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Best 500cc Class Utility ATV - The 2011 Polaris Sportsman XP 550

2010.polaris.sportsman-xp550.green_.front-left.riding.on-dirt.jpgPolaris engineers came up with a simple solution for riders who love the XP 850’s excellent features, but may feel intimidated with an 850cc engine – offer the same features and chassis with a 550cc engine! As a smaller brother to the XP 850, the Sportsman XP 550 shares an almost identical chassis but with a liquid cooled, single cylinder, EFI equipped engine mated to a carefree, CVT transmission. The engine runs crisp and smooth, and the XP550 gets a high performance clutch with a roller system for a very noticeable snap off the bottom. Once again, the narrower ergonomics are much more comfortable, and on the trail it feels almost sporty. Regardless of the test rider, nobody complains about the XP 550 ergonomics, and the incredible XP suspension delivers the agility of a much lighter, smaller sport/utility ATV, allowing the rider to charge through rough terrain with confidence. Electronic Power Steering makes it easy to ride all day with no arm fatigue, although we do feel slightly more wheel feedback would be beneficial. In a class with several excellent models and strong competition, the Polaris Sportsman XP 550 offers enough features and value to push it above all others. It’s one of the best ATVs ever built, and we’ve never been disappointed with the XP 550. For most riders it’s perfect, and it’s our pick for the Best 500cc Class Utility ATV of 2010.

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