When Polaris showed off its new Scrambler XP 1000 EPS last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before the more Utility-minded Sportsman received the same engine. It took about eight months, but Polaris finally unveiled its 2015 Sportsman XP 1000.
Like the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000, which was made as a direct competitor to the Can-Am Renegade 1000, the Sportsman XP 1000 has its sight set on a Can-Am ATV – the Outlander 1000. With a base price of $11,999, the Sportsman XP 1000 is $400 more than the base Outlander 1000 DPS, but settles in $250 less than the Outlander 1000 XT – Polaris’ likely target.
Polaris is swinging for the fences again for the 2015 model year with its biggest off-road lineup ever. New and updated vehicles can be found throughout the RZR, Ranger and Sportsman families.
Polaris RZR Lineup
While Polaris announced a power boost in its 2015 RZR XP 1000 and RZR XP 4 1000 a few weeks ago, that was just a taste test of the changes to the RZR lineup for 2015.
The Polaris RZR was the only 50-inch Sport Side-by-Side in the industry for years before the Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail showed up last year with nearly 10 more horsepower. Polaris has answered that challenge with the new 2015 RZR 900 ($12,799), which features a 75 hp ProStar 900 engine. The new ProStar powerplant offers more than 40 percent more horsepower and 15 percent more torque than the previous RZR 800 models.
The big news from BRP for 2015 is the new Can-Am Outlander L family, which you can read about here. However, several other new models have made their way into the Can-Am ATV and Side-by-Side lineup for 2015, along with a few other key updates.
Outlander 6×6 XT
New to the North American Can-Am ATV lineup is the Outlander 1000 6×6 XT ($15,549) and 650 6×6 XT ($13,649). BRP calls it the toughest, most versatile ATV it has ever made.
BRP is providing a major new incentive for budget-minded ATV consumers to choose a Can-Am ATV. New for 2015 is the Can-Am Outlander L family, which comes with a five-year extended warranty that has no mileage restrictions and is transferrable with ownership.
We don’t often lead a story on a new ATV with warranty information, but this warranty is 10 times longer than the industry standard for ATVs. You might expect that warranty to bump up the price, but the Outlander L starts at $6,399. That puts it $100 less than the current budget king – the Polaris Sportsman 570 – and that is surely no coincidence.
Since releasing the Sportsman 500 back in 1996, Polaris has sold over 600,000 units, making it the number one selling 4×4 ATV of all time. After 17 years of minor mechanical and a recent cosmetic overhaul, Polaris is celebrating the Sportsman’s 18th birthday in a major way. For 2014 the Sportsman 500 has grown up, with a new modern design engine fed by fuel injection. The result is the 2014 Polaris Sportsman 570; a more powerful, smoother running machine, remarkably available for its 1996 asking price of $6,499.
Certainly the biggest update to the 570 is its Pro Star 570 engine. The 567cc four-stroke mill features a high performance, four-valve, double-overhead-cam design. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s based off the engine powering the Polaris RZR 570. Polaris says the Sportsman 570 churns out 22% more horsepower then the old Sportsman 500.
Have you ever asked yourself where the bargains are in the mid-bore ATV category these days? It seems even the smaller ATV lines get more and more pricey and even in the bare bones versions. BRP is hoping that the Can-Am Outlander 500 is the perfect blend of middleweight performance and wallet-friendly price. Can-Am has always bled yellow but for this ATV BRP says your wallet will now survive the cut.
Starting with the bare bones of this new Outlander 500 lets dig into what makes it tick. Under the clothing of the mid-bore machine the Outlander 500 is build on the SST G2 chassis. This frame was redesigned to give the ATV better overall handling and stability on the trail. BRP boasts that the geometric contact control achieved by this new design aids in its precision handling. Utilizing Can-Am’s dual A-arm system with dive control geometry out front and the TTI (Torsional Trailing Arm Independent) in the rear, BRP thinks this is its best handling setup to date.
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In October ATV.com broke the news that Polaris was building a one-seat UTV. Polaris proved us correct by unveiling the new Sportsman ACE.
While the patent drawings we based our story off of looked a little more like a one-seat RZR, the Sportsman ACE looks very much like a lengthened Sportsman 570 ATV with a roll cage. A review of the official Polaris specifications for the ACE shows several dimensions that exactly match that ATV.
Discuss the Polaris Sportsman Ace at our Polaris Ace Forum
The Sportsman ACE is 48 inches wide with 10.25 inches of ground clearance – numbers shared by the Sportsman 570. The Sportsman ACE also boasts Macpherson Strut front suspension with 8.2 inches of travel and dual A-arm rear suspension with 9.5 inches of travel – the same numbers found on the Sportsman 570. Polaris says the rear suspension is outfitted with twin tube shocks featuring adjustable preload.
