2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 Specs and Review 2022

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500: 2003 was an important season in this particular Polaris Sportsman 500 lineup, after having made its debut the year prior. In light of the circumstances this year.

the American firm took care not to exceed the number of its models. However, that’s not to suggest that the company did not deliver reliable machines of high quality to the general public, as you’ll see within this piece.

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500

The year 2003 was the most successful for Polaris Sportsman 500. was the eighth installment of the Sportsman 500 lineup and the final year of production for the carbureted H.O. models. 

Like the earlier versions models, the Sportsman included PVT with EBS Fully-independent front and rear suspensions, along with Mossy Oak(r) Break-Up(TM) Camo packages.

Since it was evident that Sportsman 500 made headway with the Japanese-dominated market for utility-ATVs it was sensible to Polaris to not just redefine its entire approach using the famous four-wheeled machines, but also use restraint in its unique-edition trims. 

In addition, due to the absence of hype surrounding the debut of 2003’s Polaris Sportsman 500, Polaris was able to craft the course that the iconic 4×4 could follow.

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500

An Insightful Move

Instead of going over and offering more Polaris did exactly the opposite with its model of 2003, the Polaris Sportsman 500. From the star-studded 2002 lineup comprising models like the Remington as well as Ducks Unlimited editions, Polaris reduced the model to just three (3) variants, including:

  • 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO (High Output, Base)
  • Model number A03CH50AA
  • Model number A03CH50AB
  • Model number A03CH50AC
  • Model number A03CH50AD
  • Model number A03CH50AE
  • Model number A03CH50AH
  • Model number A03CH50AJ
  • Model number A03CH50AU
  • 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO (High Output, Mossy Oak Camouflage trim)
  • 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 6×6

While not being known at the time The reason for Polaris making a pause by releasing limited-edition trims is the benefit of hindsight. 

The process of cracking the code, to speak, isn’t enough to guarantee the products’ continued success. 

The company must anticipate the future needs of customers riding requirements while remaining unwavering in the pursuit of perfection. 

To achieve this it must find ways to improve the overall design and performance without compromising the features offered to consumers and, consequently, fewer product variations.

Even though they removed the most popular statement trims customers did not feel the current year’s selection was not enough due to Mossy Oak(r) Break-Up(TM) Camouflage trim. 

The base models with EBS and models with a hunting theme were enough options to pick from. 

A 6×6 Sportsman with its 27-inch longer wheelbase and manual tilting cargo bed was also available to those who were looking for a niche that is a more utilitarian vehicle.

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 Specs & Features Engine

The model the 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 uses a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder SOHC engine. 

As with previous years’ models, it features the bore-stroke ratio of 92 x75 mm (3.622 and 2.953 inches) and a compression ratio of 10:1. 

Piston displacement is 499cm3 (30.45 in3) which is supplied via a 40mm Constant Velocity Mikuni carburetor that has a lubrication system that is pressurized and an exhaust with a single pipe. 

The engine configurations of these engines result in an optimum speed range of 54-69 mph (87 up to 111 kilometers/h).

Fuel & Lubrication

The capacity of oil remains in the range of 1.89 US quarts/2 liters of SAE 10W-40 four-stroke motor oil. 

The company still suggests Polaris Premium 4 Synthetic Lubricant or any API-certified SJ synthetic oil that is compliant with JASO the T903MA standards. 

Experts and mechanics recommend engine oils that do not contain molybdenum and that are of the same viscosity grade.

As for recommended fuel, tank capacity is 5.25 US gallons/19.9 liters of unleaded gasoline and a minimum PON rating of 87/89 (oxygenated/non-oxygenated) or RON 91 rating. 

Any fuel type compatible with less than 10 percent ethanol or 5 percent of methanol is acceptable to be used.


A fully automatic, torque-sensitive Polaris Variable Transmission with EBS and Hilliard-type clutch assemblies (with reverse and an E-Z high-low shifter) and direct rear driveshafts that provide energy to the ground.

This motor offers On-Demand(TM) AWD and two-wheel driveline settings operated by a thumb switch that is located on the right grip. 

Other controls, like the starter, headlight additional shut-off and override switches are located in the left-hand handlebar.


Solid-state DC-CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) with an ignition time of 30deg +/- 2deg BTDC @ 3,500 rpm and an electric start system that has an auxiliary recoil starter will bring the 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 to life.

This ignition method reduces the possibility of the quad failing because of dirt or moisture buildup.

