Polaris Outlaw 525 Specs and Review

2009 definitely rings a bell for avid Polaris fans and racing enthusiasts. But for those who have just recently gotten into the groove of the off-roading community, let me loop you in really quick. The year 2009 was when racing legend Doug Eichner became champion in the Open Pro ITP QuadCross Series, besting his closest competitor by a 20-point lead. And as you would have already guessed – he rode a modded Polaris Outlaw 525.

The Polaris Outlaw 525 was one of the best things that came out of the American firm’s strategic partnership with KTM in 2006. A revamped version of the Outlaw 500, this machine featured a powerful 510-cc KTM engine and Independent Rear Suspension and was produced from 2007 to 2011.

Quick acceleration, superb handling, and an unrivaled suspension system are only some of the key selling points of the Polaris Outlaw 525. Learn all this and more, as this guide lets you in on the highs, lows, and note-worthy features of this highly-capable four-wheeler.

Red 2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 ATV

About Polaris Outlaw 525

The Polaris Outlaw 525 is a championship-winning sport quad introduced to the market in 2007. Originally intended as an enhanced version of the Predator 500 and Outlaw 500, The 525-class machine later became better known as Yamaha Raptor 700’s toughest competition due to its sporty nature, on-trail manners, and superior suspension. The Outlaw 525 came in two versions: a solid rear-axle Outlaw 525 S and a Fox-Podium-equipped Outlaw 525 IRS. And with consumers clamoring for high-performance 450s, the Polaris Outlaw 525’s success was already a shoe in the bag.

Not only did the Polaris Outlaw 525 have a more powerful engine (thanks to KTM), but it also addressed the flaws of the earlier Outlaw and Predator models. Among these faults are weight, gearing issues, and limitations caused by having a very stiff sway bar. Having two versions also worked best for the Outlaw 525. The S model was more controllable on off-camber terrain and smooth roads. On the other hand, the IRS model had better flotation in the dunes.

Polaris Outlaw 525 Specs & Features

Engine

A 4-stroke, liquid-cooled KTM power mill brings both the straight-axle and IRS versions of the Polaris Outlaw 525 to life as part of the strategic partnership between the two manufacturers in 2006. Engine configurations are pretty much the same for both, except for the IRS’ main jetting. In stock form, Polaris Outlaw 525 top speed is advertised at 76 mph (122 km/h), although Outlaw owners claim that it can hit up to 82 mph and even reach 90 mph when modded. Fuel capacity was initially 3.1 US gallons but later increased to 3.9 US gallons for later-year models.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Engine Model No. ES051KLE016 ES051KLE015
Engine Type KTM Liquid-cooled, single cylinder, SOHC, 4-stroke engine
Carburetion System 39-mm Keihin FCR-MX x 1
Main Jet 138 148
Pilot Jet 45
Slow Air Jet 100
Engine Fuel Premium unleaded gasoline of at least PON 91 rating, containing < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol (E-85 fuel is not recommended)
Fuel Capacity 11.8 L/3.1 US gal
Bore x Stroke Ratio 95×72 mm (3.74×2.83 in)
Compression Ratio 11.0:1
Starting System Electric – Standard
Displacement 510 cm³ / 31.1 in³
Maximum Power 49.6 hp (37 kW)
Top Speed 74 – 82 mph (119 – 132 km/h @ 7,400 RPM) – owner’s claim, stock
Lubrication Dry sump / Internal reservoir, pressure circulation w/ two (2) rotor pumps
Engine Oil & Quantity 1.6 L (1.7 US quarts) of PS-4 Plus (2W-50 Synthetic)

