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Hello, first post here. I was looking for a bit of feedback on making the switch from sport machines to utility quads. A little bout myself, I'm 34 and been riding since I was in my teens. I owned one utility quad which was a Polaris in the late 90's, it was a Trail Boss 300. Since then I have owned Yamaha Blasters, Honda 400ex's, and now I ride a Yamaha YFZ 450. I love the power, torque and speed that come with sport machines. However I am finding myself at a point where it's starting to really wear me out on trail rides. I don't ride on tracks, mainly just trail ride in Northern Michigan and do some power line bombing locally. The 450 really is taxing to ride for extended periods. I find my arms and wrists take a beating and my aches and pain from years of weight lifting start to haunt me. As some of you might know, a 450 is a really stiff ride. Another thing is having to go around rutted areas and mud, it become a real pain. So I was thinking of looking into a sportier ute quad. I know the Renegades are the hot ticket for most, but I just love the looks of the Sportsman Xp's.

I was looking at a 550 XP, I love the looks and they get rave reviews it seems. And with power in the low 40's it seems they have some punch. Now I know they wont hold a candle to a 450 sport quad, but can they be compared power wise to say a 400ex? Also would an XP 550 be a quad that you could take on fast trail rides.I love the EPS option, the storage, and the ability to go through places I would have had to either turn around or find another way on my 450.So if ne can give me some ideas on how a 550 would do on spirited trail rides and just overall for ride quality and such I'd appreciate it. Sorry for the long post.
 

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I was in the same position two years ago< I had a kfx 450r loved it but was always having to drive it instead of enjoy it. I traded it in on a sportman 800 and could not be happier, and for the power there is plenty you wont disappointed and your body will thank you
 

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I was in the same position two years ago< I had a kfx 450r loved it but was always having to drive it instead of enjoy it. I traded it in on a sportman 800 and could not be happier, and for the power there is plenty you wont disappointed and your body will thank you
Nice to hear from someone who has been where I'm at!!! I'd love an 850xp but my budget doesn't allow that. Figured a 550 was the next best thing.
 

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The 550 wont amaze you with its power but because of the narrow saddle and great handling you can ride it like a sport quad. I believe its a perfect balance of sport/utility. You will miss the instant snap of your old machine but also shouldn't be disappointed. Good luck with your decision
 

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I had a 400ex up till two months ago started hurting my back and body, i found a 2009 550xp eps with 95 miles on it rode it and loved it so i bought it, went riding few weekends ago and my buddy and i switched machines, 2005 honda 450r quad rode it like 10 minutes and went back to my polaris cause that honda was beating me to death. Plus when i see muds or ruts i just go through it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The 550 wont amaze you with its power but because of the narrow saddle and great handling you can ride it like a sport quad. I believe its a perfect balance of sport/utility. You will miss the instant snap of your old machine but also shouldn't be disappointed. Good luck with your decision
That's good to hear about being able to ride it more like a sport quad. Now another thing I wanted to ask about was performance mods. Most guys that get sport quads do the "Big 3" mods, which consist of fuel programmer or jetting, opening up intake, and a nice aftermarket exhaust. Does this do anything for utility quads, are there performance packages like this available? On some 450's and Raptor 700's it's like a new quad after those mods.
 

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Well I was looking at the Polaris website and see now that they are going to have a Sportsman with the 570 Prostar motor, and you can get it with EPS. Might have to rethink the XP550, the price on the 570 is sweet and that 570 is a great motor. Buddy has one in his RZR and I can't believe the punch it has for just a 570!!!! Also Polaris said the mid section is 3 inches narrower.
 

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I find my arms and wrists take a beating and my aches and pain from years of weight lifting start to haunt me. As some of you might know, a 450 is a really stiff ride.
You will come back almost refreshed after being on a XP with EPS. I find you can ride it one handed even on rocky trails at times.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I find my arms and wrists take a beating and my aches and pain from years of weight lifting start to haunt me. As some of you might know, a 450 is a really stiff ride.
You will come back almost refreshed after being on a XP with EPS. I find you can ride it one handed even on rocky trails at times.
Nice!! it seems most youtube vids are centered around big mud builds with lifts and tires. I have no interest in that, I do however have an interest in building a ute that is a fairly fast trail machine that I can ride decently corner to corner with. Stock mud capabilities would be fine for me. Well depending on how the 570 gets reviewed and such, it looks like I am going to get a 550 or 570 Sportsman. I want to make it faster than my buddies and their 400ex's, is this possible?
 

