Shorter front shocks deliver 9 inches of front travel and attach to the
upper A-arms. The width is 47. 3 inches. The NPTs have a very flat
profile. How can lugs wrap when there are no sidewalls? The front
rack can carry 200 pounds of cargo.
Long, preload-adjustable shocks provide 10. 25 inches of travel and
level the load when the rear rack is loaded. Capacity is 400 pounds,
and the WV850 is rated to tow 1500 pounds via a 2-inch receiver.
Not only does
racks with tie-down D-rings
and slots, the
tank more than
doubles the fuel
range of other
super quiet at
slow speeds but
HOW IS THE 4X4 DELIVERY?
Epic and foolproof. Although it only
has one forward range, and the XP
850 has high and low, the WV850 has
user-friendly, on-demand 4WD; Engine
Braking System (EBS); and the Active
Descent Control (ADC) that Polaris is
famous for. AWD means the front diff
doesn’t engage until sensors detect
the rear wheels slipping, then the front
diff engages all four CV axles. On older
Sportsman ATVs, EBS doesn’t slow the
front wheels because the rear wheels
receive engine braking and turn slower
than the fronts, so the diff doesn’t
engage. With ADC, all four corners
receive equal EBS braking, as they do
when you press the brake pedal or pull
the left handlebar lever.
HOW ABOUT THE HANDLING?
Crisp and predictable. Components
and geometry are shared with the
Sportsman XP 850, and it has a
great combination of prowess and
predictability in turns, along with straight-line stability. The WV850 does weigh
about 205 pounds more than the XP
850, plus the weight of the extra 6. 4
gallons of fuel, so it turns a bit slower.
On-demand AWD reduces the 4x4 push
when steering into turns, and the flat
profile of the NPTs makes it a natural
drifter on loose soil or hardpack. The
rear torsion bar helps fight body roll in
HOW DOES IT POWERSLIDE?
Like a snowboarder shredding a giant
slalom. Between the ample power and
the flat-profile NPTs, the WV850 loves
to slide, and it does it well. Better yet,
you don’t have to worry about ripping a
sidewall if you get too close to the side
of the trail.
HOW’S THE SUSPENSION?
Excellent. Front and rear A-arms
HOW IS IT IN ROCKS AND MUD?
work with coil-over shocks to provide 9
inches of front travel and 10. 25 inches
in back, and the shock tuning package
is much different from the XP 850s
because of the lighter NPT wheels and
tires. Rebound damping is much lighter,
and compression has to deal with 205
pounds of more heft, plus cargo. The
package works well at fighting bottoming
on big bumps, but the stiffness of the
NPTs creates a harsher initial impact
with obstacles and a rougher ride in
It depends. Dry rocks provide plenty
of traction with the TerrainArmor NPTs,
but wet rocks test the plastic tires. We
tried to crawl over a limestone ledge
in a Hidden Falls stream bed, but the
NPTs dug a hole. The lack of sidewalls
makes the honeycomb act like paddles
to scoop the mud quicker. We didn’t
get into any clay mud, but mud sticking
inside the cavities could unbalance the
NPTs until they’re cleaned out. If you do
get stuck, there’s a rev-cutout override
button on the left bar pod, as well as
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
Aside from the firmer ride, the WV850
is much like the Sportsman XP 850 for
trail comfort, except it offers more splash
protection with the larger footwells and
exoskeleton. Should you get stuck, the
Warn winch has a handy control on the
left handlebar. The cockpit is shielded
from most engine heat, noise and
vibration, and the triple 50-watt lights
light up the night. Also, the sideways-mounted inline twin design makes
the midsection narrower for improved
ergonomics, and EPS extends rides
by reducing steering effort and terrain
HOW ABOUT THE BRAKES?
They’re great! Each axle gets a large,
perforated disc squeezed by a hydraulic
caliper, and they’re all controlled by the
brake pedal and/or handlebar lever.
They’re strong and deliver a good feel at
the controls, and they’re backed up by
EBS, ADC, Park in the transmission and
a lever lock on the master cylinder. ADC
is engaged by the 2WD/4WD/diff-lock
switch on the right handlebar pod.