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Old 01-13-2009, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

I am looking at purchasing a used 4X4 ATV to plow my driveway and do some trail riding. I have owned 2 Yamahas and 2 Kawasaki's and never had any problems. I have recently gone around to dealers that sell used ATV's looking at there inventory. There advice to me was Honda and Yamaha were the best, Kawasaki was so,so. They also advised me to at all cost avoid Polaris. Why would that be? I do like the shifter on the Polaris because it is easier to go from forward to reverse when plowing then the gated shifters on many of the other brands. I also think the ride quality would be better. I remember watching my buddies Sportsman 600 soak up the bumps while I was getting bouced all over the place on my Prairie 700. So please, I would be interested to hear what kind of things go wrong on Polaris Sportsman. I will be looking in the 2004-2007 range, either a 700 or 800.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:46 AM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

I think one brand will have as much chance of problems as the next....I don't think there is any "perfect" wheeler out that everyone could agree on......Some brands have options on them that suite some and others have others for a different person.....It's mostly personal preference....I'm very happy with my Sportsman and don't have any complaints but I'm sure there's guys out there that think they're junk..They don't know much though...lol...But all in all compare different features of the different brands and go out and ride them too......Then you'll be able to get one that "you" are going to be happy with....With that said I give Polaris a big thumbs up....Obviously the guy that told you to stay away from Polaris didn't sell them at his stealership.....Good luck...I'm sure you'll get more responses...Just remember opinion are just that, opinions...But it's a good place to start....

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Old 01-13-2009, 10:07 AM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

Don't think there are really any bad atv's out there. Possibly lemons, but that isn't limited to any one brand either.

The dealer you talked to, what is the brand they carry?

Sounds like he's trying to scare you into a new atv, possibly one he just happens to have on the sales floor.

I'd also check craiglist if it's in your area. A dealer selling a used quad is gonna overprice it. Good luck with your hunt and eventual purchase.

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Old 01-13-2009, 10:29 AM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

the only thing you have to watch for is not to go into awd while spinning the tires as you could easily damage the roller cage in the front housing which is al to common from mistakes being made. the ride of the sportsman is unmatched imo compared to other brands. efi is the way to go as ell as the cold doesnt seem to be an issue and w/ true awd its better for plowing i would guess.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:19 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

This being a purchase of a used ATV shouldn't have any bearing on dependability.......of any brand. A lot has to do with the maintenance and how it was rode. I do know from my experience with my X2 that was bought new, is that the Polaris is a superb machine.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:07 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

I bought my first ATV 3 years ago (POLARIS) not a bit of problem nice machine!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:57 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability


Buy a stock Sportsman. Many have goofed around with clutching, big mud tires, and and other mods and they have taken a toll on the reliability of the ATV. They then return it to stock the best they can, and pawn-off the problem to someone else. That's what you're up against with ANY used quad though. Be careful.

As for the reliability of a '04-'07 SP700 or 800, I owned a few 700's and enjoyed them.

I now own a 500 because I rarely used the enormous power my 700 had. The 500 is a nice balance of fuel efficiency and power. Plus it has the recoil back-up the 700/800 doesn't.

As for the dealer saying to avoid them? Simply put, that clearly shows their ignorance.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:03 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

Like many have said when buying used you don't know what you are going to get. As for the polaris we just bought two used ones without a problem. I do see that they have many more luxuries to them and if not properly taken care of things can go wrong with them. As I look at Honda and Yamaha they are very plain which they have less that can go wrong with them.

After owing both a well maintained bike whether polaris or honda both will last you forever with polaris giving you many extras and comfort hands down.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

I have to echo what others have already said on here. While I now own a Yamaha, I use to own a Polaris Sportsman 700 which I sold to my son in law. I had no problems with it and he hasn't either. I keep hearing these same things about Polaris quality, but you need to listen to people who own them and not someone who has "heard" they were not reliable.

Buying used should really not be much different than buying new, find one that fits you with the features you want and buy it. If you are not comfortable with your ability to check out the machine for defects, get a friend to help you or have it looked at by a mechanic as it will be money well spent. If the seller objects then you probably don't want it anyway.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:04 PM
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Default Polaris Sportsman reliability

I have two PoPos in the stable now. They have both been excellent. As said before, the 500s have the backup pull start. I haven't needed it but it is nice to know it is there when you do. Both have been workhorses hauling fresh cut firewood off the hills in VT and NH. I probably use them about 75% of the time for work and they really are great. Had one minor issue with each machine and that is it. When we do ride it is a mix of mostly technical rock climbing, mud and waterholes, with a little open the throttle up riding. We don't bash them too hard and we don't baby them either. Great machines. Oh, and the Polaris ride with their IRS setup is second to none.
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