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 Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring

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Joined : 2008-01-15
Posts : 10992
Age : 54
Location : Knoxville, TN

PostSubject: Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring   Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:37 pm

By: Tim Donaldson

Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring
A Comfortable Ride for Two!

Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring

Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring Video
[File Size: 26 megs, Format: .WMV]
Having a love for the outdoors, ATV riding has always been a natural choice for escaping some of the doldrums of everyday life and an opportunity to soak in some fresh air (except for those riding or following a 2-stroke) and scenery. As enthusiasts know, a leisurely ride can be a quite relaxing and invigorating experience. Not too long ago, I pitched the idea of a laid-back, afternoon ride to my father– a competent yet less than overly experienced rider. Upon agreeing, we each saddled up an ATV and took off on our journey. As I led the way, periodically looking back to see how Dad was doing, we traversed the rolling foothills of Northwestern Appalachia. The scenery was remarkable.

Referring to the panoramic views that we just negotiated, finishing our countryside trek, I smacked Dad in the shoulder and excitedly shouted, “Was that some incredible stuff or what?!” Relieved, he calmly replied, “I don’t know. I was too busy holding onto the handlebars and watching where I was going.” I was shocked! Did he really miss the stunning “eye candy” of our surroundings?
Apparently, that was the case. It was then that I realized the potential value of having a 2-up machine such as those produced by Polaris Industries, where less experienced riders can enjoy the same thrills of ATV riding without actually performing or worry about the navigation. Polaris currently offers 4 models in their 2-up, Sportsman Series lineup with the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring being the “ultimate combination of big-bore power and plush, 2-up comfort.” was recently afforded the opportunity by Polaris to get some seat time on the Sportsman 800 EFI Touring, so let’s take a look at how this machine actually performs!

About the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring

The Polaris Creed boasts that their employees not only build and design the machines but are also enthusiastic riders, giving them a competitive advantage in maximizing the riding experience for their customers. With the Sportsman 800 Touring model in mind, the primary focus was certainly about comfort. Fitted with a host of ride-enhancing features, the machine comes standard with an Ultra-Comfortable Seat and Backrest, Vibration Isolating Handholds and Footrests, Rolled Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), Active Descent Control (ADC), On-Demand AWD , Versatrac Turf Mode, and a Metallic Automotive-Style Finish–to name a few.

The Ultra-Comfortable Seat and Backrest is a large, removable, rear seat that–when complimented with the Vibration Isolating Handholds and Footrests–provides a secure, confident, and roomy fit for the passenger. When the seat is removed, Polaris’s patented lock and ride accessories are available to enhance the utility of the machine. The Vibration Isolating Handholds are made of rubber to sufficiently eliminate the buzz typically felt in the hands from machine vibration. Also, the supports provide three separate locations for the passenger to grip while riding, extending the range of comfort. As for the Footrests, they come standard with adjustable riser blocks. Taller passengers can remove the standard-sized blocks, allowing for lengthened foot position. Even the shortest of riders have the option of purchasing a taller riser, as an accessory from Polaris.
As most people realize, independent rear suspension is an essential enhancement for any ATV in the ride comfort department. Polaris’s Rolled Independent Rear Suspension on the Sportsman 800 Touring is patterned after the other Sportsman models; however, in this case, the IRS is specially angled with passenger ride comfort in mind. Keeping the passenger comfortably seated in the rear is also achieved through the Active Descent Control (ADC). Working together with the engine braking system, the ADC provides smooth, controlled decelerations down the slopes–allowing driver and passenger to remain firmly in command and not over the handlebars. Selecting the On-Demand AWD feature engages all four wheels to provide additional forward traction and automatically reverts back to two-wheel drive mode when no longer needed.

Providing additional machine versatility, the Sportsman 800 Touring is equipped with Versatrac Turf Mode. Rather than tearing up the lawn or other sensitive terrains when both rear wheels are uniformly engaged, Versatrac Turf Mode allows the inside wheel to slip. This feature minimizes the machine’s footprint on the terrain and reduces the turn-radius from 94 inches (2x4 Mode) to 75 inches. Rounding out the comfort and versatility features of the Sportsman Touring is an appearance package that is sure to turn heads. With an automatic-style finish, Polaris boasts that the surface is 9-times tougher and more scratch-resistant than standard, plastic hardware. Coupled with cast wheels, the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring is easy to clean and keep looking good.

