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Almost ready for a midsize 500...then the 800 comes along

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Old 09-01-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Almost ready for a midsize 500...then the 800 comes along

New guy from Maine Here...

I just about pulled the trigger on a '13 500 midsize when the dealer mentioned that they just came out with the 800 in the same chassis. Great.

I sold my X2 500 a couple months ago as my girlfriend wants a more comfrotable ride and I need more utility for the farm. I als really want to be able to haul it in my truck occasionally and it needs to fit on tight woods trails.

We do everything from 100 mile/day rides on dirt logging roads, camping trips, ice g, farm work, tight woods trails, etc so I was excited to learn about the midsize Ranger. I had the same 500 EFI in my X2 and it was flawless with good power and outstanding fuel economy...well over 20 and in many cases 25+.

So, with great reviews I had decided on the 500 with the only concern being the 20% of the time that we like to cruise at 40-45mph on dirt logging roads. My 500 x2 would criuse at 45 just fine, but the RPMs were up there and I don't want to have the little ranger pegged the whole time. So along comes the Ranger 800 and now I'm not sure. The price is not of concern...getting the right machine is.

What I want: To be able to cruise at 45 with a full cab enclosure, have the power to turn tracks that I will eventually buy.

Two concerns with the 800 are fuel economy and reliability. The 500 is argueably the best motor polaris has ever made & it's hard to overlook that.

Thanks for reading all this...again, cost is not a concern at this point and I have made up my mind with the midsize chassis...what are your thoughts; 500 or 800?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:08 AM   #2
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The 800 is smoother with lots more power. I don't know about the reliability part. I personally would buy the 800 after driving them both this week. JMHO
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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I gues I'm leaning toward the 800 now...I'm worried about fuel economy not for the sake of cost, but more for range. I travel in some pretty remote places & it would be a big plus if I didn't have to have the extra weight of gas cans.

I tried reading about people's sportaman touring or x2 800's since that's the closest things in weight to the small ranger. Numbers seem all over the place. Most everyone does say that there are hardly any 800 engine problems

Thanks for the reply
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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I'd go with the 500. 800s are overpowered and they cook drivers & passengers.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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The one I drove wasn't over powered, and it was much smoother than the 500. In fact I think it is a great combination. But I normally ride a Sportsman 850 XP and am familiar with power.
This engine is a new release in this chassis. The engine compartment is lined with aluminum faced insulation including the bottom of the seat, and the exhaust pipe is tucked down toward the bottom of the compartment so maybe they cured the heat issue.
Check them out at your dealer Russ.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's another concern...haven't heard too many complaints about the heat from the 500's. You'd think that in designing the engine compartment to fit the 800 they would have addressed the heat issue after there have been so many complaints
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockit401 View Post
Check them out at your dealer Russ.
Not gonna happen. The new ones are stupidly designed (mud gets under the hood - how stupid is that?), overcomplicated, plagued with wiring and heat problems, and too expensive.

I'm not saying that they have so much power that they can't be smooth or whatever, just that you do not need 800 - 500 works great for a lot of things, and I have seen 500s do awesome work - without heat problems.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Ok, not trying to patronize you but if you haven't checked them out how do you know this? I'm serious and trying to get some insight, not trying to give you a hard time.

What makes mud get stuck in places more so than the 500 version and what wiring problems are there? You sound like you know quite a bit about this brand new machine so I'd really appreciate the help before I drop $12K

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Towboat View Post
Ok, not trying to patronize you but if you haven't checked them out how do you know this? I'm serious and trying to get some insight, not trying to give you a hard time.

What makes mud get stuck in places more so than the 500 version and what wiring problems are there? You sound like you know quite a bit about this brand new machine so I'd really appreciate the help before I drop $12K

Thanks
I have been reading first-hand reports from people who use them in the field for more than 1.5 years. I don't make this stuff up.

The mud thing is in the design of the front end, and on new machines it *may* apply to both the 500 and 800 - I don't know. But on 2006-2007 machines AT LEAST (maybe some newer ones also, but I know that design personally), the front end is designed to keep mud out of the under-hood area. Newer ones cut that back, allow the front wheels to be much more exposed and less protected, and allow mud into the under-hood area.

Again, I know this because of research. And a member of this forum recently posted photos of an overhaul he had to do, to keep mud from getting in there.

You can probably find photos online to compare front ends.

Regular readers here are probably tired of seeing me say it, but I wouldn't buy a new one anyway. They are very problematic and Polaris's support is nonexistent in most cases that I've heard of. I'd look for a good used one several years old and jump on it. You'd save a huge pile of money and avoid problems because they were simpler machines in the not-too-distant past, with fewer things to wear out and break.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Newer Machine

Russ: I agree. I've been considering newer, though I love my 04 Ranger. I want the increased ground clearence, the power from the 500 is fine by me. I can carry or tow anything I need and it is fast enough for me. The question is what year did they move up to 10/11 inches of clearence. PS: I also added inner flaps to the rear to keep mud out, highly recommended.
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