First Impressions … Polaris Ace 900 XC

May 2017 Feature Steve Janes

With a break in the stormy weather this spring there was finally an opportunity to try the 2017 Polaris Ace 900 XC. Last year when Polaris first released the Ace in a 900cc engine size we immediately fell in love with it. This year, however, Polaris upped the ante by adding a high performance suspension package to unleash the power.

The first impression was mixed. On one hand, the long travel dual A-arms with a stabilizer bar and Walker Evans clicker needle shocks gave the Ace XC an incredible ride. But on the other hand, the 59-inch width eliminated a bunch of ATV trails from where we could ride (due to 50-inch restrictions).

So what you gain in handling, you lose in where you can go. It makes the Ace XC more compatible with the RZR than it does with an ATV.

Winter has been hanging on in the higher elevations and we found many of the trails we like to ride were still blocked by snow drifts. We also noticed the mountain creeks were running high and you had to negotiate a lot more water and mud.

In past springs we encountered similar conditions several weeks earlier … so this wasn’t anything new. What was new was the electronic power steering on the Ace XC, which made negotiating through the mud and ruts much easier.

Other highlights include:

  • The 875cc 4-stroke DOHC twin cylinder engine delivers 78 hp. It just feels stronger running down the trails.
  • The long travel dual A-arm suspension features 12.3 inches of travel (front) and 12.6 inches of travel (rear) to suck up the bumps for a stable ride.
  • The Ace XC features 13 inches of ground clearance that allows you to stay above most trouble on the trails.
  • When it comes to tight twisty trails, it’s hard to beat electronic power steering.
  • The 2017 Ace 900 XC features plenty of leg room. It is noticeably easier to get in and out. The cockpit features more room for the rider.
  • The digital instrumentation features Bluetooth capability.
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