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I would look hard at the new 570 sportsman! It should be pretty quick stock and there are already a lot of performance mods out there b/c of the RZR....
 

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I would look hard at the new 570 sportsman! It should be pretty quick stock and there are already a lot of performance mods out there b/c of the RZR....
Good point. I'm more into acceleration than top speed, but just for info sake what is the top speed of a 550 XP?
 

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I would look hard at the new 570 sportsman! It should be pretty quick stock and there are already a lot of performance mods out there b/c of the RZR....
Good point. I'm more into acceleration than top speed, but just for info sake what is the top speed of a 550 XP?

Not sure about top speed but when I first looked at a new quad. (Had a 07 Honda rubicon). I looked at the 550 with eps I liked it except for the eps. Then the salesman talked me into riding an 850 and just couldn't believe the difference in power. So I went 850 w/o eps. It cost me 300$ more for the 850 then the 550 eps was


2013 850ho
 

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It sounds like they used the same standard transmission with the 570. The HP ratings are fairly close so IMO 550 and 570 should likely be close. That being said it does sound like there is more aftermarket support for a 570.
 

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I have had my 550 EPS for just about a year now. I am 54 years old and ride all types or terrain, 12 months a year. I can ride it for hours with little or no fatigue. With the stock tires it will do about 63-65 MPH on pavement or hard pack. It can get a little squirrely on pavement like the others. The 550 has taken me anyplace I have asked to go. If I had to choose between the 550 EPS or the 850 non EPS, it would be the 550 EPS hands down.

If you just have to be the fastest bike on the trail, or plan on living in the mud the look at the 850.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have had my 550 EPS for just about a year now. I am 54 years old and ride all types or terrain, 12 months a year. I can ride it for hours with little or no fatigue. With the stock tires it will do about 63-65 MPH on pavement or hard pack. It can get a little squirrely on pavement like the others. The 550 has taken me anyplace I have asked to go. If I had to choose between the 550 EPS or the 850 non EPS, it would be the 550 EPS hands down.

If you just have to be the fastest bike on the trail, or plan on living in the mud the look at the 850.
That's not bad at all for a mid size ute top speed wise. I'm not going to be a mudder, just when I come across it want the capabilities to go through rather than go around or turn around. I don't need to be the fastest, I would like to be bale to outdrag a couple 400ex's just for some friendly banter and ribbing.
 

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The value line frame is better than the XP frame, but the xp suspension is slightly better than the value suspension. (less than an inch more travel) as for the ride comparison I couldn't tell you as I haven't ridden both but the value line set the standard on ride against which all others a measured. so that says something. Personally I'd go with the 570 for a couple reasons. 1 the frame on the value line. 2 the future support, with the new engine the support for it will be around for a while. If suspisions are correct (not saying they are) we could see the 550 go away in the not to distant future. 3 the built in storage. Why pay more to carry what most people consider the essentials, when they already fit into the 570?

Now as for riding it like a sports bike... You're not going to want to be jumping an 800 lb bike to much. but for whipping it around trails and shooting straight through those muddy spots you're set with a UTV. I've got a lowly Hawkeye 300 that I still throw sideways around corners and ripping down the tight trails. I plan on upgrading to a 570 at the end of the year/early next year. We'll see what I can get for my 300 and how big my bonus is. If I have to wait for my tax return in order to not finance it, I may go that way. but we'll see. I might just finance and pay it off early.

speaking form an engine stand point. The "big 3" will wake up any engine a bit. but another thing you could look into is clutch modifications too. just for that added pop.
 

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I rode 2 stroke 250's and 450's and belive me if you settle with a 550, or less, you will be looking at your watch wondering when you will get where you wanna go.

Seriously though, if might not feel bad at first, but compared to a sport quad you will get bored FAST. Look at a scrambler 850, or 850xp non eps. (to save money). With the 850, you can still hang with raptor 700's, still get the adrenaline feeling when you want it, and still have super comfortable plush XP ride the rest of the time.
 
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