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The one thing I feel allot of guys overlook on this forum.is EXPERIENCE on an ATV.....Before you give advise to someone you should first find out there EXPERIENCE.

I opted to buy the 550 because it is my first bike and I had maybe 4 hrs on previous friends and family's ATV'S..SO completely new to this..
EVERY respectful EXPERIENCED rider,dealerships sales guys....all told me NOT to buy an 850 to learn on.

And for what I use an ATV for.550 cc is allot of power to go hunting and cut wood,move dirt etc...Frankly I have not been in a situation where having "more" power would be any benefit at all...

its always the same thing on this forum, Someone asks about buying a certain bike and they are immediately flooded with posts...."well if your going to buy a ATV it should only be an 850"....I think the majority of the time...this is wrong and this advise gets people hurt...

Example.....I'm on the market for a Honda civic or the same class of car for my wife to drive...(HYPOTHETICAL)------>if I go on a car forum and ask about that vehicle...I would be bombarded with advise..."scrap the civic, you need Nissan GTR..well if your going to buy a new car you should get the fastest one available,you never know when you will want more power"....WRONG ADVISE......my wife needs an economical car.NOT a race car....This is my point.not every person buying an ATV wants 30" tires,clutch kits,aftermarket exhausts etc...or cares about how fast off the line an ATV is..I am positive the deer I'm hunting couldn't care less how fast I am off the line..or If i can wheelie for 10 blocks.


my buddy spent almost 4 grand more for his 850 eps OM and we ride right beside each other on the same trails, same mud holes,same fields,same hills and we each ride 2 up with our wives we each pull the same timber out of the woods etc...so I'm not quite sure what the extra 4 grand got him...but hes happy! and at the end of the day its personal needs and wants that determine your choice..

in closing, The 550 is a great machine it has lots of power and control and has been reliable for me so far at 60 hrs.
 

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Well said Skizmo :yup:


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The one thing I feel allot of guys overlook on this forum.is EXPERIENCE on an ATV.....Before you give advise to someone you should first find out there EXPERIENCE.

I opted to buy the 550 because it is my first bike and I had maybe 4 hrs on previous friends and family's ATV'S..SO completely new to this..
EVERY respectful EXPERIENCED rider,dealerships sales guys....all told me NOT to buy an 850 to learn on.

And for what I use an ATV for.550 cc is allot of power to go hunting and cut wood,move dirt etc...Frankly I have not been in a situation where having "more" power would be any benefit at all...

its always the same thing on this forum, Someone asks about buying a certain bike and they are immediately flooded with posts...."well if your going to buy a ATV it should only be an 850"....I think the majority of the time...this is wrong and this advise gets people hurt...

Example.....I'm on the market for a Honda civic or the same class of car for my wife to drive...(HYPOTHETICAL)------>if I go on a car forum and ask about that vehicle...I would be bombarded with advise..."scrap the civic, you need Nissan GTR..well if your going to buy a new car you should get the fastest one available,you never know when you will want more power"....WRONG ADVISE......my wife needs an economical car.NOT a race car....This is my point.not every person buying an ATV wants 30" tires,clutch kits,aftermarket exhausts etc...or cares about how fast off the line an ATV is..I am positive the deer I'm hunting couldn't care less how fast I am off the line..or If i can wheelie for 10 blocks.


my buddy spent almost 4 grand more for his 850 eps OM and we ride right beside each other on the same trails, same mud holes,same fields,same hills and we each ride 2 up with our wives we each pull the same timber out of the woods etc...so I'm not quite sure what the extra 4 grand got him...but hes happy! and at the end of the day its personal needs and wants that determine your choice..

in closing, The 550 is a great machine it has lots of power and control and has been reliable for me so far at 60 hrs.

I have to agree with you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the 550. I've owned several other brand 500's and they had tons of power. I love the fact that the 550 and 850 are virtually identical except for engine. In my case there were no 550X2 on sale and the 850 was. Got it for $3600 below sticker price. It was the last one in the showroom and they wanted it sold. I got a good deal on it. I probably would have bought a 550 if one had been available but I couldn't afford a 2012 model. I didn't just buy mine for the engine, I bought it for the cargo and 2 up capability. Polaris is the only brand that has that properly. The 850 engine was a bonus. The 850 is definitely gonna work less. I guess it all comes down to personal choice. And a person shouldn't criticize or make fun of another persons choice of machine. And no one did that on this thread. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. However you are right about the Honda Civic thing. That does happen a lot. :)
 

