2011 Polaris Utility ATVs

Polaris, Utility — on March 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

The following ATV information was taken from the 2011 Buyer’s Guide Issue of ATV Reviews. For more information on any of the following (or other) models, please visit Polaris’ Website.

2011 Polaris Sportsman XP 850 – $8,799

2011 Polaris Sportsman XP 850

2011 Polaris Sportsman XP 850

One of the finest utility quads, 2009’s ATV of the Year, the XP 850 received a few tweaks since then. Changes include a revised anti-sway bar, moving the battery forward for better weight distribution, better seat vinyl, more splash protection, softer engaging engine braking, more fuel capacity on EPS-equipped models and a welcomed 12-pound diet. Available with power steering ($9,999) or in several trim levels, including a Browning edition ($10,999). OUR TAKE: The well-suspended Sportsman XP 850 is one of the most powerful, easy-to-drive and most comfortable ATVs available.

Engine: 850cc twin
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/240 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 759 pounds (773 pounds with EPS)

2011 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI – $7,499

2011 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI

2011 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI

A shining big-bore value, the Sportsman 800 misses out on the fancy XP platform, but the essentials are there: EFI, ultra-comfortable independent suspension, big power from the parallel twin engine and on-demand AWD. Engineers updated its front clip, raised the radiator, moved the engine 3.1 inches rearward for better weight distribution and added the smoother XP-style transmission. OUR TAKE: Not quite as excellent as the XP models, the Sportsman 800 puts up a good fight against the rest of the big bores, which generally come with a higher price tag.

Engine: 760cc twin
Suspension F/R (type, travel): MacPherson strut, 8.2 inches/Dual A-arm, 9.5 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 100/200 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 741 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman Big Boss 6×6 800 – $9,999

2011 Polaris Sportsman Big Boss 6x6 800

2011 Polaris Sportsman Big Boss 6x6 800

The only 6×6 you can buy, Polaris made big changes to its Big Boss for 2010 by updating its chassis and bolting on an industry-exclusive six-wheel independent suspension that really smooths out its ride — unloaded or carrying 800 pounds in the dump box. It’s powered by a parallel twin with EFI, can transfer torque to all six wheels and comes standard with a handy front cargo box. OUR TAKE: Looking to haul serious cargo or tow very heavy loads? This is a great ATV for the job, and the only one of its kind.

Engine: 760cc twin
Suspension F/R (type, travel): MacPherson strut, 8.2 inches/Dual A-arm, 6.12 inches Rack Capacity (F/R): 100/800 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 1,060 pounds


2011 Polaris Sportsman 550 – $7,499

2011 Polaris Sportsman 550

2011 Polaris Sportsman 550

The Sportsman 550 loses the XP in its name, but still rides on the XP chassis we love in the 850. A power steering version ($8,499) includes aluminum rims. Even without assistance, the 550 has very light anti-kickback steering. Other qualities include rolled IRS for a smooth ride, wide floorboards, a narrow engine bay and Active Descent Control that makes climbing down steep hills a no-pucker event. A Browning EPS LE model costs $9,299. OUR TAKE: The engine isn’t as sweet as the 850, but this a solid, more affordable choice.

Engine: 549cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/240 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 722 pounds (733 pounds with EPS)

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O. – $5,999

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O.

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O.

Revised for 2011, the Sportsman 500 H.O. is a perennial value leader with performance that hides from no one. It comes in Polaris’ full-sized “value” chassis, which gets a new front fascia for 2011 for better sightlines and reduced weight and includes brighter headlights and added storage. It also gets the XP’s automatic transmission that’s quiet and vibrates less. Engineers also raised the radiator and created a more natural, lower position for an accessory winch. OUR TAKE: A comfortable, competitive mid-sizer at a great price, the Sportsman 500 H.O. is even more compelling for 2011.

Engine: 498cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): MacPherson strut, 8.2 inches/Dual A-arm, 9.5 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 90/180 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,225 pounds
Dry Weight: 696 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O. – $5,599

2011 Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O.

2011 Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O.

