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Thread: Polaris Sportsman Owners

  1. #1

    Default Polaris Sportsman Owners

    Hi all, I am shopping for atv's and I keep hearing about the Polaris CVT belt getting wet and slipping issue. It seems like everyone I hear this from is not a Polaris owner. Can I here from all the Polaris owners on their experience? Have you had this happen? What situation were you in? How did you remedy the situation? Also any other comments you want to make good or bad will be welcomed. I am ready to buy a couple new machines and want to make sure I am not making a mistake. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I have a polaris, i have never had my belt get wet and slip, and yes, it has been in some water. So far, i am happy with mine. It's an 08 500. Only issue i have had is some of the wiring in the steering column broke. My starter quit working and i traced it to the wire in the steering column. Also the wire broke for my upper headlight.

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  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Never had any issues, been riding polaris for a long time. We don't "abuse" our machines and look for the deepest mudhole when out screwing around though....
    Normal hunting and riding will not bother the belt at all. They are 4 wheelers and are made for this purpose.
    BK

  4. #4
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    I have a 06 Sportsman and twice I had problems with the belt both times it sat in deep water when it was stuck. There is a drain plug you can remove and drain the water out. My Yamaha has the same problem and the same fix. I guest you could say it normal if you have a belt and you sink it.

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    Keep in mind Polaris was the first to come out with the belt drive, so they were also the first to have to solve the wet belt issues. (since the 90's) That reputation has carried over the years. I think it is equal across all machines now. The biggest issue is to make sure you get a good seal when you service the machine. Dirt will eat the seal quickly if it is install wrong. 3rd season on the ranger and no issues. Picked up 2 93 trail bosses for the kids to ride. After replacing the seals we have not had any issues in 2 seasons.

  6. #6

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    Technically to get a belt wet on the newer machines you have to get water as high as the gas tank to enter the belt case snorkel.... But if you read another post about a Big Boss with belt slippage this past weekend I would bet it is a gasket issue. It will either be a gasket pinched from the factory or the snorkel hose clamp put on wrong or it loosened up. I have a 2012 500 HO and at 62 miles under it the cap on the gas tank that holds the fuel gauge loosened up and when I was getting gas at Costco had spilled all over the back of my truck (about 2 gallons). I had no clue what was happening! Stupid things that happen or don't happen from the factory!

  7. #7
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    I have a 2002 700 twin that has not had an easy life. Only problem was a water pump failure that was covered under warranty and a broken speedo cable at about 3500 miles...otherwise it is a rock and I can't tell you how many logs it has pulled out of the woods for fire wood but it also has been "sunk" many times and no slippage of the belt. Only issue is the bad gas mileage but then it is a very powerful ATV so you gotta burn gas to get there.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTfisher View Post
    Technically to get a belt wet on the newer machines you have to get water as high as the gas tank to enter the belt case snorkel.... But if you read another post about a Big Boss with belt slippage this past weekend I would bet it is a gasket issue. It will either be a gasket pinched from the factory or the snorkel hose clamp put on wrong or it loosened up. I have a 2012 500 HO and at 62 miles under it the cap on the gas tank that holds the fuel gauge loosened up and when I was getting gas at Costco had spilled all over the back of my truck (about 2 gallons). I had no clue what was happening! Stupid things that happen or don't happen from the factory!
    Yep I was on the other thread too. Mine was the ranger that had a pinched gasket from the factory. Pissed me off a bit but it happens. I caught it early so never really had a slipping issue. For me it's important to check things after water crossings especially if they are deep. That drain plug is that for a reason and it works great. I just wish the plastic housing around the belt had a better fit.

  9. #9
    Member Kmagers's Avatar
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    I have an 850 and a 550 and like he said you have to have the whole machine in/under water to get it too slip in my experience. My wife rolled mine into a pond and only thing you could see were the handle bars that she was holding onto so it wouldn't roll again. But anyway it was slipping for about an hour but dried quick and we were back at it. I have had em deep in mud, water, ponds, and creeks and no slippage other than when it went for a scuba trip.
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  10. #10
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    I have owned Polaris for as long as I can remember. I have rode other brands, friends machines and work machines. First off...there really isn't a bad machine on the market...I know nothing about CFMOTO. Anyway, Polaris is the better all around machine. Polaris has been true All Wheel Drive for over 10-15 years while other brands say they are four wheel drive, but they really are three tire fire. The belt issue is something Polaris had issues with back in the 90's and not all machines had issues...it all depended on the owner and type of riding. Since then all the guys who said they would never own a belt drive machine...now own a belt driven machine (might not be polaris, but its still belt driven)...funny how that works. Belt drives are great because of the immediate response and torque they deliver. The Belt was is an excuse for other loyalist to knock Polaris, but they don't laugh when I have a tow rope or winch hooked up to them. Anyway, if you want the smoothest riding, best riding, most powerful machine, true 4 wheel drive on the market there is no comparison. The belt drive is sealed with a foam seal, as long as the seal is not cracked or broke and installed properly you will be fine. I have had mud up to my racks going slow and no issues. If you like to ride in water, consider installing a snorkel kit. Good Luck!!!

  11. #11
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    Since 1997 been hunting with a sportsman 500 and recently two six wheelers never once had a belt slip or have I ever had to change one due to wear. great machines, The new 800 six wheeler is a gas hog though,

  12. #12
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I have had my ranger in water that went over my lap and never had an issue. The belt housing does a good job as long as the seal is good. Polaris recommends replacing the seal everytime you pull the cover. I do it every other time and it works fine. I did have a seal that I pinched that didn't do me any favors in water but then, it was my fault not the machines.
    I would prefer a belt driven machine over gears. I have tested the differences and the belt goes through mud and up long hills better. Shifting gears in a mud hole never works out good, while the belt is constintly shifting as you go with no lapse in forward movement.
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