Driving report Polaris Scrambler 500

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Driving report Polaris Scrambler 500

Driving report Polaris Scrambler 500
Four wins

Sounds suspiciously like a refrigerator at first. But among connoisseurs, the name Polaris stands for something completely different: long-legged, all-wheel-drive and therefore extremely all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs for short.

Matthias Schroter

06/17/1997

The nice young man, who in his adventure outfit looks as if he has just come back from the Dakar rally, wants to know whether anyone has problems reading a road book. Nobody reacts, all those present hang out the experienced off-road professional, and the author of these lines also bows to the pressure of expectation. Just don’t show any nakedness. Of course, never seen such a route description for rally specialists, let alone driven with an ATV. And the name Polaris can only assign a few correctly (see box on page 50). But it will work out somehow, at the Polaris presentation in the French Vosges.
In general: The organizer of this extraordinary event knew that many of the colleagues were sitting on such an ATV for the first time, on such an All Terrain Vehicle, and he couldn’t … Just think, after a few meters in the field, first It is clear that the Challenge Agency (phone 06150/990150), owner Uwe Schanz offers guided ATV weekend tours, wants to live up to its name, and – secondly, that not all of the participants are familiar with a road book.
Never mind, all roads lead to Rome. Or back on the intended route. Of course, this can never be thought of as a happy coffee trip, but rather to make friends with all, really all, of the special features of ATV driving. First of all, one thing for a motorcyclist: accelerating with the right thumb instead of the whole hand. Well, you get used to it quickly. But the brake does not apply the right hand, but the left hand. Exactly, the one with which you normally pull the clutch. The same is not needed with the Polaris ATV, because a continuously variable, belt-driven automatic transmission transmits the power to the drive wheels. The real highlight of this variator: controlled by centrifugal force, it always keeps the gear ratio in the high-torque speed range of the engine. No, the engines, because both the Sportsman 400 L with its beefy two-stroke engine and the competition model Scrambler 500 with 35 hp single-cylinder four-stroke engines are ready to take on the summit.
Oh yes, the summit storm. And how does it work, ATV-technically? Fortunately, there is this variator. Not unsporting at all. Simply move the gear stick forward, press the throttle and the scrambler will advance. Vigorous, and by no means as sluggish as it would suggest, with an empty weight of just under 250 kilograms. In addition, its chassis swallows almost everything that can get in the way off-road: independent suspension with double wishbones at the front, rigid axle and a full 216 millimeters of spring travel at the front and rear, so it’s no wonder that a near-series scrambler almost reaches the goal of this year’s Dakar rally had.
But now. The going gets tough, first a mud hole, then the summit. Again, the thumb must go? this time as a savior in need. A push of the small button labeled 4WD is enough to activate the all-wheel drive electronically. Another special feature of Polaris: the all-wheel drive can be switched on not only when the vehicle is stationary, but also while driving. Uff, what a beneficial invention. The driven axles of all Polaris models lock 100 percent. In all-wheel drive, the tractive effort distribution between the front and rear axles is always 50 to 50.
From now on only with all fours. Simply overwhelming. Especially when a newcomer to the terrain is squatting on the tightly padded bench. Is there a newcomer to the terrain here? All right, steep climbs, which even professionals initially cause a queasy pull in the stomach area, and which only experts can handle safely on an enduro, this scrambler climbs up without any problems. Simply that way. There is no falling over and excessive hectic would be out of place. If it gets tricky, stop briefly, look for the right path and then start again. Don’t worry, the Scrambler doesn’t roll backwards because its front wheels literally suck themselves into the loose ground and keep it on course.
Things get more difficult downwards. First, because of the very direct steering. And secondly, an ATV always seems a bit unstable, probably because of the thick studded tires that wobble cheerfully with their just 0.3 bar air pressure. It’s easier to do fast drifts ?? After a short practice phase, of course: Simply take out the four-wheel drive in tight bends and then turn on the ATV using the foot brake – it acts on a small brake disc at the transmission output.
Less easy: The rapid braking of the entire load, because compared to a modern enduro, the braking performance of an ATV is quite modest. In addition, the braking system also requires a strong hand in the Scrambler competition model. But doesn’t anyone here have strong hands? All jokes aside: The playfully easy handling of an ATV should not lead to headless racing. Otherwise, the newly discovered four-wheeler fun is guaranteed to end before the last page of the roadbook.

Polaris: the world’s largest manufacturer of snowmobiles, jet skis and ATVs

In Germany, Polaris is only known to insiders, in the USA, on the other hand, the Minneapolis-based company is one of the leading providers of leisure and commercial vehicles. Polaris started with snowmobiles, which have proven themselves for years, especially in tough conditions in Alaska. The experience in the snow and the simultaneously booming US leisure market gave Polaris the idea of ​​also designing jet skis and, as the latest addition to the product range, All Terrain Vehicles, or ATVs for short. With great success: Polaris produces around 100,000 snowmobiles, 60,000 jet skis and 130,000 ATVs annually in three factories, and annual sales in 1996 were over 1.1 billion US dollars. The two- and four-stroke engines are produced in cooperation with the Japanese Fuji Heavy Industries group. in the States, mind you, point out those responsible with particular pride. Further expansion plans: Polaris wants to bring a large-capacity touring motorcycle with two cylinders to the market within three years. Large Polaris dealers in the USA, such as in California, sell 1,000 jet skis and 1,000 ATVs a year. Dimensions that the German importer, Peter Taubenreuther (phone 09221/95620) can only dream of. The Kulmbach-based off-road specialist has been importing Polaris ATVs to Germany for a good three years and currently offers four of the 16 models that are road legal. But with restrictions. A stop on the thumb throttle reduces, for example, the two-wheel drive model Xplorer 500 (price 18,975 marks with TuV) the engine power from 35 to 14 hp, because the top speed is only allowed to be 58 km / h with us. In Germany, ATVs are classified as tractors, so driving license class three is sufficient, but the helmet requirement remains. Taubenreuthers customers are mostly farmers, foresters and municipalities, because because of the low ground pressure, ATVs are far more environmentally friendly compared to heavy off-road vehicles, especially when used in forests. ATVs are also popular with disabled and paraplegic people, for whom Taubenreuther offers special conversions. In addition, ATVs can be converted individually for almost any purpose, so they can do much more than “just” be fun. The range of accessories extends from 12 HP rear lawn mowers to snow plows and trailers.

Technical data – Polaris Srambler 500

Engine: water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine with overhead camshaft, four valves, electric and pull-wire starter. Bore x stroke 90 x 75 mm, displacement 499 cm³, nominal power 35 HP (25 kW) power transmission, Infinitely variable variator with forward and reverse gear and electronically switchable all-wheel drive, power distribution to front and 50:50 rear axle, front drive shaft, rear O-ring chain. Chassis Steel tube frame, independent front suspension, with triangular wishbones, McPherson struts, rigid axle with trailing arm at the rear, mono gas strut with continuously adjustable spring base. Suspension travel front 216 mm, rear 216 mm, tire size front 23 x 7-10, rear 22 x 12-10Dimensions and weights, empty tank weight 245 kg 13 liter price 14650 MarkImporteur Taubenreuther GmbH, 95312 Kulmbach * Manufacturer information

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