Reviews

Test: Polaris 570 Ute HD

While the other big brand ATV makers make small changes to their worldwide range each year, Polaris has listened to its local users to create an ATV especially for the New Zealand market.

Polaris’ Sportsman 570 Ute HD is the latest addition to the Australian and New Zealand Polaris lineups — and one which isn’t available in any other market worldwide. The ATV made its ‘world’ debut at the Melbourne 4 x 4 Training & Proving ground in early February.

Designed for New Zealand

According to Polaris, the Ute represents “a turning point in the ATV market”, and to ensure the vehicle can be used on a farmer’s entire property with limited or primary producer registration, Polaris has also fitted the vehicle with indicators, mirrors, and a horn as standard features to save customers the expense of retrofitting these items when required.

Polaris _570_Specs

Designed to offer the “utility and capabilities of the traditional farm ute combined with the nimbleness and agility of an ATV”, other features on the $12,500 machine include a 180kg tilting dump box, electronic power steering, independent rear suspension, 241mm rear travel, true on-demand all-wheel drive, six-ply tyres, and four-wheel descent control, which automatically engages all four wheels when travelling down slopes for optimal traction.

The towing capacity is a best-in-class 556kg, and it’s powered by the same 567cc, fuel-injected engine as the Sportsman 570.

The Ute 570 was developed specifically to withstand the challenging conditions in New Zealand by offering greater utility and work capacity in a market so dominated by agriculture.

A work partner is only as good as his reliability and the Polaris Ute 570 is equipped with greaseable/sealed ball joints, sealed driveshaft splines, and sealed suspension bushings to not only provide increased durability in the tough local conditions, but also provide easier on-going maintenance, making the unit the ultimate work vehicle.

Putting the 570 HD
to the test

The launch location at the 4 x 4 Training & Proving Ground just outside of Melbourne utilised many different types of terrain, from dusty hills to open flatlands to creeks and swampy gullies, so sampling the Ute 570 there was a good choice.

The fuel-injected 570 had no issues starting and as I let the machine warm up, I had a chance to get familiar with the riding position.

In park, the shift lever tends to encroach on the larger rider’s right leg space, but I guess no one leaves it in park very long and the shifter moves forward when engaged to a drive gear. When shifted into low or high gear there was plenty of space at that point.

This new Sportsman seemed to fit my rotund 5’10” body very well and after only a few minutes of riding, I was completely comfortable with the sleeker-designed saddle. The seat no longer wraps itself around the sides of the engine compartment. Polaris claims the centre area is also narrower by three inches. The Sportsman also gets wider as well, as broader foot wells offer full protection from the mud and trail debris.

The fuel-injected 570 packs a surprising punch and the increase in power was refreshing as I set off down the trail. As I grew even more comfortable with the ergonomics of the Sportsman, I gave it the jandal as we came off the hills onto a flatter, wider section of paddock.

Twisting the Sportsman Ute 570 in and out of the trees was fun and there were some more technical areas that allowed us to test the precise handling of this machine. With predictable steering and very little in the way of problematic symptoms found on comparably-priced machines, the ride at speed was excellent.

Climbing small hills and a rock-covered steep trail, the ute had more than enough power and prowess to tackle the challenge — it just depended on the state of mind and experience of the rider to make the choice. The suspension worked very well considering its simplistic design. With 280mm of ground clearance we found it very easy to crawl over rocks and roots without belly scrub.

The Sportsman Ute 570 braking is provided by single lever four-wheel hydraulic discs up front, with a hydraulic rear foot brake out the back. Getting the machine down from speed did require a little more consideration, as even though the 352kg ride has plenty of braking for the average rider, it does take a little space to get it slowed up.

Polaris _570_2

The verdict

Polaris has taken a simplistic approach to the overall machine and with the addition of several uniquely-styled parts that have been tailored specifically to our climate and usage, I reckon it’s come up with a real winner.

There is nothing on the Sportsman Ute 570 that is unnecessary — and with the likes of the greaseable/sealed ball joints, sealed driveshaft splines, and sealed suspension bushings, this saves the end user money and service worries. Keeping the Sportsman Ute 570 simple was a goal and it was achieved without sacrificing the ride.

Big thanks to Blair at Winton Motorcycles in the Deep South for providing the Ute, the farm, and the riding talent for the photoshoot.

Pros

  • Great downhill braking
  • Plenty of space for everything
  • Sealed and greaseable areas a real plus – no need to add these bits like you have to do on others

Cons

  • Not a lot really, it’s pretty much the perfect mid-sized farm ATV

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Photography: Shane Solomon

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