I agree, the belt topic is extraordinarily over played. That absolutely is not an area of concern for me on the polaris. ****, even ur car has a belt, so do motorcycles. In general, i just dont trust the polaris as much as i do the honda but it isnt belt related at all. But with that said, most of that is in my head bc while the tranny and engine has been out for yrs, this is still a bike that has been out for six months so before i am completely convinced that it is bullet proof as people like to call it, i,d like to see a lot more proof. Personally, i had no intention on buying a polaris, it was 100 percent honda bc i like simple, low maintenance and low hassle which is what my Rancher has given me. However, i did not know when i went to drive the honda on a large dirt and rutted field, that there would be a 2012 polaris 800xp sitting next to it and a viking next to that. When i drove off on the honda, i remember thinking my knee is going to hit the dash on a bump, the ride was much firmer than i expected and the seating position and seat were just ok. Plus, getting in and out was fine but not super easy, fliud. I know these are personal things im just telling you what my initial reaction was given this was the first time i ever drove one and in conditions similar to my property. With all that said, i still really liked this bike and planned to buy it bc thats what i set out to do.
For fun, i sat in the 800 used bike, one i would never buy, it was snorkeled and abused but in decent shape visually. When i got in it, i remember saying, wow, this is really nice. The bike was very roomy, extremely easy to get in and out, the seat was super cushy and the seating position just felt terrific. The sales guy said drive it, i said no, i would never buy a snorkeled bike. He said u dont have to buy it, drive it since u r hear, it needs to be run. Well, he was right, the battery was weak but it started and ran smoothly. I pulled away with my daughter next to me and i smiled at her. I followed the same path as the honda and immediately noticed how much smoother the ride was and also, the cab noise, something that important to me, was not bad like i expected. The power delivery was smooth vs the honda, i was searching for 2nd gear so i could drop the rpms and cruise with low noise, which it did well once it shifted but i was searching for the gear.
Anyway, while i liked the polaris better, i still have less confidence in the reliability vs a honda though expect for what i will use it for, pure work and hunting, it would hold up well. So, i made an offer on the honda, 500$ less than what they offered to me for, and they said no so i walked. I would have purchased it and lived with the things i didnt love bc nothing is perfect but i struggled to pay such a premium for the bike vs the polaris. The truth is, its simple supply and demand, production is still modest and demand remains strong so its hard to get a good deal on honda right now.
At this point, ive come back around and decided i can get a 800, the bike i really liked better, for 1600 less after rebates and to the extent i am worried about reliability, i can buy a 5 yr warranty for 800 and still have 800$ for accessories. Normally this wouldnt be the case but with discounting and factory rebates, the 800 is a great value. I am working on a deal now but ive found the 800 is also in limited supply given the discounts i mentioned so everyone is out of stock, but more are in route.
The truth is, i could be happy with either bike and at some point, they become interchangeable to me, which is what happened. Everything is a trade off at some point.
With regard to the viking, there was nothing i liked about that bike, i thought it was horrible though i do know yamaha makes very high quality products.
Last edited by Rdfish1; 03-27-2014 at 09:03 AM.