2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Specs and Review

With the launch of the 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500, Polaris aimed to go beyond being conservative by offering the mid-sized four-wheeler in bright and bold colors. In addition to the classic red, olive green, and camo body panels, this particular model year came in a special yellow color. This eye-catching exterior, along with a superb mechanical design, ensured the unrivaled success of Polaris’ ATV line.

The 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 continued the legacy of the Sportsman lineup. With industry-leading Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), beginner-friendly E-Z Shift dual gear range, dual-sensing PVT, and EBS, the Sportsman was the first 500cc recreational utility quad made available in bright yellow.

Ease of operation, reliability, and smooth handling are but some of the endearing qualities of the Sportsman 500. Add a splash of color to this powerful machine, and you are in for loads of adventure and fun. Continue reading and discover what else makes this four-wheeler the ultimate go-to ride.

Green 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV

Sportsman’s Bright and Bold

The original design of the 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 not only made it fool-proof but has also helped it gain the trust and respect of consumers and competition alike. This 4×4 is one of the few off-road vehicles during its time that was not a by-product of experimentation – careful thought was put into its making, resulting in a solid design that did not require major updates or alterations. The four-wheeler’s successful 18-year production run further backs this up.

Perhaps, one of the main factors that enabled the Sportsman lineup to maintain its splendid reputation is the sustainable number of trims produced each year. During its 5th year, the Sportsman 500 had three trims and five models, as follows:

  • Sportsman 500 (released in the U.S.) – model number A00CH50A/AB
  • Worker 500 (released in Sweden) – model number A00CH50EA/EB
  • Sportsman 500 RSE (Remington Special Edition) – model number A00CH50AC

As an established all-around vehicle, the Polaris Sportsman charmed its way to the hearts of consumers and off-road enthusiasts. As time passed, the public grew fonder of the mid-sized beast that was extremely dependable both as a workhorse and a weekend warrior. Riders appreciated that the machine was forgiving to the less experienced but still challenging enough for skilled pros. The Sportsman 500 was so well-loved, despite some minor flaws such as the lack of power steering, clutching, and power.

Yellow 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 4x4 ATV

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Specs

  • Engine – The 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 uses a four-stroke, liquid-cooled single-cylinder SOHC engine. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 92 x 75 mm (3.622 x 2.953 inches). The compression ratio is 10.2:1. Engine displacement is 498 cm3 (30.45 in3) delivered by a Mikuni CV BST34 carburetor. It has a dry-sump lubrication system. The maximum power output is 32 HP (23.9 kW or 18 WHP). Fuel tank capacity is 5.25 US gallons/19.87 liters of regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum PON of 87 – similar to the previous year’s model.
  • Lubrication – Oil capacity is 2 US quarts/1.89 liters. Use SAE 10W-40 Polaris Premium 4 Synthetic four-stroke engine oil or its equivalent for best results. Make sure that it has an API classification of SJ or higher and meets manufacturer specifications. High-performance synthetic motor oils without molybdenum additives aid in the optimal performance of your quad, on top of protection against rust and corrosion.
  • Drivetrain – A dual-range Polaris Variable Transmission (inclusive of reverse) with fixed-sheave EBS handles power delivered by a direct rear driveshaft with a Hilliard-type clutch assembly (view on Amazon). Its gearshift is left-foot-operated, and the air-intake tube is at the rear of the vehicle’s front fender. The right handlebar contains the AWD (All Wheel Drive) and ETC switches – the latter responsible for disabling the vehicle in the event of a problem in the throttle mechanism.
  • Ignition – It has a solid-state CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) electric start system with an auxiliary recoil starter. It has a triple-phase output alternator charging system with a rated output of 250 w @ 3,000 RPM and powered by a 12V, 190-CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 battery with dimensions of 5.31 x 3.50 x 6.94 inches (L x W x H).
  • Tires & Brakes – Front and rear steel wheels are equipped with 25 X 8-10 tires and 22 X 11-10 tires, respectively. The disc brake system consists of the brake lever, master cylinder, hydraulic hose, slave-cylinder brake calipers, 7-mm brake pads, and 3.8- to 4.1-mm front hydraulic disc brakes. The EBS takes effect when the one-way sprag clutch’s rotational speed exceeds the engine speed and drive clutch, making for an added safety feature.
  • Suspension – An independent MacPherson strut front suspension with 6.25 inches (158.75 mm) of travel and an independent progressive-rate rear suspension with an anti-roll bar, dual shock absorbers, and 9.5 inches (241.3 mm) of travel lends to the superb handling of the 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 4×4. The overall turning radius of 5.41 feet (165 cm) complements this and is especially handy when traversing wooded trails and rocky surfaces.
  • Dimensions – The overall vehicle dimensions of the quad are 85 x 46 x 47 inches (2,159 x 1,168 x 1,194 mm – L x W x H). The minimum ground clearance (unloaded) is 11 inches, and the wheelbase is 50.5 inches. The dry weight is 697 lbs (316.2 Kg), and the seat height is 34 inches. GVWR is approximately 1,200 lbs – a combination of 730-lb (331.1 Kg) curb weight, a total combined rack capacity of 270 lbs (122.5 Kg), plus passengers. Tow capacity using a hitch is 1,225 lbs and 1,786 lbs with a brakeless trailer, while tongue weight capacity is 35 lbs.
  • Exterior – It consists of a steel frame and plastic body material available in red, olive green, and Mossy Oak camo for the RSE trim. It comes with standard front and rear fenders, hand grips and handlebars, full floorboards, a full-length skid plate, and a CV boot cover. Composite utility racks with lots of tie-down points add to the utilitarian charm of the four-wheeler. You can replace this accessory with Kolpin 53350 Convertible 3-in-1 ATV Rear Drop Rack Basket (view on Amazon) if deemed necessary.
  • Lighting – Stock lighting is unchanged for the fifth installment of the Sportsman 500. Two 27-watt low-beam lights are still grille-mounted, and a 60-watt pod headlight serves as the primary source of light, all of which use multi-reflector lenses. The quad also has an 8.26-watt taillight, 6.9-watt brake light, and single-watt indicator lights.

