Polaris Outlaw 500 Specs and Review

2006 marked the beginning of IRS-equipped sport ATVs – thanks to the Polaris Outlaw 500. Aggressive, radical, and race-ready, this 4×4 not only chimed in Polaris’s trademark ingenuity but also became the blueprint for current competition quads. Given its significant role in ATV history, it would be interesting to know more about this legendary four-wheeler.

Predecessor to the KTM-powered 525 IRS, the Polaris Outlaw 500 is fondly regarded by off-road enthusiasts as “the Chuck Norris of the quad world.” Produced from 2006 to 2007, this mean machine boasted a PRO steering system, an 82-mph top speed, and was the 1st sport quad in history to have IRS.

As if the above accolades were not enough, the Polaris Outlaw 500 bested 43 other sport ATVs during its debut, according to ATV Magazine’s User Ratings. With its purpose-driven design, well-engineered suspension system, and overall styling, the quad is undeniably made for technical, wooded trails and desert racing.

ATV Sand Dune Jump

The “Action Star” of ATVs

Action movie lead stars – they rise and fall in popularity but are never forgotten. More notably, they are cool, skilled, and can give their rivals a good whipping. Truth be told, these descriptions perfectly fit the Polaris Outlaw 500.

Launched in 2006, the 500-cc Outlaw did not waste time introducing the ATV industry to Independent Rear Suspension (IRS). This new concept dramatically enhanced a quad’s maneuverability and its ability to neutralize bumps on the road. This nouveau technology took everyone by surprise (a pleasant one at that) and permanently sealed the Polaris Outlaw 500’s name in the books of off-roading history.

Not only did the Outlaw give rise to the IRS era of four-wheelers, but it also made its short-lived production run worthwhile. More so, the vehicle became the prototype of championship-winning Polaris’s sport quads such as the 525 IRS. It conquered the choppy sections of sand as it did tight and winding trails without breaking a sweat. It gave riders the feeling of riding on the clouds.

Literally and figuratively, getting off the line and to the front of the pack seemed almost effortless for the Polaris Outlaw 500.

Polaris Outlaw 500 Specs & Features (Polaris Outlaw 500 vs 525)

Engine

The 2006 Polaris Outlaw 500 mirrored the specifications of the Predator 500 more than it did its bigger-displacement successor, except for a few minor details such as tires and shocks. This is because the ’06 Outlaw was designed before the American firm’s strategic partnership with the Austrian powerhouse, KTM. Differences between the two quads are particularly noticeable in the engine brand, carb size, jetting, and lubrication. Conversely, there is little to no difference between the Polaris Outlaw 500 top speed (and power output) and the 525-cc IRS version.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Engine Brand Name / Model No. ES051KLE015 ES500PLE041
Engine Type KTM SOHC 4-stroke Fuji DOHC 4-stroke
Cylinder Arrangement Single-cylinder
Engine Cooling Liquid cooling
Carburetion System Carburetion, 39-mm Keihin FCR-MX x 1 Carburetion, 42-mm Mikuni BSR x 1
Bore x Stroke Ratio 95 x 72 mm 99.2 x 64.6 mm
Compression Ratio 11.0:1 10.8:1
Displacement 510 cm³ / 31.12 in³ 499 cm³ / 30.45 in³
Idle Speed 1,700 – 1,800 RPM 1,600 ± 100 RPM
Pilot Air Screw N/A 2.5 turns out
Main Jet 148 145
Pilot Jet 45 37.5
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline: PON 91 rating, containing MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol Unleaded gasoline: PON 87/RON 91 rating, containing < 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol
Fuel Capacity 11.8 L/3.1 US gal 12.3 L/3.25 US gal
Maximum Power 49.6 hp (37 kW) 50 hp (37.3 kW)
Top Speed 74 – 82 mph – owner’s claim, stock 70 – 82 mph – owner’s claim, stock
Lubrication Dry sump / Internal reservoir, pressure circulation lubrication w/ 2 rotor pumps Pressurized dry sump
Engine Oil & Quantity 1.7 US quarts: PS-4 Plus (2W-50 Synthetic) 2 US quarts: PS-4 Plus (2W-50 Synthetic)

Drivetrain

Except for the primary reduction ratio and 5th and reverse gears, both the ’06 Outlaw 500 and the’ 07-’09 525 IRS have the same close-ratio transmission from 2nd to 4th gear, which highly resembles the tranny of the ’06 Predator Troy Lee Edition. The ’07 Outlaw 500 did have slightly lower gearing, which seemed to mimic the wide-ratio transmission of the base ’06 Predator 4×4. That said, the ’06 Outlaw’s stock gearing lends to its seamless acceleration and agility in tight trails, while that of the ’07 Outlaw makes it more suitable for wide-open areas. With a capable driver, however, these gear settings make no difference.

