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After many years of being an owner of this model, I have come to a point where I am completely dissatisfied with the Polaris Mfg.
It appears that there may have been a flaw of sorts with the decompressor and its elemental cause for upper end damage due to failure.
For as long as I can remember, this machine has started hard. As far back as 2015 this thing sounded like it was going to come apart while starting.
The thing is; it always started. Ran fine till one day.
After several starts this day the final attempt caused the key to shear at the flywheel thus bringing the timing out and further destruction of the valve train.
This is how I see it.
No recall for what Polaris may have known of and perhaps negligence on their part.
John Q. Public the consumer now having to cover the full cost of repair.
Estimates greater than the value of this low mileage / low hour scrap.
REALLY?
Signed, Not A Hot Head.
 

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Since the flywheel does not operate the valves - it impossible for a sheared flywheel key to damage the valve train

The valve train is the cam, rocker arms and valves - the cam can go bad causing the engine to fail to run - the rocker arms can wear out and cause failure of the engine to start - the only thing that can destroy the valves is a lack of lubrication, broken spring, piston hitting the valve or the valve breaking without contacting the piston.

So your description of the series of events is not credible.

I have seen broken valves in Honda's, Yamaha's, Fords, John Deere's and many other engines. The cause ranges from overheating, excessive RPM resulting in valve float and contact between another valve or the piston, too heavy of spring for the valve design, improper cam grinding to defective valve design (as in the YZ250F where the Titanium head of the valve would break where the titanium was welded to the steel stem).

Sorry for your bad luck and perhaps failure to maintain properly, but it's not limited to Polaris. I know some people who could destroy an anvil with a feather. It may have been the product, the mechanic who worked on it or the owner, but it's not Polaris any more than it's Chevrolet. What vehicle have or product have you owned and used regularly that has lasted your entire lifetime without needing repair or replacement? I have one - A Master combination padlock that I got in high school for my locker and I am still using it 54 years later.
 
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