Powered by a 4-stroke, 760cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine–the Sportsman 800 Touring packed a heavy punch and was very fun to drive. This same engine is also the power plant of the performance-driven Polaris Ranger RZR. Even with the weights of both a rider and passenger, the quad never seemed burdened. While the engine RPMs seemed high at lower speeds, there was more than sufficient power throughout the bottom to top end range. Never really finding a limit to the throttle, this quad was snappy whenever it was needed.

With so much power produced by the big-bore engine, it was easy to see why Polaris designed it to utilize a liquid-cooling system. Even so, the engine produced a noticeable amount of heat while riding, especially on the right-side where the exhaust pipe is routed to the rear of the machine. From appearances, Polaris has fitted the machine with some heat shielding to prevent melting of the body work.
Equipped with a turn-key, rather than push-button, starting mechanism–the electronic fuel injection (EFI) delivered consistent and reliable start-up. Producing a pleasant exhaust note, the 760cc engine purred at a steady rate with very little engine vibration being transmitted throughout the machine. Although providing plenty of comforts for the trail, make no mistake. This explosive ATV will certainly deliver more than the lazy day, Sunday afternoon jaunt requires–raising the fun-factor of the machine.

The Sportsman 800 Touring utilizes a large-handled, transmission selector mechanism which includes Park, Reverse, Neutral, Low, and High ranges. Selecting one mode over another was achieved effortlessly. However, placing the unit into and out of park required slightly more exertion. Considering the fact of what may happen if the ATV slides out of park, it may be a good thing that it does not make the transition easily. An unsuspecting passenger, relaxing on the back, will likely appreciate this, as well.

Another transmission feature on the Sportsman 800 Touring is the use of u-joints, rather than CV-joint, linkages. Though not advocating a preference over one type of transmission joint over another, it was noted that routinely there was sufficient “backlash” in the joints when changing from forward to reverse and vice-versa–resulting in hesitant and erratic switches between forward and reverse. Given the prominent torque delivered by the engine, the service life of the drive-train joints may be problematic.

2010 Ranger XP 800
PP Windshield F&B, EMP EXT Bumper, Warn 40XT, Kobalt Box, Backwoods Armor 2" Lift/Arched Forward A-Arms, ProArmor Doors, DJ Fab Heat Shield, KFI Front Hitch, UTV Tech Mud Guard & Grill Insert, Crow 4-point Harness, Hi Lift Jack, 27" Horns, SS108's, Garmin 76csx, IPOD 80GB w/Otter Box, ATV Trail Tunes Sounds, Dual Battery Setup,  2-way Radio, PWM Built Spare Tire/Gas Carrier, Diamond Back Top & Floor Mats, HID's, FlexSteel Seats

PWM's Pix

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Joined : 2008-01-15
Posts : 10992
Age : 54
Location : Knoxville, TN

PostSubject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring   Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:38 pm

Overall Handling

When driving, the quad handled as if there was no passenger–almost seeming better with the passenger always on board. The steering provided an excellent turn radius and was improved further with the aid of the standard, Turf Mode feature. However, riding some tight switchbacks did prove troublesome out on the trail. Possibly due to our lack of experience on a 2-up, we had to stop short in a few turns and back up to navigate the correct turning angle. Being a 2-up, this is a big quad.
The size of the quad, being very large, did have it advantages. With a wide and long wheel base stance, off-camber slopes and hills were easily conquered with confidence. Additionally, with 11 inches of ground clearance, typical rocks and other terrain protrusions were handled with ease. The stock skid plate adequately handled the aggressive terrain requirements and, more importantly, kept critical components scuff free. We would have, though, liked to have seen a little more A-arm protection in the rear. At 8.2 inches of travel in the front and 8.75 inches in the rear, the ride was still all about providing comfort in all situations.
Even more so with a passenger, keeping the machine under control is very important. Part of that control is acquired through the means of deceleration. Accomplished on the Sportsman 800 Touring through the Active Descent Control (ADC), Engine Braking System (EBS), and hydraulic disc brakes–the safety of the machine is enhanced. Most times the EBS work so well that applying the disc brakes was not necessary. When things were really hairy on descents, the ADC–automatically used in conjunction with the EBS–provided a very slow, c­ontrolled speed down the slope. It’s very impressive, considering that a walking-pace speed can be maintained down a steep grade while holding back the 795 pound dry weight of the machine plus the weight of the driver and passenger.

