Polaris unleashes the "Smokin' Guns"!
2007 Polaris Outlaw 525 Review
Dec. 12, 2006
We were recently invited by Polaris to ride the new KTM Powered Polaris Outlaw 525. We jumped at the chance. We would only get a few hours of ride time on a pre-production Outlaw 525, but we were anxious to see what was coming out of the Polaris / KTM partnership. With travel arrangements made we headed for Mojave, CA to ride the new Polaris.
Just outside of Mohave, CA is an open BLM ride area called Blue Point. This is where we would spend our ride time. The terrain is typical desert terrain with lots of trails along the washes and ridge lines, and plenty of whoops. The one thing we had a hard time finding is an area to really open up the Outlaw 525.
We have spent numerous hours this past year riding the Outlaw 500 so we're looking forward to riding the Outlaw 525. Our focus was on exploring the differences between the Outlaw 500 and the Outlaw 525.
Replacing the Fuji Engines built 500 is the 525 KTM engine from the KTM EXC line. The engine is a 4 valve overhead cam design with roller rocker lever, 11:1 compression and comes with a Keihin FCR-MX carburetor. We are happy to see the Mikuni carb being replaced. This engine is much lighter than the Fuji 500 contributing to the 39 lb weight loss of the Outlaw 525. Replacing the 6 speed transmission is a new 5 speed with reverse.
We have heard a lot about this engine and found that it definitely lives up to its reputation. The power is very smooth on the low-end and has incredible mid-range torque. Unfortunately the riding area and limited time did not let us experience the top-end. We will be testing that as soon as we get our long term test unit. The torque was strong enough that it easily pulled the Outlaw 525 up the steep hills, even when using a gear higher than you would normally use on the Outlaw 500. All this makes for an ATV that is easier to ride and friendly to the rider.
Now all that said we were disappointed with the transmission. 1)We had a hard time getting the transmission into neutral. Maybe this is something we would get used to but we found ourselves searching back and forth then giving up on finding neutral. 2) The transmission seemed somewhat notchy. Maybe some additional break-in time will help this. We found the transmission was not near as smooth as the transmission in the Outlaw 500.
New for 2007 on the Outlaw 525 and the Outlaw 500 are RydeFX shocks. The rear will have the RydeFX Solo which is a 7 position compression adjustable, high pressure gas, aluminum body mono tube shock. The shock uses through-the-rod compression adjustment and with the aluminum body it contributes to the weight savings for 2007. The front shocks are a RydeFX high pressure gas aluminum body mono tube shock.
We had a limited amount of time on the Outlaw 525 but we noticed a couple things. 1) The Outlaw 525 appeared to work much better in the whoops than the old Outlaw 500. Besides the shock change we believe the weight savings and the KTM power are contributing to this significantly. It was much easier to keep the front end up and power through. The rear of the ATV seemed to track better. 2) For casual riding the Outlaw 525 seemed a bit on the stiff side when compared to the Outlaw 500. We didn't have time to play with the adjustments but it is possible that we could adjust this out with the pre load and compression adjustments.
The Outlaw 525 is a significant improvement over the Outlaw 500 and for only $400 more ( MSRP of $7299) we are not sure that Polaris should even keep the Outlaw 500 in the line-up .Combine the clearance that the IRS gives you for extreme trail conditions with the KTM power and you have a machine that the performance trail enthusiast will be very happy with.