If some is good, more is better.
In 2014 Polaris introduced a new “tweener” that crossed a side-by-side with a 4-wheeler and produced the Polaris Ace. This 1-seat rider cockpit ATV with a 325cc engine set the stage for a new genre of UTVs.
In 2015 Polaris upped the power of the Ace to a 570cc. After all, more is better.
Last fall, Polaris released its third edition Ace in three years—the 900 SP. And Dirt Toys Magazine sent a couple of its test staff riders to Huntsville, TN, to check things out. They came back quite impressed. (Check the March 2016 issue of Dirt Toys Magazine.)
Dirt Toys received its demo Ace 900 SP for extended testing … and a chance for the rest of the staff to see if the addition of more power to an already great vehicle was really necessary.
Wow. Color us converted.
The 900 is not only better, it’s better with attitude.
It didn’t take us long in our comparisons between the 570 and 900 to realize that the 900 ups the fun factor in 4-wheeling.
In three years we watched the horsepower climb from 32 hp (325cc) to 45 hp (570cc) to 60 hp (900cc). And each step made the Ace quicker in the corners, faster down the straights and more explosive in difficult terrain.
Keep in mind, we were able to take the 325 anywhere we wanted to go. And with no other comparable vehicle, we thought the power and performance matched the unique design of the vehicle.
Once the 570 was introduced and we were able to compare it side-to-side with the 325, we realized that more power improved the thrill of the ride. It couldn’t get any better than that. Up rolls the 900 and the thrill goes off the charts. The power is explosive … but in a good way. The Ace is still a controllable vehicle and even with increased power it’s still predictable.
On the 325, you could take most forest service roads at full throttle, slightly breaking into a power slide before coming out of a corner. On the 570, you would need to back out of the throttle just before you entered tight corners, and still control your power slide as you accelerate out of the turn.
But with the 900, you’d better be braking into the corner before you start your power slide or you’re going to run out of road before you run out of turn (read blow the corner). There’s enough power on acceleration to break your tires free and initiate a power slide at about any time.
When you’re cruising down a straightaway, the 325 tends to like 40 mph as its happy place (with top-out speed around 50 mph). The 570 tends to cruise comfortably at 45 mph with top-out speed around 60 mph. The 900 finds its happy place at about 55 mph and will top-out at about 70 mph (this was at 6,000 feet elevation).
With the short wheel base, anything over 40 mph seems like you’re flying. Even though the stability of the Ace is impressive, keep in mind that you’re riding terrain that isn’t designed to be speed friendly.
We’ve been out a couple of times during the past week on the Ace, riding the roads and trails of eastern Idaho. Winter is still having a hard time letting go in the higher elevations so we did get some opportunity to test out the all-wheel drive in snow. It works great. Also, it’s a lot easier picking your way around fallen trees on an Ace.
So where do we go from here?
Well the Dirt Toys staff will continue to put miles on the Ace 900 throughout the summer. We have also extended our testing on the Ace 570 so we can continue comparing the two units.
We plan to take our Aces on rides intended for side-by-sides as well as rides intended for conventional 4-wheelers. And we’ll likely do several Ace exclusive rides. This vehicle is truly a “tweener” that isn’t out of place in most all riding conditions.
We’ll do our best to chronicle our rides and experiences in both Dirt Toys print as well as Dirt Toys online to keep you posted on our likes, dislikes and other general observations.
That’s what we do … and yes, we do get paid for doing it.