Keeping the off-road fire burning is something Polarishas accomplished in big fashion the past couple of years. The development of many diverse, user specific products keeps the Minnesota based company alive and in the industry eye. For 2014, Polaris announced the Sportsman line would receive some mid-bore love in the shape of a brand new Sportsman 570. In order to see this new machine for ourselves we visited with Polaris in the small Pennsylvanian town of Patton, to enjoy a day of riding on the Rock Run Recreational facility and spend some time getting to know the new Sportsman.
Pennsylvania’s Rock Run off-road riding area has many diverse types of terrain with tight trails, rocks, hill climbs and gravely, hard-packed roads. This would be a great place to test the new machine and its ProStar 570 engine platform.
If you’ll remember back a year or so ago the Polaris RZR570 was first unleashed, and it is this very engine that we now find in the Sportsman. The powerful 567cc Single builds torque and horsepower through fuel injection and its four-stroke dual overhead cam design. Mounted with large isolators the engine in this machine will have a reduction in vibrations felt by the rider. Polaris proclaims the ProStar engine produces a good 44 horsepower.
Increased fuel capacity adds 11% more range to the new Sportsman, allowing riders to enjoy a good day on the trail. The fuel tank on this machine was increased to 4.5 gallons, which is just over a half gallon more than previous years.
With a total of 567cc the water-cooled engine lays the power to the trail via CVT/ Belt driven transmission. Polaris includes its On Demand True All Wheel Drive to handle the duties of providing ample power output for each wheel while in four-wheel drive mode. The simple handlebar-mounted switch engages or disengages the drive system depending on the rider’s needs. This simple feature allows the rider to get in and out of the really tricky terrain or muddy situations more easily and in theory keeps the Sportsman moving forward. The big right-hand side-mounted stick shifter gives riders a selection of high, low, reverse, neutral and even park. A true parking gear keeps the 702-pound machine in place on most terrain and is easier than locking the hydraulic brakes, which can be hard on braking components.
Twisting the Sportsman 570 in and out of the trees at Rock Run was fun and there were some more technical areas that allowed us to test the precise handling of this machine.
Suspension for the 570 is a MacPherson strut design up front giving riders 8.2 inches of travel and an independent rear suspension allows the rear wheels to travel 9.5 inches. The rear shocks are coil over gas charged units that offer preload adjustability, and Polaris has included a rear sway control bar to help stabilize the Sportsman’s performance in the quick turns and off camber trails. Getting over trail obstacles is also easy with the 11.25 inches of ground clearance down the center of the quad.
Polaris increased the ability to power more accessories with a new stator designed for an additional 40% of 12V supply output.
As if the increase in range due to fuel availability wasn’t enough, Polaris also increased the ability to power more accessories with a new stator designed for an additional 40% of 12V supply output. This will be great for extra lights or running things such as a tire inflator or radio. The supplied terminal block, accessible beneath the cover of the front rack storage box, also allows easy hookup to the extra electricity quickly and easily. The battery for the Sportsman can be found up front on the surface of the lower frame secured for lower center of gravity and serviceability.
Sportsman owners can load up to 180 pounds of stuff onto the rear rack and this machine will tow a claimed 1225 pounds.
Speaking of front storage, this new Polaris Sportsman 570 has plenty of it for a mid-displacement machine. The front rack, capable of carrying a load of up to 90 pounds, also hides 6.5 gallons of watertight cargo space that is 21% larger than the 2011 cargo box. Rack capacity and mounting for cargo has changed just a little on the rear rack as it now has tubular piping that extends from section to section allowing easier securing of baggage. Sportsman owners can load up to 180 pounds of stuff onto the rear rack and this machine will tow a claimed 1225 pounds!
As soon as riders sit on the new Sportsman they will notice a sleeker design in the saddle. The seat has changed from years past as it no longer wraps itself around the sides of the engine compartment. Polaris claims the center area is also narrower by three inches, and this Sportsman does appear slimmer. The Sportsman also gets wider as well, as broader foot wells offer full protection from the mud and trail debris. Keeping a good grip on the machine comes as a job for the plastic integrated foot pegs and slight kick up on the outside of the foot well.
As we mentioned before, the Rock Run test ride location utilized many different terrains and sampling the Sportsman here was a good choice. The fuel-injected 570 had no issues starting and as we let the machines warm up we had a chance to get familiar with our riding position. In park the shift lever tends to encroach on the larger riders right leg space, but I guess no one leaves it in park very long and the shifter moves forward when engaged to a drive gear. When shifted into low or high gear we had plenty of space at that point. This new Sportsman seemed to fit my larger 6-foot-tall body very well and after only a few minutes of riding I was completely comfortable with the ride.
Suspension for the 570 is a MacPherson strut design up front giving riders 8.2 inches of travel and an independent rear suspension allows the rear wheels to travel 9.5 inches.
The fuel injected 570 packs a surprising punch and setting off down the trail the increase in power was refreshing. As we grew even more comfortable with the ergonomics of the Sportsman we picked up the pace to carve some tight trails. Twisting the Sportsman 570 in and out of the trees at Rock Run was fun and there were some more technical areas that allowed us to test the precise handling of this machine. With predictable steering and very little in the way of problematic symptoms found on comparably-priced machines the ride at speed was exciting. Our test machine was equipped with Polaris’s Optional EPS or electronic power steering. The EPS gave up just enough assist to be comfortable and not really free moving like other models in this category.
Climbing small hills and a rock covered steep trail, we found the new Sportsman had more than enough power and prowess to tackle the challenge – it just depended on the state of mind and experience of the rider to make the choice. The suspension on our Sportsman worked very well considering its simplistic design. With 11 inches of ground clearance we found it very easy to crawl over rocks and roots without belly scrub.
The Sportsman 570 braking is left to twin hydraulic discs and single-piston calipers up front and one single hydraulic disc and caliper on the right rear wheel. Getting the machine down from speed did require a little more forethought as even though the 702-pound ride has plenty of braking for the average rider it does take a little space to get it slowed up. Downhill sections gave the 570 mill a chance to show off its engine braking capabilities and assist in slowing the ATV.
Polaris had taken the simplistic approach to the overall machine. There is nothing on the Sportsman 570 that is unnecessary – and this saves the end user money as well as service worries. Keeping the Sportsman 570 simple was a goal and it was achieved without sacrificing the ride. The $6499 price also reflects Polaris’s dedication to keep everyone riding. The power steering model will cost you just a bit more at around $7299 but it is well worth the extra change. Overall we found the new 2014 Polaris Sportsman 570 EPS very fun to ride, and a great value as well!