Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4 Specs and Review

The Polaris Hawkeye 300 was a standout in Polaris’ 2006 ATV lineup as it sported full features only previously found on higher-displacement, full-size quads. The machine also had a 299-cm3 4-stroke power mill, a fully automatic PVT, and a sizeable 34-mm Mikuni carb. While notable features are not exclusive to the Hawkeye, other same-class quads did not prove enough competition for the four-wheeler – as you will later find out in this article.

The Polaris Hawkeye 300 is a 4-stroke ATV produced from 2006 to 2011. Ranking 2nd out of 116 utility ATVs, it became well-known for its robust components and functional design. The 4×4 proved capable on trails and dirt roads and was preferred by beginners and outdoor enthusiasts.

It took three and a half years on the drawing board before Polaris’ team of engineers finalized the design of the quad and introduced it to the public – only to soon realize that the Polaris Hawkeye 300’s strengths and areas for improvement can translate into its other line of ATVs. Whether this was the reason behind the machine’s halted six-year run can only be left to speculation. The rest of the details about the four-wheeler are in this guide.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4x4 ATV

About the Polaris Hawkeye 300

Third-generation American ATVs like the Polaris Hawkeye 300 bore the fruits of labor of their predecessors from the get-go. Unlike the older Polaris Xpress, the 300-cc Hawkeye enjoyed a four-cycle power mill, sportier aesthetics, a front differential lock, and selectable driveline modes. It also had triple disc brakes (view on Amazon) replacing customary sealed drums, a stunning hauling capacity, and more color options for its bodywork. But this is not to say that everything about it is complicated.

A perfect instance of this is the Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4’s simplified interface, consisting of eight (8) controls – throttle, choke, brake, starter button, multi-function button, AWD, headlight, and kill switches – versus its competition with over 20 switches and buttons. This ergonomics approach gives the rider fewer things to worry about and allows more focus on the road. Some take time to get accustomed to the interface but soon appreciate its simplicity when affronted by sticky situations. Its only setback is that there is no clock in the digital instrumentation and separate levers for the front and rear brakes – having them would make the Hawkeye’s interface flawless.

Design

The design concept of the quad is a mix of push-and-pull elements. While its driveline components are state-of-the-art, the 4×4 is not fuel injected and does not have EBS. It has an All-Wheel Drive System but no turf mode. Its constant variable transmission enables shiftless driving but does not offer low-range gearing. In stock form, the machine can be as simple as you want it to be, with its factory-installed parts and sans any fancy add-ons. But it is also flexible and can be converted to its sportiest version with accessories and performance upgrades.

Polaris Hawkeye 300 Specs & Features

Engine

Similar to the 2006 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4, the 2007 model comes to life via a 4-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder SOHC engine with a bore-stroke ratio of 78.5 x 68 millimeters (3.1 x 2.7 inches). Its powerplant has a displacement of 299 cubic centimeters, a CV BST34 Mikuni carb handling air-fuel mixture, and a compression ratio of 9.2:1. To keep engine components properly lubed, you will require about 2 quarts/1.9 liters of Polaris Premium Synthetic 0W-50 or its equivalent, with an API classification of SJ or higher.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Engine Brand Name / Model No. ES300PFE010
Engine Type 4-stroke, SOHC, twin-valve
Cylinder Arrangement Single cylinder
Engine Cooling Air Cooling (oil-cooled)
Carburetion System Carburetor, Mikuni BST 34 x 1
Bore x Stroke Ratio 78.5 x 68 mm (3.1 x 2.7 in)
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Displacement 299 cm³ / 18.2 in³
Jetting (Main/Pilot) #140 / #45
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline w/ PON 87 rating, containing < 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol; E-85 fuels are prohibited
Fuel Capacity 17 L (4.5 US gal)
Maximum Power  Refer to owner’s manual problem 
Top Speed 42-44 mph (67.5-70.8 km/h) – advertised; 50 mph (80 km/h) – owner’s claim
Air Filtration High-quality foam element (breather filter)
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil & Quantity Engine: 1.9 L (2 US quarts) of Polaris Premium 4 Synthetic 0W-50
Transmission: 0.45 L (15.2 oz) of Polaris AGL Synthetic Gearcase Lube
Demand Drive: 0.148 L (5 oz) of Premium Demand Drive Hub Fluid