The single, brake lever actuated the hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels simultaneously. Though prejudiced towards separate lever control over the front and rear brakes, the Sportsman 800 Touring braking worked extremely well and may have changed my perception of the concept. The brake lines that transported the fluid to each disc were constructed out of a high-quality metal braiding. On the machine that we tested, the braiding which was routed to the rear wheels protruded away from the frame, leaving a loop that looked like an inviting place for branch or other protrusion to lodge and tear out the break line. The addition of rear A-arm, skid plates would likely eliminate this possible scenario.

To fairly assess the handling of the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring, we had to take a turn as both driver and passenger. Giving up the controls was like giving the car keys to your 16 year-old son or daughter. Nonetheless, riding as a passenger was surprisingly enjoyable. The seat was incredibly comfortable and the handholds provided multiple places to grip and adjust for a variety of sitting positions and riding terrains. Only when the driver drove at excessive speeds, over bumps and characteristic of all 2-ups, did the ride get a little tough–simulating a catapult launching a projectile through the air. A momentary release of the handgrips, if possible, for a quick jab in the driver’s ribs was the most successful remedy for the problem. Overall, there was plenty of room between driver and passenger, eliminating any interference between the riders. The ride was very comfortable.


As for convenience, the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring offers ample storage space in the front storage compartment–providing room for coats, rain gear or other smaller items. Since this is a 2-up, most of the room in the rear is taken by the seat. Although, removing the seat allows for the addition of one Polaris’s many optional, patented lock and ride accessories. True to their nature and increasing versatility, the lock and ride accessories can be added to or removed from the machine very quickly and easily. The deck of the front storage compartment will also support the addition of these accessories. Standard on the Polaris are two cup holders, located adjacently to either side of the rear seat.

Ergonomically, the machine is easy to board and mount. Riding positions are equally accessible, as well as natural feeling. The handlebar grips are smaller in diameter than most manufacturers’ machines, providing a unique feel to the driving experience. With a 6-gallon fuel tank, more time can be spent on the trail. Aided by the extremely comfortable driver and passenger seats, the extra time gained in the saddle is only welcomed. With plenty of floorboard protection, the driver and passenger can remain reasonably dry while riding through the mud and water.

Equipped with high and low-beam lights (high-beam centrally located between the handlebars), there is plenty to the light up the path. Additionally, the large high-beam turns with the steering column, providing light wherever the handlebars are turned. Although, loading the front rack to the full, 90 pound capacity may limit the ability to use the high-beam light–something inherent with all ATVs using a central high-beam. The Sportsman 800 Touring model also provides a comprehensive, standard instrumentation package which includes: Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Trip meter, Hour meter, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi Temp/Low Battery Lights, and DC Outlet. All instrumentation is clearly visible and easy to access.

Final Thoughts
The Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring was designed with comfort at the forefront of consideration. It most definitely delivers in this department. We found the ride to be impeccably smooth and enjoyable for the both the driver and passenger. Combining the comfort of the machine with the power available from the 760cc engine, the Sportsman 800 Touring is a blast to drive, too.
The Turf Mode, ADC, and EBS are all worthy features that add to the overall functionality of the machine. When riding with a passenger, it is no longer only personal safety that is a concern. These features give confidence, when riding with a passenger, to tackle tougher obstacles and terrain. With a removable seat and Polaris’s patented, lock and ride accessories, the functionality and flexibility of the machine can be greatly expanded to explore the utility of the machine.

