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Hi all, I have scoured the net for days trying to get a clear cut answer as far as Polaris reliability. Here is what I have going on. I just sold an 07 Rancher 420 that was nothing but trouble and have been doing a lot of research and narrowed my choice down to a Sportsman 570. I was ready to purchase then started reading other forums like arctic cat,kawi, ect. They pretty much bashed Polaris, mentioning things like front bushing issues, electrical, eat up belts, broken axles and so on. They are good for about 700 miles then you should trade it in. Ive heard earlier Polaris's weren't very good but they have come a long way. What is the consensus of these issues on this forum. Just trying to make the right decision. Dont want another lemon. Thanks
 

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All machines need to be maintained. Reliability is a direct correlation to this. That being said, there are far more satisfied customers with Polaris machines than there are unsatisfied customers. If there weren't Polaris wouldn't be head an shoulders above the rest in sales on all their ORVs.

Yes there are known issues with some models Bushings on the XP's, Axles on the big bore motors (this is a designed flaw. The axles break before you break something more expensive, like a drive line, differential, or transmission), But for the most part the Value line is pretty rock solid. The 570 may be the new comer to the value line, but it's taking the place of the #1 best selling ATV of all time. The sportsman 500 is the benchmark against which all other ATV's are measured. Time will tell if the 570 motor will have the longevity and reliability of the 500, but it's not a new engine either. It's been in the Rzr for a couple years now, and there have been very few complaints about them. Some people have had cold starting issues that turned out to be lack of proper maintenance for the most part. but other than that there have been very few complaints.
 

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It's never easy being #1. Polaris out sells every other manufacture. That in itself should tell you something. Just like Fords f150. Every forum will bash the competition, it makes them feel better about their purchase. Nothing wrong with other brands, but I like the ride and performance of my Polaris. It may need a little more maintenance then my friends Honda's but ride and ergonomics suit me better. Every manufacture has their issues. Everyone goes to the internet to bitch, rarely praise. Go ride them all and then make your decision.
 

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i think alot of people bash polaris because of the machines they made in the 90s. ive had people ask me if my scrambler was still chain driven.
 

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I just recently traded my honda recon(small machine) on a 570 EPS and so far I'm thrilled with my new machine. It's a real stud moving the snow and has plenty of power when I want it.

I was very Leary of buying anything but a honda. I don't do much trail riding so the older technology of the honda does not bother me at all. So far I'm very pleased and hope it continues the way it's been going.
Good luck with your purchase .
 

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I got my 570 at the end of november. I'm very happy and have rode it miles into the back country. So far it has been great. Do I worry about breaking down? Sure. But i would with any machine I've ever owned. Proper maintenance is key to all machines. Not saying something won't break. So far I'm happy and will ride the 570 everywhere. Looking at buying another one in the next few months.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks to all that took time to respond to the newbie. Its nice to have a little reassurance from people that actually own them. Everyone I ride with has Hondas, so you can imagine Im getting an earfull. Personally I will never own another Honda. Is the EPS worth the extra cash?
 

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I have a sportsman 550 that I've had almost a year with about 300 miles. Never had a single issue with it. I'd trust my wheeler to take me anywhere without a second thought. As stated above things wear out but don't be stupid with them and they will that you well. I do the regular maintenance on it and grease the suspension about once a month and it's great. I was in the same boat buying my first atv. I was about to buy a Honda then saw they didn't even begin to come close to polaris and they were more expensive to get close. I'll never buy anything but a polaris.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
 

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Let your honda buddies drive your new popo once you get it. Once they ride one, they will understand. The ride is night and day.

As for EPS, it is worth every penny. It is those without it that will tell you it;s not worth it. Those with it, like myself, will never own another wheeler without it.
 

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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!!
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 
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