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Advice please: new 550 used 850

  #1  
Old 09-20-2012, 06:16 AM
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Default Advice please: new 550 used 850

Hi,
I have been on the site lately looking at threads about both the common issues with 2011 850 units and about whether to buy an 850 or 550. I am in the market...just sold an '06 500 (non efi). I don't ride a lot, but like having one around for occasional trail riding, around the yard use and in the neighborhood. I drove a used 550 efi w eps an thought the upgrades were substantial there alone.

I'm looking at a new 550 le but I've read that most think having the extra power is worth having. There are a few 2011 850's for sale around that have a few add ons for just a little more than the new 550. Seems like the way to go, but I've read quite a few posts about issues w/ '11 models and the used ones are out if warrantee and I don't know how they were treated/serviced. One guy said he just replaced the 'rear shaft' and that she was running like new. The used ones range from 100-800 mi.

Assuming no factual records avail and that heavy duty trail riding wasn't in the cards, what would you do? I generally lean towards spending more to get more in case things change and I want it later, but I rarely wished I had a bunch more power with the 500.

Sorry for the long question, thanks for any advice.

Jim
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:32 AM
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i have an 09 550xp and an 09 850xp EPS. i have had no problems(knock on wood) with the 850 so far and the 550 i have put (3) fuel pumps in and it has a rough idle(polaris has no idea why either). going from a 550 to the 850 was a big change with power and i go through much more gas since it has 2 cylinders and all most twice the hp as the 550. the more you ride the easier it will be to get used to the bigger bike. now my 550 will go anywhere my 850 will go just not as fast if you plan on not riding it a lot the 550 would treat you great i think. but if your looking for more power and a much much funner ride i would go with an 850. if you have the chance ride both and see which one you like better.
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:22 AM
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buy the 850-
every atv model will have problems- just go over it good before you buy it.
it's good that you're fimiliar with polaris- you'll know the "normal" noises like gear chatter and you can focus on the other areas of the atv - unlike a new polaris owner who might get freaked out hearing the gear chatter.

you wont regret going with the larger engine.
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for the replies...

On the one machine (2011, 440 Mi) the guy said he just replaced the "rear cv shaft". Is that a usual sort of replacement that is generally related to manufacturing flaw or would it likely indicate a machine that was beat on excessively? and...if that was done, is there likely other related problems around the corner?

I have no way of 'going over the machine short of taking it to a dealer or something like that. I'm willing to roll the dice a little, but I prefer having some degree of info if possible.

Thanks again... Jim
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:28 AM
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he's what I do when looking at a used atv...

push the tire sidewall in & out and listen (feel) for worn bearings, inspect the skid plate for major damage, inspect the front & rear cv boots for damage, check the oil- should be golden honey in color if he stay's on top of his oil changes, wiggle the bars and look for play in the tie rods & ball joints, inspect the tires for deep gashes and plugs (implicates rocky trails) look at the head lights for scratches and cracks (implicates running over trees and tight wood riding) look under the seat & in the battery area for mud, rocks and sand (implicates deep water crossing & mudding) check how well it shifts, is the suspension squeaky? do the shocks rebound all the way? is there too much sag in the springs? pin the throttle during the test ride- do the tires spin or does the rpm just climb without much forward motion (slipping cvt) does it start up quickly and idle smooth? give it 5 or 6 quick throttle bursts while at idle- does it back-fire & pop? (implicates worn plugs or low compression or dirty carb / efi injectors) ensure the front diff locks when engaged, check the winch in & out controls, check the cable for kinks (implicates the atv has been winched out of a pit) and check the overall condition of the plastics & seat...

that should get you started
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:29 PM
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wow beergut.. thanks for that...most helpful. I'd much rather buy the used 850 if I have confidence I'm not buying someone elses headache.

Thanks again. I appreciate your time and insight.

Jim
 
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jimlip23 View Post
wow beergut.. thanks for that...most helpful. I'd much rather buy the used 850 if I have confidence I'm not buying someone elses headache.

Thanks again. I appreciate your time and insight.

Jim

no prob

I've been through a "few" atv's
 
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by beergut View Post
buy the 850-

you wont regret going with the larger engine.
I spent time on both and couldn't agree more.
 
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