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The 850's power is completely controllable, even for beginners. Smashing the throttle wide open even from a stop will not lift the front end up much at all. The front end comes up only after your already going at a fast clip. The front gets lighter and lighter. In this regard I can't see how it even matters for a beginner when it comes to 550 vs 850. Both of the models are the same size from a weight and body standpoint. Where beginners get into trouble is handling the big bike from a weight distribution standpoint. That's where the trouble begins. I should know, I'm a beginner with an 850. You can drive the 850 as slow as anything else and like I said the power isn't uncontrollable like it might be on a CAN-AM.
Don't let the 850 scare you, get more bang for your buck and seriously consider the 850 over the 550.
 

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Hey everyone, just wanting to know your opinion on the 2012 sportsman 550xp in orange madness colour, also do the 550 how enough power or should i go bigger? I watched a couple youtube videos about polaris atvs and all of the comments are saying that polaris suck but i beleive that all atvs have there ups and downs, but how reliable are polaris atvs?
I've owned/own most of the major brands and honestly atm polaris has the best bang for the buck... I went to my dealer a few weeks ago dead set on a suzuki kingquad 400 and came out with a 500 orange madness for $1000 less.. bigger motor eveything seems reeealy heavy duty havn't had any problems yet. yamaha and similar "utility" atvs are overpriced for what you get but they deffinatly make better sport atv's than polaris but atm I'd say polaris is making the best "utility atv's"

this is my first IRS atv so only time will tell on the maint and wear on the complicated looking setup vs the straight rear axles I'm used to.

550 should be plenty power back 2005-2006ish 500cc was top bore now adays it's around 1000cc which is fun but overkill for most needs.

a 550XP with a 2-3 year warranty you'll have cash left over for some goodies like performance air filter and some tires/wheels etc. towing me +1 with my 500 I still go 55mph+ on a short driveway I hit 62+ by myself "havn't tried the street yet having san francisco style hills all over my street"
 

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don't know if I'd qualify it as "build quality" problem but broke my rear axel housing on the 2011 trail boss after hitting a big hill and landing a 4 foot drop onto the rear left tire.... hit the jump wayyyy to fast and pulled back on the bars to much landing all weight on the rear left tire vs a flat landing. $60 rear axel housing and 2 new rear bearings and everything is good to go after such a bad hit :werd:

land flat "4 wheels down" on atv and land slightly more on rear tire on dirt bike and you're good to roll.
 

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I have had my 550 X2 for about 3 weeks and I have found the power is good enough to still get you in trouble. It will haul two people uphill through one and a half feet of snow and still have power in reserve.
 

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Hey everyone, just wanting to know your opinion on the 2012 sportsman 550xp in orange madness colour, also do the 550 how enough power or should i go bigger? I watched a couple youtube videos about polaris atvs and all of the comments are saying that polaris suck but i beleive that all atvs have there ups and downs, but how reliable are polaris atvs?
I've owned/own most of the major brands and honestly atm polaris has the best bang for the buck... I went to my dealer a few weeks ago dead set on a suzuki kingquad 400 and came out with a 500 orange madness for $1000 less.. bigger motor eveything seems reeealy heavy duty havn't had any problems yet. yamaha and similar "utility" atvs are overpriced for what you get but they deffinatly make better sport atv's than polaris but atm I'd say polaris is making the best "utility atv's"

this is my first IRS atv so only time will tell on the maint and wear on the complicated looking setup vs the straight rear axles I'm used to.

550 should be plenty power back 2005-2006ish 500cc was top bore now adays it's around 1000cc which is fun but overkill for most needs.

a 550XP with a 2-3 year warranty you'll have cash left over for some goodies like performance air filter and some tires/wheels etc. towing me +1 with my 500 I still go 55mph+ on a short driveway I hit 62+ by myself "havn't tried the street yet having san francisco style hills all over my street"
That was my expierience too.I went in to buy a new Grizzly and wound up with a Polaris 850 XP.No complaints so far,incredible machine!
 

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The 850's power is completely controllable, even for beginners. Smashing the throttle wide open even from a stop will not lift the front end up much at all. The front end comes up only after your already going at a fast clip. The front gets lighter and lighter. In this regard I can't see how it even matters for a beginner when it comes to 550 vs 850. Both of the models are the same size from a weight and body standpoint. Where beginners get into trouble is handling the big bike from a weight distribution standpoint. That's where the trouble begins. I should know, I'm a beginner with an 850. You can drive the 850 as slow as anything else and like I said the power isn't uncontrollable like it might be on a CAN-AM.
Don't let the 850 scare you, get more bang for your buck and seriously consider the 850 over the 550.
Could not disagree more. I'm a police officer and have dragged a few dead people out from under their machines or and pulled a few off the side of trees. Almost always because they were overdriving something.

