Polaris Predator 500

Polaris Automation, Inc. is a Minnesota-based automobile manufacturer famous for producing snowmobiles and ATVs. The company uses its premium Polaris technology to increase the overall performance of its automobiles.

Polaris Predator 500 is a heavy-duty and powerful ATV quad suitable for all riders. Amateurs, veterans, workers, farmers, adventurers, and recreational riders love this vehicle equally. While it has been designed for racers, it can be used by anyone who loves to ride on hilly terrains, trails, and muddy roads. The manufacturer released various models and special editions for racers.

Let’s learn more about Polaris Predator 500 and its features in detail. Furthermore, we will examine the pros and cons of this powerful quad ATV.

Know More about Polaris Predator 500

Polaris Predator 500 has been designed for the racer market. The super cool suspension, top speed of 73 mph, reliable shock absorbers, and 499cc engine make it one of the best ATVs of that period. Predator 500 has won awards and entered the top ten lists for professional racing, including the Sport ATV of The Year award in 2005.

Polaris manufactured Predator 500 between 2003 and 2007. The manufacturer released a model each year with minor tweaks. The 2004 model was released in two versions, the standard and the Troy Lee edition.

It made a major update to the gear system in the 2005 model to make it smoother and accelerate faster than before. That’s the main reason why the 2005 Predator 500 model is still in demand in the market. Both the standard and limited editions were designed to deliver high-end performance. In 2006, the Troy Lee limited edition became the standard edition.

The limited edition ATVs were aesthetically built and had custom graphics to make them more appealing and attractive. While everything about this ATV quad seems like it is meant only for professionals, the truth is much different. Predator 500 is surprisingly easy to drive, even for novices. Love going for weekend recreational rides? Predator 500, with its 41HP engine, should be your pick for the trip.

Buying a Predator 500 can be difficult. Not many users like to part with their favorite ATV. However, the ones that are available for purchase cost between $3000 and $6000, depending on the model, version, and condition. A thorough inspection is a must before you purchase a used Polaris Predator 500. However, rest assured that it is an ATV worth owning.

Specifications and Features of Polaris Predator 500

Predator 500’s top speed can vary based on the vehicle’s condition, the weather, the terrain, altitude, wind, and the rider’s weight. Since it is a heavy vehicle, the rider’s weight can affect its movement in some conditions. Use oils recommended by Polaris to ensure a longer engine life and smoother performance.

Dimensions: 71.52* 47.5* 45 inches (LWH)
Dry Weight: 415 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gallons
Wheelbase: 50.5 inches
Seat Height: 32 inches
Ground Clearance: 4.5-5 inches (depends on the model)
Suspension: Dual A-arm with Fox podium shocks and 10-inch travel front suspension and non-link Swing-arm with a single-shock solid-axle and 11-inch travel rear suspension
Tires: Maxxis® Razr PR 217- 10 front tires and Maxxis® Razr PR 2011- 9 rear tires
Brakes: Dual hydraulic disc brakes on the front and a single hydraulic disc brake on the rear

Engine and Ignition

Polaris Predator 500 has a 499cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke DOHC engine with 41 horsepower. It has a compression ratio of 10:8:1 and a bore-stroke ratio of 3.9*2.54 inches.

It has an electric starter (CDI) ignition and auxiliary recoil for backup. Though the battery provided by Polaris is good, you can upgrade to a better brand with longer life.

Drivetrain and Transmission

Predator 500 has a five-speed manual shift transmission. Since Polaris Predator 500 was primarily built for racing, it didn’t need reverse gear. But when the manufacturer noticed how the ATV is used by many people, they added a reverse gear to the later models. If you want an ATV four-wheeler for recreational or work purposes, look for the one with reverse gear (2005 model or later).

It comes with a 520 O-ring chain drive. The limited TLD editions have a different gear ratio to increase the top speed and make it easier to switch from one gear to another.

The hydraulic disc brakes have single calipers. The TDL (racer models) from 2004 and 2005 have special steel braided brake lines used in racer ATVs. This makes the brakes more effective and provides better control over the vehicle when driving at high speeds.

Build and Exterior

The Polaris Rider Optimized (PRO) steering system is the highlight of Predator 500. The steering doesn’t bump or shake when driving on uneven roads. It also has an anti-dive front and anti-squat rear end to enhance the driving experience and the ATV’s performance, irrespective of the terrain.

Comfort is not on the list of priorities for Polaris Predator 500. Racers stand and ride the vehicle, which means Polaris didn’t pay much attention to how the seat would feel when you sit on it for long hours. While Predator 500 is still a great ATV for fun riding, it is not designed for long trips. You can replace the seat cover and stuff, but it still won’t be a comfortable ride if you intend to drive for hours at a time. Newbies need time to get used to the seat design.

Polaris Predator 500 Troy Lee Edition

The Troy Lee edition first came out in 2004, a year after Predator 500 entered the market. The main difference was in the aesthetics and appearance. Troy Lee Design (TLD) edition had black metal plastic fittings and different graphics. Apart from these, this limited edition version also had a chain tensioner and a horn.

The chain tensioner kept the chain off the A-arm suspension. It was a good addition but didn’t offer any dramatic or major improvement to the performance. Racers loved how the TLD models looked and felt in the racing arenas (trails, dunes, muddy roads, tracks, etc.).

Upgrades for Polaris Predator 500

The aim of these upgrades is to increase the speed and performance of the Predator 500. You can make some decent adjustments and tweaks without emptying your pockets in the process.

Gear Ratio

You’ll notice a lot of difference when you change the gear ratio. Polaris made a similar change in the 2005 model. However, you can still alter the gear ratio if you own a TLD model. Drop one tooth from 14T on the front. Then up by three teeth from 38T on the rear.

Follow the reverse procedure for top speed versus acceleration and extend the gears by going to 15T on the front. Bring down a couple of gears at the rear to balance it out.

Bog Bore Kits

Bog bore kits can be purchased from the market. Install the ones with 12.5:1 compression and stage 2 intake and exhaust hot cams in your Predator 500. This will increase the RPM and make your ATV capable of racing premium racer vehicles with equal grit.

Replace Carburetor

There are two ways to place the carburetor. One method is to replace it completely with a new one (Honda 450 and Yamaha 450R or YFZ450 are preferred choices). Another method is to replace a few components in the carburetor by buying the spare parts manufactured by Polaris.

Either way, remember not to cut the carb springs as it won’t actually increase the speed but will only make the vehicle ‘feel’ more responsive than before.

Carb Needle

The carb needle needs to lift. If it doesn’t, you have to clean the carb and try again. Re-jetting is another way to make Predator 500 more powerful and increase the top speed.

Remember that these upgrades require expertise. Find a mechanic who specializes in racing ATVs and sports vehicles. Discuss what you want from the vehicle and choose the necessary upgrade.

Pros and Cons



Final Words

Polaris Predator 500 is a worthy choice for experienced riders and racers. Though the base models can be used by novice riders, you will get the best performance from someone who knows how to operate an ATV of this type.

The best part is that you can contact Polaris customer care to know where to buy the spare parts or get your Predator 500 serviced in your region.