For 2011, the 400 Sportsman leaves its mid-sized chassis behind and re-joins the 500 in the full-sized “value” chassis. With the switch, it gets a beefier chassis, more capacities/travel, better lighting, a smoother transmission and a shortened nose for better rider sight lines. Also, it’s $100 cheaper than the 2010. Other cornerstone qualities include rolled IRS, Lock & Ride component capability, on-demand AWD and a liquid-cooled, carbureted
powerplant. OUR TAKE: Certainly more capable than last year, but not quite as agile as the mid-sized chassis.

Engine: 498cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): MacPherson strut, 8.2 inches/Dual A-arm, 9.5 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 90/180 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,225 pounds
Dry Weight: 598 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman 850 Touring EPS – $10,999

2011 Polaris Sportsman 850 Touring EPS

2011 Polaris Sportsman 850 Touring EPS

The Sportsman 850 Touring EPS is fully loaded and packing a very unique feature: an adjustable Comfort Ride Suspension shock and spring embedded in the passenger seat for dialing in the ride to your passenger’s choosing. It also comes with the endlessly useful front storage bin, machined rims, anti-kickback steering, power steering, Active Descent Control and one of the sweetest sounding ATV engines. A Super Graphite LE model is available for $11,999. OUR TAKE: A big improvement over the previous-generation Polaris 2-Ups, it’s near the top of its class.

Engine: 850cc twin
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/240 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 798 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman 550 Touring EPS – $9,299

2011 Polaris Sportsman 550 Touring EPS

2011 Polaris Sportsman 550 Touring EPS

Less power than the 850, perhaps to the delight of your passenger, but the Sportsman 550 Touring EPS rings in $1,700 less than the big-bore people hauler. Big-ticket features include power steering, Comfort Ride rear seat, rolled IRS and a competitive single-cylinder engine. Updates for 2011, shared with the 850, include more suspension travel, a larger fuel tank, an easier-to-remove passenger seat and a new gauge. OUR TAKE: Less pricey than the 850, and much less powerful, the 550 Touring EPS is a solid value for riding solo or two-rider touring.

Engine: 549cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/240 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 765 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O. Touring – $7,399

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O. Touring

2011 Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O. Touring

Permeated with the goodness of the updated single-seat Sportsman 500 H.O., the Touring model is quite a bit less expensive than its stablemates with a refreshed look, raised-up radiator, shorter nose, front storage and a host of other changes. High points include extra soft suspensions, a big passenger seat, all-wheel drive and a time-tested engine that makes enough power for when you’re riding with two. The 498cc single won’t overwhelm, but it’ll get you there. OUR TAKE: A comparable 2-Up experience, for a lot less dough than the larger Touring models.

Engine: 498cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): MacPherson strut, 8.2 inches/ Dual A-arm, 8.75 inches Rack Capacity (F/R): 90/180 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,225 pounds
Dry Weight: 740 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 850 LE – $10,499

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 850 LE

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 850 LE

The next iteration of the transforming ATV, the latest X2 gets the company’s spectacular 850 twin-cylinder with dual balanced shafts, plus upmarket features like EFI, a Sage Green paint job and aggressive Carlisle tires. Both X2 models get more passenger seat padding for 2011. The big engine should make the X2 850 LE one of the best working quads that can still hold its own on challenging terrain or a brisk trail ride. OUR TAKE: Not the most comfortable for two riders, but that rear cargo box sure comes in handy.

Engine: 850cc twin
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/400 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 799 pounds

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 550 – $8,999

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 550

2011 Polaris Sportsman X2 550

A tried and true utilitarian candidate, the X2 550 has the space to haul (and dump) 400 pounds of gear in the rear cargo box, comes standard with an 8.2-gallon front storage bin, more passenger seat foam, switch-on-the-fly AWD, independent rear suspension and anti-kickback steering that really works. It easily converts from work truck to 2-Up cruiser in seconds. OUR TAKE: This versatile ATV is ideal for workers, outdoorsmen and rural homeowners who still want the ability to ride the trails, occasionally in pairs.

Engine: 549cc single
Suspension F/R (type, travel): Dual A-arm, 9 inches/Dual A-arm, 10.25 inches
Rack Capacity (F/R): 120/400 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
Dry Weight: 799 pounds

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