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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start by saying I ride my bikes pretty hard, I keep them clean and well maintained and I usually don't keep bikes more than a couple of years so the miles I put on a bike are around 1500-2000. I ride through whatever it takes to get there but I don't ride mud since I ruined my first quad, 98 Honda 450 Foreman. I've been reading a lot about the Sportsmans and was wondering, how many problems are caused by abuse, big tires, lots of mud, poor maintenance? I owned a 2000 Honda 300 4x4 for a couple of years and it's one of those bikes that you can ride any way you want and it stands up to it. It has no frills but nothing ever goes wrong if you take a little care. My 550XP has all the latest and greatest of any quad out there and I've already figured out it will take some maintaining, fluid changes, greasing, etc and I'm ok with that. With all of your experience, can I expect this quad to stand up to some hard riding and will I be able to put more miles on this bike than I usually do since I don't see anything better coming for a long time. I enjoy the forum and I've got some good info already.

Thanks
 

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Hi darrel
I have a 330 and a 500 xp you wont have any trouble with the polaris at all. mine r used on a farm in country victoria australia ranging from minus 5 deg celcius to 40 deg heat. just dont engage 4wd when weels r spining or run on low revs in high gear. this will stuff the belt in no time at all. the 550 will do 35 mph in low gear so dont b scared to use it. oh and by the way dont forget to hang on cos they go like hell!!
service motor every 100 hrs and new oil filter. gearbox and front diff 6 mths
cheers Duane
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hey Duane, I have a friend who has the 330 and it has been abused and still goes. I hope my 550XP does as well after 5000 miles. I do think maintenance is the key to survival on anything, cars, trucks, quads and one of the things I like is the grease fittings in all the right places. I've owned Hondas, a Suzuki, Yamaha, and a Kawasaki and this bike is by far the smoothest and the best first ride I've had. I'll catch up with Slider in West Virginia this fall and we'll put em to the test and let you know.

Thanks and G'day
 

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I have owned a lot of Polaris vehicles and I can say they are as tough as the next brand. It all comes down to maintaining them properly. I ride mine exteremly hard. I may blow out a shock or burn up my brakes in three hundred miles but that is no fault of the machine that is caused by extreme use. I ride hard to see what breaks and what lasts this helps me to see what product I might want to develop or sell to the consumers like you. I have a 2000 sportsman 500 that sits up at the cabin which is constantly pulling boats out of the water and pulling trailers of all kinds. This machine gets driven by about 15 different people goes on short trips long trips and I give it the occasional beat down. This machine has 3500 miles on it and has had the speedo replaced because the brother in law hooked the battery up wrong and I finally cleaned the clutches and replaced the original belt last month. Everything on the machine works great and I expect this machine to last at least 10 more years.
 

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I read a lot about the new XP-850's before I bought one, just hope they live up to the hype! The Polaris definitly rides better then the Honda's I had in the past. Just hope the reliability is there too. No problem's so far with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My son-in-law has worked for Polaris for 12 years and his word carries a lot of weight for me. He told me that 95% of the service work they do on bikes is self inflicted damage but he did say Polaris got carried away a few years ago trying to stay ahead in the atv wars and put out some bikes that had some issues and they learned some hard lessons.
 

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Hopefully Polaris has put the lessons they learned to good use,and I agree that proper maintenance is something you "have" to do on any quad regardless of the make. darell4wd I should be back to normal before you get here.I modified the cast enough to where I can ride a little bit now,but I have to take it easy for a couple more weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I should be there at Gilbert 3rd week of September at the Twin Hollows campground, I hope that's plenty of time to mend.
 

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Hey;

I have a 87' trailboss 250, and although ive only got it this year, its been in my family since 90'. We've put TONS of miles on this thing as everyone and there cousin has ridin it to the extreme. Every year we pull moose out of the bush with it, and that is usually a 1or 2km pull. we've put her in too deep before as well :p and all we did was open the block with a bolt on the bottom, and open the air filer, and after leaving it over night with the gas off, we cranked the starter a couple of times and had it going with a hole in the block! It is now 21 years old, with thousands of miles on it and it is well used, and yet it still starts first pull every time even in the winter. I like to think I can vouch for Polaris reliability :D

Billy
 

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Which models and years to stay away from?

Since I am in the market for an 04-08, please tell me which ones you were referring to that had the problems so I can cross them off my list! Thanks!
 

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i had an 07 800 and never had any problems with it. I put 1900 hard miles on it, from the mud to flying over rocky rails and crankin out full speed relentlessly. I did replace a front wheel bearing and donut seal, that was it.
Now i have the 850 XP EPS and so far it's holding up, have over 270 miles on it already and only had it 5 weeks. Been putting it throught the tests while it's under warranty.
 
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While living in Wyoming I had a friend that had a 400 Sportsman, (I think). Man, he rode the devil out of that machine for 3 years that I knew of and never had any problems. One time he shot a cow elk and she died in and fell into a pretty good size ravine. We dressed her out and cut her in half and loaded both pieces on his machine. Even with half an elk on the front I swear his front tires were almost floating as he crawled out of the ravine. I hope my '09 550XP is as worthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey mishottie,
The problem bikes for Polaris was in the new models, 600 and 700. The 500 Sportsmans were pretty reliable in those years, just find one that has been maintained with lower miles on it. If you look around at the dealerships you can find some good deals on new ones. The 500 EFI is a little older technology but are pretty bulletproof and you can pick one up for a little over 5K. Good luck
 

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When Polaris had the 550 made they screwed up big time. Sure wish they would stock parts for them so the dealers dont need to wate thirty days so they can get parts to fix them.
 

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My sportsman is 12yrs old. All it ever had done was oil changes. It lived and worked on a farm and only got washed when it got rained on. Still fires and runs like a champ and will pull the front wheels if you try. Hubs have never had the fluid changed. Transmission fluid has never been changed. Front cv boot has been torn for who knows how many years. Shifter boot has been torn for who knows how long. Transmission belt has never been replaced. It's been in mud to the handle bars. Air filter has never been replaced. Carb rebuilt once. Still runs like a bat out of hell. I'm convinced that it can't be killed.
 

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No offense intended

My sportsman is 12yrs old. All it ever had done was oil changes. It lived and worked on a farm and only got washed when it got rained on. Still fires and runs like a champ and will pull the front wheels if you try. Hubs have never had the fluid changed. Transmission fluid has never been changed. Front cv boot has been torn for who knows how many years. Shifter boot has been torn for who knows how long. Transmission belt has never been replaced. It's been in mud to the handle bars. Air filter has never been replaced. Carb rebuilt once. Still runs like a bat out of hell. I'm convinced that it can't be killed.
Sounds like you are doing your best though!!!! LOL

I have to agree with many others, Polaris is a great brand, as is Can Am, Honda and most of the others. Sometimes it's the luck of the draw on how good a unit you get. Sometimes it's how hard you beat it. Ride, have fun and fix what breaks!
 

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Haha. My folks aren't exactly maintenance savvy people and tend to be quite hard on things. I'm slowly teaching dad that a little bit of maintenance can go a long way haha.
 

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I have a 05 500 H.O. here is the list:

3 Belts so far

Lower gear that drives the timing chain, Intake Valves, all related gaskets, timing tenisoer-same repair

Left hand controler

Now a cooling problem

Brakes and battery. air filter are the only age-wear related repairs
I think the XP's are better. The new engine turned sidway cuts down on viberation
 
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