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Old 08-30-2004, 03:00 PM
Weekend Warrior
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

Could you guys tell me what AC makes that is in the ballpark as the Sportsman 500HO? I know nothing about Cat so any help would be great. Im looking to compare ride,power etc.... reliability.
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Old 08-30-2004, 04:59 PM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

You are looking for the Arctic Cat 500. It has more rack capacity, ground clearance, and suspension travel. I also will not buy another Polaris due the the reliability problems I had in the past. If you like manual you can also get the cat in one of those. What will you be using your ATV for?
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:03 PM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

My Dad has a Polaris Sportsman and I had a Cat 375. His polaris has a nice plsh ride much like the Cat and handles well. He's put in numerous CV boots though and he has to grease it all of the time. The Cat has sealed bearings so you don't have to grease them. The 05 Cat has a 6.5 gallon gas tank and the polaris has a 4.75 gallon tank.

The thing that I can't stand the most about polaris is thier 4wd system which is basically the only thing keeping me from getting one. With the polaris you either have 2wd or 4 wheel lock. The cat has 2wd, 4wheel limited slip and locked 4wd. Also on the polaris you have to wait until your rear tire spins 1/5 of a turn until your 4wd system kicks in. In my opinion that flat out SUCKS, waiting until you break traction before you get 4wd is stupid. On the cat you can select it how ever you wish.

On the other hand if you don't do much hill/mountainous riding and you're on flat most of the time the Polaris would be a great bike to own.

That's my 2 cents. Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2004, 08:36 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

Both are great machines. What are you planning on doing with it. The polaris will have more top end and will feel zippier. The ac is a real work horse, and the low range is slightly lower than the polaris. They both ride nice, I think the ac acrticulates allot better. For decents down hill the polaris engine braking only brakes the rear wheels which makes the rear slide out, this is because of the 4x4 system. I belive that the ac 500 is more reliable than the sportsman, I had some issues with mine.
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Old 08-30-2004, 10:28 PM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

I have had a few issues with my Sportsman too. They have been minor and overall I think it's a great machine, but Polaris needs to get the bugs worked out before they hit the market.

I think the AC is a great machine also. It's not quite as zippy and handles differently than the Polaris, but it's certainly not a slug. They are well built and from a maintenance point of view, they are the easiest to work on, IMO. I've had no problems with mine since I bought it. The only gripe I have is that it has a loud engine/tranny, but that may be specific to the AC 375.

I'd say either would be a good choice but if I were shopping for a new one, I'd give the AC serious consideration.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:38 AM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

Thanks guys, Im not a hot dogger or anything like that. I use mine to clear snowmobile trails, go for trail rides with my wife and daughter and my buddies. Use it around the yard sometimes etc.... The reason I ask is because I have had Polaris for a long time (snowmobiles) and experienced some trouble this year with my wifes sled that Polaris wouldnt stand behind- the dealer or Polaris itself. I was told AC stands behind their stuff better. Have any of you guys ever mounted tracks on your quads and pulled snowmobile groomers with them? My friend has a AC 650 with tracks and I pulled his groomer once and was pretty impressed.
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Old 08-31-2004, 01:51 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

the ac 500 is less powerful than a 500 HO. the new 500 HOs don't have all the grease zerks that the old ones do, so that's not a problem. as far as reliability goes, our sportsman has been a great machine. i've rode a 650 AC and that's an awesome machine too, but i think they're 500 is underpowered
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:15 AM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

the 500 h.o. does have more power then the arctic cat 500 but when it comes to reliability it's all been said in this forum already and well polaris has to many plastic parts on them last weekend out of 9 polarises we broke i believe 5 footrests and 1 rack and with all this plastic they are still at least 50 pounds heavier then anyone else and trust me it isn't from using heavy duty parts
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:28 AM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

I own both the 500Ho and a couple of AC500 - TRV models.

If your going to ride 2up the TRV has everything else beat hands down. Both a workhorse and a cadillac.

OK - correct me if you know for a fact that I'm wrong - but are those really sealed bearings on the AC or are they bushings? I've not seen a problem on AC's with bushings but I do feel better forcing the crappola out of the moving parts with some good clean grease rather then waiting for it wear out. I own both so it will be interesting to see which will require replacement first.

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Old 09-01-2004, 09:45 AM
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Default Cat vs Polaris pros/cons

I've replaced shock bushings in a 98 AC this year. Lasted that long at least, and no maintenance on them ever before (rather than greasing something all the time, and watching it go bad if you dont). The bushings cost about $1 apeice, and you would use 16 of them if you were to do do every bushing front and rear on the shocks. I just needed the rears. Thats $16 spent after 6 years. I'm sure I could spend that much in grease if I was doing regular maintenance on something that needed it. Forget that. Give me the bushings. The old Honda's of the 80's didn't have grease zerks, and they held up for years to help Honda build their reputation for longevity. Polaris is the only company that puts a billion grease zerks on their quads, and they use that as a selling point. But their reputation for being dependable is the worst in the business, so go figure.

The 500 HO motor has more zip to it than the AC 500 does. Thats about the only advantage I see Polaris having. I do like the Sportsman, and if it was made by anyone else, I would have traded for it years back when I really was on the verge of it. But the constant problems that multiple people compained about over the years kept me from doing so. I'd go with the AC myself. You might not, but I would. Polaris had the better performance, but didn't last as long as far as the numbers go. Now that AC has a locker, its a lot closer in any category other than a straight drag race. And AC isn't that far behind anymore in that category either.
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