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Im looking for a new four wheeler and always been a honda lover. I looking to buy a 2010 sportsman 500 H.O. and seems like a great ATV. Years ago my buddys had polaris and when they would get in water or mud the belt would start slipping. Im use to the honda direct front and rear shafts and never had to worry about it. My question is, is the 2010 sportsman 500 still belt driven or the same as the older polaris's. Also whats some other things I should look for and if you have one how to you liek it accordding to confort and reliablity and how dependable and will the ATV last liek Hondas are known for/? Thanks Guys for your help.
 

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Welcome!
A quick look at the Polaris website will give you the specs. They have the PVT tranny like most (if not all) Polaris have. I was a huge Honda fan because of reliability (I own Toyota Tundras because of reliability). When I looked to get back into the quad market, I did my homework. I purchased the 850 Touring and love it. I considered all brands but really wanted a 2 up. You can do some Google searches on ATV recalls and there are some agencies listing information. Basically, I gained faith by looking at several manufacturers ATV forum sites (like this one) and gaged issues. ALL had people experiencing issues. ALL had people touting the greatness of the product. All have recalls.
Polaris is a US company. It provides to the US military. And, I believe they are the largest ATV manufacturer. They are not perfect. Your dealer will make your experience a good one or a bad one. Ask around in your area.
I am very happy with my decision. I haven't experienced belt slippage. I don't run it in water up to the seat though too. I perform the maintenance per the intervals required. It is very well built. I like the styling and the smoothness is just amazing. My other choice in the end was CanAm. They make a very nice machine as well. What sold me on the Polaris was how smooth it rode and how refined it felt. Hey...you can't knock going 70+mph and feeling a smooth ride on a utility quad.

Good luck!
 

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I have a 2010 500 and Im very happy with it. Its comfortable for me, and Im happy with the handling. Ive also had a few polaris atv`s and never had any problems with belts slipping, as long as the clutch cover seal is good and you dont get water in it you shouldnt have any problems. I hope this helps.
 

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TundraXSP06, I would like to add my $.02 in.

First let me say that I have worked at a polaris dealership for 3 years. Although we serviced all ATV's. You overall want to be catious about getting advice from internet forums. I say this because most people on a polaris forum will say buy polaris, and nothing else. Guys on a yamaha forum will say buy yamaha, guys on a honda forum will say buy honda. And if you ask this question on a different forum, like this question about polaris on a honda forum, you will get 100 responses why not to buy polaris, all personal opinions, some may be flat out lies that they believe. There are a lot of biased opinions on internet forums.

With that said, every machine has its issues. They are play toys. Polaris has recalls, honda has recalls, yamaha has recalls, can am has recalls, kawasaki has recalls, suzuki has recalls, they all are very capable of breaking, just as they are all very capable of being reliable.

I will try to reserve my biased opinion here. I will give yamaha credit. They are pretty reliable. They have overall done a good job there. The thing is, is they really dont have anything high end. Their machines, and the way they fuction, are pretty reserved, pretty tried and true, but performance wise, leave a lot to be desired. They are capable, but nothing to wow you. Honda is even worse. The technology they use is from the 1980's. Its why they dont brake down often. They still favor solid rear swing arm suspensions, a back breaker. They tend to use a very crude form of fuel injection, their suspension numbers are low, they have been doing the same thing on the machines for 10 years. They are even more tried and true, but really horrible utility trail machines. Great for the farmers out in their field, horrible for the recreational trail rider.

Polaris catches a lot of crap for reliablilty. Biggest reason i have seen them suffer, is not from manufacture problems, but from piss poor lack of maintenance. But people wont admit to their lack of maintenance, its the machines fault, its polaris's fault. And then they go online and bash it. Polaris's are the "cadillac" of atv's. You doubt you will find an ATV that is smother riding. They also have the most advanced 4x4 system. Its actually by definintion an on-demand AWD system. there is none of this visco-lock or limited slip differental front end. Those are the two biggest things that drive people to polaris, the AWD system and the independent suspension. Both have been around for quite some time with them. They also make decent horsepower. So does can am though in that respect.

Polaris has always been in the forefront of ATV technology. I believe they were the first to use EFI, the first to use IRS (independent rear suspension), the first to use AWD system instead of locking 4x4 system. With that, comes more maintenance. More fluids to change, more seals to replace, more bushings to grease. If you do these things like the owners manual tells you, you should have thousands of trouble free miles. Skip them, and yeah, stuff is going to start breaking. Do you think polaris would be selling the way that they are today, if their machine were total crap? Look at the stock for all the manufactures. They all offer an unique product, and they all sell enough to stay in business.

Everything i just told you though, you can throw out the window now. The NUMBER ONE most important thing, which manufacture offers the best dealer service? Serious! Which dealer has awesome customer service? Which dealer will go to bat for you on warranties? On copying service manual pages for you to take? Which dealer will spend an hour on the phone with you trying to help you resolve your problem instead of saying "just bring it in"? What dealership will put you first in line and repair you quad right on your trailer at 9am on a friday morning because you are heading to the mountains right away? What dealership will hang around an hour after closing time on a saturday just for you so you can pick up your machine to go hunting on sunday because they are closed sunday, monday?