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ATV and Side-by-Side owners often spend thousands of dollars modifying their machines to make them perform better and look sharper. Instead of seeing all that money go to the aftermarket, Polaris likes to offer some Limited Edition models with a host of upgrades to entice buyers to get everything they want in a Polaris dealership.
For 2014 Polaris is offering nine Limited Edition models. Some just feature unique paint jobs, while others offer what should be impressive performance gains. All of these Limited Edition models will be available in Polaris dealerships in January.
2014 Polaris Sportsman XP 850 EPS – Blue Fire
Looking to start your own militia? Then Polaris may have the vehicle for you. The Minnesota-based manufacturer has introduced what it calls a military-grade ATV for consumers – the Polaris Sportsman WV850 H.O. with non-pneumatic tires.
According to Polaris, this “true work vehicle” will be available in December in very limited quantities. It is highlighted by Polaris’ non-pneumatic tires (NPT), which we wrote about last year.
COMPARISON: 2013 Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT Review
“In early, 2013, Polaris announced we’d launch the NPT technology on an off-road vehicle built for consumers,” says David Longren, vice president of Polaris’ Off-Road Division. “We have seen great success with NPTs in military and disaster relief scenarios and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications.”
In the small hills just outside Columbus, Ohio sprawled over hundreds of acres is a R&D facility that has been working hard to refine several ATVs for the 2014 season. It is very rarely accessible to the prying eyes of the media, but for a brief day I had the honor to walk the halls and testing ground of Honda R&D.
Members of the off-road media were on hand for the launch of the 2014 Honda FourTrax Rancher. I wish I could share everything I spotted in the buildings, but we had all been sworn to secrecy just to gain entrance this one time. No tweets, no photos and it was a task just to be able to bring in our cell phones as many top engineers walked us through the top secret facility to keep a close watch on our every move. But what I can tell you is that there are great things in the works.
I spent three months and untold hours taking the 2013 Polaris Sportsman Touring 550 EPS anywhere and everywhere. It has earned a special place in my off-road-loving heart.
In my arsenal of riding gear, boots, helmets, gloves, socks, shirts and pants, I have a few favorites of each. But of my riding gear is a pair of boots that I am especially fond of; and this pair of boots is what I wear when I am not involved in some magazine photo shoot or editorial trip. Like you, when I slip these boots I say “Ahh, that’s nice.” They are comfortable. That is how I feel about Polaris’ Sportsman Touring 550 EPS… comfortable.
As an ATV.com journo, I pay attention to what toys mountain backcountry riders place on their trailer or pickup box. After receiving our test unit, I began seeing Blue Fire Polaris Sportsman Touring 550 ATVs with their signature passenger seats and back rests on many trailers and in many pickups.
The 2013 Polaris Sportsman Touring 850 EPS is a two-up trail and dirt touring cruiser that we found to be a pleasant critter to ride.
Polaris builds its Sportsman line to be all business with very little fluff. Yet, the Sportsman Touring 850 EPS $10,999) delivers smooth riding and effortless steering.
Before getting into our report from three months of evaluation, let’s give some mechanical specifics.
It has been a solid 15 years since the first Yamaha Grizzly ATV made its way into garages all over America. For the 2014 model year Yamaha decided to make some significant changes to the Grizzly 700 keep the reliable 4×4 looking fresh.
We recently had a chance to take the new Grizzly 700 for a spin at a press ride through the mountainous region of Big Bear, Calif.
The Yamaha Grizzly 700 has been on the market now since 2007, replacing the Grizzly 600 first introduced in 1998. With the bigger 700-class engine came fuel injection and electronic power steering. While the Grizzly 700 has seen modest updates since then, it’s the 2014 updates that really stand out.
Just days after Polaris punted its popular Sportsman 500 for the new Sportsman 570, Arctic Cat seems to have filled the hole left behind with its 2014 Arctic Cat 500 – now the lowest priced 500-class ATV in the industry at $6,199.
Also new for 2014 are the two-up TRV 500, three 500-class Prowler UTVs (500 HDX, 500 HDX XT and 500 HDX Limited) and two new Wildcat models (Wildcat 4 X and Wildcat 4 Limited).
Arctic Cat 500
The heart of the Arctic Cat 500 ATV is Cat’s liquid-cooled 443cc 4-stroke engine featuring Electronic Fuel Injection and a Duramatic Automatic transmission with High/Low/Neutral/Reverse and Park.
While the new 2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 and XP 4 1000 may get all the headlines, the most important new model in the Polaris lineup may be the 2014 Sportsman 570.
