Polaris has experienced tremendous growth in terms of ATV sales in recent years. But, even with a full line of Sportsman quads, the Minnesota-based company still had a few holes to plug to reach an even broader array of utility quad consumers in 2006.
The first patch in the line-up came in the form of the new 300cc Hawkeye. Journalists rode the mid-size Hawkeye and other new Polaris quads in June at the Coal Creek OHV Park near Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Polaris said the Hawkeye is 99% all new, and that it was developed to reach ATVers in search of a smaller ATV that still has features found on larger models. It will be available in 4WD and 2WD only versions.
One main feature found on the Hawkeye is Polaris' Independent Rear Suspension(IRS) with adjustable preload. The IRS has a claimed eight inches of travel, while a MacPherson strut system in front has seven inches of travel. Along with IRS, Polaris gave the Hawkeye a digital gauge that includes a speedometer and odometer with trip and hour readouts. Polaris also included its signature Lock & Ride accessory mounts on the rear rack that are found on all of its Sportsman models.
The main focus, perhaps, of the Hawkeye is its all-new 299cc four-stroke, air-cooled powerplant. The engine is mated to a 34mm CV Mikuni carburetor and features a standard three-gear transmission: forward, neutral and reverse. A 4.5-gallon gas tank allows the quad to work long periods of time before refueling.
For 2006, Polaris opted to discontinue its Sportsman 400 in favor of replacing it with the Sportsman 450.
The Sportsman 450 features a liquid-cooled 455cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine. The 450 has more zing compared to the Sportsman 400. While there's an increase in power with the larger displacement engine, it does come stadard with engine braking. Power is transferred through the Polaris Variable Transmission.
The unit comes withthe IRS rear suspension offering 9.5 inches of travel and MacPherson strut front suspension with 8.2 inches of travel.
The Outlaw is essentially a slightly modified Predator with a Sportsman-like rear suspension. dubbed the Polaris Rider Optimized IRS system. Helping soak up trail chatter are rebuildable and compression and preload adjustable aluminum piggyback reservoir Fox shocks.
With the PRO IRS rear, engineers were able to mount the rear brake disc and sprocket higher than traditional designs, which protects those components and helps increase the ground clearance.
Powering the Outlaw is the liquid-cooled 499cc single-cylinder four-strokedelivering 50 hp. Polaris said the unit should be at dealerships by November.
After unveiling the entry level Phoenix sport quad for model year 2005, Polaris adds a new entry level recreation utility vehicle to its lineup that is based off the Phoenix.
Much like its sport quad cousin, the new Sawtooth is built in Taiwan. Also like the Phoenix, the Sawtooth uses the 196cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine.
The Sawtooth uses a CVT and a shaft drive to transfer the power to the wheels. The dual A-arm front suspension gives seven inches of travel, while the swingarm rear offers 6.5 inches. Front disc brakes and a rear drum brake help bring the Sawtooth to a stop.
It comes with steel racks with tie downs and a capacity of 45 pounds in front and 70 pounds in back.
Gone from Polaris' lineup is the ATP in favor of the all-new Sportsman X2, which is built on the Sportsman 500 platform. The X2 is unique in that part of the cargo bed can be converted into a seat for a passenger. It's the company's first two-up capable ATV. Also new for 2006 is the addition of electronic fuel injection to the 499cc engine.
The integrated seating system changes from a pickup-style bed to two-up in seconds. The middle portion of the bed morphs into a seat that fits another rider. Unlike other two-up ATVs, the passenger sits at nearly the same level as the driver. Polaris said research proved riders didn't like theater-style seating on its two-up quad.
The Sportsman X2 can handle 400 pounds in the bed or when transformed into a two-up and 90 pounds on the front rack. It also has a towing capacity of 1,225 pounds.
POLARIS EXPANDS ATV RECALL
In other Polaris news, the company has added approximately 45,000 additional units to a recall it originally announced May 3.
The May recall included approximately 14,882 Polaris ATVs after the company received 26 reports of Electronic Control Modules (ECM) overheating. Units included in the original recall were the 2004.5 Sportsman 500 and 2005 Sportsman 400, Sportsman 500, Sportsman 600, Sportsman 700 and 2005 Scrambler 500.
On June 24, Polaris added select 2005 Sportsman 6x6, Trail Boss and Magnum 330 ATVs for a total of 61,020 units recalled due to a possibly defective ECM. Polaris says it now has received 68 reports of the ECM overheating. No injuries have been reported.
Manufactured in the United States, the first batch of recalled units were sold nationwide from August 2004 through February 2005 for between $5,999 and $7,299. The second batch of ATVs was sold nationwide from August 2004 through February 2005 for between $3,799 and $7,699. Polaris says it has notified registered affected consumers directly about the recall and asked them to schedule an appointment for ECM replacement.
Copyright 2005 Powersports Business