2009 Polaris Sportsman Big Boss 6×6 800 EFI Review

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
A powerful workhorse

Has there ever come a time when you could use a bit more help with your work on the ranch or around the shop? Do you think that if you had a more versatile ATV or tow vehicle you could be at the dinner table just a bit earlier? Polaris may have just the solution you have been looking for with its new Sportsman Big Boss 6×6 800 EFI.

Polaris engineers have long been known for firsts – independent rear suspension comes to mind – and many of these industry-leading developments are still in the foreground to this day. With the release of the Big Boss 6×6, a new light has been shining in ranch fields and job sites everywhere.

Having the awesome opportunity to review this Big Boss gives us more appreciation for the old saying “having the right tools makes the job easier.” After cutting up a few trees around the property we needed to get the cut logs to the rack for drying. We loaded the large dump capable bed with the first load and even though the front of the Big Boss felt a little light the huge 760cc liquid cooled 4-stroke tugged along without hesitation.

2009 polaris sportsman big boss 66 800 efi review, The cargo bed on the Big Boss 6x6 can handle a huge load
The cargo bed on the Big Boss 6x6 can handle a huge load.

The cargo bed on the Big Boss 6×6 can handle a huge load.

The tilt bed makes unloading a snap.

The tilt bed makes unloading a snap.

It was about this time when we started to really appreciate the capacity of the cargo bed. Had we not been able to stack these whole logs in the bed we would have had to carry them two-by-two over six acres of dense woods. The dump bed holds up to 800 lbs and if that’s not enough the standard receiver hitch can tow a claimed additional 1,500lbs. That is some serious weight and we’re sure Polaris has done the homework to be sure the numbers are correct.

Providing the power in the Big Boss is a 760cc electronically fuel injected engine with a 40mm throttle body so no matter what altitude you ride at or what the temperature is you will get great starting and operation out of this beast. Being liquid cooled means you can get more work done with less fatigue on the engine. This was especially appreciated when the Big Boss had to sit and idle while loading the racks.

Traveling across the back of the property loaded with all this weight we were concerned about the suspension. The weight vs. suspension formula came prominently to mind several times. The Big Boss 6×6 essentially has three sets of suspension. The front is a MacPherson Strut style set-up with 8.2 inches of travel. What’s unique is the rear, which features a virtually identical dual system that is independently suspended on both the forward rear wheels and the actual rear wheels. They both give up a meager 6.12 inches of travel, which is probably enough for working conditions.

The only difference between the two sets of independent rear suspension on the Big Boss 6×6 is the actual rear features an anti-sway/roll bar attached across the ATV from right to left. This helps maintain body roll characteristics that make the ride a bit more reassuring on the off-camber stuff as well as cornering. As our work lugged on, the weight and varied terrain never gave us any trouble. However, as with any hauling of heavy loads on off-camber trails or embankments, each situation should be evaluated very carefully to avoid any serious problems.

You can see why having two sets of independent rear suspension comes in handy.

You can see why having two sets of independent rear suspension comes in handy.

So back and forth across the property we rolled all day and the Polaris Big Boss 6×6 proved itself invaluable. The transmission did give us a little trouble while the bed was loaded, but we’ll assume this was due to the severe weight because when it when not loaded it shifted just fine. The tranny on this hoss has forward, neutral, and reverse, as well as a high and low range. With the PVT style transmission we just slipped the right side mounted shift lever into low range and grabbed the throttle.

Active Descent Control is a big help when you’ve got the Big Boss loaded up.

Active Descent Control is a big help when you’ve got the Big Boss loaded up.

We noticed the awesome power of Polaris’ engine braking taking over on a couple of occasions. The Active Descent Control (ADC) managed the loaded Big Boss very well and under general use it should be sufficient for most any user. The single lever hydraulic brakes help us a great deal as well. Traveling down a few steep grades made us very aware that even with all the engine braking and hydraulic brakes we had it was a good time to be very aware of what was happening.

With a wheelbase of 79 inches and full length of 112 inches this six wheeled rolling transfer truck is stretched out. It takes a substantial area to turn this ATV around without doing a 30 point turn. The overall width of the machine reaches out to 48 inches, while its height is measured at 48 inches. The seat is only 34 inches high and it was very comfortable, especially after dragging trees all day.

After a full day’s work a few things seemed to stick out about the Polaris Big Boss 6×6. The first thing is comfort – as we mentioned in the last paragraph, the seating was a blessing to a tired laborer. Also, the full floorboards kept us out of the creek and mud during the day. This thing hauls lumber like a river runs south and almost without hesitation. With the ability to shift in and out of 4×4 to 6×6 mode we realized the importance of the extra set of wheels immediately! The durable cargo bed took a beating and didn’t even flinch but the weight was a bit much for the tailgate. Although we didn’t break the cable on our tailgate it sure acted like it wanted to give up a few times.

We’d be hard pressed to come up a better ATV for getting work done around the property.

We’d be hard pressed to come up a better ATV for getting work done around the property.

Overall the Big Boss 6×6 looks like a very wise investment for any rancher or farmer. Heck, even if you’re just a very tired homeowner and need a lift getting downed trees and debris out of the yard it’s a great way to do it. After our work was through we loaded up the cargo bed and headed down to the creek, which proves it can still be a recreational vehicle. Before or after the work is finished Polaris’ six-wheeled helper is still a lot of fun to ride in the open trails.

Polaris Sportsman Big Boss 6×6 800 EFI Specs
2009 Polaris Sportsman XP 850 & 550 Review

2009 Polaris Sportsman: First Look

2008 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Review

All Things Polaris on ATV.com