2018 Polaris Sportsman 450 Specs

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2018 Polaris Sportsman 450 Specs

2018 Polaris Sportsman 450 Specs Luckily for ATV fans, manufacturers are trying so hard to outdo each other at the entry-level end of the market as they are at the big-bore 4 × 4 end. The new Polaris Sportsman 450 H.O. gets you in 4WD with a 567cc engine like the athlete 570s for only $5999, so we got one for a full test to see what it could do.

The 2016 450 H.O. is powered by a 31 hp four-valve engine with a capacity of 567 cm3 and a 31 hp four-valve engine with double top cam. That’s only 1 horsepower more than the 2015 325cc athlete ETX, but the extra crowding masts the low-end and midrange performance. Various fuel and ignition mapping allow the 567cc single to make 44 HP in the athlete 570. Plugging the $425 570 engine control module into the 450 is not worth the gamble as it will void your warranty, and the 570 is only $600 more than the 450.

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The new 450 shares a lot with the 2015 athlete ETX. The chassis and chassis are identical, but the new 450 offers more in several key areas for the same price of $5999. There is more spring travel-8.2 inches in front compared to 6.7-and the 450 rear springs are softer. The 450 also has more ground clearance (10.5 inches compared to 9 inches), and the 450 has a deep padded seat too.

The athlete 450 and Hisun’s Forge 500 are both $5999. The athlete 450 EPS is $6799. CFMoto’s CForce 500 is $5149. Honda’s base Rancher 420, Kymco’s MXU 450 and the Arctic Cat Terra 450 all sell for the same at $6199. CanAm’s Outlander 450L is $6399. A fully automatic, belt-type stepless transfer (CVT) with high, low, neutral, reverse and park positions. This is the simplest type of transmission to use, but the shift lever does not have the greatest feeling; It’s notch and a little vague. But it works. The transfer has no motor brake function, but it only freewheel when you are completely out of the gas. The parking position keeps the machine safely on hills.

It is the same system of large Polaris 4×4 have-selectable 2WD/4WD with an automatic locking front differential. Most smaller 4×4 offer selectable 2WD/4WD, but no locking front differential. As you might guess, the 567cc athlete 450 accelerates really well for a 450-class 4 × 4, and it has more than enough engine to combat steep hills and challenging terrain.

The Polaris’ power is not armstretching, but it has a fleshy low and medium power range that does not end on hills or soft terrain. It’s amazing where this thing is going to go. The athlete 450 is all about smoothness. Punching the choke only results in powerslides, where traction is scarce. This is a good thing for drivers who prefer straight, predictable performance, and it ensures safe progress in technical terrain and smooth conditions.

It is stable and predictable. The 450 is 40 kg heavier and slightly bigger than the ETX racer, thanks to the increased front suspension travel, which makes it slightly less manoeuvrable but does not have poor handling characteristics such as too much tilting or sudden starting. The base 450 has no power steering, but the steering effort is not heavy unless you are in 4WD and the automatic front differential locks.

There are no adjustable 8.2cm Macpherson supports on the front. At the rear there are double A-arms and bi-stable shock absorbers with a 9.5-inch stroke. A rear sway bar limited body roll. It offers a better ride than we would expect from a budget 4 × 4. The athlete 450 suspension may not comply with the best ATV out there, but the performance on small bumps is very good, and there is enough suspension stroke to handle large bumps at higher speeds. The suspension is deliberately set so 450 offers a good balance of comfort and skill in difficult terrain and at high speeds.

It’s gutsy. We climbed some really challenging hills with the 450-the kind you couldn’t find at any riding-place. We often had to use the gas pedal on steep hills, but the athlete did not fight. A machine of this size made a great impression on us. Back down, we had to deal with the lack of motor brakes of the athlete. With just a touch of gas, the transfer engages to slow down the machine, but it only slows down the rear wheels, even in 4WD. Luckily, the linked front and rear brakes offer much slower performance, just not as much control as separate front and rear brake levers.

Most mud bogs and water transitions are no problem. The athlete 450 has enough power, ground clearance and four-wheel handle to traverse through typical wet, sloppy trail obstacles. The motor and the transmission are well impregnated, and the body also keeps the driver well protected. Some larger machines have a bit more ground clearance, so you want to see who you follow in the really creepy-looking mud bogs, especially if you’re deep-extended.

Pretty impressive for a cheap 4 × 4. The athlete 450 has very good headlights and a handy third handlebar mounted light. There is a large storage space under the front rack and another between the rear lights. The Polaris has a slimmer, more comfortable middle division than many ATV’s. The shift lever is notch and a little vague, but it works.

At a glance, the 2016 athlete 450 H.O. can look like a renamed athlete ETX, but it is a better machine with more power, suspension and comfort. The price is the same, making this impressive, affordable 4 × 4 even more desirable.

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2018 Polaris Sportsman 450 Specs

Engine & Drivetrain

  • Active Descent Control: Not Equipped
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Cylinders Displacement: 500cc
  • Drive System Type: True On-Demand AWD/2WD
  • Engine Braking System (EBS): Not Equipped
  • Engine Type: ProStar 500cc, 4-Stroke SOHC Single Cylinder
  • Fuel System/Battery: Electronic Fuel Injection
  • Horsepower: 33 HP
  • Transmission/Final Drive: Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft


  • Bed Box Dimensions (L x W x H): N/A
  • Estimated Dry Weight: 701 lb (318 kg)
  • Front/Rear Rack or Box Capacity: 90 lb /180 lb (40.8 kg /81.6 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal (17.0 L)
  • Ground Clearance : 10.5 in (26.7 cm)
  • Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H): 83 x 48 x 47 in (210.8 x 121.9 x 119.4 cm)
  • Payload Capacity : 485 lb (220 kg)
  • Seat Height: 33.25 in (84.5 cm)
  • Wheelbase : 50.5 in (128.3 cm)


  • Front/Rear Brakes: Single Lever 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Hydraulic Rear Foot Brake
  • Parking Brake: Park In-Transmission / Lockable Hand Lever


  • Cargo System: Lock & Ride, 6 Gal (23 L) Front Dry Storage, 2 Gal (8 L) Rear Storage
  • Front Suspension: MacPherson Strut With 8.2 in (20.8 cm) Travel
  • Hitch Towing Rating: 1,225 lb (555.7 kg)
  • Hitch Type: Standard 1.25 in (3.2 cm) Receiver
  • Instrumentation: All Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Two Tripmeters, Hour Meter, Gear Indicator,
  • Fuel Gauge, AWD Indicator, Volt Meter, Coolant Temperature, Hi-Temp Light, Clock, DC Outlet
  • Lighting: 50w High Beam, Dual 50w Low Beam Headlights, Dual Brakelights/Taillights
  • Rear Suspension: Dual A-Arm, IRS 9.5 in (24.1 cm) Travel

Tires / Wheels

  • Electronic Power Steering: Not Equipped
  • Front Tires: 24 x 8-12; NS388
  • Rear Tires: 24X10-12, NS388
  • Wheels: Stamped Steel