Drivetrain

Power transfers to the wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission inclusive of reverse. The final drive consists of a 520 O-ring chain for both versions but later changed to shaft drive for the IRS model. Stock gearing makes for the sport quad’s impressive acceleration and top-end speed, with its 0-50-mph time at 5.70 seconds, beating Yamaha Raptor 700’s record of 6.18 seconds (source: https://bityl.co/6nWZ). Plus, controls are straightforward and easy to reach.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Clutch Wet multi-disc type
Transfer, Transmission Type Manual 5-speed w/ reverse
Drive System 520 O-ring Chain, 6-8 mm (1/4 to 3/8 inch)
Front Drive 2.516
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

Ignition

White 2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 ATV

The Outlaw has an electronic Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI) with an electric starter. A three-phase alternator with a rated output of 200 watts serves as the vehicle’s charging system, mated to a CDI box and YTX9-BS battery (view on Amazon) that powers up the 4×4 and its electronic accessories.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Ignition DC/CDI Kokusan Ignition
Ignition Timing 25° ± 3° BTDC @ 3,500 RPM
Spark Plug, Gap NGK DCPR8E, 0.6 mm (0.024 in) gap
Alternator Type Triple-phase alternator
Rated Output 12V 200 W @ 3,000 RPM
Fuse 10 Amp (main, fan); 5 Amp (ignition)
Battery, Dimensions 9 Amp Hr, YTX9-BS format, 150 x 87 x 105 mm (6.00 x 3.44 x 4.19 in)

Tires & Brakes

18- and 20-inch Maxxis tires have been evened out to 20-inch knobbies mounted on aluminum rims for later-year models. Depending on the use of your quad, you can replace stock tires with Carlisle Trail Wolf ATV Bias Front Tires – 21 x 7-10 (view on Amazon) for your Polaris Outlaw 525 S or ITP Holeshot GNCC 6-ply Off-Road Bias Rear Tires – 20 x 10-9 (view on Amazon) – fits great on both models. Hydraulic disc brakes with dual-piston calipers and a lockable parking brake provide the four-wheeler stopping power.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Wheel Composition Spun aluminum
Front Tire, off-road/road air pressure Maxxis RAZR-MX 20 x 6-10, 27.6 kPa (0.28 kgf-cm2, 4 psi)
Rear Tire, off-road/road air pressure Maxxis RAZR-MX 18 x 10-9, 27.6 kPa (0.28 kgf-cm2, 4 psi)
Front Rim Size, Offset, Bolt Pattern 10×5 / 28.3 mm – 4/156
Rear Rim Size, Offset, Bolt Pattern 9×8 / 58.8 mm – 4/110
Front Brake Type Hydraulic disc, dual bore w/ front-wheel hydraulic lock
Rear Brake Type Hydraulic disc

Suspension

The advantage of the IRS model over the S model lies in its suspension system. Firstly, it is IRS-equipped, which works much better at overall bump absorption. Secondly, it has twice the ground clearance the straight-axle version has – this makes traversing uneven terrain a lot more manageable. These two highlights more than compensate for the slightly shorter rear-wheel travel of the Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS. Nonetheless, steering is quick and precise for both machines, and handling traits are remarkable.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Toe-Out 0 – 0.159 mm (0 – 1/16 in)
Turning Radius 1.70 m (5.58 ft)
Wheelbase 1,280 mm (50.5 in)
Ground Clearance 130 mm (5 in) 290 mm (11.5 in)
Front Suspension Type, Travel Dual A-arm / FOX™ PODIUM X Compression Adjustable Shock, 250 mm (10 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Swing Arm / FOX™ PODIUM X Compression & Rebound
Adjustable Shock, 280 mm (11 in)
Swing Arm / FOX™ PODIUM X Compression & Rebound
Adjustable Shock, 250 mm (10 in)
Shock Preload Adjustment (F/R) Threaded shock adjustment w/ spanner wrench

Dimensions

Both the S and IRS versions share similar overall vehicle dimensions, except for their dry weight. This is due to the latter having separate shocks on all fours – a small price to pay for its ability to soak up bumps and take on technical trails. Everything else remained unchanged. The seat height, however, was upgraded to 813 mm (32 inches) for later-year models.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Length 1,820 mm (71.5 in)
Width 1,210 mm (47.5 in)
Height 1,140 mm (45 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 795 mm (31.3 in)
Dry Weight 168 Kg (370 lbs) 177 Kg (390 lbs)
Maximum Weight Capacity 98 Kg (215 lbs)

