Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Polaris Scrambler 500 ATV Review

Polaris Scrambler 500 ATV Review

Quit thinking about it and swing a leg over with the new 500 to enjoy its capabilities..
Swing a leg over the Scrambler and either put the CVT transmission in all neutral or hold the brake while it’s in gear and twist the key to start the big 498cc 4-stroke Single. Whoops, did we mention that it’s carbureted? If it’s cold outside you might also need to pull the choke lever. Once started all you need to do is give the thumb throttle a push to get the Scrambler moving. And once moving you’ll again be wondering what this machine is for. It’s quick, but not really any quicker than the latest Sportsman 550XP. It seems to handle pretty well, but not really noticeably better than the XP. It’s also very comfortable, but again, not any more plush than the XP.

When the throttle is chopped, the engine braking is darn near perfect in its application. It is far less noticeable than the artificially induced braking that’s so prevalent on many of the CVT-equipped utility ATVs including other Polaris’. That means it works well for aggressive riding. Letting off of the throttle results in a decreasing coast down rather than the abrupt, throw-you-forward-with-rear-tires-skidding that’s too often dialed into CVT transmissions; an effort to keep you from having to use the brakes themselves. The braking downfall is the combination of a single lever brake system that doesn’t allow full control when entering corners hard, and the rear brake pedal that’s raised so high above the floorboards that your boot fits underneath it more comfortably than operating it!

Confused? So are we, so let’s look back at some Scrambler history and maybe that’ll help. The Scrambler was introduced back in 1995 as a 400cc 2-stroke. It was such a hit that in 1997 Polaris released a big bore 4-stroke version, the Scrambler 500. At that time (in case you weren’t born yet) sport quads were nothing like they are now, with the big news being the Honda 300EX having reverse and the Yamaha Banshee still king of the sand dunes. And in those days utility ATVs were, well, very utility. So when Polaris introduced the 2-stroke Scrambler 400 and later the big-bore 4-stroke Scrambler 500, they were really big news! Here was a big-bore sport quad with 4WD. It was no Banshee that’s for sure, but it also definitely wasn’t anything like a 1997 utility quad either!

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