wheels receive equal power from one
of the strongest ATV engines on the
planet. Polaris AWD is one of our
favorite 4WD delivery systems, and
when combined with power steering, it
can’t be beat.
HOW’S DOES THE 850 HANDLE?
The Scrambler 850 handles
reasonably well, but no matter how you
look at it, it’s still a nearly 750-pound
machine. Under racing conditions, the
Scrambler 850 seems to handle quite
a bit better than its yellow competitor.
The Scrambler turns pretty well. It’s
predictable and doesn’t really surprise
you with any negative traits. The
dual-A-arm suspension features anti-kickback geometry that helps reduce
fatigue, and the EPS version is light
years better than that.
IS THE SUSPENSION EXTREME?
When pounded through deep sand
whoops, the Scrambler stayed on
track, and its suspension did a fine
job of resisting bottoming. In that
same stretch of deep whoops, the
Renegade’s suspension bottomed
repeatedly. The Sachs shocks on the
standard Scrambler have pretty good
bottoming resistance, but the Fox
shocks found on the LE are truly race-ready for a rough XC-type course. The
Scrambler features 9 inches of front-wheel travel and 11. 5 inches of ground
clearance. For a 4x4, these are very
impressive numbers, and it shows when
the Scrambler is ridden aggressively
through rough terrain.
IS IT FUN TO POWERSLIDE?
Yes! Big horsepower and accurate
clutching, combined with a swaybar to
minimize body roll, make the Scrambler
850 a blast to slide around nearly any
turn. Wick the throttle and a slight
shifting of bodyweight is all it takes
to break the rear end loose. With the
Scrambler’s ability to break it loose at
will, we found ourselves drifting corners
like Ken Block any time we got the
DOES IT ROCK IN MUD AND ROCKS?
The True AWD system is money in
the rocks and mud. Engagement is
immediate. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to even notice the transfer
between 2WD and 4WD on the trail.
When you need it, it’s there. Huge
amounts of ground clearance also
come in handy when navigating rocks
or mud. The Scrambler has just a
half-inch less than a full foot of ground
clearance. This means the world when
other machines are dragging the
bottom skid plate on rocks or other
HOW ABOUT THE BRAKES?
The brakes as a whole work
decently. If you get on the binders, the
big heavy machine comes to a stop
pretty quickly. This is not to say we’re
big fans of the single-lever braking. Our
natural instinct is to grab for a brake
lever that’s not even there, which got
us into trouble on the first few outings.
The foot pedal is pretty small and a bit
Front travel is 9 inches via preload-adjustable
shocks, while the EPS LE has Fox Podium
X racing shocks. The aluminum struts are
carryovers from the Sportsman, and they
make great tie-down points for hauling,
Check out the high-end, braided brake line.
Rolled IRS rear A-arms and preload-adjustable shocks deliver 10. 25 inches of
rear travel, and the torsion bar fights body
roll. The Scrambler boasts a free-flowing,
lightweight, stainless-steel muffler and spark
Polaris designed the Scrambler XP 850 H.O. to be an ATV hot rod, sort of like a single-seat
RZR. It makes 77 horsepower, weighs 735 ponds and blows up berms like a sport quad.
needed. In comparison to many
other 4WD systems, the Polaris True
AWD provides better traction and
performance on gnarly terrain. While the
Scrambler doesn’t have a mechanical
diff-lock per se, the AWD switch gives
the Scrambler the best of both worlds
when applied. Steep or slippery terrain
is no match for the Scrambler’s AWD
system. When you need it, all four