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View Full Version : Sportsman XP 550 or Sportsman 500 ho



mn_mxz
01-22-2012, 04:31 PM
We are starting to look for a 4 wheeler for my wife. We are down to the Sportsman XP 550 or the Sportsman 500 ho. I'm just looking for some input on the two models. We are thinking of either a 2011 or 2012. Anyone want to share what they think of them? We mainly ride trails and forest roads in Minnesota, nothing to extreme. We do find some mud once and a while.

schrade
01-24-2012, 05:53 PM
I just went thru the exact same decision. The HO is a tried and true model with a lot less gadgets, EFI, EPS, etc to go wrong. Just my opinion. I ended up with the HO found one for a really good price down in Hastings. 2011 left over OTD for 5K

mikesac
01-26-2012, 01:16 PM
I've got two sportsman 500 HO's, one an 05 and one an 09, both bought new. The 05 has had one broken rear control arm bolt, one ripped cv boot (my fault) and one new battery. The 09 has had one new battery and one new cooling fan. I change all the drivetrain fluids and oil/filter once per year. Other than those things they have been ultra reliable and great machines. Totally low maintanance verses the sleds. I use the 05 at my shop for snow removal and pushing cars around. You wouldnt believe that these machines can push a frozen one ton dually in the snow but thay can do it no problem. I would recommend these highly. They ride great, plenty of power, excellent fuel mileage, very hard to get stuck. Good Luck, Have fun.

mn_mxz
01-26-2012, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do have a 2001 500ho that I bought new and I have no issues with it. My big hang up on the 500ho is that it does not have engine braking as a standard anymore, I like that the wheeler slows down when I let off the gas. My wife likes the 550 because of the thinner seat and it is easier to steer. We would be getting a 550 without EPS, I don't think it is worth the money. Any other thoughts?

fatdaddy
01-26-2012, 10:02 PM
If i remember the 500 ho is carbed, they did that to keep the cost down versus the newer FI models. I have an 08 800 touring that I got my wife, and so far its been great. I'm also looking for another one and looked at the 500ho. I liked it because of the price and that it can handle all the accessories that my 800 has. that style has been around so there is tons of parts and stuff available for them. I don't think you need FI in our elevation or climat changes IMO go with the 500ho you can't go wrong

LoveMyDobe
01-28-2012, 07:05 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I do have a 2001 500ho that I bought new and I have no issues with it. My big hang up on the 500ho is that it does not have engine braking as a standard anymore, I like that the wheeler slows down when I let off the gas. My wife likes the 550 because of the thinner seat and it is easier to steer. We would be getting a 550 without EPS, I don't think it is worth the money. Any other thoughts?

Glad to see you went with a Polaris.
I have been riding a Scrambler 500 4X4 for 12 years. Thin seat, you can steer it by shifting you weight, very light. No independent suspension, but it is fun to ride and not alot of elecrtonic gadgits to worry about. I used to ride hard, but not as much now. Just a thought.

srt20
01-31-2012, 02:30 PM
They have had EFI models in the 500 sportsman since 05. My 06 500 HO is EFI. It also has EBS (engine braking). I have 4,000 trouble free trail miles on mine. I havent ridden a XP so I cannot compare. My 500 wont be getting hardly any miles any more, now that I have a RZR.

ranger_x
02-01-2012, 08:56 AM
If you get the XP make sure your dealer is willing to replace the front a arm bushings every 200 miles. That is a big flaw with the XP. Once the bushing wear out you feel all the slop in the front end as your riding.
With or with out power steering they will eat the a arm bushings.
The old sportsman is a better choice if your a Polaris fan.

taylor6400
02-03-2012, 10:47 AM
My first wheeler was a 99 500. Then i went to an 01 500HO, now i have an 07 800. My favorite was the HO. Plenty of power, STABLE, nimble, and still quick. Yes my 800 will scorch it but you give up some things. It is huge, i dont feel as stable when screwing around climbing on rocks and stuff, and it runs HOT.

I plowed snow with the HO and pulled some big logs. It has plenty of power, a good ride, and did i mention stable? I still miss that bike.

It did have EBS, but i personally didnt like it. It was rear wheel only and going down a steep hill at speed and letting off the throttle causes the rear to lock up and chatter sliding around. You do get used to it. But I would rather have either no EBS or 4 wheel EBS. Its nice to have, but not a necessity. You just learn to use the brakes propperly. With the rear end EBS you need to mash on the brakes while hitting the throttle so the rear end doesnt lock up.

And the motor is bullet proof...and i would expect they have all the electrical bugs worked out.