Wheelies come easy on the Scrambler, as the EFI throttle response and CVT tuning put the
power to the ground quickly, and brute torque lifts the front end to the balance point.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
Polaris set the price of the Bright
White Scrambler at $9499, and
the Stealth Black EPS LE goes for
$11,999. Can-Am charges $9999 for
the Renegade 800R and $12,499 for
its Renegade 800R X xc, while the
Renegade 1000 is $11,049 and the
1000X xc is $13,549.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2013?
As a new model derived from the
HOW FAST IS THE HIGH-OUTPUT 850?
Sportsman XP 850 H.O., the Bright
White (Indy Red for ‘ 14) Scrambler
XP 850 H.O. has Carlisle 849 II tires,
stamped-steel rims, preload-adjustable
shocks, a high-output exhaust and
an Engine Braking System (EBS) with
Active Descent Control (ADC). Engine
and CVT tuning are the same as on the
Sportsman. The Stealth LE has EPS,
Fox Podium X shocks, 489 II tires on
cast eight-spoke wheels, handguards,
Stealth Black paint and two-tone seats
(the ‘ 14 is Voodoo Blue).
Faster than you can imagine, as
the 850 H.O. flat out rips. Looking
at the big, 4WD Scrambler, you get
to thinking utility without the racks.
This may be so, but the Scrambler is
incredibly fast right off the showroom
floor, with 77 horsepower connected to
a well-tuned CVT clutch. If we had to
describe it in one word, we would go
with “exhilarating.” When you stab the
thumb throttle, power rolls on heavy,
and an unsuspecting rider can find
himself being thrown back in the seat,
almost violently. The Scrambler feels
both fast and quick; in fact, it wouldn’t
be a stretch to say it feels every bit
as fast as Can-Am’s Renegade 1000.
Power delivery is really good across the
board, with a hard hit off the bottom
and great midrange. Then it keeps
pulling hard all the way on top.
HOW ABOUT THE 4WD DELIVERY?
The Polaris On-Demand true All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is awesome for
aggressive riding and challenging
terrain. This system is engaged via
the flip of a toggle switch and allows
the Polaris Scrambler 850 to continue
in 2WD until it senses a difference
in wheel speed. Then it engages all
four wheels with the same full amount
of power. This allows for optimum
handling and steering characteristics in
2WD. Then it almost instantly converts
into a fully locked 4WD system when
Here’s a cutaway of the Sportsman/
Scrambler 850cc, SOHC, ProStar engine,
which has two 40mm EFI throttle bodies
feeding two 87mm pistons. Stroke is 71.6mm
and compression is a sedate 9.2:1, so it’ll run
on low-octane unleaded gas.
At 48. 6 inches wide, the Scrambler has a
wider stance than most 4x4 ATVs, and the
heavy-duty front bumper and A-arm/CV
guards arm it for battle. The minimalist front
“rack” is merely a flat spot in the bodywork,
and slots on either side ridge provide tie-down
points for 25 pounds of cargo.
An integral rear rack provides support for the
aggressively styled rear fenders, and a small
storage bin hides behind the single taillight.
Taller riders complained of the forward part
of the rack smacking their rear end during
rearward weight shifts.
Remove the seat (two seat-base posts are
captured by grommets on the frame) and the
airbox lid to reveal the pleated-paper filter