Machinery Journal: Power and Design Top of Mind

July 29, 2008 04:26 AM

For their 2009 model-year lineup of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and side-by-side vehicles, Polaris ratcheted up the power and design. The only thing Polaris didn't redesign on their Sportsman ATVs is the shift knob.

The 99% new Sportsman 550 XP and Sportsman 850 XP are powered by a 549-cc, single EFI engine with 40 hp and an 850-cc twin, EFI engine with 70 hp, respectively. The engines are hard-mounted to the transmissions to increase belt life and acceleration.

The transmission features a roller-driven clutch to reduce friction and provide more responsive clutch and back shifting. The "low" gear provides broader engine torque curve, allows for speeds up to 39 mph and 1,500 lb. of pulling and towing power.

The Sportsman XP models feature Dual A-arm front suspension and rolled independent rear suspension for 12" of ground clearance. Sportsman XP models are equipped with on-demand, all-wheel drive and the engine braking system with active descent control.

The ATVs are outfitted with anti-kickback steering to decrease rider fatigue and are available with electronic power steering. The rack capacity maximum is 120 lb. in the front and 240 lb. in the rear. The machine has 100 built-in tie-down points. Floorboards easily fit muddy boots with a 33% increase in size. The rider's comfort has been enhanced as heel and calf pockets are 3" narrower at the knees and 5" narrower at the feet. For nighttime chores, the triple-headlight design provides a 100% increase compared with previous models.

The Sportsman models can be matched with 65 custom-built accessories from PURE Polaris.

Hard workers. Recognizing that recreation comes in second to work for most side-by-side vehicle users, Polaris redesigned their Ranger lineup for greater utility and increased work capabilities. The models include: Ranger 4x4, Ranger XP and Ranger HD.

The Ranger 4x4 is powered by a 500 EFI engine, providing 30 hp and a top speed of 41 mph. The Ranger XP and Ranger HD are powered by 700 EFI engines, giving 40 hp and a top speed of 50 mph.

The utility vehicles feature electronic fuel injection, independent rear suspension and true all-wheel drive. In addition to adjustable rear suspension, for the first time Rangers have adjustable Dual A-arm front suspension. Anti-kickback steering reduces feedback and allows for one-hand steering. The Ranger HD is the first utility vehicle to use self-leveling suspension with Nivomat shocks. It also has variable-assist power steering.

The 2009 Rangers have a steel bumper with integrated tie-down spots, rugged bash plate and centralized two hook. The hood entry has been simplified for ease of maintenance. Under the hood, there is extra space for an additional battery.

The Ranger HD is available with the BOSS Lift & Carry system. This electric over hydraulic powered system is available with three attachments: grapple, v-plow and a bucket with 500-lb. lift capacity.

Towing capacity is 1,500 lb. on the Ranger 4x4 and 2,000 lb. for the Ranger XP and HD. All models feature the Polaris Lock & Ride system for accessories and storage.

For more, visit your Polaris dealer or

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