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Discussion Starter #1
Since reading the XLT poll (and been wishing/wanting one for a while now), was just wondering what the best model year/engine in the XLT Polaris made and what was was the 'worst'.
 

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Depends on what your really looking to get out of one, the 93-94 580's were probably the one of the most bullet proof engines POO ever put in a sled..The downside was the 8 inch suspension, a little rough ridin but in the hands of a capable rider it would hug a tight, twisty trail like no other..
[attachment=51915]

As far as looks go I think the 95 was the sweetest looking XLT ever built, and like all the other X-tra 12 XLT's they were a sweet ride on the trails or in the ditches..
[attachment=51917]
 

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95s were the worst and Ultrastud is right the 580s went forever, The XLT took the world by storm and by 1995 Poo couldn't keep up. They lost their quality control and really put out some crappy machines. Known for major engine issues and the Hyfax eating extra 12. I think the suspension issues were worked out by recalls(still were tippy) but the 1st year 597 engine issues drove away many.
I had a good buddy who I talked into a 1995 xlt SKS. It went a whopping 150 miles before the wrist pin worked loose. He waited 3 weeks in prime winter to get his sled back and sold it.
If you have a 93 or 94 hang a decent front and rear suspension under it and leave the engine stock and you have a nice sled for a long time.
 

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I agree, it was hard to beat that 580 motor in '93 and '94. I do not agree that '95 was the worst. I thought the crank issues were with the '96 and '97s, but I am not sure. My brother and I both have '95 XLT Specials nearing 10,000 miles each.

I am not sure how dodger knows that Polaris lost their quality control.

I do not know of any "recalls" on the XTRA-12. There were updates, though. Whenever I hear somebody say the 12s are tippy, I just have to jump in and say something. Properly set up, the XTRA-12 is not tippy. Ride height should be really no higher than a standard machine. The problem was when the 12 came out, nobody knew how to set them up. Everybody was used to riding the old, crappy, uncoupled suspensions of the day. The only adjustment anybody ever made to the old suspensions was changing the preload on the torsion springs. Well, that just doesn't cut it with the 12. So maybe the "recalls" dodger remembers were actually just people running back to the dealer crying that they could not get their 12 set up properly. And, as always, Polaris probably didn't educate all the dealers exceptionally well, or get the updates down the line very fast. And I cannot blame people for faulting Polaris for that. But, in turn, a lot of people blamed the sled, which is wrong.


Dodger, I hope you do not take offense. My post is not meant as an attack. I just wanted to make a point.
 

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Something looks familiar in this thread....

Anyways, here's some reading from a guy who knows his stuff -

http://www.geocities.com/schmidt92/polaris_faq.html

He states that the problems mostly began in '96. If you're looking for the best, I would go with a 95. And that's not becuase I have one. As stated above, earlier you lose the extra 12 which is a much more "tuneable" suspension, and later you might run into some crank issues. I'm not going to dispute the crank issues, it's just a specific problem with specific sleds. And it's mostly from running them at higher RPM's than they were built for. But on the flip side there are a LOT of people with 25K + on their XLT's with just a top end or two. That's to be expected with a 2 stroke. I have a 95 XLT SP and I don't plan on doing anything with it. It's quick enough to mostly keep up with me (until I get the XCR to hook up properly), it's reliable as heck, nice looking, rides well, not outrageous so that anyone can ride it and I can teach people how to ride. In 20 + years people will be talking about the 93-95ish XLT's like we talk about the old Oly's.

Just my .02

Bryan
 

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95 was a 600 cc engine and also had a better head setup with a metal gasket and individual heads under the cover. 93-94 had some issues with o-ring head gasket leakage. The base gaskets were also inproved with the white sealant on them - I'm not sure what year that happened.
 

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i have a 95, nothing major engine wise other then a crank seal that just went, but i think thats because its not used much. it only have 2000 miles and only about 700 in the last 4 years. ya the suspension can be a real pain to set up but after you get it right its nice. its not a jumper by any means, you xtr 12 is a falling rate suspension, as the springs compress the resistance decreases so it is easy to bottom out, but it rides nice on the trails. if you wanna jump you would wanna swap in a xtra 10 or edge skid. i think the only thing that really annoys me about mine, and which is a easy but not cheap fix is the needle valves and seats in the carbs are both steel i believe and do not seal for crap and have a tendency to fill the case up with gas. other then that fun sled when we have snow.
 

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Recalls/updates O.k. maybe the wrong word was used, but they were hyfax eaters....at least prior to the update. My friend had to wait so long to get his repaired in 95 because of so many warranty issues on the new sleds...That is even what he was told. They (Polaris) tried to put a billion of these sled out and it is common knowledge of the quality issues. Talked about on every forum for many years...the guys who had the most problems are the ones who piped them and gutted airboxes.
 

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95 was the best year, there were no crank problems like the 96 and 97, the graphics were sweet, it had an extra 12 instead of the 8 inches of travel and the motor was a little bigger from 93 and 94
 

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Originally posted by polaris09
[br]95 was the best year, there were no crank problems like the 96 and 97, the graphics were sweet, it had an extra 12 instead of the 8 inches of travel and the motor was a little bigger from 93 and 94
95 XLT SKS still had 8" though...
 

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Well, if your talking wedge body, the 93-95 motors were the most durable.

Now if you are talking any chassis, the 98-99 Xlts and 2000 Triumph motors were the most durable.
They had the PTO oil line and double wide PTO crank bearing( mid 97's had the oil line, but single bearing).
The 99 XLT SP and 2000 Triumphs had the flatslide carbs on them which are better in throttle response and easier on your thumb.
The problem with the stock flatslides is that the slides tend to crack and break. Mikuni has come up with more durable replacement for them.
 

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Originally posted by ACEXLT
[br]
Now if you are talking any chassis, the 98-99 Xlts and 2000 Triumph were the most durable.
What makes the Aggressive and Gen II chassis more durable than the wedge?
 

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^^^^^^ Not the chassis, the motors in those chassis were more durable. I should have clarified that. I explained the motor stuff above.
 

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In my humble, un-biased opinion the best XLT of all- the 97 SP[8D]
[attachment=51962]
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey guys... good info to have..all I know is I wouldn't mind owning one, just for the heck of it, and this info is good to have. FILING... FILING... FILING... SAVED.
 

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Not a big triple fan, but I like the looks of the 1997 XLT SP (I think that is the right year. . .). A friend in high school had one. The dark purple hood with light purple accents; looked very cool. Didn't like the way his was set up (too many studs, too much carbide, too big of carbs), and prefer engines below 600cc. Also, the sled just felt heavy, and when I have to drag the suckers out all the time by hand, weight is a deciding factor. Got to love the 400 pound Indy Trail in that category. . .
 

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Good posts above but remember, the XLTSP in '95 wasnt meant to be trail racer - no wonder why its tippy. Also if motor was left alone as stock, it would run for a long time before it becomes an issue. The biggest problem with the cranks is when you add SLP or PSI triple pipes to spin the motor at 9k or 9.2k, the crank would go sooner or later. UNLESS, you had already drilled out the oil passages in the crankcase and increase the oil flow to keep the parts lubing. WL
 
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