2008 Polaris Outlaw MXR 450 Review

2008 Polaris Outlaw MXR 450 Review


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In recent years, Polaris Industries, has made its mark on the successful ATV market, by making their line one of the most complete ones. Only one other frontier  was to be conquered: the Pro MX race track.  With its Fox shocks, wide stance and loads of crazy KTM power, we knew, this one would be a hoot to test. You almost need to approach it from the rear, as the front of it could intimidate too much. Those peering bug-like eyes staring at you, those Fox shocks looking like drawn guns, oh yes, this puppy means business. And its business is winning. This Outlaw is on the most wanted list. After good success with its I.R.S. 525 model, the Outlaw line was only missing a cousin, specifically built for MX type quading. A true contender was needed, for all out pro racing. In comes the new 2008 Polaris Outlaw MXR 450, a lightweight, a nimble straight axled ride to rival a tough and fast expanding segment of the market. Everybody wants in on the action, now that quad racing has gained so much popularity. 2008, is definitely the year of the 450’s. With KTM, Kawasaki and BRP wanting a piece of the pie also, competition is strong and the fight has only begun. The good news is that all of them seem to be offering good quality and amazing performance already, which is great news for all sport riding enthusiasts. This inspires me to warn all that this type of quad needs a good degree of experience to ride in fun and safety. If you haven’t read my editorial, yet, please do so. If you are interested in this machine for simple trail riding, be warned, you could shoot yourself real quick if you don’t pay respect to this wanted felon. Do me a favour, don’t become an outlaw on your Outlaw.

Riding it hard
(Please don’t try this at home…) The Magura hydraulic self-adjusting clutch works like a charm, so much so that it is not the ideal quad to have someone learn how to shift a manual transmission. Mélanie was perplexed when trying it again the next day with a DS450, she just couldn’t get moving. “How come I could do it yesterday on the other one?” she cried. The pull is easy and very smooth. We loved the small and easy to set adjustment screw on the lever. In a twist, the grab point could be finely adjusted to our different tastes. While riding it hard, though, its position did eventually become a nuisance, grinding right through gloves. The other hand was even more badly wounded from the sharp edges of the thumb throttles casing. Riding without gloves could result in bleeding, after just a few minutes of aggressive use of this wanted bandit. The power provided by the KTM racing motor is aggressive, but manageable through good and smooth control on the thumb throttle. The fun factor was amazingly high on soft surfaces and in the sand, behaving predictably in power slides and throwing up impressive roosts. The handling is amazing on this quad, thanks to many positive features.

The Maxxix RAZR MX tires performed extremely well from hard surfaces to soft sand, the centerline of the front tires being aggressive while left with good space to breathe, thus offering great side grip for good cornering in pretty much all conditions. Up front, dual A-arms provide 25.4 cm (10.0 in) of travel, while in the back, a Mono-shock swing arm brings 28 cm (11 in) of travel and to complete the circle, FOX shocks will smoothly suck up any landing, even the not so perfect ones.

Excellent rider position was noticed on this wonderfully aggressive looking quad. I particularly enjoyed the feeling of having something between my legs, as the seat curves down into the ride in just the right spot, unlike the much flatter type seen on other 450’s out there. Perfect for many different size riders, it seems, as we did not feel we had to make ergonomic changes by adjusting the handlebar position from one tester to the other. The controls are all perfectly set up. Good lighting is another advantage on this race quad, compared to most. The twin lights in front, not only flood the trail ahead wide and far, but also give this marvel its unparalleled aggressive look. The transmission was perfect and we never missed a shift or got stuck between gears, but getting it in neutral was really a challenge. Thinking I could be the problem, and maybe getting too impatient with it, I relaxed and in a very calculated quick slight and smooth lift on the lever, I would finally get the green “N” lit on the dash. Martin wasn’t as patient and was many times expressing his feelings at it quite clearly.

We got to notice it was much easier pushing down into it from 2nd gear. The reverse gear is a very practical thing to have, but some (sitting on their reverse-less rides) still think it doesn’t have its place on an all-out racer, where every extra gram counts, adding on weight for nothing. Now that we’ve used it profusely, we couldn’t live without it. Its engagement was done quite simply by pressing an extra thumb lever on the right side and clicking down the gear selector below first gear, which took a bit of getting used to, but once mastered, was quick and easy.

In many of our tests, we don’t get a chance to really get to know our subjects thoroughly, as they let us use them for too short periods of time. We have to put our hats off to Polaris for making their machines available to us for pretty much as long as we wanted. This says a lot about how confident they are in their products; and all our readers should take this into consideration when reading about these products. The fact that we’ve had this Polaris Outlaw MXR 450 for two months, we’ve had the chance to notice some small things that could be improved on. But know this: Martin (Fitto) Bouchard, famed airbrush artist and prodigy on a quad, didn’t want to hear me say: Ok, let’s turn in this Outlaw. I kind of felt for him, that quad and he were so good together. Those cool looking full side graphics looked amazing but a small part of them pealed off from the wear of our legs rubbing it. No big deal. At least Polaris put some on there, no other quad comes with such beautiful graphics covering the whole side. The grinding hand thing, could easily be improved on, a little extra rubber would do the trick, I guess.

After one of our roost throwing treks at one of our favourite spots to ride, where a huge amount of red brick dust was dumped for us to play in, (Ok, maybe it was dumped there for other reasons), we thought of checking the air filter placement and condition. Here was our biggest disappointment. Taking it off was no problem, but securing it back in place was a nightmare! Held on with a spring type elastic, the thing kept slipping from between our fingers and it was annoying as hell. In the end, the motor sounded slightly different, nothing obviously wrong with anything precise, we think that, maybe, everything just fell into place. -After all, we did ride it to its full poten-tial every time out, and we never had any leaks, smells or noises that would stop us from having our loads of fun. Is it all over now? -Ahhhh guys, do we really have to give it back?

For more information on the above mentioned models, please visit the Polaris Website

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