Drivetrain

The Hawkeye 300 uses an automatic Polaris Variable Transmission inclusive of reverse and with no low gear. High gear reduction is 3.6:1, and the final drive ratio is 15.18:1. The Hawkeye is a pleasure to ride, especially for nouveau riders – thanks to its light and straightforward steering system that is beginner-friendly and ideal for all-day trail riding. Furthermore, steering is mated to the company-trademark Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) – a well-tuned suspension system that lends to the quad’s stability, ride quality, and predictability on or off the line.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Clutch Wet, multi-plate type
Transfer, Transmission Type Automatic PVT (Polaris Variable Transmission)
Gearshifting Shift type side lever (H/N/R)
Drive System Shaft ride system
Drive Ratio (F/R) N/A 3.6:1 (front)
Final Drive 15.18:1

Ignition

A keyed DC-CDI ignition and an electric starter with an auxiliary mechanical recoil activate the 300-cc machine. Similarly, a 250-watt alternator and 12V 14 Ah battery power up electronic accessories. The spark plug differs between the 2WD and 4WD trims, but its gap and torque specifications remain the same. A battery maintainer (view on Amazon) will be a great addition to the quad to keep the battery in tip-top shape.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Ignition DC CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
Ignition Timing 10° ± 2° @ 1,500 RPM / 30° ± 2° @ 5,000 RPM
Spark Plug, Gap NGK CR8EB, 0.8 mm (0.031 in) gap
Torque specs: 9-11 ft-lb (12-15 Nm) – new; 17-20 ft-lb (23-27 Nm) – used
NGK CR8EB, 0.8 mm (0.031 in) gap
Torque specs: 9-11 ft-lb (12-15 Nm) – new; 17-20 ft-lb (23-27 Nm) – used
Alternator Output 250 W
Battery 12V (14 Ah)/10 HR, YTX14AH-BS format
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 134 x 89 x 166 mm (5.31 x 3.50 x 6.56 in)
Starting System Electric start w/ recoil backup

Tires & Brakes

Triple disc brakes linked up with steel-braided lines are exceptionally controllable and bring the four-wheeler from top speed to a halt in an instant. It also provides an excellent feel. Factory front and rear tires are mounted on either steel or cast aluminum rims for standard Polaris Hawkeye models and on chrome wheels for Limited Edition (LE) trims.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Wheel Composition Steel, Cast Aluminum, Chrome
Front Tire, Air pressure Maxxis AT22 x 7-12, 34.5 kPa ( kgf/cm2, 5 psi)
Maxxis AT23 x 7-12, 34.5 kPa ( kgf/cm2, 5 psi) – LE models
Rear Tire, Air pressure Maxxis AT22 x 10-12, 34.5 kPa ( kgf/cm2, 5 psi)
Maxxis AT23 x 10-12, 34.5 kPa ( kgf/cm2, 5 psi) – LE models
Tread Depth Limit 3 mm (0.11811 in)
Front Brake Type Single-control hydraulic discs
Rear Brake Type
Parking Brake, Auxiliary Brake Hydraulic lock, all-wheel / Foot-activated hydraulic disc, rear wheel brake

For both 2WD and 4WD versions, tire sizes remain the same – 22 inches for standard models and 23 inches for LE ones. Recommended tire pressure across all models is 5 psi/34.5 kPa. And in the event of wear or damage, slightly taller ITP Mud Lite II All-Terrain ATV Radials (view on Amazon) are usually the go-to replacements.

