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Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS  & 525 S ATV Test Ride Review

2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS & 525 S ATV Review
By: Andy Lagzdins

2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS  & 525S ATV
Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS & 525 S
Baltimore, MD - Polaris has made it obvious that they are serious about making the best sport quads, starting with the release of the Predator 500 in 2003 (which was in production a year before any of the Big Four released their sport 450’s), continuing with the first sport quad to use independent rear suspension in 2006, and now sharing technology with KTM to utilize their proven 525cc powerplants in IRS and straight axle versions of the 2008 Outlaws. The development of these machines has been the result of Polaris’ unfaltering method of hiring experienced riders to put the machines through the paces and find ways of making them better. With a list of riders including Matt Smiley, Bryan Baker, Daryl Rath, and Doug Eichner, it is no surprise the Polaris Outlaws have developed into a force to be reckoned with in the ultra-competitive sport ATV market. Not only has Polaris enlisted Pro level talent to pick apart their creations, but also a slew of amateur XC and MX riders to offer input on their machines from the perspective of riders closer to the average enthusiast.

Having seen the progress of the Polaris race machines from the very beginning, when the first Predator 500 was on display at the High Point GNCC back in 2002, my take on the rise to power of the Outlaws was a view from the racing pits. When Matt Smiley was doing his first Polaris photo shoot in Texas in 2005, or when the first IRS machine rolled out of the trailer at the Florida GNCC in 2006, I saw the progression taking place.

2005 Polaris Predator 500 ATV
2006 Polaris Outlaw 500 IRS
In 2005, Polaris signed Matt Smiley to race the Predator 500 in the GNCC Series (above left), and by the start of the 2006 season Matt Smiley came out on the all new Outlaw 500 with its IRS, which was an industry first for sport ATVs (above right) . For 2007, the evolution continued with Outlaw 525 with the KTM powerplant. Now, Polaris has three versions of the Outlaw with a 450MXR, 525 IRS, and a 525S

2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS  & 525S ATV
2007 OMA Pro ATV Champion, Andy Lagzdins, tearing up some leaves on the Polaris Outlaw
Now it’s my turn to throw a leg over the latest and greatest models in the Polaris lineup: the 2008 Outlaw 525 IRS and 525 S. The idea was to ride the machines in stock form during the off season, comparing the two models against each other and against whatever other quads might be on hand for comparison. I tried to ride them in every type of terrain, and also put other riders of varying skill levels on them to get additional input. Here is what it was like Living with the Outlaws.

Day one with the Outlaws was information overload. Checking them out before the ride, a few things stood out: odd handlebar positioning, high ride height, great looking motor. I hopped on the 525S (straight axle) and started tearing it up. I knew the engine would be strong, as I had been racing the KTM525XC for a few months, and this was basically the same powerplant. The ergonomics were good for a showroom stock machine, and surely would be better once dialed in. I learned that you just can’t look at the bars, and everything will be ok.

2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS  & 525S ATV
2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS  & 525S ATV

Right away we did a photo shoot to get pics of the quads before the abuse began, and during a jumping session I was trying to style and landed on the right front wheel. It let out an audible “klunk”, loud enough that people watching could hear it. I got off and started looking the front end over, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary, so I kept riding it.
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