Pros: size, price, strength, speed, steering
Cons: loud muffler, storage compartment leaks moisture
The 2006 Polaris Sportsman 450 All Terrain Vehicle is like no other ATV I have ever experienced. The rugged Polaris 450 is not only large enough to hold its own with most work quads, but its small enough to maneuver through the tightest areas. Because of its versatility I have trouble classifying this ATV as either a sport bike or a work quad. Which is what ultimately lead me to the purchase of my own Polaris Sportsman.
I purchased my 2006 Sportsman new in the fall of 2006 for a well spent $6,299.00 At first glance I was immediately attracted to the aggressive appearance and overall style. I soon noticed the headlights and extra storage compartments. I fell in love with the model on the showroom floor, which had aftermarket rims and tires already mounted on it. After test driving the wide selection of new and used ATVs at my local dealer, I was certain that the Sportsman 450 was the one for me. I chose the option of 4 wheel drive, for obvious off road capabilities. I was so impressed with the floor room model I went with the aftermarket tires and rims as well.
I have used my Sportsman for many different tasks. Everything from hauling my fathers log splitter to joy riding. My Polaris came stock with a hitch, which has been very useful. I have used my ATV to pull my fathers log splitter into places a full size truck or even a Jeep could not. We were even able to attach a trailer to the hitch and pull an impressive amount of firewood from those areas. My Sportsman came in handy this hunting season, not only for me but for the many hunters who hunt on my land. It was used regularly throughout all seasons. We used it for hauling hunters to tree stands, or at times throwing deer carcasss across the back cargo rack for easy transportation. Just recently I traveled to Coshocton County to joy ride with some friends, not only was I able to keep up with the sport bikes they rode, but I was also able to go places that their two wheel drives could not.
With the off-road aftermarket tires I had placed on my Sportsman it does tend to walk on the pavement when I decide to travel on a paved road. I would tell anyone who opts to purchase the more aggressive tires to be extra cautious on roads at speeds over 30 mph. With such an aggressive tire I have been able to practically run over thorn bushes and have never had a thorn puncture a tire. The aftermarket rims definitely improved the image of my ATV. I would suggest these extras to anyone looking at the Polaris Sportsman 450.
The overall size of the 2006 Sportsman is smaller than traditional work quads, and larger than most sport bike styles. I find this equal medium to be perfect for me. There have been many other operators of my ATV, and all have been able to comfortably ride, even with passengers. With the wide fenders and sturdy floor boards, you can run through mud and briars with out having to worry about mud being thrown on you, or being caught by a thorn bush. If I could change one thing on the Polaris 450 I would add briar protectors for the hands. They do not come stock, but I feel they would be a great factory standard for all models. The Polaris 450 fits comfortably in the back of my 2003 Silverado short bed pick-up truck, and I am even able to close the tailgate with it secured by ratchet straps.
I would suggest this ATV to anyone who may be in the market for a fun workhorse of an ATV. With its moderate size a grown man or a young adult can easily operate this vehicle. If you want a four wheeler to strictly joy ride and race, this is not the ATV for you. If you want an ATV for nothing other than heavy farm use, this may not be the best choice for you. But, if you are looking for a versatile ATV that can be used by a family, or for many different tasks then this is the perfect match for you as well.