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Thread: 2009 Polaris 550 trail touring

  1. #1

    Default 2009 Polaris 550 trail touring

    I'm thinking about buying a 2009 Polaris 550 trail touring. It is slightly used, less than 200 miles. Anyone out there have any experience with his sled? How it runs off trail, MPG, reliability, etc? Thanks much...

  2. #2
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    Polaris does not have the motor figured out yet so stay away from the 550's.
    Bunch of them burning up the motor.
    Check Snowest and hardcoresledders for info on it.
    People have been buying the kit to fix them but they are still burning up.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    What kind of riding do you want to do? That's the primary question in selecting a sled.

    Otherwise the Poo 550 fans are dependable machines. Stay out of the deep snow though.

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    My info was that this engine has been around for some time. Burning up? wow! I'll check into that some more. I plan on riding on some deep snow, problems?

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where BRM heard Polaris has issues with it's 550 fans. Maybe, but I'm a "Polaris guy" and haven't heard anything. There have been issues with the 800s and the 05/06 900s are riddled with issues but the 550 fan is not a known problem child.

    If you're not an experienced rider and you buy a trail sled your best course is to stick to trails. Your Trail Touring doesn't have the power or track or suspension to perform well in the deep. Yes, it can be done but the rider has to have the skills. If you venture off trail with this machine in snow deeper than about a foot you will spend a lot of time learing how to get unstuck. (BTW ev-er-ree-body gets stuck eventually)

    They're good sleds for what they were designed for. If you want an "all around" sled and are partial to Polaris then consider a used Trail RMK. Same motor, more aggressive track, better suspension and better deep snow performance.

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    Member Jktimm's Avatar
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    Default I agree with Erik

    We have a friend that rides with us on his Trail Touring. It's a beautiful sled, but it handles poorly and twice last year he tipped over on a corner. It weighs 75 pounds more than the Trail RMK. My wife rides the Trail RMK and it handles nicely, is way more sporty, and is a lot more fun. This is our third 550 fan and they have all been zero problems.

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    Default 550

    The 550 does have some problems go to http://snowest.com/forum/ and do a search you will find a lot of info.

    http://www.snowest.com/forum/showthread.php?t=122869

  8. #8

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    I plan on riding very conservatively mostly on trails, sometimes off trail. Where I am the snow seems to "crust" a lot and you can walk around on it in places where it may be 4 feet deep.

    Last year was my first winter and got about 30 minutes experience on a sled, so I know I have a lot of learning to do.

    I followed a link posted where a guy writes about the 550 fan motors breaking all the time. Sometimes the motors last 5 minutes between rebuilds. Seems like Polaris would be out of business (or ought to be) if the 550's were really that bad.

    One thing I've noticed is that the Polaris 550 Trail Touring machines LOOK cheap compared to say the Ski Doo sleds.

    I did get the sled, traded stuff I did not use for it. It has very low miles and has been inside a heated building since it was new. I might sell it and go to another brand or model...

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    They are very very popular out here in the tundra. There's probably 10-20 in my village alone. They do great out on the tundra for things like hauling wood, caribou hunting, and hauling the family to Bethel for groceries. I chose a trail RMK just because I didn't need a 2 up and didn't want a "grandpa sled"

  10. #10
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    If that sled doesn't work for you, try out a 550F Tundra. Awesome for playing, boondocking and hauls freight well too.

  11. #11

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    If you already have the Polaris 550, get rid of it now while it's still running good! These engines have a horrible reputation for reliability and WILL burn the left side piston and cylinder. It's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when.

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    That statement is contrary to my experience or the experience of several other friends and relatives who own or have owned Polaris 550 fan motors. The two my wife had were trouble free and as reliable as any engine we've ever used. Same for my brother in law's sleds. Same for my sister in law's sled. And a few other friends. None has had a single hiccup. I'd call that motor as close to bullet proof as a snowgo engine can be.

    How many have you burned up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    That statement is contrary to my experience or the experience of several other friends and relatives who own or have owned Polaris 550 fan motors. The two my wife had were trouble free and as reliable as any engine we've ever used. Same for my brother in law's sleds. Same for my sister in law's sled. And a few other friends. None has had a single hiccup. I'd call that motor as close to bullet proof as a snowgo engine can be.