For 30 years,Ike the man says, 250 was standard and the big dog was a 350. Now we have gone crazy for no reason. It's all marketing for north America. Go buy a motorcycle in Europe. You have to ask what size the motor is. They don't care, they buy the thing bases on its purpose, fit, comfort and features. North Americans skip all that and go for the biggest number on the motor.

I have a 550xp. My riding buddies have a couple 850xp's and one has a can am 800R all tricked up. On the side of a road going from trail to trail he can take off. In the trail, in the mud, in the tight turns etc, none of them can get away from me. Most bike riding is slow speed technical stuff and the 550 has tons of power to stay with any bike out there.

The speed limits on the roads in Canada are maxed at 50km/h or 30mp/h anyway, so I don't see the point of the 850.

Advantages of my bike include not having to carry a gas can for the long ride because I can go twice as far as all those big bikes. Mine doesn't or hasn't overheated but every one of those big dogs have had to sit in limp mode to cool off after pushing them too hard.

As one dealer said to me after some questions about my intended purchase use. Do you want to tow the moose out of the woods at 30km/h or 80km/h? I said likely 5 or 10? Then he said "you'll be fine with the 550". Then he smiled.

Mine will get to 90km/h. That's too fast on any roads or trails to be safe or legal. Get the 550. Great ride.
 

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The 850's power is completely controllable, even for beginners. Smashing the throttle wide open even from a stop will not lift the front end up much at all. The front end comes up only after your already going at a fast clip. The front gets lighter and lighter. In this regard I can't see how it even matters for a beginner when it comes to 550 vs 850. Both of the models are the same size from a weight and body standpoint. Where beginners get into trouble is handling the big bike from a weight distribution standpoint. That's where the trouble begins. I should know, I'm a beginner with an 850. You can drive the 850 as slow as anything else and like I said the power isn't uncontrollable like it might be on a CAN-AM.
Don't let the 850 scare you, get more bang for your buck and seriously consider the 850 over the 550.
Could not disagree more. I'm a police officer and have dragged a few dead people out from under their machines or and pulled a few off the side of trees. Almost always because they were overdriving something.

For 30 years,Ike the man says, 250 was standard and the big dog was a 350. Now we have gone crazy for no reason. It's all marketing for north America. Go buy a motorcycle in Europe. You have to ask what size the motor is. They don't care, they buy the thing bases on its purpose, fit, comfort and features. North Americans skip all that and go for the biggest number on the motor.

I have a 550xp. My riding buddies have a couple 850xp's and one has a can am 800R all tricked up. On the side of a road going from trail to trail he can take off. In the trail, in the mud, in the tight turns etc, none of them can get away from me. Most bike riding is slow speed technical stuff and the 550 has tons of power to stay with any bike out there.

The speed limits on the roads in Canada are maxed at 50km/h or 30mp/h anyway, so I don't see the point of the 850.

Advantages of my bike include not having to carry a gas can for the long ride because I can go twice as far as all those big bikes. Mine doesn't or hasn't overheated but every one of those big dogs have had to sit in limp mode to cool off after pushing them too hard.

As one dealer said to me after some questions about my intended purchase use. Do you want to tow the moose out of the woods at 30km/h or 80km/h? I said likely 5 or 10? Then he said "you'll be fine with the 550". Then he smiled.

Mine will get to 90km/h. That's too fast on any roads or trails to be safe or legal. Get the 550. Great ride.
I have to agree. I own an 850 and the bulk of my driving is lower speeds. Most of the trails I ride are impossible to navigate at any kind of excess speed.

I disagree with an 850 not being able to lift the front wheels off the ground. I'm a chunky monkey, probably the size of two average men and I damn near flipped her over backwards doing a full throttle start "just to see."

In retrospect, a 500 or 550 would have been plenty. I was stupid enough to listen to the bravado of friends who believe bigger is better. The first weekend out I flipped it over on myself. All 778lbs of her. I couldn't control it. Late August in the mountains and there was still snow blocking the trail before heading up a hill. Passing through okay when the 4x4 kicked in and the front tires started to dig into the snow. They dug quickly and hit a hidden rock. The handlebars kicked back and I accidentally got my thumb deep into the throttle. Flipped it back in the blink of an eye. Thank God for my helmet cause the handlebars landed on it.

