It used to be that a workin' man's best friend was his horse or mule. Today, we have machines like the new Polaris Sportsman XP 850. Feed it gas and it's at your beck and call. But make no mistake, it's an animal.
The heart of this ATV is its powerful 850cc, four-stroke, SOHC, EFI-equipped engine that churns out an impressive 70 hp. This engine has internal balance shafts and it's rubber-mounted to the chassis. These things culminate to help significantly decrease engine vibration. Maybe it's Polaris' Minnesota roots showing through, but the engine also features the largest starting motor of any ATV. This design requires less power at start and reliable starting at temperatures to -35 F. The engine is cooled by a large radiator that's easily accessible for cleaning and is 20 percent larger and mounted 43/4 inches higher than previous models. The engine is bolted to a transmission that features a roller-driven clutch, similar to a high-performance snowmobile (there's the Minnesota roots again). This transmission design reduces friction and provides smoother, faster clutch response and back shifting. These things help create an impressive towing/pulling rating of up to 1,500 pounds.
The Sportsman XP 850 has Polaris' exclusive On-Demand, All-Wheel Drive and Engine Braking System (EBS) with Active Descent Control (ADC). Basically this means that the Sportsman's four-wheel-drive system automatically engages when a loss of traction is sensed, engine braking assists normal braking on steep inclines, and ADC provides four-wheel braking when the vehicle is in AWD, operating at speeds below 15 mph with no throttle applied. In other words, point it and punch it. It'll do the rest. Oh, and speaking of brakes, the 784-pound Sportsman is reigned in via an automotive-style braking system with four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes.
But wait, there's more. The Sportsman has a fully independent suspension that generates a darn impressive 9 inches of travel up front and 10.25 inches of travel in the rear. The front suspension is a dual A-arm setup and in the back it uses Polaris' exclusive Rolled Independent Rear Suspension. The latter minimizes rearend squat under acceleration and provides better bump absorption due to the A-arms and two-stage springs being angled 4 degrees. And speaking of bumps, the Sportsman has another Polaris exclusive; anti-kickback steering. You probably already know the benefits of this.
Whether you plan to use it as a pack mule or a fast horse, the Sportsman XP 850 could meet your needs. And it won't make a mess in your garage or chew on your stuff.
Vehicle model: 2009 Polaris Sportsman XP 850
Base price: $8,999
Color: Stealth Black, Sunset Red, Sagebrush Green, Mossy Oak Camo
Type: Liquid-cooled SOHC four-stroke twin with liquid-cooling
Displacement (cc): 850
Carburetion: 40mm throttle body
Final drive: Shaft
Front: Short Long Arm, 9 inches of travel
Rear: Short Long Arm, 10.25 inches of travel
Front: Dual hydraulic disc
Rear: Dual hydraulic disc
Weight (lb): 784
Length (in): 83.25
Width (in): 47.6
Height (in): 50.75
Ground Clearance (in): 12.0
Fuel capacity (gal): 5.25
Wheelbase (in): 53.0
Front rack capacity (lb): 120
Rear rack capacity (lb): 240
Towing capacity (lb): 1,500