Exterior

The Outlaw 525 has a tubular steel frame standard with a bash plate, front and rear bumpers and fender flares, serrated footpegs, aluminum rims, plastic skid plate, and a vinyl seat. Body panels were made available in only three color options but still gave the vehicle a sporty look. Polaris Outlaw 525 performance parts like DG Performance Alloy Nerf Bars (view on Amazon) and a Trail Tech Endurance II Digital Gauge Speedometer Kit (view on Amazon) are elements that can add some oomph to your quad.

Polaris Outlaw 525 S (A09GJ52AA) Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS (A09GP52AA)
Colors Red, White Black/Red, White
Speedometer/Trip Odometer N/A
Speed Governor
Fuel Gauge
Override Switch Engine stop switch
Indicator Lamps Standard (hot temperature, neutral, reverse)
Headlight Dual-beam Halogen, 12V 55/60 W x 2

Polaris Outlaw 525 Pros and Cons

Red 2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS ATV

Part of what off-roaders are crazy about with the making of the four-wheeler is that the KTM engine was not detuned. With KTM’s solid reputation for creating dreamy power mills and monster Supermoto bikes, many riders highly anticipated the feel of that power on a sport quad. (Much to the delight of knowledgeable skeptics) KTM tweaked the 525 motors to a 5-speed manual to accommodate a reverse gear before shipping the powerplants to Polaris for installation in the 4x4s.

Pros:

Other things to appreciate about the quad are listed below:

  • KTM 525 powerplant is extremely reliable and powerful and provides a smooth and long torque curve.
  • The vehicle provides near-perfect handling – thanks to its precise sway controls and IRS-equipped rear end.
  • It offers generous wheel travel and makes more stable turns compared to most 450s.
  • The carburetor is easy to jet, which is crucial when riding at higher altitudes.
  • Ergonomics are spacious, and its slim midsection fits small to mid-heavy riders comfortably.
  • The grip it has is unreal and hooks up excellently in sugary sand.
  • Shock preload is convenient to adjust by hand.
  • Wheelies and big jumps are easy to pull off due to the removal of the steering rack for post-2008 models.

Cons:

Conversely, the quad’s drawbacks include the following:

  • Despite the steering rack removal, the vehicle is still heavier than a solid-axle sport quad.
  • The front end is twitchy and lighter than what most riders prefer.
  • IRS does the vehicle wonders but also makes it act funny during jumps.
  • The clutch levers and single-piece brake are expensive to replace.
  • Earlier Polaris Outlaw 525 models had a restrictive intake boot design, making the air filter difficult to service.
  • The aluminum center link and non-gusseted tabs on the steering stem for pre-2008 models do not last.
  • Aftermarket options are difficult – if not impossible – to come by because of the joint KTM-Polaris design.
  • It is a bit troublesome to do an oil change because of the two oil filters and two screens.
  • Reverse gearing is taller than necessary for backing out of steep inclines.
  • It can be tricky to find neutral, especially when the motor is running.
  • The choke and petcock valve are hard to find. Plus, there is no skid plate for the A-arms.

Contrary to the impression this list seems to create, the Polaris Outlaw 525 is not overly problematic. Most of these issues result from the vehicle being used for all-out racing when its factory setup is meant for challenging trail rides and ripping through the sands. However, there are other items in this problem list specific to the 2007–2008 versions. As a precaution, go for 2009-2011 models when buying a Polaris Outlaw 525 secondhand.