    How many have you burned up?
    If they are in the GEN-2 frame then they are pretty good.
    In the EDGE frame the motor is toasted most of the time.

    Family friend has rebuilt his touring 3 times and the rmk's 2 times.
    Neighbor down the road has rebuilt over 20 last yr.

    The Edge frame holds way more heat than the gen-2.
    Everything is closer to the motor.

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    Interesting. That's the first I've heard of it. Both of mine were in Edge chassis. Same for my relatives. Never a single problem. In fact I know a few guys that are always looking for 550 Edge RMKs because they've been such great machines. My two sleds were 1- Edge Trail Touring and 1- ProX Fan. They were great sleds. Still are, but wife wanted more go-fast so she's on a 600 liquid now.

  15. #15
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I have a buddy with a 550 Trail and 6 years of kid abuse on it. It still runs great. Another friend has several in his tour fleet with no issues at all. It's a very decent snowmachine and one I wouldn't hesitate to buy.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    From what i have read and seen if you drive like you stole it and stay away from the certain speed range they do live for quite a while.

    Like the frame but will stay with the old wedge and 488 fan till cannot get parts.

    The kit they are putting on puts a cover over the fan with a hose to the hood to get cooler air into the motor.
    Oil pump get the bleeder screw taken out and a hose run from there to the oil tank to keep from boiling/getting the oil hot.
    Some are getting new cdi's with different timming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badriverman View Post
    From what i have read and seen if you drive like you stole it and stay away from the certain speed range they do live for quite a while.

    Like the frame but will stay with the old wedge and 488 fan till cannot get parts.

    The kit they are putting on puts a cover over the fan with a hose to the hood to get cooler air into the motor.
    Oil pump get the bleeder screw taken out and a hose run from there to the oil tank to keep from boiling/getting the oil hot.
    Some are getting new cdi's with different timming.
    There's been a plethora of running updates to the 550 motor run in the Edge chassis. I'm in Nome, I have three of them, two have burned down. My latest version is an '06 Supersport, which lost the motor two months out of warranty, 1700 miles on it. No warning, just crapped at 40 mph. I'm a mechanic by trade, no fault of mine. After threatening to switch brands over this (my second time, I ate the first episode on an '04 I also have), Polaris gave me a new "engine upgrade kit", which included two new nicasil cylinders (with pistons, rings, gaskets, etc) a new CDI, exhaust heat shields, a fuel pump relocation kit, an oil pump continuous bleed kit, and new jetting specs. I also purchased the new retrofit '09 "cooling air kit", which is a large plastic housing that fits over the recoil/fan housing. This item is molded plastic that pulls outside air through a vent on top of the hood. You need to cut a hold in your cowl just below the headlight as well. It also comes with a large vent to go in the nose pan under the bumper to get fresh air in the engine bay, and two vents, one near the muffler/one near the clutches, that allows air flow through the engine bay.

    The 550 motor, at least in the Edge chassis, has definite cooling/heat issues. Polaris has this whole list of stuff out and available to help deal with them. It is much more compounded in areas of the Bush, where sleds tend to pile on the miles and get used hard. The base motor is in the IQ chassis (550 Shift) now, and appears (at least in the '09 model year), to be more reliable. Time will tell. These motors, too, have all of the above retrofitted parts on them. If you have an '04-'07 Edge-based 550, and you use it, it would behoove you to put this stuff on it.

    My dealer sells more pistons and cylinders for this series/years Polaris 550's than any other engine in the Polaris line-up for the past 10 years.

    That's gotta tell you something.

  18. #18

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    The 550 motors hold up a lot better with the new nicacil cylinders started i believe in 2008 . One thing I have seen is the machines being used in the bush are the ones going down I don't know if its fuel or canstant steady rpm pulling loads causing detonation.
    But i have never seen a 550 motor go down in local machines. As already posted the 550 motors used to burn up left and right but with the new cylinders and all the updates these motors hold up very well and i would not hesitate buying one. The only thing I can recomend to anyone running 550's is not to hold a steady rpm for a long period of time especialy with big loads. I think this is the problem but thats just my 2 cents.

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