REVIEW: Polaris Ace 570

By: Barry Ashenhurst, Photography by: Barry Ashenhurst, Video by: Barry Ashenhurst

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After testing the new Polaris 570 Ace for two days, BARRY ASHENHURST is definitely impressed by every angle of this latest quad offering.

The Ace is not the kind of machine you expect to encounter in a magazine for farmers.

Polaris built this quad bike to attract new enthusiasts to the sport of recreational riding; the sort of people who don’t like the idea of quads much but warm to the idea of whizzing about the place in a snazzy single-seater with a steering wheel.

And a roll-cage. And a seatbelt.

Our first experience with the original Ace 325 was marred by a small mishap, during which the Ace turned on its side and lay down for a while.

We weren’t at the time sure what caused this wicked twirlie but had no such problems with the faster Polaris Ace 570.

The machine impressed us from every angle at our testing ground in Fernvale (Queensland), on a cattle property we’ve been using for quad evaluation for 10 years.

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Polaris Ace 570 at a glance

Polaris Ace 570_7

The machine’s dry weight is 388kg but because there’s no call to physically manhandle this machine, that’s not really significant.

The weight is biased towards the rear though, as you’d expect in a rear-engined vehicle, and this becomes significant when you’re scrabbling for traction on a filthy hill where the bias tends to rob the Ace of a little traction through the front wheels.

The tyres are Carlisle AT489s, good general purpose rubber, and the wheels are weldable steel.

We believe the white plastic on the Ace 570 will hide dings and scratches better than most colours common to ATVs.

Both the transmission and engine breathers were placed as high as Polaris could get them without putting them on stalks.

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Power

We think the 325 Ace was underpowered, and still do. But not the 570.

The fuel-injected Pro Star single-cylinder engine has gobs of power, in fact enough to make the speedo needle walk the plank.

The Ace hit 90km/h on a 600m section of dirt road on our test property and was still gaining speed when we had to slow for a cattle grate.

Oddly enough, we believe the additional power over the placid 325cc version makes the 45hp (33kW) 570 more predictable, especially under acceleration.

Is more power an advantage that can be measured? Probably not, but we wouldn’t expect to ride any 4x4 ATV at that speed without displaying an unpleasant handling trait. If you have to cover a lot of ground quickly, the Ace will do it more easily.

Look up and compare the Polaris Ace 325 and Ace 570 specifications

 

Transmission

The four-wheel drive system is Polaris’s ‘On Demand Four-wheel Drive’.

With four-wheel drive engaged, the Ace is actually running in three-wheel drive until a sensor tells the transmission that traction is being lost and it needs to engage the fourth driving wheel.

This is automatic. You don’t have to do anything and you don’t feel anything either, apart from increased traction shortly after the signal has been given.

The only downside to transmission operation is the clunky shift action that seems to mark all Polaris ATVs.

The vehicle will start in any gear as long as the brake pedal is depressed and, this was unusual, there was no speed limiter on reverse.

 

Power steering

Polaris Ace 570_3_controls

Where Can-Am incorporates complicated adjustable power-steering in its Outlander range of 4x4 ATVs, Polaris prefers non-adjustable electronic power-steering and in this case the numbers are spot-on.

It’s neither too light nor too heavy and gives ample feedback through the steering wheel, an attribute that makes the Ace such a physically undemanding vehicle to operate.

We noticed the power-steering overheating warning light arc up a few of times on the Ace but that was during prolonged low-speed work in a creek-bed while we were photographing it.

In our experience this would not be a typical problem during day to day operation.

 

Engine braking

Every Polaris we’ve tested within the past three years has had excellent engine braking, in fact it seems to have caught Can-Am in this respect.

We had a 650 Can-Am 6x6 with us when we were evaluating the Ace and the Polaris had better engine braking than the Rotax.

Compare the Can-Am 650 6x6 with the Polaris Ace 570

There’s another unusual thing with the Ace: most machines of this type have twin discs up front and a single disc on the rear but the 570 Ace has four-wheel hydraulic discs which give ample braking power with reasonable pedal pressure.

And speaking of pedals, those in the Ace are off-set. For example, you can’t slide your right foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal because the accelerator pedal is lower.

You must lift your foot off the accelerator and put it down again on the brake pedal. We don’t know for sure (we don’t know anything for sure) but it seems sensible that this safety precaution prevents you inadvertently applying pressure to the wrong pedal.

 

Performance

Polaris Ace 570_5_

The Ace wasn’t designed for work on a farm but is more than up for it. It will go anywhere a conventional 4x4 quad will go.

Getting in and out of an Ace takes a little longer than throwing a leg over a quad, but it’s a trifling annoyance when you consider how much safer you are in an machine designed to protect you over one that is not. And we haven’t even mentioned the roll-cage yet.

We tested the Ace in deep water as well as into and over plenty of typical off-road obstacles.

In creek crossings, water entered the cab module from the front, which felt a little weird, but it drained quickly and the vehicle had very good splash protection. 

A fair amount of heat is transferred from the muffler to the rear tray so don’t put anything heat sensitive in the back.

Underbody protection is solid. Ground clearance is a generous 26cm so we didn’t belly-out or get hung up on anything, and the roll-cage didn’t snag on any low hanging branches either.

The only real criticism we can offer, after flogging it up, down and sideways for two days, is that the Ace lacks any real storage space for people who carry minor earthmoving equipment everywhere they go.

The tray up front isn’t much use, and although the rear cargo box has a capacity of 110kg, that’s a measure of how much weight it can tolerate, not how much space there is inside it.

This problem is partially resolved with Polaris lock and ride accessories but none of them deal with the problem of where to put big stuff like star-picket hammers and shovels.

 

Verdict

Who should buy an Ace 570? Anyone interested in his or her own longevity.

True, the drawback of limited storage space is telling. Some will say that a single-seater is impractical too, but most farm quads are single-seaters so that argument is barely worth mentioning.

Knowing what the statistics on quad-related fatalities actually mean — we have to do something.

The authorities will not sit on their hands forever while people die from what those authorities consider to be preventable causes. Polaris’s Ace is the quad of the future.

Hits

  • Comfortable and fast
  • Quiet and torquey
  • Drop-dead easy to operate
  • Good value for money ($12,000)

Misses

  • Lack of farmer-type storage space
  • Weight bias causes loss of traction uphill

 

Specifications

Make/Model: Polaris Ace 570

 

ENGINE

Type: Single cylinder four-stroke

Capacity: 567cc

Fuel delivery: EFI

Fuel tank capacity: 19.9 litres

 

TRANSMISSION

Type: CVT

Park brake: Park in transmission.

View detailed Polaris Ace 570 specifications >>

Look up Polaris ATV/UTV specifications.

Polaris ace 570 2 The Polaris Ace 570 leaves for dead any ordinary 4x4 quad and the engine has plenty of grunt. Top speed is about 90km/h. The engine is also torquey and quiet. Polaris ace 570 2
Polaris ace 570 3 controls It’s exceptionally operator-friendly. Ride comfort is brilliant and the non-adjustable power-steering a perfect match for the Ace’s speed and off-road performance. Polaris ace 570 3 controls
Polaris ace 570 4 filter Access to the electronic fuel injection (EFI) unit and the air filter is pretty good. The filter is huge. Polaris ace 570 4 filter
Polaris ace 570 5 Good ground clearance (26cm) is useful. Water entering the cab during creek crossings soon drains. Polaris ace 570 5
Polaris ace 570 6 Underbody protection is solid. The machine can also be weather-proofed with a range of accessories including a roof and windscreen. Polaris ace 570 6

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