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2017 + Prowler 500

Discussion in 'Prowler Nation' started by DG Rider, Jan 22, 2017.

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  1. DG Rider

    DG Rider james SXS Nation Regular

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    Present: 2015 Honda Pioneer 500
    Past: 2014 Honda Pioneer 700

    [​IMG]

    Been looking at this machine a bit lately. Some others and I have been discussing it on other thread(s) but I wanted to get its own going.
    It caught my attention when introduced months back due to the size and price bucking trends of growing ever-larger. It is roughly the size of a mid-sized Ranger, but gets rid of some of those "Polaris" things i don't like like the on-demand and lack of EBS.

    It is, as many of you know, a rebadged Kymco 450i...and when i discovered that, I kinda put it out of my mind. After looking at one in person and reading some of Airshot's posts here and elsewhere, I took a second look and did some research. I can find almost nothing of note as far as problems with Kymco, and I actually discovered that they produce many engine for other mfg's like Kawi. They have also made engines for Honda, which in my mind says a lot.

    Then, there is Airshot's praise of the build of his more-or-less identical Kymco 450i. I found when looking at it that I was surprised by some of the features on a machine of this price-point.

    Like...
    The size. Inside looks too small for me, but i fit comfy (6'1", 270)
    Reverse-lights.
    Bellows just under the bed for some sort of venting, presumably a diff (rather than open to the outside).
    Access hatch for the fuel pump
    Storage in several locations
    Metal bed
    Metal CVT cover (as many A/C's have)
    The fame looks robust and Airshot has praised the weld quality
    Tilt Steering.
    Threaded preload adjusters at all corners (though in some ways I prefer stepped adjusters for quicker adjustment, they aren't nearly as easy to adjust loaded)
    The A/C version is a handsome little machine
    Locking glove box
    Locking gas cap
    As of last 1/19/17, two year warranty promo if you want it.

    Not so much...
    The mounting for the seat seems cheap, though it would not affect the functionality. The little rubber grommets were already torn where the seat pushes down and the brackets looked crude.
    Those with big feet will have trouble getting in and out due to tight clearance entering the footwell
    Like my old Pioneer, the cage seems designed to accommodate people whose height would never allow them to fit.
    The dump bed doesn't dump very far
    The A/C is $1500 more than the Kymco
    The A/C doesn't get the Kymco's parking brake OR the nice camo (or any camo for that matter)
    The plastic skid seemed very flimsy (input, Airshot?)
    Accessories are still not as plentiful

    A lot of things go into my decision making process for buying. One of them is serviceability, since i do my own. My Pioneer required some plastic and seatback removal for valve adjustment, and the plastic cover under the seat for good plug access.
    Despite having the engine in the same location, both of these are readily accessible on the Prowler with simple seat removal, or by tilting the bed...though you would probably want to remove the assist struts and tilt the bed on back as far as it would go for valve adjustment.

    The one area that does concern me a bit is belt access. There doesn't seem to be room to remove the cover (should there be a problem on the trail) without removing the large storage bin on the drivers side. I have a crappy cell-phone pic of this that maybe I'll post later. The bin doesn't feel to be attached all that well, so it could be easy to remove, and I'll have to investigate this more later. Certainly, at home in the garage, it would be no big deal. I love the fact that they use the constant- belt tension style CVT that ALL UTILITY MACHINES SHOULD BE USING, POLARIS!

    The airbox is directly under the seat and easily accessible, and the intake looks to run up under the hood area (the machine i was looking at had a plow mounted, making front inspection a bit difficult). I will investigate this more as well, but it looks plenty high. The CVT vents both end right around the area under the seat. High enough for me, but for a serious mudder, they will need extending...which looks like it would be easy to do.

    My purchase is still months away, but this machine is definitely in the running. If you have one, I'd love to hear your input on the machine, and thanks in advance.

    https://www.arcticcat.com/dirt/side-by-sides/model/2017-en-prowler-500/

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Seastacker

    Seastacker Carl Moderator

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    2019 Polaris General 4

    I like it! Thats a good looking machine. I have a mid size Polaris 500 and would love to ride that one to compare. I will say that other than top end speed on a couple trail rides, my little 500 is a great sized machine with plenty of power.
     
  3. DG Rider

    DG Rider james SXS Nation Regular

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    I think A/C claims 33HP and around 46-ish top end?

    I should have mentioned that according to Airshot, the A/C has a slight gearing change to allow the bed/tow ratings to be slightly higher than the Kymco version.
     
  4. Seastacker

    Seastacker Carl Moderator

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    If i remember correct, that is pretty comparable to the 500 Ranger in terms of hp. I did get the little Ranger up to 52 on GPS on time, but that was with stock tires and no windshield and other accessories. Its more like low 40's, maybe mid 40's on a good day. 95% of the time though, this is plenty fast.
     
  5. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Don't remember on the efi 500s, but I think the 570s are around 44 hp on the Rangers? old 500s maybe 35/38?

    Looks like a slick machine! They don't allow you to compare their machine against any other mfg's on their site. which is kinda bummer.
     
  6. Seastacker

    Seastacker Carl Moderator

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    2019 Polaris General 4

    Just looked up the 500 efi Polaris... 32 hp. Boy that 570 was a big upgrade! Still wouldn't mind checking out one of the cats or kymco 500's.
     