Gear ratios aside, both Outlaw 500 and 525 models have a wet-type clutch, 5-speed manual gearbox, and are chain-driven (although the 525 IRS later upgraded to shaft drive while the 500-cc version retained its 520 chain). For wear or damage, a 520 ORH Gold X-Ring or RK Racing Chain 520XSO-88 X-Ring Chain with Connecting Link (view on Amazon) is a great replacement for the stock drive chain.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Clutch Wet multi-disc type Wet multi-plate type
Transfer, Transmission Type Manual 5-speed w/ reverse
Gearshifting 4 up, 1 down (R-1-N-2-3-4-5)
Drive System Chain drive / Shaft drive Chain drive
Drive Chain 520 O-ring, 6-8 mm (1/4 to 3/8 inch)
Drive Ratio (F/R) 2.516 2.880
Sprocket (Counter / Rear) 14/38
Gear Ratio 1st – 2.500
2nd – 1.941
3rd – 1.579
4th – 1.333
5th – 1.130
Reverse – 2.429
(’06 Outlaw) 1st – 2.357
2nd – 1.867
3rd – 1.529
4th – 1.238
5th – 0.920
Reverse – 2.07
(’07 Outlaw) 1st – 2.429
2nd – 1.611
3rd – 1.286
4th – 1.087
5th – 0.920
Reverse – 2.07

Ignition

Both the 500-cc and 525-cc versions of the Outlaw have an electronic Capacitor Discharge Ignition and electric starter. A three-phase alternator with a rated output of 200 watts serves as the vehicles’ charging system, and a YTX9-BS battery (view on Amazon) powers up electronic accessories. The Polaris Outlaw 500, in particular, has a slightly more advanced base ignition timing because of its lower gearing.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Ignition DC/CDI Kokusan Ignition DC/CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
RPM Limit 10,000 ± 100 / Reverse 6,000 ± 100 9,100 ± 100 / Reverse 5,000 ± 100
Ignition Timing 25° ± 3° BTDC @ 3,500 RPM 30° ± 3° BTDC @ 3,500 RPM
Spark Plug, Gap NGK DCPR8E, 0.9 mm (0.035 in) gap
Alternator Type Triple-phase alternator
Rated Output 12V 200 W @ 3,000 RPM
Fuse 10 Amp (main, fan); 5 Amp (ignition) 15 Amp (main); 10 Amp (fan); 5 Amp (ignition)
Battery Maintenance-free 12V (9 Amp)/10 Hr, YTX9-BS format
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 150 x 87 x 105 mm
Starting System Electric – Standard

Tires & Brakes

Compared to the 525 IRS, the ’06 and ’07 Outlaw 500 models had taller Dunlop® tires on all fours. The rear knobbies were originally larger by two (2) inches, perfectly matching the vehicle’s lower gearing. The Outlaw 500’s wheel-and-tire assembly also somewhat explains the slightly bigger fuel tank capacity, potentially meant to make up for the quad’s reduced fuel efficiency (an observed downside to having larger rear tires).

Depending on the intended use of the four-wheeler, you can change stock knobbies to 21-inch Carlisle Trail Wolf ATV Bias Tires (view on Amazon) or 22-inch Maxxis M9804 Rear Tires (view on Amazon) – either is an excellent choice for racing applications. As for the wheel and brake specs, they were kept the same for both Outlaw classes.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Front Tire, off-road/road air pressure Maxxis RAZR-MX 20 x 6-10, 27.6 kPa (0.28 Kgf-cm2, 4 psi) Dunlop® Radial 21 x 7-10, 34.5 kPa (0.35 kgf-cm2, 5 psi)
Rear Tire, off-road/road air pressure Maxxis RAZR-MX 18 x 10-9, 27.6 kPa (0.28 Kgf-cm2, 4 psi) Dunlop® Radial 20 x 10-9, 34.5 kPa (0.35 kgf-cm2, 5 psi)
Rim Size, Offset, Bolt Pattern (F/R) 10×5 / 28.3 mm – 4/156 (front); 9×8 / 58.8 mm – 4/110 (rear)
Front Brake Type Hydraulic disc, dual bore w/ front-wheel hydraulic lock Hydraulic discs
Rear Brake Type Hydraulic disc
Parking Brake Hydraulic lock, front wheel Park in transmission

