2003 Polaris Sportsman 600 Twin
• August 2002
Offspring of the 700 Twin, the 2003 Polaris Sportsman 600 Twin includes all the features and technologies of the 700 twin, with an all new 597cc powerplant.
This was the first ATV of the 2003 line up that I got to ride at Polaris recent press introduction, and I was itching to ride! Being surrounded by all new ATV’s and miles of trails was taking its toll on me, as I am a true Quadaholic and often go into Delirium Tremens until I get my next fix. I usually ride every day, though I skipped a day due to travel time to this event. Treatment never worked for me.
I am a lost cause. I love utilities as much as the sport quads, so I was about to give this baby the ride of its life. Well, as much as they would let me anyway.
The Devil is in the Details
597CC even-firing parallel twin liquid cooled 4-stroke (based on the 700 twin)
Claimed to have 8% more HP and 25% more torque than the Sportsman 500 HO
Single ignition coil single 34mm carburetor
Maintenance-free hydraulic valve train never needs adjusting
Reduced engine height for lower center of gravity
30 amp hour battery with 300 cold cranking amps
Industry-leading 1,500 pound towing capacity
Independent rear suspension
14 inches of ground clearance
25 Goodyear Rawhide Grip tires mounted on chromed steel wheels
Polaris PVT automatic transmission, with the industry’s only lifetime limited belt warranty
Clutch cover drain plug to drain out any accidental flooding
New Lube for Life maintenance-free bushings
The first impression of the Sportsman 600 Twin was the comfort of the seat, though the width of the transmission made me feel like I was saddling up. Instead of stirrups, I found floorboards. Turn the key, and the 600 fired right up with a nice purr.
The first thing I did was head for the service road and test out the speed and handling at speed. I looked for the steepest gravel road, pulling to the top gaining speed quickly. Cornering at top speed on the gravel road was excellent, even better in 4WD. I was having a blast just running up and down the roads.
The 600 twin had great power pick up.
It was time to see what this ATV was made of, within reason?.I turned off the road, onto the trail system of the Capitol State Forest in Washington State. The suspension made for a plush ride bouncing around on the miles of trails, though on some off-camber trails, the unit seemed to exhibit some signs of being top-heavy. This only becomes a problem in tight spots, however, in the mudbog it makes up for it in ground clearance.
My opinion of the 600 as a 4WD trail machine? Out of 10, I would rate it as an 8; its major downfall being the 740 lb. dry weight that can start to wear you out, especially when you are riding at higher speeds on a whooped-out trail. Occasionally the unit feels top-heavy in those extreme hillside slide conditions.
The power and comfort made up for it, however.
MSRP $6,999 (US)
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