FIRST LOOK: 2011 Polaris Ranger 500 EFI

The minds at Polaris came up with a big one last season putting a potent 400 mill in a mid sized Ranger. This chassis is smaller than its XP brother and able to fit in the back of a pickup, making transport super easy and opening up uses for riders who don’t own a trailer. The truth is, the 400 engine works so well in this smaller frame it matches up with some 500cc units offered by the competition. Smart.

So how does Polaris trump a dessert already covered in maraschino cherries and whipped cream? For 2011, its mid-sized frame boasts a fuel injected 500 powerplant. This 4-stroke single is one of the industry’s smoothest and most powerful 500cc engines. Packed neatly beneath the seat of this mid-sized workhorse is ample power to move you over your favorite trail smoothly. Hook a plow to the front of this puppy for clearing snow and you’re ensured smooth and even EFI power when the mercury dips into the cold zone.

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Here’s another bonus for 500 EFI Ranger buyers. This configuration is also available in a 4-seater! Yup, on the heels of the incredibly cool RZR S 4, Polaris has taken this mid sized chassis and stretched it like warm dough to offer an extra row of seats. Load up the family for a day on the trails or pack your hunting buddies comfortably in your Camo Ranger with loads of room for guns, gear and leftover space for your trophy kill.

This 500cc EFI engine configuration in both single and 2-row variations works amazingly well. Our test pilots absolutely love the carbureted 400 mid-sized Ranger and it’s often difficult to get a spin on it as it’s always in the hands of another rider. The 500 EFI-edition we rode recently in Montana displayed the same great handling characteristics with a noticeable dose of extra power and smoothness.

We eagerly await the arrival of our long-term test unit to get some extended saddle time. We also look forward to pitting this 500 EFI against other 500 side-x-sides in this class. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

Mike Lester
Mike Lester
Mike Lester is Staff Photographer and Digital Content Manager for Dirt Trax TV. He is also a Contributing Editor and Guest Correspondent on the show.

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