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Price

There is very little movement in the list price of the ’00 Sportsman 500 from the previous year, with the base model costing $6,999 and the Remington Special Edition trim at $7,599. These 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 values do not include accessories outside of package inclusions. Average retail prices for both trims range from $1,445 to $1,710, with low retail value at $1,100.

Customarily, auction listings and trader sites sell the ’00 models at $1,500. These units are in good condition and often come with accessories such as a seeder/feeder spreader with controls, hitch receiver adapter, snowplow blade, front gun scabbards, new tires, and a recovery winch. Some of these Sportsman 500s have exteriors in mint condition but may have starting problems or loose parts. Before making a purchase, be certain to inquire about the vehicle’s overall condition and any mods done by the previous owner.

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Top Speed

The top speed of a stock 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 is between 55 mph and 60 mph. Although not officially advertised by Polaris, forums and some ATV magazines attest to this figure. Like any other off-road vehicle, increasing the top end of a Sportsman has been simplified in recent years. Installing a performance air filter, changing gear ratios, and reducing gross vehicle weight are sure-fire ways to gain you some extra miles per hour. But if your upgrades include a 2.5-inch lift kit and 28-inch tires, then do not expect massive gains.

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Oil Change

  1. Let the motor idle for 2-3 minutes (some advise 4-5 minutes for better oil flow) to warm the oil.
  2. After turning the ignition off, place an oil pan directly beneath the oil tank’s drain plug bolt. Remove the foot panels for better access, unplug the bolt, and let the oil drain completely. Examine old oil for any excessive sludge or metal particles, as this can indicate a potential problem with other components of your vehicle.
  3. Replace the washer from the drain plug bolt with a new one. Reinstall the drain plug bolt of the oil tank by tightening it with a socket wrench. Remember not to over-torque the bolts, as it makes the oil tank prone to leakage.
  4. Reposition the oil pan at the bottom of the motor’s oil sump and below the oil filter. Unscrew the latter completely to drain any remaining oil. Then discard the oil filter after and replace it with a new one, making sure that the filter’s lip or gasket is (thinly) oiled. Oil change kits come with add-ons that make screwing the new filter in place a tad easier.
  5. Remove the crankcase bolt to drain the crankcase. Getting to the crankcase bolt can be quite tricky, but removing the running boards can make accessing it easier. Once the oil from this part of the 4×4 is fully drained, screw the drain plug back in place.
  6. Many Polaris owners skip on pulling the oil line off the fitting on the oil tank’s bottom. The reason behind this is that when they inspect this section, it always comes out clean. Whether or not you skip this step too is your choice. But if you do follow this step, do not forget to use compressed air to clear the fitting’s internal oil screen. Also, you need to apply a drop of blue-type thread-locking adhesive or Loctite onto the fitting threads while ensuring they are correctly torqued.
  7. Remove the dipstick and fill up the tank with 2 quarts of new engine oil (leaving the fitting at the oil tank bottom untouched would only require you at most 1.5 quarts of engine oil). As you reinsert the dipstick, inspect the oil level, and check for excessive oil consumption.