2006 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4x4 ATV

Suspension

Handling on the Polaris Hawkeye 300 is noticeably impressive – thanks to its IRS and anti-roll bar that keeps the machine stable when cornering while soaking up obstacles and bumps. In addition, the quad features MacPherson Struts at the front and a single-shock, progressive rate swingarm at the rear that allow 7.0 and 8.0 inches of wheel travel, respectively.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Toe-Out 3-6 mm (1/8 to 1/4 in)
Ground Clearance 200 mm (8 in)
Wheelbase 1,170 mm (46 in)
Turning Radius 1,590 mm (62.5 in) – unloaded m/ft
Front Suspension Type, Travel Front MacPherson strut, 180 mm (7 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Rear progressive rate, 200 mm (8 in)
Shock Preload Adjustment (F/R) Shock adjustment CAM

A front locking differential offers selectable driveline modes between the front McPherson Struts. Meanwhile, rear suspension controls up-and-down travel. Ground clearance is a class-leading 8.0 inches and is comparable to higher-displacement quads like the Yamaha Kodiak 450 and the Polaris Sportsman 450.

Dimensions

The 4×4’s overall dimensions are 74 x 42 x 45.5 inches (1,880 x 1,070 x 1,160 millimeters) – its length being two inches more than earlier Hawkeye models. Towing capacity is between 750 and 1,213 lbs when using a ball hitch versus an unbraked trailer, while combined rack capacity is fixed at 175 lbs with a 1/3-2/3 (front-and-rear) weight distribution. Dry weight (sans accessories) ranges from 525 to 550 lbs, depending on whether it was a 2WD or 4WD version. Its mass is hardly noticeable on the back of a pickup, making for convenient transport of the four-wheeler.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Length 1,880 mm (74 in)
Width 1,070 mm (42 in)
Height 1,160 mm (45.5 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 813 mm (32 in)
Dry Weight 238 Kg (525 lbs) 250 Kg (550 lbs)
Carrier Capacity (F/R) 70 lbs / 100 lbs
Tongue Weight 34 Kg (75 lbs) – rear rack capacity and tongue weight not to exceed 45 Kg/100 lbs
Towing Capacity 340 Kg (750 lbs); 550 Kg (1,213 lbs) – unbraked trailer
GVWR 422 Kg (930 lbs)

Exterior

The Polaris Hawkeye 300 consists of a tubular steel frame and plastic body material that gives off a simplistic but rugged vibe. Standard inclusions are:

  • A well-cushioned seat
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Hand grips and handlebars
  • Footwells

A water-tight front storage box makes stowing essentials and small items possible. The quad’s exterior provides plenty of legroom for 6’0″ tall riders. At cruising speeds, this machine rides smoothly. However, you may feel a slight buzz through the seat and handlebars under hard acceleration and at certain speeds.

2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 2007 Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4
Colors Red (2WD), Sunset Red (LE), Green/Black, Black/Silver
Instrumentation Speedometer, odometer, trip meter, hour meter
Indicator Lamps Neutral, reverse
Fuel Gauge Standard
Tool Kit
Headlight Single beam on bumper, 12V 37.5 W x 2
Brake Light/Taillight 12V 26.9 W/8.26 W x 1

Lock & Ride® Cargo System

It is a Polaris-exclusive attachment system that allows Hawkeye owners to buy authentic accessories they can easily bolt onto their quads without the need for drilling the frame or bodywork.

Polaris Hawkeye 300 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The Polaris Hawkeye 300 4×4 has a purposeful, handsome styling.
  • Despite its small appearance, the Polaris Hawkeye 300 is very roomy.
  • Top-selling features like the IRS and positive front end make the 4×4 a charm to ride.
  • Its steering-suspension-system combo makes the Hawkeye easy to navigate on tight and technical trails.
  • Issues with the uncomfortable, hard seat were addressed with production models.
  • Owners reported the machine to have more suspension travel than a Kawasaki Prairie 700, even performing better than SRA quads.
  • The Polaris Hawkeye 300 does not have overheating or cold-starting problems.
  • Compared to a Polaris Magnum 300, the Hawkeye provides better ground clearance.
  • Inherent rattling is easily removed by getting the crankcase and tie rod race-balanced, and the clearance specs tightened.

