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Polaris Sportsman 800 questions
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aggar
Posted 5/31/2011 20:20 (#1800759)
Subject: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


WC IN
I am testing out a used 2008 Sportsman 800 and had a couple questions for you guys that have these machines. I don't have much experience with Polaris ATV's and was wondering if a few things I noticed were normal or potential problems...

1) The right side of the engine next to your leg seems to get pretty hot. There is a gap in the body panels right there though so the side cover of the engine is pretty much exposed.

2) It seems to make a rattle/grinding noise under acceleration, I can't quite tell if its coming from the engine or drivetrain. I have noticed over the years listening to other Polaris machines that they always seemed kind of rattly though, maybe this is normal?

3) There seems to be a bit of slop in the driveshaft, but is this really just play in the belt tranny?

I am coming from a Honda Rubicon so this machine is a whole different beast. I really liked the power and suspension of the Polaris, but don't think it feels quite as well built as the Honda. I'd sure appreciate any thoughts you have on these issues and about these quads in general. Thanks.
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johns_79
Posted 5/31/2011 20:29 (#1800778 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


Windom, MN
The 800 is a heavy pig. If you get stuck with it, good luck getting it out. I'm not a huge fan of Polaris, my friends all have sportsmans and they've been in the shop (all at least once)more than my Honda (never in 14 years). So I don't think they are as well put together. I am biased though, been a Honda owner for 24 years, and have no plans of switching. Should say my Honda is a 97, so it's a lot simpler than the new ones, so I hope the Hondas now are just as reliable since I'm considering upgrading.
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Tim in WI
Posted 5/31/2011 21:02 (#1800826 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: RE: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



Embarrass WI

I have a Sportsman 700x2, similar machine but not exactly the same.

I have never noticed the heat issue but I always wear long pants and seldom ride very long at a time-just run out to the irrigation pump or to check/catch cows.

Mine doesn't make any rattly or grinding noises, ever. Accelerating, decelerating, light throttle, anytime. Closest you can get is fighting the front wheel drive if you forget and leave it on, on dry pavement.

I haven't noticed any slop in the drivetrain, though it probably only has 1000 miles. I don't trail ride or have to use it all day every day. The belt tranny can't have slop, the clutch won't work at all if the belt is loose.

From what you are describing, I would return the machine and forget I had ever seen it. No matter how cheap the guy tries to sell it to you.

I have seen ATV's be abused incredibly. I would be very, very nervous about buying any ATV used unless I knew the previous owner well. Some guys think it is fun to ride them in water/mud with nothing above water but the handlebars. I am sure they will take it-for a while. Then they sell them to somebody else.

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John SD
Posted 5/31/2011 21:09 (#1800844 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: RE: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



My Polaris experience is with the old 2-strokes so it might or might not apply to a Sportsman 800.

1) All Polaris atvs I've ever seen have the exhaust on the right hand side. If a body panel has insulation missing it could probably get pretty hot. Can you compare visually to another machine to determine if some of the body panel insulation near the exhaust is missing? It's not as important as insulation on a space shuttle but yeah, the body panel could get awful hot or even melt a bit if insulation is gone. Isn't an 800 a 2 cylinder machine with dual exhaust on each side?

2) Rattling might be normal. Check for any obvious loose parts, missing bolts/screws, broken plastic shielding, etc. Pulleys/shafts rubbing on things like shields they are not supposed to make some dang odd noises. Also check motor mounts and observe if the engine moves excessively to one side under hard accelleration. I've heard this can cause nasty things such as premature failure of the drive belt.

3) If the play is consistent all the time, I wouldn't worry about it. I've driven other belt drive CVT 4 wheelers. They all have their own "personality". Seems like you have to rev a Polaris more than some other brands to get it moving.
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SDFarmboy
Posted 5/31/2011 21:10 (#1800846 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


aggar:
The Polaris Sportsmans are a very well done and proven design. I have one but it is smaller as I do not need one this size. I bet the 800 is one haul-ass machine, and
much more than any Honda. That said, are you a boy racer, and what do you use your ATV for ?
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iamurphy
Posted 5/31/2011 21:13 (#1800861 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



NE,IOWA
yes it is hot on right side yes there is a rattle or vibration under acceleration the slop in driveshaft need more info but dont know what the honda was the polaris should be a much nicer ride than the honda about being a pig when stuck personally never had mine stuck I wont even let my boys ride theirs in the mudd
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dondozer
Posted 5/31/2011 21:15 (#1800866 - in reply to #1800826)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


NW Ohio,near Findlay
I have a 03 Honda Rubicon, full time four wheel drive. I have never had trouble with it, but the full time four wheel drive does wear the front tires fast if you drive from farm to farm on road. I bought a Polaris 330 Magnum 2 wheel drive and like it for the farm. Lighter, not near the tire wear as the heavier Rubicon. For crop scouting, I don't need the 4 wheel drive. Agree with other posts, that 800 is a big boy for the farm unless you're into pulling and hauling fast. Just my thoughts. Anyone that has a front Warn disconnect for a Rubicon, email me.
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aggar
Posted 5/31/2011 21:40 (#1800921 - in reply to #1800846)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


WC IN
The thing gets up and moves like its hair is on fire compared to the Honda!! I plan to use it for farm/recreation use which is why I was interested in the Sportsman. I like to go fast every now and then, but will also do quite a bit of spraying a field scouting with it.