It is paired using an NGK BKR6E spark plug with a gap of 0.9 millimeters (0.036 millimeters). 

An alternator that is triple-phase with 250W of rated power serves as a charging system.

The battery in the 2003 Sportsman 500 utilizes a 12V 14 Ah/(10 HR) format. It powers up electronic devices and the 12V outlet. 

If the battery in the original model is damaged or shot then you can change it out with a 12V 12, Ah/(10 HR) YTX14AH-BS battery (view on Amazon) It has dimensions of 134 x inches x 166 mm and W.

It is necessary to have spacers of 10mm to ensure that the battery fits within the box for batteries.

Tires & Brakes

Steel wheels are paired with tubes that are tubeless and low-pressure, 25 x 8-12 for the front, and 22 11-10 back tires. 

Cold tire pressure on all fours is 34.47 kPa (0.35 kg-f/cm2, 5, psi) that can be adjusted or inflated in accordance with a variety of terrain and the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

A hydraulic locking system for all wheels and foot brake and a rear-mounted hydraulic caliper brake that is opposed to pistons make up the complete 2004 Polaris Sportsman 500 tire-and-wheel assembly.


A front-mounted independent MacPherson strut that provides 6.25 inches (158.7 millimeters) of travel, as well as an independent progressive-rate rear suspension that includes an anti-roll bar and dual shocks along with 9.5 inches (241.3 millimeters) of travel, comprises the suspension system of the Sportsman 500. 

This, in conjunction with the minimal (unloaded) level of ground clearance that is 11 inches (279.4 millimeters) a wheelbase of 51 inches (1,285 millimeters), and a turning radius of 5.42 feet (165.1 millimeters) contribute to the 4×4’s agility and better handling when you are cornering or traversing difficult terrain.


Overall dimensions of the vehicle 85 x 46 x 45 inches (2,159 1168 1143 mm) L x W H) These are obviously different and are several inches shorter and longer than its 2002 counterpart. 

The seat height and dry weight are identical at 34 inches (863.6 millimeters) and 697 pounds (316.1 Kg), respectively. 

The towing capacity is ranging from 1,225 pounds (556 Kg) to 1,786 pounds (810 kg) with an unbrakeless trailer. 

GVWR will be around 1,200 pounds (544 kg) and includes the 741-pound (336-Kg) curb weight of 270 lbs (122-Kg) total capacity for the rack, the weight of the passenger, and the accessories.


As with other utility-oriented models that preceded it is the same as 2003’s Polaris Sportsman 500 four-wheeler has a Gen IV steel frame finished with a black medium gloss. 

Body panels made of plastic are available in the standard Sonic Blue, Sportsman Green, and yellow colors. choices. 

It is evident that they only offer only the Mossy Oak(r) Break-Up(TM) brand camouflage model of five (5) special-edition trims made in the past year.

Other than the special trims, the 2003 Sportsman had the same features that were present in the predecessors, including a full-length skid plate and fenders fully-footwells as well as composite utility racks, handgrips, and handlebars. 

It also has an analog speedometer that you can be upgraded to one that is Trail Tech 752-114 black Vapor digital speedometer and Tachometer gauge kit (view at Amazon).


Single, 12V 60W handlebar-mounted high-beam Halogen headlight Two (2) light bars mounted by a grille that are 27W low-beam light bulbs 12V, 8.26W light for the tail, 6.9W brake lamp, and single-watt indicators make up the lighting system of the quad. 

TurBO SII Combo Beam Offroad Lighting (view the deal on Amazon) are great options for late-night wheeling.

2003 Sportsman 500 Pricing

The cost of the model for 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 ranges from $6,599 up to $6,899, being the basic H.O. model being the least expensive as well as that of the Mossy Oak(r) Break-Up(TM) camo trims are among the highest-priced. 

The 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 parts and package accessories that show the utility of the machine increase the cost of the base model by $1720 to $2,265. 

The model with the same displacement, 6×6, comes with the highest price of the bunch at $7,599.

The retail-wise average cost of the Sportsman 500 cost is between $1,655 to $2,340, according to Nada Guides’ information. 

For auction listings, secondhand models are available for as little as 840 dollars (mostly non-operable) which is a mean of $2,700.

 Camouflage trims are rare in mint condition on trader sites. Consequently, they tend to be more expensive than the typical resales prices of the quad.

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 Known Issues

 Polaris Sportsman

Damaged Fusible Link

One of the more fragile parts in the model year 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO models is its multi-gauge fused link. 

