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Polaris Sportsman XP - Up Close

In 1996, Polaris introduced the Sportsman ATV. Over one million ATV's later, Polaris has decided it's time for a significant upgrade. In 2009, Polaris has released the Sportsman XP. The XP is a high performance alternative, to the normal Sportsman line of ATV's.

This isn't a review, since I have yet to ride a XP ATV. However, I'll show you up close what I saw when I went to check out the first model that arrived at my local dealer. It's definitely different, definitely has some improvements and some limitations, at least from a rock crawler's point of view.

After all the pictures, please scroll down for the edited versions of the Polaris Shootout DVD that is free. The DVD compares the 550XP to Grizzly 450 and the King Quad 450, and the 800XP against the Grizzly 700, Brute Force 750 and the Can-Am 800 Outlander.


Click on any picture for a larger view.  
The machine has a nice look and line to it. It appears more sporty, especially because of the bigger 14" wheels.
It immediately looks different with the new oil fil and the black round object above it is not the oil filter, that's the starter.
The radiator is much higher, and visually bigger. Polaris says 20% larger. The overflow, was on the other side.
This plastic shield is clearly protecting something.
It's the gas tank. It's no longer in the center, but filled from the left front fender. The tank is close to center, but definitely not precisely. With a full tank, I wonder if you can feel the weight off to the side.
The new selector has 2x4, 4x4 and 4x4 Active Descent mode.
The rear box is a bit wider, but not as deep as the original Sportsman.
The exhaust pipe is pretty beefy headed back to the muffler. The muffler is now tucked in horizontally across the bike, instead of facing front to back.
The suspension looks beefy, yet less complicated than the original Sportsman.
Here is a better shot of the suspension and the new muffler orientation.
The long a-arm, and the brake assembly that is deep into the rim for anti-kickback.
Here's the brake about 1/4" away from the 14" wheel. There's no way you can put a 12" wheel on with aftermarket.
The front box has WAY less storage, but it's a better design that is removable. This probably means new accessories that pop off and on...and less breakage of the hinge. Watch Moutains And Mud III, if you want to see a hinge break.
Same light switch, but the brake master cylinder is slightly redesigned.
Here is the Original Sportsman seat.
Here's the new XP, which is defiintely narrower.
From the rear, an original Sportsman.
Now the XP.
Yes, that's the belt housing. Looks like a barrell of fun to replace it. Although Polaris claims with the new design and belt materials, that you can go 5,000 miles before needing to change the belt.
Battery box tucked in.
New low-profile POD.
This is a shot of the original Sporsman headlight.
The new XP design.
There is your new XP.
These are the Shootout comparison videos (edited) that you can get for free on DVD from Polaris. I've only cut out most of the shooting stuff in between and some banter. Nothing of any significance was cut out.
  This is the Polaris Sportsman XP 550 Versus Yamaha Grizzly 450.
  This is the Polaris Sportsman XP 550 Versus Suzuki King Quad 450.
  This is the Polaris Sportsman XP 850 Versus Yamaha Grizzly 700.
  This is the Polaris Sportsman XP 850 Versus Kawasaki Brute Force 750.
  This is the Polaris Sportsman XP 850 Versus Can Am 800 Outlander.