We’re testing the most extreme ATV on sale; Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S

91 horsepower. 55 inches wide. 14 inches of suspension travel. $17,799 MSRP. Those are the highlights of the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S, the biggest, baddest ATV on sale today. It’s equipped with Walker Evans 3-Way adjustable suspension, has 14.5 inches of ground clearance, and looks like something designed to be ridden in the Baja 1000. Somehow I’m the lucky dog who gets to spend the next few months testing it for coverage here on Hooniverse and on The Off the Road Again Podcast. I love my “job.”

Four-wheeling fun

As much as vehicle-based off-roading is a love of mine, quads and quading have an even more special place in my heart. I’ve been riding four-wheelers for almost two decades and to this day nothing gives me the feeling of freedom and adrenaline that does blasting down a trail on an ATV. That passion brought me to a stint writing for ATV Rider and has delivered me the good fortune of spending a few months with the pinnacle of fun-forward four-wheelers, the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S.

Considering that I owned a 2013 Polaris Scrambler XP 850 H.O. for a few years and spent last year testing the 2022 Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 Ride Command Edition, the Scrambler XP 1000 S is both very familiar and wildly different. The 952cc ProStar twin-cylinder engine is a sweetheart that explodes when prodded and the Walker Evans suspension is plush enough to absorb nearly everything in its way. That plus the high, cut fenders makes riding it an all-out visceral experience. ATVs don’t get more fun than this.

Super wide stance for maximum aggression

Where the biggest adjustment in riding mindset is the width: This Scrambler XP 1000 S is 55 inches wide, the widest of any mainstream ATV ever sold, which is a huge difference from the sub-50-inch width of all of the others. For reference, both the 2007 Kawasaki Brute Force 650i that I owned from new until about 2019 and the aforementioned 2013 Scrambler 850 were right around 49 inches wide. Given that gates in some locations are 50 inches wide to deter Jeeps, and that some side-by-sides are narrower than the Scrambler XP 1000 S, riding the monster Polaris takes some brain recalibration. Think of it as the same way you have to approach trail wheeling a Ford F-150 Raptor differently than a standard F-150, or autocross a Viper differently than a Miata.

It goes without saying that the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S is a beast. So the big questions are whether the extra width, extra suspension, and extra price premium make it worth springing for over a “normal” 48-inch wide, $12,399 Scrambler 850 and whether it really is the end-all, be-all of sport-4×4 ATVs. If the quality of the suspension is anything to go off in our initial testing then that answer is a resounding yes, but we have a lot of testing left to do.

Time to hit the trails.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here