Great machine, worst starter quad. I love it, but believe me, horsepower isn't everything.


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Just my Opinion

I think the 500HO and the 550 have plenty of power for me i ride with friends that have 700 grizzley and 750 king quad i keep up just fine I think alot of it depends on riding skills and years of experience but as far as dependable YES Polaris machines have soft bushings and wear out pretty quik compared to other machines but easily replaced with better ones, I think its good to get to know your machine and how it works and working on stuff gives you a better understanding of how things move and its fun to wrench on things, A 500 has 38 horse power and goes up from there dending on CCs Myself when i get another one will go for a 550xp all the new technology and great fuel mileage
I go on long rides and dont wanna carry extra fuel
Jamie in AZ
 

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I agree. I bought a 2012 400HO, wanted a first atv. So far, have spent some time taking plastics off and getting to know it. I don't regret the value model at all. In a couple of years I plan on trading up to a 550 XP. Dealer said they will treat me well on trade in, which is good.

For my style of riding, I do not need the most powerful quad on the planet, but do need the best mileage and range that I can get.

Feel free to ask away, as this forum is full of extremely patient folks. I know that for a fact, as I spent two years & 1,000 posts before I finally bought.

Now as for Polaris reliability, the way I see it is as long as you do more than the minimum required maintenance, you should not have an issue. If you are so agressive in riding that you beat the crap out of it, I really don't think there is a quad in production that wont break.
 

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Hey everyone, just wanting to know your opinion on the 2012 sportsman 550xp in orange madness colour, also do the 550 how enough power or should i go bigger? I watched a couple youtube videos about polaris atvs and all of the comments are saying that polaris suck but i beleive that all atvs have there ups and downs, but how reliable are polaris atvs?
I have a brand new 2012 550 EPS. I have been in love with this bike since the day I bought it. I love everything about it except the PATHETIC reliability. The front two axles had to be replaced after my second ride; only about 50 miles on the bike. The power steering fault light keeps coming on. I have taken it in 3 times for this problem; still no fix. Did I mention that I have driven this bike like a "Grandma". Mud 1x; mostly trail riding up to now.


Last week my brakes went out; it is in the shop awaiting a new master cylinder. Did I mention I only have 126 miles on the bike and I have had it almost 3 months. I am beginning to wonder if the lemon law would apply to ATV's.
Does anybody know if lemon laws apply to atv's?
 

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Polaris has always been reliable that's why when i upgrade i always get another one. I like it, to each their own i guess. I think a 500 ho is probably the most reliable, i have no way to prove this but it has "nearly" all of the same parts the 800 models have; including belts and axles. It gets better gas mileage too.

I think a can am renegade is fun to ride, i like climbing hills and feeling the HP. It's just, where i ride most of the time, are very long trails and i can't go really fast. Even if i could go fast, most of the time i'd just be dusting my friend out. I ride really hard though, we like to mud and hill climb in my clan. The time we are out though isn't worth the trade off for the speed, i can fly up a hill on a 500 ho safely. I proved this by climbing the same hill on a 220 bayou, was a lil worried once i lost momentum from hitting a root (single rear suspension) at the top.

Polaris has always made the sportsman a big atv, the 330 shared the same build as the 700 did, ground clearance, etc. Polaris makes their atvs realiable in mud by using high measure intakes placed at the top of the atv and a wider stance, '12 models are 48 inches wide factory. My friend has a 660 grizzly with 27x12x12 mudzillas and my stock 500 ho is still wider.

I love polaris, they are reliable, hard to tear up and stand behind their product IMExp. :bud:
 

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The 550 motor is very loud and my 2009 550 has had two valve jobs and one new powersteering pump in 3100 miles. go to the 850 .my two 550s wont go 100 miles on a full tank of fuel and the 850 will do 90mi per tank
 

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The 550 motor is very loud and my 2009 550 has had two valve jobs and one new powersteering pump in 3100 miles. go to the 850 .my two 550s wont go 100 miles on a full tank of fuel and the 850 will do 90mi per tank
The 550 is a Fuji engine, they are all noisy. Does the 850 have a bigger tank??
 

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Reserve gas was pointless, just go with out and watch the gauge/tank. Polaris does not use reserves.
 
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