IS IT FAST?
The 570 makes good power for its
size, but at 730 pounds with fuel, it’s as
heavy as many larger 4WD quads, so
it’s not exactly a rocket.
HOW IS THE POWER ON THE TRAIL?
Strong enough for nearly any trail
situation but not intimidating. When
we ride a good, strong-running, 550-
class 4x4 like the Sportsman 570, it
reminds us that you almost never need
more power, even for tackling tough
trails. The kind of hills and mud you’ll
encounter in normal riding won’t even
challenge the 570, and its tractability
pays off in technical terrain. Big-bore
4x4s deliver breathtaking acceleration
and more brute power for crazy mud
crossings and big wheelies, but the 570
is less of a handful and easier to ride.
It’s also fun to be able to use all the
power more often.
HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?
It’s impressive, especially considering
the Sportsman’s price. The 570’s
MacPherson-strut front end has 8. 2
inches of travel and the double-A-arm
rear end has 9. 5 inches, so there’s
plenty of stroke to soak up big bumps,
even at high speeds. Long travel also
means the initial part of the suspension
stroke can be soft, so it absorbs small
impacts from rocks and ruts well. We
rode a power-steering 570 and a non-power-steering 570, and the way power
steering cuts kickback through the bars
from bumps is worth almost as much as
the reduced steering effort.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
The 570 corners willingly, and it has
a well-planted, stable feel, even on
twisty trails at a quick pace. It’s a full-size, fairly heavy machine, so it’s not
as agile as some smaller 4x4s, but the
new bodywork and slimmer midsection
offer more freedom for moving on the
machine for more control than the
Sportsman 500. Power steering makes
the Sportsman feel 50 pounds lighter.
Long travel and independent rear
suspension mean you have to contend
with some body roll in sharp turns, but
it’s not excessive.
HOW DOES IT DO IN MUD AND WATER?
The 570 is practically a personal
watercraft with wheels. Plenty of power,
a proven chassis with 11 inches of
ground clearance, and a four-wheel-drive system with an automatic-locking
front differential make mud and water
crossings some of the most fun parts
of the trail. The Sportsman’s bodywork
provides excellent splash protection, so
you’ll only get wet if you really work at it.
HOW IS IT ON HILLS?
Some Sportsmen 570s are better
than others in steep terrain. All the
570s are great climbers. They have
plenty of power for climbing, and the
4WD system found all the traction we
needed. For big, steep hills and riding
aggressively in rolling, hilly terrain, you’ll
want a 570 with engine braking. Without
it, the machine freewheels in off-throttle
situations, and the transmission slows
the machine suddenly when you get
back into the throttle after coasting
down hills. With engine braking, the
transition is smoother and more natural
Long-travel suspension takes the abuse out of rough terrain, and the ride is plush for cruising on easy trails.