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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Im new to the sport and have been looking to buy a used sled, looking at polais indys.
Ive found a few that im looking at and hoping i could get some opinions from experienced people.

1995 indy polaris 600 special
8K km
All original parts, always stored indoors
Rip in the seat
Manuel start and no reverse
Hand and thimb warmers
$900

1997 polaris indy 440
14K km
All original parts, except rebuilt clutch
Manuel start and no reverse
Hand and thimb warmers
$900

1996 polaris indy 500
All original parts, always stored indoors
Craxk in the winshield
Manuel start and no reverse
Hand and thimb warmers
$1000

Thanks for ur time!
 

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I would go with the 500 of those three. Spend a bit more now to get something with less miles and well cared for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanka man i appreciate the help. I dont have the km on the 500 yet but i guess that would be the biggest deciding factor?
 

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I own a 1998 Polaris Indy 440 - the REAL one. Many people try and pass off Indy XCF 440's as Indy 440's and they are NOT. The Indy 440 is a liquid cooled machine, and in 1997 was purple. It's an incredibly fun sled to ride because it's a little lighter and you can sort of "throw it around" a bit. It has the XTRA-10 suspension (like the '96 500) which is also fairly nice.

With all of that said, the Indy 500 is basically what Polaris built their name on. That Fuji motor is solid, the XTRA-10 suspension is nice, and it's an all-around good machine. You -might- have some decent luck finding a reverse kit for it, but you'll need to know what you're looking for. I was fortunate that a riding buddy had an Evolved chassis reverse kit he wasn't using and I only had to find the lower reverse gear to make it complete.

14k kms is on the higher side, but not ridiculous. If it was taken care of (and you will now instantly by looking at it), you'll be fine. If it was beaten on, I wouldn't want it with 1000 kms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the xetailed response meburdick. Im gonna check out the 440 this evening anything i should watch out for?

So 14k km isnt a lot for an original 97 motor without anything being replaced or rebuilt ? Im reading a lot of mixed opinions on that

Any take on the 95' 600? Or would that be pretty much the same as the 96' 500?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out
 

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For that era, the 440 and 500 motors are absolutely solid motors. In fact, they're actually the SAME motors with different cylinders. The 600 is a different motor (it's almost certainly an XLT - triple), and I wouldn't be as interested in that because of overall reliability concerns with the larger motors (and the general finickyness of the 3 cylinder motors) in that era. You'll find lots of people telling you how great they are, but the numbers don't lie - the 440/500 Liquid Cooled Fuji motors are rock solid and MANY of them are still on the trails today. The triples sounds cool, but they're kind of a pain to tune.

I didn't say 14kms isn't a lot - it is. But, if the machine was well-cared for over the years, properly maintained, and possibly even rebuilt, it should be a motor that will give you lots of miles of service. Keep in mind that I'm referring ONLY to the Liquid Cooled 440. Those sleds were not very abundant. Polaris went with a purple color scheme on them in '96, stuck with it in '97, and finally swapped to the (IMHO) much nicer white in '98. But, by then, it was too late. Too many people simply bypassed the L/C 440 and Polaris stopped making them ('98 was the last year).

I had a 2002 XCSP 500 Liberty motor EDGE chassis sled that had over 12,000 -MILES- on it when I bought it from the original owner. Sold it two years later with 13,000 miles on it and got what I paid for it. If the machine was maintained and had three or fewer owners, chances are decent that it was taken care of. If the current owner knows most of its history, that would be a good sign.

If the 440 turns out to be a fanner (like the XCF 440), I would focus my attention only on the Indy 500.
 

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All good sleds
Don't be afraid of high miles, that just proves they have been a great sled.
Also don't fear the triple. Kept in stock form they are great sleds. Yes a few had problems, but compare the problems with how many are out there. It's very minimal. There's more problems with newer sleds then they ever had with the mid 90s Polaris triple.
All sleds have highs and lows.
 

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All good sleds
Don't be afraid of high miles, that just proves they have been a great sled.
Also don't fear the triple. Kept in stock form they are great sleds. Yes a few had problems, but compare the problems with how many are out there. It's very minimal. There's more problems with newer sleds then they ever had with the mid 90s Polaris triple.
All sleds have highs and lows.
Your post brings up three points I want to add:

- The best way to extend the life of your sled is to keep it in stock form. Aftermarket pipes, bar risers, seat swaps, left-hand throttle kits - they all generally reek of the sled being ridden very hard or even abused. Sometimes, modifications do not degrade the quality of the machine. Most times, they do - especially anything being done under the hood.

- While the last model year or two of the XLT were generally VERY reliable, it was because Polaris learned from their mistakes. The XLT that the OP has indicated here is one that suffers from crank bearing issues because of the lack of the outer oiling port on the case. I don't believe it was until the FOLLOWING model year that Poo fixed that.

- In general, the triples are a great sled and "feel" a lot faster than they are (they sound really cool, too). I wouldn't recommend one to someone as their first sled, however, because you really need to have some experience in tuning carbs / motors for it to really run great. When they're on, they're great. When they're not on, they're very lackluster and no more thrilling than the 500 twin.
 