Polaris Outlaw 525 Price

The list price of the Polaris Outlaw 525 is within the $7,000-range for all its models. Additionally, MSRPs for both the S and IRS versions did not increase since its 2008 release. Conversely, there is noticeable fluctuation in the retail values of the four-wheeler – largely dependent on year, trim, and overall vehicle condition. The table below consolidates list prices of all Outlaw 525 quads produced between 2007 and 2011:

Year – TrimList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
2007 Polaris Outlaw 525$7,299$1,955 – $2,575
2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 S$7,199$2,360 – $3,105
2008 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS$7,399$2,475 – $3,255
2009 Polaris Outlaw 525 S$7,399$2,510 – $3,300
2009 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS$7,699$2,590 – $3,410
2010 Polaris Outlaw 525 S$7,399$2,605 – $3,430
2010 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS$7,699$2,715 – $3,575
2011 Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS$7,699$2,800 – $3,685

For pre-loved Outlaws, note that the figures above are sans any accessories or performance parts that the previous owner may have added. You also need to consider additional maintenance costs, as these KTM-engine-powered quads are rumored to be maintenance-heavy. Getting a front bumper (view on Amazon) or aftermarket shocks is almost a requirement, especially for those intending to use their vehicle for serious mudding and racing.

Outlaw 525 vs. Raptor 700

There are mixed views about which is better between the Outlaw 525 and the Raptor 700. Many say that the 700 will murder the 525 without flinching. The Polaris Outlaw may be quicker, but the Raptor has more usable power in its first three gears than the former due to its front sprocket having one tooth taller. Plus, the gearing the Outlaw requires to catch up to the Raptor’s top-end speed would kill its acceleration.

While the above is true, we cannot discount the fact that the Polaris Outlaw 525 is capable of winning championships. And with a few well-placed mods, it actually already has. In addition, the factory setup of the vehicle has been perfected for the trails, with the intention of challenging the turf where the Yamaha Raptor 700 is currently reigning supreme. Throw in the KTM-supplied 510-cc powerplant, and we have several things working for the 500-class wheeler, making it a contender for the “King of the Trails” moniker.

The Differences:

  • Engine – Despite the Raptor having a 686-class engine, it falls behind in power output at 46.9 hp versus Outlaw’s 49.6 hp (due to its higher compression ratio). Plus, fuel tank capacity is bigger than the Raptor’s 2.9 US gallons, translating to more mileage.
  • Transmission – The Outlaw and the Raptor each have a manual clutch and a chain drive system, but the Outlaw has better acceleration.
  • Dimensions – Both machines have almost similar vehicle dimensions, despite the difference in engine displacement.
  • Suspension – The Outlaw offers more generous front- and rear-wheel travel than the Raptor 700/700 SE.

All things considered, the Polaris Outlaw 525 and Yamaha Raptor 700 are both capable sport quads. Depending on rider skill and preferences, one machine may stand out more than the other. For quicker acceleration and power delivery, the Outlaw is the obvious choice. But for top-end speed, the Raptor may be the way to go.

About Polaris

Polaris Inc. is an American manufacturer globally recognized for pioneering the snowmobile industry. Founded in 1954, the company has come a long way from creating snowmobiles to manufacturing industry-leading motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, including the Polaris Outlaw 525. Polaris continues to employ advanced technology and reflect its core values in its many product offerings. Today, the firm is renowned all over the world for its groundbreaking innovations such as Independent Rear Suspension, Electronic Fuel Injection, and automatic transmission.

Conclusion – Polaris Outlaw 525 Review

With the ride quality provided by its Independent Rear Suspension and powerful KTM motor, the Polaris Outlaw 525 is – without a doubt – the trail rider’s dream. This sweet machine is capable of anything from technical riding to aggressive GNCC-style racing. Although the quad’s tall gearing and scarcity of aftermarket parts may be an upset for some riders, it is still regarded as the fastest and most capable four-wheeler of its time, nonetheless. If you are searching for a true high-performance quad that you can enjoy on dirt tracks and dunes, then the Polaris Outlaw 525 is for you!

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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