A damaged or cracked shrink tube or wires that are corroded can cause the part to become damaged. 

In the same way, the use of an amp rating greater than 18A through it can cause the wiring harness to melt and render the link inoperable. 

Parts made aftermarket, such as those manufactured by professional outfitters such as NAPA are great spare parts that are sure to function as original parts.

Flooded Belt Housing

This particular issue is more noticeable in water-submerged or hard-ridden Sportsman 500s, even when owners follow the fording depth limit of the machine. 

To resolve it, swap out the old seals that are worn out or removed from all the clutch components. This will help determine whether other troubleshooting measures need to be followed.


Expect noises from your brakes to develop in time as dust or dirt accumulation onto the pads as well as discs for hydraulics can’t be avoided. 

Based on how much or poorly the 4×4 is being used the brake pads will eventually get glazed or worn out and the brake discs would begin to warp.

 It does not help that the manufacturer-recommended brake fluid is hygroscopic – one that easily absorbs moisture, eventually reducing brake performance.

Fortunately, regular inspection and cleaning of the brake components and alignment will keep squealing to a minimum. 

Be sure to look for excessive wear on the pads, loose or warped discs, and bearings on the brake as well as the clearance of the lever and pedal, as well as master ports for cylinders. 

Aerosols that have been tested and proven to be non-flammable, brake cleansers on your disc hub as well as brake pads will help clear obstructions and other stuck material within these areas.

Speedometer Issues

The problem with the speedometer’s analog may indicate an issue with the quad’s All-Wheel Drive function. 

The speedometer’s display is not working or has an inaccurate readout is among the warning indications that your speedometer could be damaged. 

The solution to speedo problems will typically involve power cycling the device (if it was not a major issue) fixing the wiring or replacing the unit completely. 

However, it is possible that you will require tinkering with multi-pin electrical connections for the speedometer to function properly.

Customer Reviews

Even though they only released one special edition trim model and High Output base models the pressure was high to launch the 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 from the date of its debut. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise as it was the second production model to be released following Polaris”s success in breaking through Japan’s exclusive control of the ATV sector. 

Many of the old-time enthusiasts believe that the Polaris Sportsman 500 lineup is the most rational and appropriate model after Suzuki’s Quadrunner. 

But it wasn’t able to win over enthusiasts of off-road vehicles and the end-users for seven years following its launch.

This double-purpose beast is solid and durable, making these great recreational and work vehicles. 

The well-placed vent and water-resistant wiring are only the best of its characteristics. 

They’re enough to offset the Sportsman 500’s power and speed output. In the end, the model of 2003 is a utilitarian ATV that is designed for serious mudding and trails with wooded sections.

About Polaris

Polaris is an American manufacturer that has been credited with establishing the industry of snowmobiles. 

However, that’s not what the manufacturer of 2003’s Polaris Sportsman 500 is revered for. Polaris is the sole company that has ended Japan’s Japanese’ ATV monopoly. 

In doing so it has also inspired other automobile manufacturers to follow in their footsteps.

Starting with the 1956 Sno Traveler to the 1968 Textron acquisition, and the first U.S.-made ATV in 1985, the American company is constantly striving to invent industry advancements and enhance its range of products.

It has turned Polaris into a market leader acknowledged for its introduction of automatic transmissions, Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), and Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) to the market.

Conclusion – 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 Review

Like most things it is the year following the success of a turnover is near all the time ignored, but not for Polaris as the year 2003’s Polaris Sportsman 500 is clear evidence of this. Sure, the company decrease the amount and varieties of its regular and special trims, but for a reason.

 After discovering the key to getting consumers to buy into the company is back on the drawing boards, meticulously contemplating ways to enhance its product offerings.

It will take another two years until Polaris will get rid of its four-wheelers with carburetors for the good and replace them with fuel-injected models. 

Although this isn’t something that anyone would appreciate, however, it was an important step towards a positive direction for this American manufacturer. 

It was the 2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 that is nearing the conclusion of its production certainly made its appeal and growing fan base and more loyal – a sign of Polaris their well-thought-out and well-planned efforts.

Are Polaris Sportsman 500 any good?

The Sportsman 500 H.O. is a highly great ATV in any way. We’ve yet to discover something that it isn’t capable of as well, and like many Sportsman owners, it’ll be working all week and be prepared to enjoy the weekend.

Is a Polaris Sportsman 500 a 2 or 4 stroke?

Engine This Engine – The 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 uses a four-stroke single-cylinder, liquid-cooled SOHC engine. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 92 x millimetres (3.622 and 2.953 inches).