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Some of the xlts did have crank problems, but having almost 5000 miles on the sled he originally posted about, it's either one that didn't experience the crank issue or it has already been repaired, since most if not all issues were reported under 3000 miles. I have 2 xlts here with almost 8000 on one and 6500 on the other , and neither motor was ever apart. But they've both been kept stock.
Here's how I look at things,
What do you hear about in the news? All the good or all the bad?? How many responsible gun owners are there compared to criminals? But who do you hear about?
I hate when people pin all xlts as problems since some had problems.
Personally for a first sled I'd go for the 600. Sounds alot cooler and lets face it, everyone wants their sled to sound cool!! A little more power then the other two as well and won't get the feeling of "outgrowing" it too soon.
My opinion
 

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While I appreciate your comments about hearing bad news versus good news, that's not a useful comparison to this.

The motor in that XLT has what I will call an inferior design by not having the oiling port at the PTO end of the crank. It isn't a matter of WHETHER it will have an issue but WHEN. For a first sled, if there isn't a lot of mechanical know-how in general and motor know-how in particular, MY opinion is that a triple isn't the best choice (and this particular triple is something I would be more wary of).

There wasn't a recall issued for this particular issue because it doesn't pose a safety concern, and many owners simply don't ride enough miles to encounter the issue within the first handful of years of ownership. But, the risk of the problem is there and it isn't a trivial fix - you have to pull the motor and split the cases. I'm pretty mechanically capable, very capable in general, and have a lot of ability to repair stuff like this. I wouldn't have any interest in doing it, and would avoid buying that particular sled purely because I wouldn't want to deal with it.

Now, if a previous owner encountered the failure, had it repaired properly, and has all of the documentation to show that it was done, that's a totally different story. Anything less, and I personally err on the side of caution and stay away - especially since there are other, very good choices out there.
 

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When it will fail is not a good statement when referring to snowmobiles or any power sports of that matter. Every sled will fail at sometime.
As far as my comparison I'm just trying to say, how many great running xlts are out there compared to how many failed? I know most of he numbers for my area and its very slim. My 95 has never been apart. And I don't hesitate to take it on any ride. It's not the fact of the 4th oil line. That was just a "solution" for the simple minded people that needed to see something. The problem was the hole machine in the case was too small. The first 2 years of xlts ran the same bottoms end with no problems.
As far as best sled for a beginner he haves 3 options and we each have out opinions on the best. It's just sad to see people steer people away from great sleds. The xlt with the xtra 12 is a great sled and great for newbies since it gives a very nice ride with a good motor.
But as you stated we really don't know this guy personally and don't know his ability.
I have many triple sleds in my lineup and would never steer anyone from a triple. Only can give them my opinions on all sleds mentioned.
I can say much negative on the other 2 be caused I haven't owned one. But I believe and I could be wrong, that they're evolved chassis and I never like my evolved chassis sled. Handled like crap. Specially with a low horsepower 500. Mine was an efi converted and that why I don't like to give feedback from my experience since it was a frankensledto begin with.
 

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The first couple of years of XLTs ran the 580 motor and then they bored them differently to run the 597 motor. There were some additional stresses put on the motor with the larger bore that didn't really materialize with the smaller bore.

XTRA-12 (falling rate suspension) is a very good suspension for running trails at 25-30MPH. It's intended to be very comfy at slower speeds. The XTRA-10 (rising rate) suspension, however, is better at eating up bumps at faster speeds. Very hard to say which will ultimately be better for a new rider.

I have an Evolved chassis sled now, and owned others before it. All have been comfortable for me overall. The EDGE chassis (and suspension) is nicer, but that's not on the table here as an option. The Rush chassis is the best I've ridden (haven't had the opportunity to ride an Axys yet). But, again, not here as an option.

Personally, I never like the wedge chassis compared to the evolved - lots of variance here from one person to another.

The two "other" sleds are Evolved chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all the help guys. So the 440 was in rough shape and then the other xlt was sold from under me so i ended up finding l and getting a 98' polaris indy 500. Motor was rebuilt a year ago and everything was in great shape for all original parts.
Looking to make some improvements whenever i can now before winter season. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
 

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Upload them to your computer and GO ADVANCED to reply....click on the paperclip to attach and you can upload them to the post. You can also do it through your profile i believe. I am far from savy and I have pulled it off.
 

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Thanks all the help guys. So the 440 was in rough shape and then the other xlt was sold from under me so i ended up finding l and getting a 98' polaris indy 500. Motor was rebuilt a year ago and everything was in great shape for all original parts.
Looking to make some improvements whenever i can now before winter season. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
That should be a VERY solid machine for you and reasonably comfortable for your first machine. It's very similar to -my- first machine ('97 Indy 500 EFI) and one of the first years of the XTRA suspension in the model. Loved it and it's only gotten better from there for me (well, until this year - selling off everything because I can't ride this year and don't know about the future).
 

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find a classic 600 or 700 2001-2003
A) He already picked up a sled
B) The 2004 Classic is a better overall machine with PERC and not manual reverse, plus it has the VES motor
 

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500. Good choice for a first sled, as well as a proven sled. I loved my 89 sks.

As said before, keep it stock to give it a long life.
 
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