2013 Polaris Scrambler XP 850 H.O

By Brit Mansell

ImageWicked body lines, aggressive black color, imposing – all words used to describe the American B2 Stealth Bomber. Upon first seeing the first leaked photos of Polaris’ new Scrambler 850, the Stealth Bomber is immediately what came to mind, but all of that “stealth” talk vanished as soon as I heard this massive twin-cylinder animal come to life. Thanks to the near-perfect sound coming from the factory-tuned exhaust, the look is where the similarities between it and the Stealth Bomber come to an end.

While sport utility machines such as the Can-Am Renegade have been around for quite a while, that market has been somewhat unproven. Polaris has been in this market for a few years, but for 2013, they have completely redesigned the aesthetics of the popular Scrambler 850 to be more sporty, comfortable, and usable. With the growth of the Sport Utility market, Polaris has now jumped in with both feet for 2013.

ImageEnter the new 2013 Scrambler 850 H.O. Hitting the dyno at 77 H.P., this machine packs a serious punch to the rear wheels. Thanks to the efficiency of the Polaris drivetrain most of that power is applied to the ground, where you need it most. Thanks to the well-tuned PVT clutch/transmission and electronic fuel injection system (E.F.I.) the high output, true 850cc engine is immediately available from zero RPM’s making this the perfect machine to rip through any trail. The on-demand true 4WD/2WD system is there to make sure you can use all of this power.

The suspension remains largely untouched. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (hey I live in Alabama – I can say that). Polaris is known for building a well-engineered machine. The Scrambler 850 lives up to that reputation. The front and rear suspension is made up of dual, tubular A-arms with the front having 9” of travel with the rear coming in at 10.5”. Both the base model and the LE utilize 14” wheels to keep the corner roll to a minimum and bling factor to a maximum.

Polaris listened to the rider feedback, and on the 2013 Scrambler H.O. they have included, what I think is, the best looking cargo rack ever put on an ATV. The Lock & Ride™ system ensures the exact fit for many of the Polaris PURE accessories, making sure you have the option to customize your vehicle during the time of purchase.



ImageAs if this new Scrambler wasn’t enough, Polaris has gone one step further and repackaged this new model into an even more visually aggressive vehicle. This same vehicle is available in a “Stealth Black Limited Edition”. If you really want to turn heads on the trail, this is the machine for you. However, this isn’t just a visual package. With the Stealth Black L.E., you get the obvious black plastic (true automotive paint), but you also get some performance enhancers:

-14” Cast Aluminum Wheels
-Carlisle AT 489 II Tires
-Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
-Fox Podium® X Compression Adjustable Front and Rear Shocks
-LED Headlights – these are the same headlights from the RZR line, so if you’re familiar with those, you know how they are definitely the best OEM headlights on the market. These lights are a huge asset on this ATV, making sure you can continue your performance late into the evening.
-Digital Instrumentation

ImageLet’s Ride
Having spent more than my fair share of time on a sport ATV, I’m always excited to see how the utility ATV market is rapidly catching up to the sport market with these hybrid sport/utility models. Combining A-arm suspension, high performance shocks and a massive big bore engine, the Scrambler 850 H.O. was an obvious performer on paper, but how did it do on the trail? The quick and dirty answer – significantly better than I expected. I spent a few hours on the Stealth Black L.E. model while slicing through the trails and hills of Montana. The two traits that stood out the most to me were the power delivery and the cornering ability. Pulling a true wheelie from a dead stop was no issue with this machine, something most utility quads only dream about. The power was also very, very smooth and lasted through the high end of the RPM range. Thanks for the sport-tuned Fox shocks and 14” wheels, this machine cornered much like a sport quad, in that it didn’t participate in the massive amounts of body roll found on most utility quads. Don’t let that fool you, though. This quad is still built to be a trail machine, it will not corner like a true sport quad, and it shouldn’t. The independent rear suspension keeps you firmly planted through extremely rough and rocky trail sections where a sport quad would lose traction and beat the rider to a pulp. Rough, muddy, extreme trails are where this machine comes to life. It was truly a blast to ride and is definitely worthy of the 850 “H.O.” moniker.

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Try It for Yourself

Upon throwing a leg over this beast and hearing the factory-tuned exhaust come to life, you will realize as I did, that this is no ordinary Scrambler of yester-year. Polaris built this machine from a tried and tested platform and created one of the hottest sport utility ATVs on the market today. If you like the plushness, power, and performance of a big bore sport ATV, you definitely need to consider the new 2013 Scrambler 850 H.O. and the 2013 Scrambler 850 H.O. Stealth Black Limited Edition.


For more on the All-New 2013 Scrambler 850 H.O.and the Stealth Black Limited Edition, along with the many Pure Polaris accessories available for it click to www.polaris.com

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