What makes this machine so significant is that it replaces the Sportsman 500 in the Polaris ATV lineup. That model has been part of the Polaris family since its introduction in 1996 and a huge volume seller – Polaris calls it the best selling 4×4 ATV of all time. In our 2011 review, we called it maybe the best value in the industry. That value is retained for 2014. In fact, it may be an even a bigger bargain than it has ever been.
After years of very little change in its ATV and UTV segments, Honda has been very aggressive for the 2014 model year. We had a chance to test out Honda’s new Pioneer 700 UTVs just a couple of weeks ago and now Honda has announced significant updates to its FourTrax Rancher and Foreman ATV lines.
FourTrax Rancher Series
While the Rancher will retain Honda’s liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 420cc engine, just about everything else is new for 2014. Highlighting the changes is a new chassis with a redesigned frame. As well, suspension travel has been increased, though Honda has not released any specific details (the 2013 Rancher offered 6.3 inches of front and rear travel). New fuel injection settings were also added to improve fuel economy and emissions.
Yamaha has given its flagship ATV – the Grizzly 700 FI EPS, some updates for 2014 to improve comfort, durability and fuel economy.
The 2014 Grizzly 700 gets a wider tread width – 60mm wider overall – and new longer suspension stroke on both the front and rear shocks. According to Yamaha, this delivers a more comfortable low speed ride while maintaining the Grizzly’s overall handling characteristics. As well, new EPS settings are designed to improve the balance between providing light steering and reducing negative feedback all while still maintaining optimum positive feedback.
Perhaps the most recognizable name in the history of Utility ATVs, the Yamaha Grizzly line has long been an industry leader. It’s easy to understand why the Grizzly name is so popular – its reputation for reliability and brutal toughness is well earned. For 2013 Yamaha decided to create a special edition version of its flagship model – the Grizzly 700. We had a chance to spend a few days riding it in the hills of Prescott, Ariz.
Driving up the gravel road to a Gunsite, a well known firearms training facility just outside Prescott, we spotted the 2013 Yamaha Grizzly 700 SE, which is now assembled in Yamaha’s Newnan, Ga. facility. This super stealth looking “Tactical Black” Grizzly looks as if it is ready to fight its way through any competition.
After axing the Outlander 800R X mr for model year 2013, the Outlander 1000 X mr looked be the only mud-specific machine in the 2013 Can-Am lineup. It turns out BRP was just making some room for the brand new Outlander 650 X mr.
“The all-new Can-Am Outlander 650 X mr is the newest hero ATV for mud-riding enthusiasts, fusing proven design elements from the Outlander 650, the award-winning 1000 X mr and some specialty components of its own,” BRP says in a release.
BRP has not yet released pricing for the 650 X mr, but we’d guess it will end up in the neighborhood of $12,500.
We were first introduced to BRP’s sport-performance 4×4, the Can-Am Renegade, in the woods of northern Georgia in 2007. While the big brothers in the Renegade family saw a major refresh for model year 2012, the Renegade 500 was left untouched…until now. We had a chance to test out the redesigned Renegade 500 earlier this summer in the wilds of British Columbia, Canada’s western most province.
While the heart of the Renegade 500 remains the same (the 500cc Rotax V-Twin), BRP saw fit to update the chassis. The new SST G2 chassis supports better rider comfort and gives a better handling package to keep the wheels in touch with the ground. As well, the welded steel frame offers improved strength and durability while also shaving off excess pounds. Being lighter, along with a lower center of gravity, makes for a better mannered ride. BRP engineers call this their Geometric Contact Control frame design – or GCC for short. This chassis uses what visually looks like a split twin rail design and we didn’t ask why right away as we were eager to find out exactly how it would feel on the trail.
Few ATVs have a longer lineage than the Polaris Scrambler. Starting out life as a three-wheeler in the 1980s, the Scrambler name has seen it all. For 2013 the Polaris brainiacs have unleashed the Scrambler XP 850, a machine that takes on the sporty side of the utility ATV market with a powerful punch to the mouth.
Starting with the most common connections – the engine, transmission and chassis – this new Scrambler is almost identical to the Sportsman 850 XP. The electronically fuel injected, four-stroke, Single overhead cam, 850cc, twin cylinder engine is liquid cooled and takes a deep breath of air while dual balance shafts keep everything running smooth. Included on this model is the sport tuned exhaust that gives incredible tones while keeping the decibels within legal limits. All told, the powerplant offers up 77 trail-taming horsepower.
Already the cream of the mud riding crop, BRP gave its Outlander X mr some major upgrades for 2013, including a big boost in the power department and a new chassis. The result is the impressive 2013 Can-Am Outlander 1000 X mr.
This very well received mud riding (and racing) ATV was first introduced in the original G1 chassis and with an 800-class engine. For the 2013 model year BRP built the X mr around the newer G2 chassis and the awesome 976cc, fuel injected, V-Twin Rotax engine to make statement that can’t be ignored.