The automotive-style finish is really an added bonus to the appearance of the quad, and it really makes cleaning it much easier. We don’t think anyone would mind being seen on the rear of one of these. Though we pointed out a few issues, nothing stands out as a deal breaker. We think the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring is the 2-up cruiser for supreme ride comfort and enjoyment. If you get the chance, try one out, and share the enjoyment of ATV riding with someone else.
For more information about the Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring and Polaris’s other ATV products, visit

2010 Ranger XP 800
PP Windshield F&B, EMP EXT Bumper, Warn 40XT, Kobalt Box, Backwoods Armor 2" Lift/Arched Forward A-Arms, ProArmor Doors, DJ Fab Heat Shield, KFI Front Hitch, UTV Tech Mud Guard & Grill Insert, Crow 4-point Harness, Hi Lift Jack, 27" Horns, SS108's, Garmin 76csx, IPOD 80GB w/Otter Box, ATV Trail Tunes Sounds, Dual Battery Setup,  2-way Radio, PWM Built Spare Tire/Gas Carrier, Diamond Back Top & Floor Mats, HID's, FlexSteel Seats

PWM's Pix

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Joined : 2008-01-15
Posts : 10992
Age : 54
Location : Knoxville, TN

PostSubject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring   Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:38 pm

Sportsman Touring 800

  • Engine Type 4-stroke
  • Displacement, cc 760 twin
  • Carburetion 40mm Throttle Body, EFI
  • Cooling Liquid
  • Starting Electric

Drive Train

  • Final Drive Shaft
  • Transmission P/R/N/L/H
  • Drive System Automatic PVT, Turf /
  • 2WD/AWD/AWD with ADC
  • Engine Braking System Standard
  • Active Decent Control Standard


  • Front Suspension MacPherson Strut with 8.2" / 20.8 cm travel
  • Rear Suspension Fully Independent, progressive rate with anti-roll bar; 8.75" / 22.2 cm travel


  • Front Brakes Single Lever Hydraulic disc
  • Rear Brake Hydraulic rear foot brake

Tires & Wheels

  • Front Tires 25 x 8-12; 489
  • Rear Tires 25 x 11-12; 489
  • Wheels Cast Aluminum


  • Wheelbase 57" / 144.8 cm
  • Dry Weight 795 lb. / 360.6 kg
  • Length/Width/Height 86" / 218.4 cm, 48" / 121.9 cm, 48" / 121.9 cm
  • Seat Height 34" / 86.4 cm
  • Fuel Capacity 6 gal. / 22.7 ltr
  • Front Rack/Box Capacity 90 lb. / 40.8 kg
  • Rear Rack Capacity 180 lb. / 81.6 kg
  • Hitch Towing Capacity 1500 lb. / 680.4 kg
  • Ground Clearance 11" / 27.9 cm
  • Hitch / Type Std / Receiver


  • Instrumentation Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Hourmeter, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi Temp/Low Batt lights, DC Outlet.


  • Aurora Blue
  • Sunset Red


  • USA - $9,699
  • Canada - $11,699

2010 Ranger XP 800
PP Windshield F&B, EMP EXT Bumper, Warn 40XT, Kobalt Box, Backwoods Armor 2" Lift/Arched Forward A-Arms, ProArmor Doors, DJ Fab Heat Shield, KFI Front Hitch, UTV Tech Mud Guard & Grill Insert, Crow 4-point Harness, Hi Lift Jack, 27" Horns, SS108's, Garmin 76csx, IPOD 80GB w/Otter Box, ATV Trail Tunes Sounds, Dual Battery Setup,  2-way Radio, PWM Built Spare Tire/Gas Carrier, Diamond Back Top & Floor Mats, HID's, FlexSteel Seats

PWM's Pix

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Airborne LT
Senior Member

Joined : 2008-05-29
Posts : 309
Age : 44
Location : FT Campbell, KY Finally back in the good ole USA!!

PostSubject: Re: Polaris Sportsman 800 EFI Touring   Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:42 am

Nice looking machine. With kind of price tag though you could buy a SxS and have seatbelts and a roll cage. Polaris is making much better machines these days. The new Sportsmans are really turning heads.
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