Polaris ATV Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all, I'm fixin on buyin a new ATV. Thinkin on a 2014 Sportsman 400 or a 2013 Sportsman 500 Polaris. Three dealers that sell Polaris told me their most repairs ,by far, were Polaris. These models have carberators and we hunt Elk every year in Montana high country, which may cause problems?!!? Also, am told that if water gets to the drive belt, the water has to be drained and belt dry before startin out agin??? Also axle problems. I can get in to a new Honda Rancher 400 EFI for about 10% more money. I know I'm in Polaris country so don't whip on me to hard, just wanna get into a good machine that lasts. I'm no spring chicken so I"m not hard on my machines and I service regular. Please ya'll, honest thoughts. Thanks in advance. Regular Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,519 Posts
I owned a Rancher 420 Auto IRS prior to owning the XP and for mountain terrain the Honda isn't in the same realm as a Polaris performance wise. Also, the auto transmission combined with a lack of power was a main factor in me totaling the Honda ATV in the mountains.

My XP has been as reliable as the Honda and runs circles around them performance wise. As for carburetors they can work fine in the mountains if they are properly adjusted. However, if my goal was mountain riding I would always buy EFI as it will adjust for Mt. McKinley or Death Valley without a wrench or different jets.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,366 Posts
the sportsman 500 is the most sold quad of all time. sometimes people confuse reliability for shear numbers. the 400 and 500 are "value" line bikes the technology has been around and is tried and true. the carbs, to my understanding run great but at higher elevations have some loss of power. they can be re-jetted for these altitudes. the way water gets into the cvt is through the breather/vent tube which inlet is up by the gas tank fill. so u really have to splash up a considerable amount of water or get really deep to get the cvt wet. axle problems are on the 850xp models, they have a lot of hp and combine that with a 4x4 system that won't leave u stuck and if one isn't careful things will break. its rare for a value line axel to break but it happens and usually because of big and heavy aftermarket tires. well if u don't abuse ur bike and maintain it well it will last with out incident. their are a few guys that have previously owned handas so hopefully they will chime in and give their opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Howdy all, I'm fixin on buyin a new ATV. Thinkin on a 2014 Sportsman 400 or a 2013 Sportsman 500 Polaris. Three dealers that sell Polaris told me their most repairs ,by far, were Polaris. These models have carberators and we hunt Elk every year in Montana high country, which may cause problems?!!? Also, am told that if water gets to the drive belt, the water has to be drained and belt dry before startin out agin??? Also axle problems. I can get in to a new Honda Rancher 400 EFI for about 10% more money. I know I'm in Polaris country so don't whip on me to hard, just wanna get into a good machine that lasts. I'm no spring chicken so I"m not hard on my machines and I service regular. Please ya'll, honest thoughts. Thanks in advance. Regular Steve

Definitely get the '13 500HO carb....unless rejetting is going to be a big issue for you riding at higher altitudes. Myself have had several Polaris machines in infact still have an '03 500HO thats issue free with around 400hrs on it.

On the flip side have a '13 850XP thats in the shop already with issues at 100hrs. They have cheapened some things up from '03 to '13 even in the 500HO......for example the thickness/diameter of the axles, the '03 is almost twice the diameter. The plastics (fenders & racks) are noticeably thinner as well. Defintely would go with a "value" machine to have less problems...thats my opinion.

I have riden a 400HO and do not notice any power difference to the 500HO would keep that in mind as well.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
the sportsman 500 is the most sold quad of all time. sometimes people confuse reliability for shear numbers. the 400 and 500 are "value" line bikes the technology has been around and is tried and true. the carbs, to my understanding run great but at higher elevations have some loss of power. they can be re-jetted for these altitudes. the way water gets into the cvt is through the breather/vent tube which inlet is up by the gas tank fill. so u really have to splash up a considerable amount of water or get really deep to get the cvt wet. axle problems are on the 850xp models, they have a lot of hp and combine that with a 4x4 system that won't leave u stuck and if one isn't careful things will break. its rare for a value line axel to break but it happens and usually because of big and heavy aftermarket tires. well if u don't abuse ur bike and maintain it well it will last with out incident. their are a few guys that have previously owned handas so hopefully they will chime in and give their opinions.
I'd have to agree with bp405..... Your dealer may service more Sportsman, but I'll bet he sells 2-3X more Sportsman models then any other on his showroom floor too!! The AWD system is second to none as is the ride quality. Most of the issues you mentioned are on the high hp machines, and if abused may have some failures (as does any machine). I came from owning 2 problem free Honda's (see sig below), I had the same "concerns" as you have aske about.... and hav not seen a single issue on either of my machines. Have I replaced a belt? Yes, but it was at my own fault.... didn't use low range when i should have and smelled the belt. When they slip (under heavy load in high range usually) they glaze and don't "grab" the cvt clutches as they should.

I loved me my Honda's for thier "only change the oil/fluids maintenance".... but would trade that for the ride comfort, shifting smoothness and power anyday, even at the cost of a $75 belt.

The two machines (Honda & Polaris) have differences that take getting use too.... but once you are use to the changes you'll wonder why you ever owned a Honda (for anything more then turn key reliability). If you want that I'd suggest a manual shift Rancher 350.... of late 1990's early 2000 vintage. As any newer machine of ALL brands & models will have a failure at some point. It's simple math, the more the moving parts = the more problems you could have. Frankly I'm surprised Honda hasn't moved into the 21st century with everyone else yet.... I see them as far behind in the times!

As for the two machines your looking at.... the 2014 400 (455cc @ 29hp) and the 2013 500 (500cc @ 34hp). They are the same exact machine and engine, with the only difference being a slightly larger cylinder bore and piston. If it was me I'd go 500 (if both are brand new) for the couple extra hp. Doesn't sound like much, but when look at it that's a ~16% difference. But that's just me.... if Elk hunging, ect. I'd go for the extra hp myself.

I'd think that most 2013 500's could be had for $5200 OTD easily..... as this was the going rate when I was looking, and trying to decide between the 500 and the 2012 800 I bought (@ $6200 OTD after year end rebates).

Sorry for the long read.... I hope the info was useful and not just rambling.

Good Luck deciding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,629 Posts
BP405 hit it on the head! Don't ride in water that's balls deep and you won't get your belt wet. Don't hammer the throttle in the mud/snow ect and your axles won't break. And Polaris that are well maintained will last as long as Hondas. Better ride, more power per cc, and much better 4x4are what you get for the small price of needing better attention/maintenance.

Just a thought, have you considered the 570?? If you're no "spring chicken" the EPS is a huge advantage in preventing fatigue and the EFI will aid with the elevation changes between MO and MT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Welp, that didn't hurt a lick.......in fact ya'll helped a bunch. I appreciate ya'lls responses and advice. I'm gonna go with either a 400 or 500 Sportsman, dependin on price and warranty. I'll consider a 570 Sportsman if the sales person has a drastic slip of the pen.......naturally in my favor. Thanks again fellas ...ya'll really helped to set my mind at ease. Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
We were glad to be of help.... not much brand bashing on this forum!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
I have to chime in and agree with everyone that offered their opinion. The 500 is a great machine and like bp405 has said, it is the most popular and most sold. Ask your dealer what kind of riders has brought their machine in and I would bet you most don't know how to work on them or don't have the time. If you ride hard, and beat the hell out of it, then yes, it will be in the shop. Proper riding and maintenance is the key. Nothing lasts forever but It can least a long time if you seriously take care of it. The 500 is the better deal, my opinion. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,001 Posts
Welcome to the board!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
I wouldn't worry about getting the belt wet. Unless you plan on hunting Elk in the bottom of a lake.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top