Starting with the sheer power bolted in between your legs, the 1000-class mill produces an amazing 82 horsepower for shredding mud. The power of this machine is incredible and some even say it could be overboard for an ATV. Looking from an open class mud racer’s perspective, we’d say it’s got the makings of an awesome race vehicle. Taking a deep breath through the redesigned air box and down the 46mm throttle body there are twin Siemens VDO injectors spraying go juice into the combustion chamber. This engine barely spins over once before it fires to life.
Keeping the V-Twin cool is very important when the mud gets thick so Can-Am added a larger radiator for 2013 to help combat the heat. Relocating the radiator to the front rack also keeps it up and out of the shallower mud. This allows for easier cleaning of the radiator as well.
Few things are certain in this world, but death, taxes and Polaris unveiling new models every year are pretty much guaranteed.
For 2013 Polaris has built a brand new Scrambler XP 850, made a midsize Ranger 800 EFI, and put the awesome ProStar 900 engine into the Ranger XP line, creating the Ranger XP 900 and Ranger XP 900 EPS.
Of course, Polaris may not be done yet. We wouldn’t be surprised if Polaris had another machine or two hidden up its sleeve for 2013 (not counting its many Limited Edition models), but for now this is what’s new.
While we welcome the opportunity to test out the new machines, it should be noted that the Ranger HD 800 and the longstanding Scrambler 500 4×4 are not in the 2013 Polaris lineup. However, you should still be able to find 2012 and prior models in dealerships across the country if you’ve been saving your pennies.
Ranger XP 900
Polaris has just unveiled 18 2013 Limited Edition ATVs and UTVs. While that would account for several years worth of offerings from most manufacturers, Polaris says it is only a partial list of its 2013 Limited Edition models.
We don’t see anything radically new in this list, but we don’t imagine a brand new model would appear first in limited edition trim. Though Polaris hasn’t told us if anything brand new is in the works for 2013, history tells us that Polaris most certainly has something new and exciting up its sleeve.
2013 Polaris Sportsman XP 850 H.O. EPS Stealth Black LE ($10,599)
Riding along the trail on a single-seat ATV is always fun, but sometimes you want to bring somebody along to share the experience. Since it’s never a good idea to just have somebody hop on the back of a regular ATV (it’s unsafe and uncomfortable), you’ll want to look into a two-up machine with a passenger seat built in. A number of manufacturers offer ATVs to fit the bill, but BRP has taken things to the next level for the 2013 model year by building the most powerful two-up ATV in the industry – the Can-Am Outlander MAX 1000.
BRP engineers made many changes to the Outlander MAX line for model year 2013. The engine gets massive power updates and the seating for the passenger gets a few more. The Can-Am G2 chassis (released for the 2012 model year) now resides under the beautifully sculpted plastics, which means the handling manners of the machine are also improved. Available in a number of iterations, we had the opportunity to ride the top dog – the Outlander MAX 1000 Limited.
With the explosive growth of the UTV market in recent years and the still painful position of the Sport ATV segment, it has become increasingly difficult for manufacturers to continue producing these units, let alone improve upon existing models. We’ve seen manufacturers drop not just models, but complete lines of ATVs as much of the Sport ATV market has dried up or moved toward UTVs in recent years.
While everyone is experiencing the strain, Yamaha is one manufacturer that is fighting the trend and working tirelessly to maintain its position as the #1 brand of sport ATVs. Already boasting the largest line of sport ATVs on the market, Yamaha isn’t just sitting back and basking in its success.
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We saw significant changes back in 2009 with the release of the YFZ450R by way of a new frame, fuel injection and a host of other upgrades, only to then improve upon the original YFZ450 in 2012 to offer a low cost, high performance option to the consumer.
If you can count on anything on the world of ATVs and UTVs it’s that the minds at BRP are never at rest. The Can-Am family of off-road vehicles is a dynamic one as BRP continues to make advancements in innovation and design. The 2013 model year is no different.
When the off-road press traveled to Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast many of us expected to find a brand new Commander UTV with four seats, but the pause button had been pressed to get this segment of the Can-Am line dialed in. Nevertheless the 2013 model year offered many big changes and great improvements
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To get the week started Can-Am put more than 40 journalists on a tour bus and then off into the belly of a Ferry to cross the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. After a two-hour ride we headed into the port at Duke Point just outside of Nanaimo, BC. There is nothing like the experience of driving out of a ferry in a huge bus. Heading north past Nanoose Bay and Dolphin Beach we found our home base in the town of Parksville at the Tigh-Na-Mara seaside Spa resort. Our actual ride location would be the Nanaimo Motocross Association Wastelands MX Park where we could explore the lush green woods of the island.