2012 Polaris Outlaw 90 Review

5 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Polaris Outlaw 90 Review


Polaris Scrambler 90

Ergonomically, Polaris went a little larger than some of its competitors. The cockpit won’t overwhelm most 13-year-olds, but it leaves a bit more room for the rider to grow into. The bars are perhaps a bit too tall while sitting, but nothing too objectionable. The seat is long and flat, offering a good amount of padding. Full floorboards, with tall, wide foot pegs, allow plenty of room for your feet to pivot; metal pegs would be nice, though.

The stock kickstarter position protrudes between your ankle and the left side of the engine’s lower end.

At around five feet tall, Wingate felt right at home on the Outlaw, commenting “This thing feels perfect for me.” After requesting some warm-up time before we started filming, Wingate hit the track and was immediately hard on the gas, obviously feeling confident aboard the 90.

Intended for riders 13 years and up, the current Outlaw 90’s chassis is very similar to the original two-stroke Scrambler 90, introduced back in 2001. Its most significant update happened in 2007, when its two-stroke engine was traded for today’s 89cc, two-valve, single, overhead cam, air-cooled, four- stroke mill. The Outlaw is easy to fire up, thanks to its pushbutton electric starting, with kickstarter backup.

A left side handlebar-mounted lever controls the carburetor’s choke mechanism for cold starts.

A fully automatic transmission keeps the Outlaw in the meat of the power, simplifying learning. The right side-mounted gear selector makes choosing between forward, neutral, and reverse easy, although it looks a bit outdated. Indicator lights for neutral and reverse are located on the handlebar cover.

The engine’s good low RPM power and smooth low RPM CVT engagement allow the Outlaw to get rolling smoothly and easily with minimal throttle. With the thumb throttle limiter restricted down to around 7 mph, the Outlaw can take off and cruise around on flat ground easily, making it perfect for first-time riders.

Unrestricted, the 90’s engine produces a good amount of power over a wide RPM range. It starts pulling right off idle and revs up well for its class. Wingate, who most recently rode a two-stroke 90, was surprised how well the four-stroke performed.

There’s enough performance to let an experienced rider rip through the trees or around a tame track at a fun clip. The engine and CVT transmission make the 90 a decent climber, so it transitions well from the back yard to the trails.

Dimensionally, the Outlaw 90 is slightly larger than most of its competitors at 36.75 inches wide with a wheelbase of 41.5 inches. Its 27-inch seat height is comparatively low when considering its length and width. Its extra size adds up to a dry weight that’s a bit heavier than most of its 90cc four-stroke CVT competitors. At 274 pounds, it’s around ten pounds heavier than the Yamaha Raptor 90 .

The chassis features a tubular steel frame, with the expected solid axle-equipped rear swingarm. The front end’s design is a bit dated, utilizing single A-arms. Our experience tells us that single A-arms suffer more bump steer and tire scrub as the suspension goes through its travel.

Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90

Suspension travel numbers are good, though, with five inches up front and six out back. Preload adjustable shocks are used at both ends.

The Outlaw’s dimensions add up to a stable handling ATV. Body roll isn’t a problem on the 90, yielding a planted feeling on off-camber trails and aggressive corners. High-speed, straight-line stability is also good. Steering precision is decent with a typical size rider.

Taller riders will notice more front-end push.

With its impressive suspension travel numbers, we wish the shocks offered a bit more performance. The front end was notably plusher over small bumps, roots, and rocks. The front shocks even did a better job of dealing with hard landings. The rear shock is way over dampened on small bumps or whoops, and bottoms out on jump landings.

With the available travel, the Outlaw is the perfect candidate for low cost, aftermarket shocks.

Dual mechanical drum brakes up front and a single drum brake in the rear slow the Outlaw. The brakes are independently operated via the handlebar-mounted levers. Acceleration and braking forces are transferred to the ground via 18×9.5-8 rear and 19×7-8 front Duro tires, mounted on stamped steel wheels.

Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90
Polaris Scrambler 90

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