2004 Polaris 700 EFI
A First Ride
The EFI Sportsman is the same basic unit as the 2004 carbureted version with a few key changes, like the addition of injectors, sensors, fuel pump and the “ECU” black box to control it all. To check the drivability at altitude, we were allowed to test the EFI’s at 4500 ft and then from there we proceeded another 500 ft up into the Black Hills of South Dakota, for a total of almost 1 mile above sea level. One mile high means reduced air pressure and on the day we were there, it was near 100ºF. So the air was really thin. How would the 700 EFI “carburet”? We drove the EFI’s in very technical terrain, where precise throttle control was mandatory (unless you wanted to go on your head!). We could not detect any of the carbureted 700’s characteristic off idle burble, nor was there any sign of altitude induced richness. The fuel injection seems to adapt to the conditions correctly, reducing the amount of fuel injected into the combustion chamber. This made the 700 EFI Sportsman easier to ride than the carbureted versions we had on hand for comparison. It looks like the EFI allows the motor to run the way it was designed to. Polaris claims up to 10 miles more range per tank at full throttle and 16 additional miles at more moderate throttle openings. This will somewhat address owner complaints of poor fuel mileage.
The next question would be what happens if the Bosh EFI fails. First off, the ECU will revert to “fail-safe” mode so you can get back home, so you won’t be left out in the “toolies”, however you will loose the ability to adapt to ambient conditions. There are two parts to the software of the ECU. The first part of the software controls how the engine runs by regulating the amount of fuel flow through the injectors by polling a series of sensors. The second part of the software consists of the diagnostics. The diagnostic software knows what the reading from the sensors should be and is constantly on the lookout for an anomaly. When the software detects something thats value is beyond a preset parameter, it first tries to correct the problem. However if the problem is outside of its on-board capabilities, it issues a trouble code. A laptop, running the Polaris proprietary software, is connected to the 700 via a special cable to the ECU access port, which is hidden behind a plug where the carbureted version has its choke cable. When hooked up properly and the software is running, the fault code history can be accessed so the dealer can see what has happened in the past with the EFI system.
This screen shows the main screen where you can access all the software’s functions.
This screen is the diagnostic software polling the sensors.
Each sensor can be expanded to full screen for viewing at a distance. Multiple sensors can be expanded on the same screen. The history of a sensors input can be charted as sensor input Vs time so you can see the performance of an individual sensor during operation.There is also a screen that shows the serial number of components as reported in the EFI system. And there is a screen that shows trouble codes. If you click on a trouble code, a window opens that explains what the code means and the probable cause is.
You can then go through the “Guided Diagnostics” sequence which is a standard troubleshooting diagram converted to electronic which will actually walk the service technician through the steps required to find and fix the problem, going so far as to provide the wiring diagram and pictures of the actual component and even where to put the test meter leads. The ECU contains “Flash” memory like the Bios of a computer. This allows a Polaris Dealer to re-flash a new “engine map” to correct a problem or to allow for performance modifications. Polaris has promised to have this technology available to its ATV dealer network before the 700 EFI Sportsman is released. And they hope the dealers will use the diagnostic software as just another tool available to them. MSRP: 99 for standard colors.