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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2001, 07:30 PM
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Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

Here is a copy of the letter that I just sent to the Polaris ATV company:

On Feb 18, 2001, 10 miles NW of Boulder Colorado, I witnessed the results of an ATV accident that DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN.
The rider was on a brand new Sportsman 500 HO, on his first ride. He attempted to climb a hill that was too steep and rolled the machine over. After the first incident he, as well as the machine, were relatively unharmed. Unfortunately, he then attempted to restart the machine, apparently using the "start in gear" override that I must assume this model has.
When the engine started, due to damage that was not noticed at first, the throttle was stuck in the full-open position. The results-- the rider can now be visited at a hospital somewhere in the Boulder area, as soon as he regains consciousness. He may never regain the use of his arms and legs.
Let me state this plain and simple:
FACT:
If the rider would have been on the model Polaris that I own (a 2000 Xpedition 425), which CANNOT be started in gear and must be in neutral for the starter motor to turn over, he WOULD NOT BE IN THE HOSPITAL AT THIS MOMENT.
FACT:
Whoever was responsible for making the decision to put a "start in gear override" on such a powerful machine as the Sportsman 500 HO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS PERSON'S INJURIES.
Please seriously consider removing this "feature" from your ATVs, especially the more powerful ones, before someone else gets hurt or killed!

John Daspit
Boulder Colorado

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2001, 08:09 PM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

John, where around Boulder do you ride? I go to school here and have my 400EX around but never get to ride except at the track because I just really dont know anywhere to go. Where did this incident occur? The only spot I have even heard of to ride up here is left hand canyon. Some good riding spots, more speed/trail than technical 4x4 riding, are what im lookin for. thanks, merlin

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2001, 08:14 PM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

I don't even see the need for a in gear starter. I own a suzuki king quad and its not that big of deal to kick it down to neutral. I agree that accident never should have happened because the rider was a stupid fu(k that should have check out the bike before he started it again.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2001, 10:24 PM
 
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

oh give me a break!! it wasnt the people who made the sportsmans fault that he smashed himself up!!! he knew it started in gear its not polaris's fault anymore than it is winchester's or whatever's fault that people get shot!!! he knew the dangers of riding a quad and HE is responsible for HIS actions believe it or not!! come on people lets think and not always be so quick blame other people for our mistakes...gosh america these days

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-19-2001, 11:13 PM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

You go Warrior! ! I got your back 100% It is time that people start blaming themselves instead of every one else. This is exactly why the 3 wheelers are not being made any more. The idiots that were riding and being stupid were blaming the machines instead of themselves. People need to grow up and stop pointing fingers at every one else! !

post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-20-2001, 07:12 AM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

I agree with the gentlemen that say people need to start taking responsibility for their actions, and not try to blame it on someone else. Being and avid 4 wheeler from way back, jeeps, trucks, etc. I am well aware of the fact that in certain situtations you need to be able to start in gear. I've also riden off-road bikes, snowmobiles, atvs and lately bought myself a used atc. Have I had accidents, have I rolled them, you bet. But if every instance I look back at, I took the blame. It was my fault, whether due to lack of understanding, over confidence, or what ever. The machine or manafacturer did NOT make me do it. I did it of my own free will. Luckly I wasn't stupid enough to seriously or permently hurt myself. As I've gotten older, I've become more gun shy. But let's put he blame where it belongs, and not where it's convenient.

Just my opinion.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-20-2001, 11:36 AM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

I'm afraid I have to agree with the majority (thus far) here. The legal climate (which translates into OUR insurance premiums, etc.) is never going to improve in this country if things continue in this direction. It's unfortunate that people get injured, but in many, many cases there is a significant element of irresponsibility on the part of the operator. Every product we buy is already wallpapered with warning labels advising stupid people NOT to do stupid things. Does that prevent all of the "accidents" from happening? NOPE! Not having any personal experience with "in-gear" starting, I would be hesitant to EVER use it- it just doesn't seem natural. I hopefully (in this rider's situation) would have the presence of mind, after a roll-over, to not just ASSUME that because nothing broke off of the bike in the accident, that all other systems must be fully operable as well! I guess things like that just come with experience, and a little bit of caution. Anyway, there's another .02 for the pot.

post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-20-2001, 12:03 PM
 
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

well, I will have to state that I agree with all of the above....
I agree with the majority that we have to step up and take the brunt of our stupidity when we get hurt or anything like that...but I also think that a feature to allow a vehicle to start in gear is a bit....well...uhh....stupid....

I think that the best thing to do is accept responsability for our actions and quit involving the courts and mother frickin laywers in everything....we need to stand up and take back this country and bring it back to what it was when OUR family members and friends fought for our freedom....

ya know its odd...our family and friends fought for our freedom and now we as a society are taking it away by pointing the finger at everyone else but ourselves...every time we take something to court because of starting in gear or what have you....we take another peice of that freedom away...
its time to stop it....LETS TAKE A STAND!!!!!


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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2001, 08:05 PM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

Hey daspit, how do you like the 425 expedition? I was thinking of getting on since its built better being a 5-speed shaft drive, with no belts to slip or burn out when I put on bigger tires...I have a 98 explorer 400 w/superswamper vampires and a few burned out belts :-( Polaris makes a very good machine and definately the most comfortable plus real locked 4x4, not a limited slip front.
How much did you pay for it? Any downfalls or dislikes?
I take my 2 young children on my quad all the time [ages 2-4] and I can start in gear. I wonder how the throttle got stuck open since its an electronic throttle to help prevent frozen or stuck throttles. Mine has frozen a few times only when I pull it out to go riding but it finially thaws out and works freely. Was your buddy wearing a helmet??? Sounds like he wasn't since he unconscience, hope he is alright...

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2001, 07:45 AM
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Re: Sportsman 500 HO DANGEROUS \"feature\"

The machine should have been check over for things like the throttle most likely being bent up from the roll over, This is not Polaris fault at all!! All machines should be simply taken back out of gear before restarting.

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