With the growing poularity of side-x-sides and the versatility of a sport utility ATV, the pure sport market just isn’t as red-hot as it used to be.
These ATVs are still a ton of fun though and if you’re not a racer or not interested in throwing down full pop for the latest and greatest, here’s a look at three late models that you might come across if you’re in the market for used iron.
2009 Polaris Outlaw 450 MXR
The Outlaw appears to be a bit of an under-dog since it’s a carbureted engine and doesn’t have EFI, however, with its race ready smaller diameter rear tires and KTM low end torque it really pulls hard where it’s important, down low.
Lugging the Polaris is easy, leaving it in third and fourth on most tracks is more than enough and for some reason the power is always there. Must be a KTM thing.
While the reliability and smooth power of an EFI is always welcomed, the consistent pull of the Polaris is something racers will learn to love.
In higher gears the KTM mill continues to pull hard and really produces linear and middle of the road power. While it’s not the fastest accelerating in its class, it’s always strong on the straight-aways and doesn’t mind being downshifted hard to help slow you down.
When you’re out on the track you’ve got to feel comfortable moving around on your ATV regardless of the situation. It’s inevitable you’re going to get kicked, bumped and moved around when riding. Rubbing is racing so feeling at home is key to going fast.
The ergonomic layout of the 2009 Outlaw really helps keep the rider lower. The flat seat means you can slide forward or back and side to side without finding a big hunk of foam in the wrong spot.
The smooth bodywork allows you to hug the inside of the tank and not get caught up on sharp edges or hardware. The handlebars do stick up above the bodywork quite high, but are at a good height for taller or bigger riders.
When transitioning to a stand up position everything is where it should be and you don’t feel crouched over. In the air the tighter and more compact design allows smaller inputs to have better leverage over where the ATV is going. However, on landings, the Outlaw’s weight can be felt if you come down crooked or touch down with one wheel.
The Polaris features Fox Podium X piggyback reservoir shocks front and rear and really delivers a quality ride for the money. Full adjustability means you can tweak both the compression and rebound damping to your liking, which is especially important when you’re racing on an assortment of tracks.
The 11 inches of travel out back helps to mow down the big whoops without bucking back or feeling too springy. Under hard racing conditions the Podiums will start to succumb to the large amounts of heat generated and fade slightly, however, we only experienced this under extreme conditions. There’s certainly enough suspension quality here to exceed the needs of most racers.
This is a very attractive package and although it doesn’t offer the highest level of tech compared to the other pure sport ATVs, we think it’s a perfect choice for the novice just getting into racing.
Its carbureted mill actually plays into this theory, but for only marginal bucks you can re-jet and retune its power as your racing experience ripens. With the EFI bikes this is a complicated and somewhat pricey proposition.
The shock package, brakes, axles, wheels and tires on the Outlaw are all very top drawer and if you can find one at the right price, make this ATV a killer deal. Plus it’s a KTM for crying out loud! That’s got to carry some weight, too.