Is the 2004 Polaris Sportsman 500 fuel injected?

The company behind the 2004 Polaris Sportsman 500 did not stop there. It continued to venture into different industries, which led to the development of automated transmission as well as independent rear suspension (IRS) along with electronic fuel injection (EFI).

Which is better ATV Honda or Polaris? 

The Honda is well-known for its dependability, ease to operate an excellent ride, ease of riding and capacity to be agile. The Polaris is more smooth than the glass on rough terrain. It is powerful, and the EBS performs well, is exceptionally comfortable to ride, while the electric steering system is of top quality.

What year was the Polaris Sportsman 500 made?

A Revamped Best-Seller. Polaris introduced its model in the year 2001. Polaris Sportsman 500 to reaction to reviews from consumers about the underpowered quad-like feel. In this model, engineers changed the power mill originally in use to a high output engine.

How much weight can a Polaris Sportsman 500 pull?

The dry weight for the ATV is 696 pounds. The fuel tank can hold 4.1 gallons of regular gasoline, unleaded. The front rack can hold 90 pounds. The rear rack can hold 180 pounds. This ATV can tow 1,225 lbs.

What does HO stand for in Polaris ATV?

HO = High Output. As mentioned earlier, Polaris introduced changes to help increase the power output of the same displacement of the engine.

What is high miles for a Polaris Sportsman?

An ATV is classified as “high miles” once it has reached around 10,000 miles. But what’s more important is the way it was maintained and how the previous owner used it. Even after 10,000 miles, when the previous owner put in care and time to take care of the vehicle, it may still be some potential life remaining in this vehicle.

Are Polaris a good quad?

Polaris ATV models came fourth in reliability. In reality, even though these models have been criticized for their reliability, they’re both respected by the ATV community. They’re not undependable models, as stated by many owners. The third and fourth places aren’t horrible.

Where are Polaris ATV build?

Polaris is located within Roseau, Minnesota, USA. Most of the components are made at Osceola, Wisconsin, and the vehicle assembly is in Roseau, Minnesota. This is what we refer to as an American manufactured ATV.

Where is the model number on a Polaris Sportsman 500?

To be used on Sportsman 400, 500, 450, 800 and ETX models from For 2013 Hawkeye models and Sportsman 6×6 models made from 2011-14, the VIN is located in the left rear frame (1). For Sportsman XP 1000 S and Scrambler XP 1000 S models, the VIN is stamped into the rear wheel well on the right.

How do I find out what year my ATV is?

You can find the model year of any ATV with that number.
  1. Find the 17-character vehicle identification number on the frame of your four wheeler. …
  2. Look at the 10th character of the vehicle identification number. …
  3. Use the 10th character to determine the year model of the four wheeler.

2003 Polaris Sportsman 500 FAQ

1. Is a Polaris Sportsman 500 a 4 stroke?

Engine Engine – The 1999 Sportsman 500 uses a four-stroke single-cylinder, liquid-cooled SOHC engine. It has an octave-to-stroke ratio of 92 x75 mm (3.622 3.22 x 2.953 inches).

2. What does HO stand for on Polaris Sportsman?

HO = High Output. As mentioned earlier, Polaris introduced changes to help make more horsepower from the same displacement of the engine.

3. How fast does a 500 Polaris go?

Its Polaris Predator 500 top speed is at 73 miles per hour which is a good benchmark for a heavy 415-pound ATV.

4. How much weight can a Polaris Sportsman 500 pull?

The dry mass of the ATV is 696lbs. The tank for fuel can hold 4.1 gallons of regular gasoline that are not contaminated with lead. The front rack can accommodate 90 pounds. The rear rack can accommodate 180 pounds. This ATV is able to pull 1,225 pounds.

5. How much does a Polaris Sportsman?

Prices begin with $6399, which is the price for Sportsman 450, and 6999 dollars for the Sportsman the 570. The next step up in Power will be that of the Sportsman 850, which boasts a 78-horsepower engine. Other options are 360 pounds of front and back rack capacity, 1500 pounds of towing capacity as well as 11.5 inches of floor clearance.

6. Where is the battery on Polaris Sportsman 500?

To access it, you must remove the splash shield that is behind the front right tire as well as the left-side panel. In the case of 2009 Sportsman Touring 500 and all Sportsman Touring and Sportsman X2 models between 2007 and 2009 The battery is located underneath in the fuel tank and accessible by taking off the right-side panel.

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