The Polaris 500 XC SP is like a great couch from the thrift store. It may not be much of a looker and it may be an old style, but it’s comfortable and is great for relaxing. Once you get on it, you won’t want to get off of it.

This XC SP is old school all the way. It’s a classic. For riders who have come up through the ranks of pre-2000 used sleds, this sled will be an easy transition. For those only familiar with mass centralization, the XC SP will likely be a bit too retro.

Looks on this machine are plain and subtle. The flames try to give it a sporty look, but we’d prefer it a little less jazzy — to keep it more of a sleeper sled.

It’s definitely a sit-down model; don’t bother trying to stand. There’s no traction on the running boards to even suggest that standing is an option. Hanging off the side of the seat, however, is highly encouraged.

The 105 hp domestic 500 twin engine has variable exhaust, digital CDI and a throttle position sensor. Our top speed was in the 100 mph range. It would have no trouble keeping up with a group of 600cc machines on an all-day ride.

The sled has an octane switch for premium fuel. Try it. It makes a difference, and may make premium juice worth the extra dollars. We were surprised by the performance gains.

The handling of this machine was predictable. It should be. This machine has been around for a long time. One can really drive it hard into a corner and if it’s too hot, a tap on the brakes will reign it in. Cornering was always flat. It doesn’t do anything unpredictable. Clutching was smooth.

The sled comes with a nice suspension package, which we had a hard time bottoming out. It uses Ryde FX HPG IFPs in the front suspension and the front-rear suspension shock. The rear track shock is a Nitrex Select. It’s a perfect combination for someone who wants to sit down and cruise the trails in smooth comfort.

2007 Polaris 500 XC SP

Price = $6,499

Report Card

Ride = A, old school

Handling = A, predictable

Engine = A, a solid performer

Looks = C, plain and unassuming

Reputation:

Glory days. It tries to hang onto the past and works hard to prove it still has what

it takes.

On its iPod:

Classic rock hits from Led Zeppelin,

Aerosmith and Bob Seger

Bonus Features:

Tach, Ryde FX shock package, 105 hp,

octane switch

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