The Honda is great for work and slow trail riding, and you can't beat the gearing on it for putting the power to the ground. However, the stiff suspension and the full time four wheel drive on the Honda can really wear you out after a while riding (I'm a little guy). And even though the Polaris is a lot bigger, it seems easier to drive (My Honda does have larger than stock tires, which hurts it for sure).
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dairyman78
Posted 5/31/2011 21:46 (#1800934 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: RE: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


S.C. Wisconsin
The new Polaris have changed the exhaust so they don't burn your leg, Bombardier's also are noted for this problem.
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Galaxie64
Posted 5/31/2011 21:54 (#1800949 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


SCWY
Our 700 gets hot in the same place and will even emit a plastic burning smell because the cover is so close to the exhaust, there should be some heat shielding material in there.

The grinding noise could be a CV that has gone bad, make sure all the boots are complete and no tears, the closest noise I can compare a bad CV to is a loose chain on the older chian drive machines.

I have caught several bad U joints by identifying slop in the driveshafts, when they are bad enough they will make the noise similar to the bad CV's.

You never said how many miles, if it has more than 1K-2K I wouldn't mess with it unless it is a very good price, which would be well under $5K. We were looking at a '08 800 a few months back for $5200 it had around 1600 miles, decided to spend a few hundred more for a new 500 with warranty. As long as you don't need to go over 60mph I don't see much need for a 800, but that's me.
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aggar
Posted 5/31/2011 22:56 (#1801137 - in reply to #1800949)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


WC IN
This one has around 600 miles. I do know the previous owners and they definitely use their stuff, but also take pretty good care of it. I don't think any of these things are really huge problems, and the price is pretty good, but for some reason I'm just stuck on the fence on this deal
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farmerkirk
Posted 5/31/2011 23:02 (#1801157 - in reply to #1801137)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


SC Kansas
I have an 800 RZR. The CVT in mine does make a little noise under hard acceleration. There has been some hot plastic issues on some RZR's, I haven't had one but, I have heard of them. aggar their is a guy on a d-max forum with the same name?
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3rdgenfarmer
Posted 5/31/2011 23:21 (#1801215 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


SW MN
I have a '07 800. I have had zero problems with it. There is a heat shield/foil over the pipe on the right side of the motor. It still gets hot but not real bad. The '07 models have a noisey clutch in them. When slowing down is when you notice it more. If you buy the one your looking at, go to a polaris dealer and pick up all of the synthetic oils to change them. There is a little movement on the drive shaft but very much. My family has 4 polaris 4-wheelers. No one has had any problems. We maintain them well. Good luck.
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3rdgenfarmer
Posted 5/31/2011 23:23 (#1801218 - in reply to #1801215)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


SW MN
Honda has a good machine also. Just my 2 cents.
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hamerspud
Posted 6/1/2011 02:48 (#1801440 - in reply to #1800759)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



SE Idaho
Aggar,

IMHO this sounds like a fairly good machine. I have been riding polaris for the last 16 years and have put them through the paces. Usually around 3-3500 miles per year. We have a small farm and they are the main mode of transportation. That said, the 08 models do get hot on the right side as everyone has stated. We used to cut aluminum pieces to hold the side skirting away from the exhaust pipe. That helped a lot. As for the drive train if they have run it a lot in high range pulling big loads or just idling around the farm the clutches do have a tendency to wear down and cause some noise. They also will creep or be hard to put in gear if the clutches have excessive wear. Under "normal" use I figure you can get about 5-6k miles on the clutch. The belts seem to hold up pretty well if, there again, they haven't tried to pull start the ol' pickup. As others have stated check out the CV boots as I have seen them wear out sometimes fast depending on the way it was ridden, that may cause some noise or slop in the drive train.

As a side note.... if you want a real rush try the 850XP! The only downside is you had better keep it out of the stubble fields as the pipes will glow red at night.
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aggar
Posted 6/1/2011 07:02 (#1801475 - in reply to #1801157)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


WC IN
Are you talking about on dieselplalce.com? If so that's not me, but I believe he's from Indiana too. I check out that site every now and then but almost never post. Some great d-max knowledge over there though
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aggar
Posted 6/1/2011 07:08 (#1801480 - in reply to #1801440)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


WC IN
Yeah I've heard the Sportsman 850 XP and the RZR XP are pretty ridiculous...almost 90 HP!!
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hamerspud
Posted 6/1/2011 08:17 (#1801561 - in reply to #1801480)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



SE Idaho
I haven't seen quite that speed out of mine. Now if you really want a ride that will scare you, I tried out a Can-Am 800 last fall. Took it to 75 with still lots of spunk. That even made me let off the throttle before I found the top end. I like speed and power but that was ridiculous for my farming operation.
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Starfire
Posted 6/1/2011 13:00 (#1801770 - in reply to #1801561)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions


Central Wisconsin
My 05 800 gets hot on that panel. Because of the heat in that area the panel has deformed some and does vibrate at mid range cruising speed never and trouble with drive train. Has 1700 miles on it and have replaced the battery once and one tail light. That is it! It will need front tires soom but other than that has been trouble free. Brother has had three Canam's in the same time period and all but one of them are gone now for a Polaris Ranger. Had tons of electrical problems on them and they were in the shop more than home. Will have to say they are fast but what good is that if they are broke all the time.
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hamerspud
Posted 6/1/2011 15:43 (#1801879 - in reply to #1801770)
Subject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 questions



SE Idaho
Hey Starfire, One thing I do to help the tire life is run them with more air the they recommend. Usually around 10psi seems to get great life out of them. I guess it also depends on where you ride as well. We are mostly on farm roads and gravel but I haven't had to swap tires just rides on a regular basis. Usually one quad a year for me and one every other year for the hire man.
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