  7. DG Rider

    DG Rider james SXS Nation Regular

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    Yep. I was a little surprised at the gap between the 500 and 570. Seems like they should be closer.

    The 570 Ranger will certainly be considered as well.
     
  8. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    The first rangers we had were 700s- 40hp, and we thought they were just fine! crazy to see that a 570 can build more hp than the old 700 twins could muster.

    It's pretty crazy what those single lung engines are capable of. Not to mention how much better the fuel economy is. Another thing to think about is that most likely the chassis weight being lighter on a smaller machine makes up for the smaller hp number.
     
  9. Seastacker

    Seastacker Carl Moderator

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    That is no joke…I have gotten upwards of 20MPG on the little 500. That is trail riding and not going all to easy on her. Seems like I seldom put gas in it, lol.
     
  10. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    yep, with three 800s running full time around here they can consume quite a bit of fuel in a week. around 13 mpg.

    My ranger diesel would get 19! Borrowed an old carbed 500 once from a good friend and I think that engine actually made gas.
     
  11. airshot

    airshot Ken SXS Nation Expert

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    Feel free to look at the Kymco forum where there is a discussion panel for the 450i UTV, most of that comes from real owners. Also do some reaserch like I did..."comparing other manufacturers UTV's to the Kymco 450i" that took me to other manufacturers forums where the owners of other machines compared it to a friend that bought the Kymco machine.....I found some surprising information there in that most everyone was impressed with the machine, the only negative was being foreign. As far as the skid plates being plastic....plastic easily slides over obstacles better than metal, it doesn't permanently dent and is much cheaper to replace. That said there is a big open space on the center skid with not much support right above it. I had to create my own plow mount which fits into that empty space and nows adds additional support up inside that skid plate. I have never had an issue with the skid plates but then again I do not do extreme rock climbing. I have had it bottom out on the skid plate a few times going over logs and a couple rocks but had no problem....keep in mind I have the additional support of 1.5 inch angle iron for my plow mount. It is not designed for big people, my neighbor is 6'4" at 285lbs and he doesn't care for it, but I am only 5'6' @165lbs so it fits me like a glove! The seat grommets can be a pain, there is a nack to installing the seat which you pick up on quickly once you own one. That is why the grommets are messed up, the dealers and customers removing and installing the seat without picking up on the trick to prevent that. My dealer replaced the first two grommets for me, but now I have a feel for the installation of the seat and do not have any more problems. Bed tilt...same here I wish it tilted just a little more but it hasn't been a problem. Belt will be a real bummer to change on the trail, a lot of plastic needs to be removed to make it accessible. There are stories of those to claim they have done it from the underside but I don't see how. Just like on my prior cvt drive machines, I will replace the belt at home in my garage before it goes bad just to be safe. If I have close to 2000 mies and planning a long or hard ride then the belt will get changed before I go. Accessories are growing fast due to the popularity of the little machine and the introduction of the Artic Cat model 500, all kids of goodies are coming on the market most every week. Keep in mind that engine has been in use for a number of years with no complaints and it won two GNCC championships. If you research Moab manufacturers rides you will find that various mfgrs take a group of their machines out to the desert each year for a week long ride. Last year kymco took a number of UTV's out for the ride including a couple 450i's. From my reading it stated that in that year Kymco was proud to announce that they were the only manufacturers group to not have any malfunctions during the week long ride. A side note stated that the mfgr with the greatest number of malfunctions was Polaris. I am not going to say the little machine is perfect, hell no, but it fits the bill exactly for what I was looking for. It has done everything I ask it to do and better than I expected. Yes there are always some things that need improved here and there but after reading all the gossip from a variety of different forums and seeing them stripped naked to look at the build quality, I am quite comfortable I made the right decision. The other cool thing I though is the easy steering, with all the hoopla over power steering, the little Kymco steers so easy I can steer it with one hand with it in 4wd diff lock!! I know the std 450i lists for 7500 and from the ads I have seen the A/C 500 lists for 9500 so there is a 2g difference....for a few decals. Perhaps the name recognition might be worth it down the road for resale....I don't know. What I do know is I am not ready to sell it and won't be for some time to come, so I am just enjoying the hell out of it right now!
     
  12. airshot

    airshot Ken SXS Nation Expert

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    I checked my second tank of gas when my Kymco was new, it was winter so I did a lot of warming up and it still came out to 20 mpg and it wasn't even broke in yet. That 8.5 gallon tank seems to go forever....that I likeee a lot!
     
  13. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Did polaris have the greatest amount of breakdowns because of it's popularity? Or did you mean based on a percentage?
     
  14. airshot

    airshot Ken SXS Nation Expert

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    Just that particular week, if I remember correctly each mfgr had a number UTVs for the week long ride, Polaris had more than the other mfgrs due to offering more models. At the end of the week a break down of any issues or problems by each model and mfgr was made. It just happened that Kymco was the only mfgr that had no issues for the week so obviously they jumped in on that for advertising but also noted that Polaris which was the most popular brand had the most issues. It was run by I believe atv magazine or one of the popular magazines.
     
  15. DG Rider

    DG Rider james SXS Nation Regular

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    FWIW, i talked to some mud guys on a facebook page who had purchased some 500's for the wife and sister, and they were very impressed with them. Both had 26's. I ask them to share their experiences on here, so we will see...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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