Suspension

2007 Polaris Outlaw 500 ATV

The 525 and 500 versions of the Polaris Outlaw both share an Independent Rear Suspension (IRS). Not only does it provide a dramatic improvement in suspension travel over the competition, but IRS also works much better when riding on uneven surfaces. Additionally, Polaris fitted the Outlaw 500 models with RydeFX™ shocks with 7-way compression adjustment instead of Fox™ shocks (view on Amazon). All these components make for the wheeler’s precise handling despite the unchanged wheelbase and turning radius.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Toe-Out 0 – 0.159 mm (0 – 1/16 in)
Ground Clearance 290 mm (11.5 in)
Wheelbase 1,280 mm (50.5 in) 1,300 mm (51 in)
Turning Radius 1.70 m (5.58 ft)
Front Suspension Type, Travel Dual A-arm / FOX™ PODIUM X Compression Adjustable Shock, 250 mm (10 in) Dual A-arm / RydeFX™ compression adjustable shock, 254 mm (10 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Swing Arm / FOX™ PODIUM X Compression & Rebound
Adjustable Shock, 250 mm (10 in)
Independent A-arm / RydeFX™ compression adjustable shock, 279.4 mm (11 in)
Shock Preload Adjustment (F/R) Threaded shock adjustment w/ spanner wrench

Dimensions & Capacities

The generation/type of chassis the Outlaw 500 has is a bit unclear and unspecified in the service manual. The only thing clearly stated is that the earlier 500-cc model has a slightly higher seat height and a heavier dry mass versus the 525 IRS model. Payload capacity is also not mentioned but can be assumed to fall anywhere between 98 Kg (215 lbs) and 113 Kg (250 lbs). Conversely, GVWR is specified at 292 Kg (645 lbs).

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Dimensions (L x W x H) 1,820 x 1,210 x 1,140 mm (71.5 x 47.5 x 45 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 795 mm (31.3 in) 813 mm (32 in)
Dry Weight 177 Kg (390 lbs) 199 Kg (439 lbs)

Exterior

While the Polaris Outlaw 500 boasts of aggressive, sporty styling, it does fall short on digital instrumentation (as most sport quads did in the ’90s and early 2000s). Other than that, everything else essential comes standard with the four-wheeler – a bash plate, front and rear bumpers, fender flares, plastic skid plate, vinyl seat, and serrated footpegs. The frame and body panels were made available in the color options specified below. Given the 4×4’s shortcomings, Polaris Outlaw 500 aftermarket parts like DG Performance Alloy Nerf Bars (view on Amazon) and a fully digital gauge kit like Trail Tech 752-118 Black Vapor (view on Amazon) will complete the sportiness of the quad.

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Colors Red/White, Black/Red, White Cloud Silver, Matter Black, Black/Red
Indicator Lamps Standard (hot temperature, neutral, reverse)
Switches, Controls Engine stop switch

Lighting

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA) 2006 – 2007 Polaris Outlaw 500
(A06GP50AA/AB; A07GP50AA/AB)
Headlight Dual beam, 12V 55/60 W x 2 Dual beam, 12V 35/35 W x 2
Brake Light/Taillight LED x 2 12V 26.9 W/LED x 2
Indicator Lights 12V 1 W (neutral, reverse, high temp)

Polaris Outlaw 500 Price

The list price of the Polaris Outlaw 500 is $6,899 and did not change throughout its production. Inversely, pricing for its secondhand units has a wider range – from $1,300 to $3,900. For a 13-year-old four-wheeler, the Outlaw appears to be holding their value well, with the ’06 models falling on the pricier end of the bidding spectrum. Quads that cost at least $2,000 are in perfect running condition and with aftermarket add-ons to boot. Those that start at $3,000 have pristine plastics and driver seat and little to no mechanical damage. Probably, the only setback is that you will be hard-pressed to find a unit that still has stock gearing for either of the versions.

For your reference, the table below shows list prices of both Outlaw 500 models and their corresponding trade-in values:

Year – TrimList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
2006 Polaris Outlaw 500$6,899$1,795 – $2,360
2007 Polaris Outlaw 500$6,899$1,510 – $1,985

2008 Product Recall

The American manufacturer recalled approximately 11,000 combined Outlaw 500 and 525 IRS units due to issues with rear sprocket retention bolts. The said retention bolts were reportedly loose, causing the sprockets to come partially undone, catch on the A-arms, and cause the rear wheels to lock up. In turn, this series of occurrences potentially led to serious injuries.