What ever dealership will do that, you buy a brand they sell! That is so much more important the brand itself. I say those things, above, because i have personally done each and every one of those thing while working at the dealership. And by doing those things, and our reputation, we were never short in the service department, sales, or parts. Scope out your local dealers, ask around, see which one kicks ass, and buy their machine. Even if its not polaris. Im okay with that. But by buying because of the local dealer, and not the machine, you will be happy with any brand you wind up with. I promise.

Best of luck in your hunt. Let us know what you pick. :)
 

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Well said Blueline.
TundraXSP...I had heard about Polaris being junk too. But I am an engineer and I can tell you that I am really impressed with my Polaris.
 

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All excellent points!! If you were not so far away, I would buy from the dealership you worked at... :)




TundraXSP06, I would like to add my $.02 in.

First let me say that I have worked at a polaris dealership for 3 years. Although we serviced all ATV's. You overall want to be catious about getting advice from internet forums. I say this because most people on a polaris forum will say buy polaris, and nothing else. Guys on a yamaha forum will say buy yamaha, guys on a honda forum will say buy honda. And if you ask this question on a different forum, like this question about polaris on a honda forum, you will get 100 responses why not to buy polaris, all personal opinions, some may be flat out lies that they believe. There are a lot of biased opinions on internet forums.

With that said, every machine has its issues. They are play toys. Polaris has recalls, honda has recalls, yamaha has recalls, can am has recalls, kawasaki has recalls, suzuki has recalls, they all are very capable of breaking, just as they are all very capable of being reliable.

I will try to reserve my biased opinion here. I will give yamaha credit. They are pretty reliable. They have overall done a good job there. The thing is, is they really dont have anything high end. Their machines, and the way they fuction, are pretty reserved, pretty tried and true, but performance wise, leave a lot to be desired. They are capable, but nothing to wow you. Honda is even worse. The technology they use is from the 1980's. Its why they dont brake down often. They still favor solid rear swing arm suspensions, a back breaker. They tend to use a very crude form of fuel injection, their suspension numbers are low, they have been doing the same thing on the machines for 10 years. They are even more tried and true, but really horrible utility trail machines. Great for the farmers out in their field, horrible for the recreational trail rider.

Polaris catches a lot of crap for reliablilty. Biggest reason i have seen them suffer, is not from manufacture problems, but from piss poor lack of maintenance. But people wont admit to their lack of maintenance, its the machines fault, its polaris's fault. And then they go online and bash it. Polaris's are the "cadillac" of atv's. You doubt you will find an ATV that is smother riding. They also have the most advanced 4x4 system. Its actually by definintion an on-demand AWD system. there is none of this visco-lock or limited slip differental front end. Those are the two biggest things that drive people to polaris, the AWD system and the independent suspension. Both have been around for quite some time with them. They also make decent horsepower. So does can am though in that respect.

Polaris has always been in the forefront of ATV technology. I believe they were the first to use EFI, the first to use IRS (independent rear suspension), the first to use AWD system instead of locking 4x4 system. With that, comes more maintenance. More fluids to change, more seals to replace, more bushings to grease. If you do these things like the owners manual tells you, you should have thousands of trouble free miles. Skip them, and yeah, stuff is going to start breaking. Do you think polaris would be selling the way that they are today, if their machine were total crap? Look at the stock for all the manufactures. They all offer an unique product, and they all sell enough to stay in business.

Everything i just told you though, you can throw out the window now. The NUMBER ONE most important thing, which manufacture offers the best dealer service? Serious! Which dealer has awesome customer service? Which dealer will go to bat for you on warranties? On copying service manual pages for you to take? Which dealer will spend an hour on the phone with you trying to help you resolve your problem instead of saying "just bring it in"? What dealership will put you first in line and repair you quad right on your trailer at 9am on a friday morning because you are heading to the mountains right away? What dealership will hang around an hour after closing time on a saturday just for you so you can pick up your machine to go hunting on sunday because they are closed sunday, monday?

What ever dealership will do that, you buy a brand they sell! That is so much more important the brand itself. I say those things, above, because i have personally done each and every one of those thing while working at the dealership. And by doing those things, and our reputation, we were never short in the service department, sales, or parts. Scope out your local dealers, ask around, see which one kicks ass, and buy their machine. Even if its not polaris. Im okay with that. But by buying because of the local dealer, and not the machine, you will be happy with any brand you wind up with. I promise.

Best of luck in your hunt. Let us know what you pick. :)
 

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i own an 85 350x honda and a 86 250r honda but when it came down to a new 4x4 i looked at honda my buddie own the honda shop and let me ride any thing i wanted long storie short i was soar at the end of the day with my polaris at the end of the day i want to go in the morning
 

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I'm an engineer too and love my XP550 EPS. I like high tech toys and Polaris rules that segment of the ATV market. My XP is so smooth and so easy to ride - when my buddy gets off his Honda Rancher he's beat, when I get off my Sportsman I swear I could do another 50 miles. thats the difference.
 

