Winner: Polaris Sportsman 850 XP
Polaris’s calling card in the ATV biz has always been innovation. The first with CVTs, the first to popularize IRS, the first with full floorboards, the first with true shiftable 4×4 – the list goes on.
Last year Polaris re-invented the Sportsman from tip-to-tail. The XP incorporates more newer, fresher thinking than anything else in the Sport-Ute segment in years.
Its longitudinally mounted motor and CVT narrows the rider’s perch while delivering a powerful and throaty 850cc wallop. True, shiftable 4×4 with Active Descent control is the standard by which others must be judged.
The all-new short/long arm double A-arm front end takes Polaris to a new level in ride and handling. Rolled IRS is so plush we had to rate it near flawless. Available brushless power steering takes steering control up a notch, too.
While the Big Bore segment is full of strong players, The Sportsman 850 XP clearly stands out.
Can-Am Outlander 800
Can-Am has been at or near the top of this segment with its formidable 800cc V-twin powered Outlander the past three years. For 2010 BRP has made Dynamic Power Steering available on 800s with the XT package. This move shoots Can-Am ahead, in our critical eye, more than just a notch.
The only nagging issue we’ve had with the mighty 800 OL has been somewhat quirky steering feel and persistent handlebar whip. With DPS now available on 2010 Outlanders, we have virtually nothing, save the Outlander’s squawky front binders, to complain about.
Yamaha Grizzly 700 FI
Yamaha sells impressive numbers of the recently renovated Grizzly 700 for good reason. This is an outstanding ATV that handles and rides better than anything Yamaha has built to date.
We appreciate the gargantuan torque of the 700’s EFI single but, when its all said and done, we can see how the smoothness and stronger top end of a multi-cylinder mill is attracting more and more attention to the competition’s showrooms.
Well-thought-out ergonomics, predictable handling and common sense functionality of every system on the Grizz keeps it near the top of the Big Bore segment in 2010.