Upon further investigation, Polaris discovered that the cause for the sprockets to loosen from the hub was due to the threads in the sprocket hub not being cleaned properly before the final assembly of the vehicle. Thankfully, the installation of a sprocket retainer kit addressed the said problem on all affected Outlaw models. Furthermore, design improvements on later-year Outlaw models permanently resolved the rear-end issue.

Polaris Outlaw 500 Pros and Cons

Being the first sport quad to have an IRS-equipped rear end, the Polaris Outlaw 500 was a massive hit with both enthusiasts and average recreational riders out of the gate. However, this is not to say that the four-wheeler was fault-free in the eyes of off-roaders. That said, let us go over some of the pros and cons of the 4×4.

Pros:

  • The Outlaw shares the same 42-mm carb and powerful engine with the Predator 500 – known for its low-end torque and monstrous performance.
  • An IRS-equipped rear end and generous wheel travel lend to the vehicle’s stability and superb handling.
  • Shocks are compression-adjustable and can be tuned easily by hand.
  • Compared to its higher-displacement successor, the 500-cc machine’s reverse gear ratio is just right for getting riders out of sticky situations.

Cons:

  • It is considered one of the heavier machines in its class, which pushed Polaris to shed off a minimum of 40 lbs from the succeeding 525 IRS version.
  • The 500-cc Outlaws share the same steering stem problems (flimsy center link and non-gusseted tabs), and restrictive intake boot design with pre-2008 525 IRS trims.
  • Since the quad was in production for only two years, getting aftermarket parts and CV boot replacements prove challenging for most owners. Similarly, driveline and brake system components are expensive to replace.
  • The vehicle lacks protection for its suspension components and underside.

Polaris Outlaw 500 Problems

To add, Polaris Outlaw 500s were also known to have some problems, as follows:

Transmission Issues

Owners who experienced this have observed the four-wheeler occasionally switching gears on its own when coming from 4th going up to 5th gear, which could mean a busted gear cog. Veterans strictly advise having a professional look at what’s wrong with the quad at the first sign of the problem. Delaying in getting the tranny fixed could mean costlier repairs in addition to serious vehicular problems.

Questionable Reliability

Perhaps, one of the things that scared off some prospective Outlaw owners in the past is the vehicle’s rather disputable reliability. While experienced riders are never one to shy away from rigorous maintenance and repairs, the quad just had one too many issues with its bearings, tie rod ends, inner CV boots (both sprocket and brake side), and intake boots.

Overheating

Although this is more user-inflicted in nature, overheating can be resolved either by bypassing the thermostat return line or adding an oil cooler to the four-wheeler. Before attempting these workarounds, however, make sure to follow the manufacturer-recommended troubleshooting steps found in the service manual.

Expectedly, there are mixed testimonials around the prevalence of these problems. For instance, many off-roaders find the Outlaw’s IRS-equipped rear end makes it less befitting of the dunes and technical trails than other straight-axle Polaris’s quads – despite the IRS’ many advantages. While some riders were unfortunate to experience all the abovementioned issues on their quad, other owners attest to having only the front wheel bearings, headlights, and battery failing – but all within the warranty period, hence, receiving free repair or part replacement.

About Polaris

Polaris Inc., an American manufacturer, is world-renowned for introducing groundbreaking ATV innovations and making the Polaris Outlaw 500. Founded by Edgar Hetteen, Allen Hetteen, and David Johnson in 1954, the firm has come a long way from creating the first snowmobile, the 1956 Sno Traveler, to venturing into multiple industries. Simultaneous to this, the company focused on its expansion program, going through several acquisitions in the process. Polaris is known for its quality product offerings, including ATVs/UTVs, moto-roadsters, motorcycles, and tactical vehicles.

Conclusion – Polaris Outlaw 500 Review

The Polaris Outlaw 500 is undoubtedly a four-wheeled beast meant for the sand and wooded trails. The vehicle may not have had the KTM engine that everyone raved about back in the day. But it did sport a more important feature – the IRS. While still imperfect, this single feature revolutionized the ATV industry and shaped present-day trail and race-track behemoths as we know them.

With a product recall and rumored reliability issues under its name, the Outlaw 500 still reigns supreme in the quad world – even to this day. And just like Chuck Norris, this 4×4 is still prepared to kick butt like a true legend.

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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