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Thread: 800 Sportsman Big Boss 6x6 differences 2009 to present

  1. #1
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Default 800 Sportsman Big Boss 6x6 differences 2009 to present

    I've been mulling over the best ATV/Side by Side for riding with infants/toddlers ever since we had our first child 3 years ago. Momma likes riding her own machine, so this is just for me and the kids. First, I was planning on getting a Ranger 6x6. The main problem with that was I would have to buy another trailer, as well as just the sheer size factor, I could NOT get into narrower areas - like the Kennicott bridge, or other small/narrow trails. So, then the standard 800 Rzr caught my attention, and I do still like it. However I can't find the model I want - the Boardwalk Blue one with EPS. Also, I was planning on having to extend the ROPS cage to include the tiny "bed" and install a couple toddler car seats back there - doable, but a significant project.

    Well, possibly because I'm ADD, but mostly to save money and the fact there are a couple used available for sale, the newer Big Boss is back in the running. It's narrow, lots of power and traction, and the Polaris tracks are pretty sweet too. I could easily build a beefy roll bar/rack that could also serve as an extra fuel tank, as well as rig the car seats side by side at the front of the bed. Since I'm a little weird and cosmetics are important to me, I would like to buy BLUE Sportsman fenders and swap out the olive/barf/drab green they're only available in. I assume this is doable? The rear fenders might need some minor trimming/modification to mate up with the bed.

    But my main question is specifically what were the annual changes between introduction in 2009 and today? I know there were some shaft issues? and some a-arm bolt issues? Shifting/clutch alignment problems? If I would to buy a 2009, what would I need to address to improve reliability in those area? Any body changes?

    I've never owned a Polaris, and actually dissed their issues frequently. But the reality is that no one else makes a 6x6 or a side by side as narrow as the Rzr. So I'm trying to educate myself. I've searched a lot on here, and online, and there are lots of threads discussing problems, but I wasn't able to narrow those problems down to specific years. Thanks for your help!

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    1. I would reconsider puttin kids in a car seat in the rear of a Sportsman 6X6.
    2. If you go to McCarthy enough to consider the bridge crossing in choosing your atv/utv then spend $300 and get an annual pass to use Rolands full size bridge. I just sold my McCarthy property and from Anchorage I made it out there maybe once a year with my 2010 Ranger 6X6 and either drove to the bridge and hiked in or didn't go into town. Also, if the wife likes to driver her own machine then when you go to McCarthy bring your meat trailer along and everyone rides across the bridge in the trailer.

    Section of the road from mp 59 to property.jpg
    3. Considering longevity of your purchase and that fact that your kids will get bigger, the Sportsman 6X6 will only last as a three person rig for a few years and then your kids will be too big to fit in car seats. Not sure other than Ferry Bridge, McCarthy bridge, and dense forest where having a narrow utv is a must. Like I said I have the 2010 Ranger 6X6 and have NOT been limited IMO.
    4. All the modifications and fabs you're talking about are either fun for you or you're trying too hard to make something it is not. For safety, carrying capacity, all-terrain ability I'd go with a regualr Ranger 4X4, or the Ranger 6x6. You will not be disappointed and you'll be able to carry three people in the cab comfortably for as long as you own it AND you'll still have the bed to carry gear in.

    My two cents.

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    It's definitely a personal preference thing. And you forgot the part about needing to buy a new trailer if I went wider than 52"

    I might have to message HuntNPhotos about Big Boss changes year to year since 2009.

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Well, I'm the new owner of a 2012 Big Boss. After talking with various dealers, I learned that the only real difference was the front end changes in 2011. This is good since the radiator was raised and more space made available under the front rack. However unfortunately for me, there are no blue plastics available for this body style, only green, red, and yellow. Ive always made fun of Polaris, and I'm kind of embarrassed to own one, but theres just no other 6 wheeler available! Argos don't count. Please humor me though I have to rant about a few things:

    1. Why are Polaris machines such rough idling rattle cans? Honda and Yamaha machines are smooth with very little vibration or rattles. And springs to hold on your muffler like its a two stroke?
    2. Why would you put the shifter on the same side as the thumb throttle forcing you to awkwardly reach over the gas tank, or have to let to of the right handlebar?? And there are no solid detents - the gauge says you're in reverse, but the transmission is really still in neutral since you rev up and don't go anywhere!
    3. Why can't Polaris design accurately fitting body panels? The handlebar headlight shroud screw holes line up when the seams are NOT lined up.
    4. Why is there no foot brake? That seems like a major safety issue.
    5. Chinsy plastic front rack with no good locations to strap anything on?

    And that's just a couple that quickly come to mind. But one else makes anything comparable, so I'll try to suck it up.


    So, let the mods begin. First off, I'm going to weld up an aluminum frame from two car seats in the bed. Should be fairly easy. Then I'm going to have a machinist build me a sharp, strong, aluminum rollbar/gas tank. Next, a winch set up which I haven't figured how I want to do it yet. I'd prefer to just install a Warn XT40 in the front standard area. Except about one out of every 20 times, you need to winch backwards. I don't love the idea of movable front/back winch, but I don't think with the chinsy front rack I could route the winch rope up and over the machine to do a back pull. Of course routing it under the machine doesn't work when you're buried in muck. Fourth will be getting my fenders painted blue by a reputable outfit. Then getting some 27" radial mud tires - not sure yet on the brand, but XTRs don't seem to have much going for them. I like the 14" Buckshot aluminum wheels, or the fancy stock Polaris wheels for their 850 Sportsman. I'll throw a brush guard on the front, the extra little rail arouns the front rack, and a Warn Provantage plow. Finally heated grips and seat will round out my mods. This winter, I may spring for those Prospector pro tracks, but we'll see. Maybe some Rigid lights too!

    Anything I'm forgetting? Once I start, I'll try to do a "Pimp my 6x6" thread - ha!

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Well I for one am a big Polaris fan. Much of you're complaints are found on all rigs. If in had no need for more seats I'd easily have a big boss.

    Did they ever figure out the broken bolt issue on the center axles snapping?

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    I asked about both. The shaft issue was in about 3% of units and they thought was directly related to user overload. Doesn't seem to be anything theyre doing about the shaft issue.

    The bolt issue was more significant and in approx 10-12% of units. They ARE trying to work with Polaris for a solution. The stock bolts ARE grade 8 but their tech though maybe a softer lower grade bolt that would flex a little, rather than sheer would be beneficial. I don't know if I buy that though.

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