Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS Long Term Review

Outlaw 525 IRS excels as a high performance Trail Machine

Dec. 01, 2007 By Dean Waters

Just one year ago we reported on our first ride on the Polaris Outlaw 525. (Polaris unleashes the "Smokin' Guns"!) . A few months after that we received our long term test unit and have been putting it through some brutal testing ever since them.

Outlaw 525 IRS on the Trail
The IRS suspension works great on choppy terrain or small obstacles.

What we have Learned

1) Nearly every rider that gets on the Outlaw for the first time comes back from that first ride with a smile on their face.

With the exception of one Pro rider all of our test riders loved the suspension compared to other straight axle machines. In choppy terrain the Polaris Outlaw 525 excels. Even on a rough MX track the IRS suspension works really well for most riders. It smooth's out the ride and makes it much more pleasurable. It soaks up uneven takeoffs and landings really nicely.

Now that said we have found that all of our expert and pro riders do not like the Outlaw when riding in heavily whooped out areas. The Outlaw just will not track as straight as a non IRS equipped ATV. Their second complaint is with the additional weight of the machine.

I consider myself an average level amateur rider. Like most of our test riders I love the Outlaw for casual trail riding because it soaks up the rough terrain so nicely. Where I don't like it is when riding aggressively in tight terrain. In this type of environment the Outlaw IRS machine tends to push you into and out of the corners making you, the rider, have to work that much harder to keep it on the trail and headed where you want it to go.

Outlaw 525 IRS on the Trail
Another big benefit of the IRS is the additional clearance. Your brake rotors last much longer. :-)


2) After a little more ride time most riders find the transmission notchy and very hard to put in neutral.

The transmission is notchy but most riders real complaint is that they have a terrible time getting the Outlaw 525 into neutral. We have found that both the notchiness and the ability to put it in neutral has gotten better with time but is still a minor issue for us. We also discovered that the tranny on our Outlaw 525 had been over-filled right from the factory when it was brand new. The oil level should be near the bottom of the sight window but our was right at the top. After removing a significant amount of oil from our tranny we found that it worked much better.


Over the last 10 months of testing the overall reliability of the Outlaw 525 has been very respectable with one failure. That failure was a front wheel bearing that destroyed the hub at the same time. Wheel bearing and hubs are something that we have seen fail on other manufacturers quads but usually with more time and use that our Outlaw 525 has seen. This was an easy repair requiring only about 20 minutes once we had the parts in our hands. Other than this bearing failure the Outlaw 525 has only required regular maintenance and a couple minor repairs due to rider error.


We have been very happy with the performance of our Outlaw 525. It is very comparable to any of the 450 race bikes with a nice power band that is very usable on the trail. Unlike the old Outlaw 500 the power band is very wide and friendly to the rider.

Our recommendations

If you have aspirations for racing and plan on racing even at the amateur level then we believe there are better choices than the Outlaw 525 IRS machine.

If you are primarily a trail rider who wants a performance oriented machine we think the Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS is an excellent choice and should be on your short list.

Outlaw 525 IRS on the Trail
The Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS excels as a high performance trail machine.


Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!