO or 700/800 with fuel injection. I like the engine braking too.
 

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XP is different in almost all respects from the 500. Different technology vs the McPherson's on the 500. They barely resemble each other other than they have 4 wheels (different sizes) and have a center pod light (again totally different design there even). The XP from 2009 to 2014 came with either an 850 or a 550 engine choice with body and some engine modification each year of production depending. They are now offering a 1000 as well.
 

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XP is different in almost all respects from the 500. Different technology vs the McPherson's on the 500. They barely resemble each other other than they have 4 wheels (different sizes) and have a center pod light (again totally different design there even). The XP from 2009 to 2014 came with either an 850 or a 550 engine choice with body and some engine modification each year of production depending. They are now offering a 1000 as well.

This stuff.

500 > 550 IMO.

500 has 32 HP, and 550 has 42. But due to the terrible driveline on the XP's the 500 will run side by side with a 550.

Most people take the XP for the 850/1000. The ones who buy the 550 usually want it for the "better ride" (arguable), and extra electronics (EPS, ADC, engine braking)

To top it off the XP has about 6x the amount of grease nipples as the 500. The 550 has the typical crap XP wheel bearings and suspension bushings, and the need to run 14" rims.

All in all the 500 is far superior, in a reliability sense.

I have had both a VL (2012 400) and an XP, and IMO I would not buy a used XP. The ol' VL's can handle neglect 10x better than the XP models.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think what I'd like is another '08 or newer 500 HO with fuel injection and the engine braking. I like the one we have but it's been "rode hard" and I let my son ride that one. My wife likes my 700, but she aint the go fast type, so a 500 would be fine for her.
 

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Search around but I've heard lots more complaints about the 550s (not quite ready for primetime) mostly on heat melting plastics but some engine stuff too.
Luck deciding!
Most of the melting is on the 570s and 850's. I don't think I remember a non-touring 550 having melt issues. Rare engine issues are only on some early 550's from '09 to maybe early '11. Anything after that seems really solid.
 

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I would stay away from the 09 and 10 model 550. Some have had valve problems and all have the bushing and ball joint issue. Some say they don't have it but it will happen.

For reliability you cannot go wrong with a 500. That is the best engine Polaris has ever put in a machine.

Ronnie
 
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