Priming your ATV’s oil pump is the final step to completing your vehicle’s oil change and is essential, as not doing so can lead to engine damage. To do this:

  1. Locate your oil tank’s vent line at the front and squeeze it shut with your fingers or long-nose pliers about two inches from the tip.
  2. Let the motor run for 30 seconds and listen for air rushing out of the vent line when you release it.
  3. Repeat this procedure as needed or until you feel the oil is flowing through the vent line. If you’re not okay doing this by yourself, it would be best to take your quad to a professional mechanic.

2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Problems

Red 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 4x4 ATV

Starting Difficulties

You may notice that your 4×4 turns over but is hard to start or refuses to start. If this occurs, there are multiple things that you will have to prioritize inspecting to narrow down the cause of the problem. First, ensure that the choke toggle lever is in the right position and that your fuel tank is not insufficiently filled or empty. Next, confirm that the spark plug is torqued according to spec, and check if the plug is fouled or wet (as this indicates a flooded engine). Inspect that the auxiliary shutoff switch is not stuck, broken, shorted out, or improperly working. Finally, conduct spark and ignition system tests to determine if you can rule out an electrical issue. If none of these checks point to a cause, then consider the possibility of a fuel or carburetor problem.

Rough Idling

Almost similar to starting issues, rough idling traces back to a flaw in any one of these areas – air filtration, carburetor & jetting, fuel mixture, engine, and electrical system. Obstructions in vents, filters, and passages, incorrect cable adjustment or compression, fuel contamination, and damaged electrical components are just some of the probable triggers.

Power Loss

Galled cylinders, incorrect piston clearance, or sticky piston rings can cause a lack/loss of engine power. It could also be the first sign of preignition and may indicate a more serious engine problem. Either way, first ensure that the quad has enough fuel, fuel lines are not clogged, ignition connections are tightened to spec, and spark plugs are clean and functioning. Then, look for loose bolts, defective gaskets, or leakage in machine surfaces, cylinder heads, or crankcase and repair or replace parts as needed. If power loss persists, check for speed limiter or electronic control malfunctions and other mechanical failures. Seek assistance from your local dealer or mechanic to address any of these latter problems.

Other Issues

Overheating is also a common problem for the ’00 Sportsman 500 but is more subjective to the quad’s owner. Cam lobe wear issues were corrected after 2000 when the cam and exhaust rocker’s soft metal composition was upgraded to a more durable material. Other less-known challenges with the four-wheeler include engine noise, erratic engine speed during load changes, uneven belt wear, and leaking transmission. Resolution to these 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 problems are in the factory service manual.

About Polaris

Founded in 1954, Polaris Inc. has established itself as one of the most trusted pioneers of the snowmobile industry and is the maker of the 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 – regarded as one of the best ATVs of all time. Before the firm was recognized for the advent of the automatic transmission, Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), this American game changer began in the industry as a humble snowmobile manufacturer – put on the map only by the 1956 Polaris Sno Traveler. The company has not looked back since. Today, Polaris continues to show its ingenuity through the production of ATVs, motorcycles, and electric vehicles.

Conclusion – 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 Specs and Review 

Nothing much has changed with the Polaris Sportsman 500 during its first five years in the market, except that this hardy machine became more and more a part of people’s everyday lives. It accompanied them as they worked tirelessly on the farm or had fun in the wild. And while there were a few things that consumers felt were still missing in the quad, these shortcomings did not impact the vehicle’s popularity one bit. Nor did it deter the riding community from truly enjoying every inch of this classic.

The 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 was the most suitable choice for people looking for a quad that perfectly balances functionality, design, and fun. It still is the best pick, even by today’s standards.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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