Polaris Ranger 500 EFI 4x4
For those looking for a side-by-side that can handle the jandal, the newly designed ‘09 Polaris Ranger 50 has the goods to go the distance, and then some
- Good level of comfort
- Excellent suspension
- Light and easy steering
- Decent sized tray
- Exterior designed to take the knocks
According to Polaris’ side-by-side division head, Matt Homan, the new Ranger range has undergone a rebirth, with a fair bit of re-engineering to include more rugged styling, improved ergos, easier steering, more cab space and adjustable Dual A-Arm front suspension, as well as keeping those features like EFI, independent rear suspension, and all-wheel drive.
Engineering and appearance
To create an exterior that could handle the most extreme work and riding conditions, Polaris outfitted its new models with the most armored front end ever designed. This design offers heaps of protection for all those sensitive components like the radiator, cooling system and front diff.
The front headlights have been inset for added protection from rocks and branches, and the redesigned bumper with heavy-duty bash plate offers dedicated vehicle tie down points, massive central tow hook and inset tow hook cage for additional front differential protection.
The 500 also offers auxiliary light mounting holes on the front bumper and bosses already installed for optional Halogen/LED distance headlights.
The ‘09 Ranger features more seat and leg space, re-oriented gas and brake pedals for improved operator comfort, a new angled backseat that gives you a feeling of sitting in a ute rather than a side-by-side, and it has also relocated the hand-brake to the outside of the left-hand-mounted steering wheel for better operation.
Polaris has redesigned the steering wheel for better steering when you’re wearing gloves to keep the cold out and added standard tilt steering with a good range of motion for maximum comfort. Along with tilt steering, Polaris says the new models have a 50 percent easier steering effort, which helps manoeuvrability in tight areas.
Performance and handling
With the 498cc four-valve, four-stroke single cylinder engine pumping out a respectable 32 horses, the Ranger 500 is good for a top speed on level ground of around 66-70kph. The 500 has plenty of grunt low down to get it up most inclines fully loaded without having to resort to chucking it into low gear.
Polaris outfitted the new Ranger with exclusive adjustable Dual A-Arm front suspension in addition to its legendary smooth independent rear suspension. The new model also features motion ratio and preload suspension adjustment front and rear.
The new Dual A-Arm front suspension has two upper shock mounting points on each wheel, giving a motion ratio adjustment that dramatically increases stiffness of suspension. The preload adjustment, available on each wheel, increases the initial spring compression for a 30 percent stiffer ride when needed.
The new suspension allows for the maintenance of ground clearance (roughly 30.5cm) and suspension travel (24.5cm up front, 22.9cm in the rear) when carrying heavier loads and using those handy Polaris bolt-on accessories like plows and sprayers for work applications. It also allows for easier use of after-market suspension packages and easy widening of the vehicle.
To combat ruts, stumps and rocks, the 500 also offers anti-kickback steering that reduces feedback over bumps and makes the vehicle much more responsive and capable.
Read more Polaris news and reviews here.
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Cooling type Liquid
Engine type Four-valve, four-stroke single cylinder
Top speed 66km/h
Lubrication Dry sump
Oil capacity 1.9 litres
Carburetion Electronic Fuel Injection
Fuel capacity 34 litres
Coolant capacity 2 litres
Alternator 250 watts
Gear range In-line
Drive system Four-wheel Shaft Drive
Front details Adjustable Dual A-Arms
Rear details Independent rear suspension
Front suspension Dual A-Arm/ 24.5cm
Rear suspension Dual A-Arm/ 22.9cm
Tyres (Front/Rear) 25 x 10-12/ 25x11-12
Turning radius 401cm
Dry weight 550kg
Ground clearance 30cm
Brakes Four-wheel hydraulic disc
Parking Brake hand-activated
Box dimension/capacity 143X101.5X31.5cm/454kg
Payload capacity 681kg
Hitch towing capacity 681kg
Cargo system Lock and Ride
Skid plate Full