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At first I was seriously considering a Can-Am. I own Seadoo watercraft and they are both made by BRP. I have had zero issues with my watercraft, great fit and finish and undeniable speed. I didn't even consider anything else at first and just started doing my research on Can-Am to see what model I wanted. Two things turned me off from them. First was the price, but that price buys you two fuel injected cylinders in the 500 and way more advanced technology and tunability. Those were not things I was sure I wanted in an ATV though, I already have those in my watercraft and that shit gets expensive when it breaks. The second thing that turned me away and on to Polaris is the four wheel drive system. From my reading Polaris and Suziki are the only two with real four wheel drive. I wasn't impressed with the visco-lok on Can-Am. I think it is great technology for a car, but I wanted control and to know when I was locked in 4wd. That left me to Polaris or Suzuki, and everything I read put me onto the Polaris ride quality and the reliability of the Sportman model and 500 engine.

Dealer service was not an issue for me, I prefer to do my own wrenching. The few times I have had dealer work done, I end up redoing what they did anyway.

Do your homework and take your time. Make an informed decision for yourself, no one else is riding it.
 

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Well I own a honda and a polaris. I can say the honda will beat you up after a long day of riding. It dont bother me as I am still a young guy, but my dad hate's it when we go riding. But he dont like my polaris either. Mainly because I have super swamper vampire's on both of them at all four corners. As far as either one of them being junk, it's all in how you take care of it. My honda has never left me stranded anywhere, and I beat the crap out of that thing. But my polaris has never left me anywhere either. I have had one u-joint break on my honda which is a 05 foreman, and my clutch burnt out on my polaris which is a 99 sportsman 335. Both of these failure's where my fault, not the manufacture. Like I said I beat the crap out these atv's. So as far as either one of them being junk, I would say make sure you keep up with the maintance, and you will be fine no matter what you pick. I can say I wish I would have bought my honda from another dealership. Bought the polaris off craigslist used, honda brand new. The dealership I bought mine from is a joke. I looked at a sportsman 850 they had this friday when I went to get oil for the polaris, and even though they was going to give me a sweet deal on it, I had to turn away just because of what they have did in the past. So I would have to say first find you a good honest dealer, then pick out whatever you want. Of coarse someone is going to have something negative to say about sooner or later, but I can promise you that whatever the greatest atv in the world is that they ride has broke down on them at one point in time. I ride with a group of guy's and we have a grizzley 700 kingquad 750 vinsion 500 outlander 800 renegade 800 kittycat 650 mudpro 700 bruteforce 750 rubican and foreman 500s sportsman 335 600 n 700. They ALL have there up's and down's in design, quality, etc, etc, it boil's down to what you like. You are going to being paying $7-10000 or more depending on what you get, not your friend's, so get what you want. My two cent's, as far as fun factor the renegade 800 or brute force 650 with a solid axle. As far as using it to play in the mud like we do, renegade 800 or a sportsman. Ride quality sportsman. Either way good luck, and let us know what you get.
 

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My 2 cents worth. The 4WD visco lock system on CannedHams doesn't work as well as the locker on Polaris machines. I can go places on my IRS machine that leaves the solid rear axle machines fighting for control - especially on rutted out hills. I don't mind waiting for them at the top of the hill though :wink1:
 

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I think blueline hit the nail on the head. I had owned nothing but Honda machines since 1984 when I bought my first Polaris in 2006. My dad still works and lives on a farm and just traded his 1999 Honda Foreman 450 4X4 for a 2011 Honda Foreman 500 4X4 with power steering. I rode his machine a few days ago for the first time and literally felt sorry for him having spent close to $7,500 for an ATV that felt so much smaller and less sophisticated than my 550 XP. In reality, my 5-year-old 500 X2 is superior technologically to my father's new Foreman. However, I am unable to convince my dad to make the switch to Polaris for his farm machine because my brother-in-law bought a Polaris 6X6 about 15 years ago to use on his dairy and had a lot of problems keeping it going. In all fairness, his Polaris was from the generation of 2-stroke, chain driven machines, and it spent every day of its life burried up over its axles in manure (dairy cow manure will eat through anything) and never received any of its regular maintenance. The point is, it's always difficult to overcome a past bad experience or the bad experiences of those whose opinions you trust. If you choose more advanced features and technology, it is reasonable to expect to have to be more diligent about regular maintenance.

Brad
 

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i've owned everything but suzukis and like everyone said before... they all have ups and downs. I have my first polaris and its what i will always have from now on. if you were buying a sport quad i would steer you different but for a utility that will work for you and still be a blast to ride, go with polaris, esp. the 500. there is a reason the sportsman has been the best selling 4x4 atv for as many years as it has. like blueline said, a little more maintenance, but its worth it for the tech you get esp. the 4x4 and irs. i actually like the belt. something is going to give out on that belt before the entire tranny of clutches go out. ill replace a belt any day over either of those. you can also buy kits to adjust the clutches which i like. never slipped for me as long as its sealed. if you're gonna pay all that money, get something for it.
 
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