Cons:

  • Factory assembly of the unit is loose, resulting in the rattling and pinging/knocking engine noises.
  • Acceleration is the Polaris Hawkeye 300’s Achilles’ heel – an additional 50-cc displacement would have given the machine its much-needed oomph off the line and in the mud.
  • For some units, the mounting points on the front wheel hubs are flimsy and crack easily, with the hub jumping off the ball joint.
  • Mud is not the machine’s favorite terrain and, in certain situations, may even overwhelm it.
  • The quad is not adept at extremely high altitudes and loses power above 13,000 feet.
  • Its PVT belt starts screeching after getting wet.

2006 Product Recall

Polaris voluntarily recalled approximately 9,400 units of 2006 Polaris Hawkeye 300 2×4 and 4×4 ATVs due to loss of control hazard caused by front bearing carrier failure. This failure was due to an insufficient amount of material thickness at the point where the lower A-arm and ball joint conjoin, which can probably escalate to a crash and cause serious rider injury. At the time of the recall, the American firm has already received 32 reports where the bearing carrier reportedly failed and three crash reports with no injuries. Like any other ATV recall, scheduling a free repair with a Polaris dealer permanently addressed the issue.

Cost of a Polaris Hawkeye

MSRP for the Polaris Hawkeye 300 ranges from $3,900 to $5,049, depending on trim and model year. Consumers consider this price point of great value given the quad’s full features – even with the camouflage and Limited Edition models. Unknown to many, however, this affordability was only possible due to the machine being put together on a modified assembly line in Roseau, Minnesota. On the other hand, values of pre-owned units fall between $1,480 and $3,200 – these machines are usually in mint condition and with minimal cosmetic damage and low mileage and hours.

Polaris Hawkeye Problems

Because of the Hawkeye’s bulletproof nature, the quad’s best-known issues mostly have to do with its carburetor and ignition system.

Alongside these problems, some Hawkeye owners also complain of restricted throttle responsiveness and intermittent bogging down of the engine. The machine is also observed to run rich from the factory, which could be further aggravated if jetting is messed around with without the guidance of a service manual. In worst cases, the top-end of the wheeler also gets adversely affected to the point that it would not go past 20 mph.

Some proven-and-tested solutions to this problem include swapping out the old plug with a compatible iridium spark plug, putting in fresh fuel in the tank, and thoroughly cleaning or entirely replacing the air filter. When it comes to fuel, using non-ethanol variants in smaller engines is highly advisable. Following the instructions in the manual when cleaning the carburetor is always a good idea – although more experienced quad owners mix starting fluid and carb cleaner together. Others adjust the main jet from a #140 to a #137.5, resulting in their machines running better.

About Polaris

Polaris Inc. is a world-renowned American manufacturer of ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and other electric vehicles. Founded in 1954, the Polaris Hawkeye 300 maker has grown its company portfolio from snowmobiles to include production of Moto-Roadsters, all-terrain and commercial vehicles, and tactical modes of transport, garments, and accessories. The firm’s decision to move in this direction helped establish it as a trusted name in the motorsports, automotive, and defense industries. While some components are still imported overseas, most of its powertrain and off-road vehicles are made and assembled in its two sites in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Conclusion – Polaris Hawkeye 300 Review

In a nutshell, the Polaris Hawkeye 300 is one entry-level 4×4 that is more than what anyone can ask for. With all the necessary UTE-like functions, an unrivaled suspension system, and full features only found in higher-displacement big-bore behemoths; this sporty quad is well worth its price. It definitely would not be an ideal choice for serious mudders or speedsters. But for someone looking for a well-assembled machine that delivers on dependability and fun, the Polaris Hawkeye 300 is – without a doubt – the perfect ride!

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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