Polaris Sportsman XP550 EPS

By: Terry Stevenson

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The new Polaris Sportsman's key features are ease of steering, load capacity and engine braking system

Polaris Sportsman XP550 EPS
Polaris Sportsman XP550 EPS


  • The electronic power steering system and new suspension increases the Polaris Sportsman's ease of handling and responsiveness
  • The model has an electronic fuel injection system for greater fuel efficiency, performance and power
  • Polaris sold 3187 ATVs in Australia last year, propelling the marque into fourth largest ATV sales for 2008
  • Optional Polaris accessories, including ‘Lock and ride’ top boxes for greater waterproof storage, and front and rear safety bars, are available

The Polaris Sportsman’s 549cc liquid-cooled powerplant has been turned 90 degrees into a north-south position for better drivetrain shaft alignment to the driving wheels from the engine, reducing general wear and tear. The new design single overhead cam engine gives more power and torque, and is fuelled by an electronic fuel injection system for greater fuel efficiency and power.

The transmission is now a bolt-on unit to the engine rather than a separate item, similar to a tractor, with the variable drive belt now under full time tension.

The independent suspension has rolled double ‘A’ arms holding the front and rear wheels in place. This holds the XP550 steady over uneven ground and also offers a high 305mm ground clearance between the wheels. It also has patented anti kick-back front suspension.

The Polaris’ wheels take a standard 14" diameter tyre to ride the bumps cleaner and larger diameter disc brakes and bigger brake callipers on each wheel to improve stopping power.

The Polaris ADC (Automatic Descent Control) engine brake system helps slow it down when coming off a steep slope, with or without the brakes. This kicks in below 24kmh, when the ADC 4x4 mode on the handlebar switch is selected.

2WD or 4WD can be selected without the ADC function for going downhill with a load. When in either 4WD or ADC 4x4 mode, drive to the front wheels only comes in when the rear wheels begin to slip. As soon as it measures rear wheel slip by more than an eighth of a turn compared to the front wheel, drive to the front wheels via a wet brake-pack kicks in.

The XP850 EPS is also available with a 70hp 850cc twin cylinder engine.

To read in-depth farm vehicle reviews, see the latest issue of Farm Trader magazine, on sale now at all good retailers.

See Polaris models for sale online here.

Polaris Sportsman XP550 EPS specifications

Engine four-stroke sohc
Displacement 549cc
Carburetion 42mm single-throttle body, efi
Cooling liquid
Starter electric
Transmission p/r/n/l/h
Final drive shaft
Drive system 4x4
Suspension front: short long arm (sla); 9in. (22.9cm) travel
Rear: short long arm (sla) 26cm travel
Brakes front: single lever hydraulic disc
Rear: hydraulic rear foot brake
Tyres front: 26 x 8r14; terrathon
Rear: 26 x 10r14; terrathon
Length 211.4cm
Width 120.9cm
Height 128.9cm
Wheelbase 134.6cm
Seat height 94cm
Ground clearance 30.5cm
Dry weight 332kg
Fuel capacity 19.9 litres
Load capacity front rack: 55kg
Rear rack: 110kg
Towing capacity 680.4kg


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