Published on June 30th, 2022 | by Joe
2022 Sportsman 570 Trail, Ride Command Edition Test Review
Polaris’ brand new from the ground up Sportsman XP 550 and 850 were released in 2009. The XPs boasted more horsepower, more suspension travel, and a break from Polaris’ McPherson strut front ends, switching to dual A-Arms up front. Our test of the 40 hp XP 550 left us with a fondness for the machine we hold to this day.
After 2014, the Sportsman XP 550 was replaced by the Sportsman 570 SP for 2015. It benefitted from Polaris’ more powerful 44 HP Pro Star 570 engine. The new engine wasn’t designed to sit in the chassis longitudinally like the old 550 engine, so Polaris utilized the chassis from the McPherson strut-equipped Sportsman 570, formerly 500, redesigned with a dual A-Arm front end to improve strength, handling, and suspension action up front. Otherwise, it shared essentially the same dimensions and suspension travel numbers as the McPherson strut, front-end 570 models.
The 570 SP, later the 570 Premium, then the 570 Trail in 2021, Polaris added their Ride Command GPS/infotainment system to their Dual A-Arm-equipped Sportsman 570 trail for 2022, along with a few other added features, creating the new Sportsman 570 Ride Command Edition we’re testing. Ride Command is also available on the 2022 Sportsman XP 1000.
Polaris dual A-Arm-equipped 570s received some pretty significant updating in 2021 along with their other McPherson strut-equipped 570 and 450 models, but from here on out, we’re focusing on the higher-end, front A-Arm-equipped 570 models.
Kicking off 2021’s updates, were updated styling and racks. The chassis was strengthened and arched lower A-Arms were added up front. The upper front shock mounts were relocated allowing for a 7/10 of an inch increase in front suspension travel. New rubber, automotive-style suspension bushings are said to last longer, reduce squeaks, and provide an added level of damping to the chassis. Clutching was updated in search of smoother takeoffs and engine braking. The radiator was mounted more vertically with an easy to remove cover for easy cleaning. Towing capacity was increased by 125LBS. The battery received 78% more cold cranking amps and was relocated under the front rack for improved protection and easier maintenance. Selectable throttle modes were added to Limited Edition models.
New for 2022
For 2022, all Polaris Sportsman models equipped with electric power steering now feature Polaris’ Multi Select electronic power steering with three modes of assistance from which to choose. The Ride Command edition and Ultimate Trail versions also have three selectable throttle modes.
LED lighting is used at both ends on the Trail, Ultimate Trail, and Ride Command Editions. High and low beam lights are mounted up front with an additional high beam light pod that turns with the handlebars. New LED accent lights are found on both models.
Dual A-Arm front suspension options on the Sportsman 570 begin with the 570 Trail at $10,599. It comes decked out with factory installed 2,500lb Polaris HD winch and plow mounts, front Trail Bumper, front rack extension, and is prewired for hand and thumb warmers. It also features Painted plastics and 14” cast aluminum wheels.
Building on the 570 Trail, the $11,099 570 Ultimate Trail edition in Orange Madness foregoes the front bumper, but adds Polaris’s Ride Control system offering an easy effort electronic throttle, speed limiting and geofencing abilities along with a PIN security system
The $11,999 Edition adds a rear bumper, rear rack extender, hand and thumb warmers, Gun Scabbard and mount, Kolpin Rhino Grips, and dipped plastic for a long lasting camo look. It utilizes Halogen lights up front instead of LED’s.
The $12,399 570 Ride Command edition features Polaris’ Ride Command GPS/infotainment system and is otherwise similarly appointed to Polaris flagship Sportsman XP 1000 Ride Command edition minus 42 mostly unnecessary horsepower for more than $4,000 less.
The 570 Ride Command Edition’s upgrades over the 570 Ultimate Trail include an upgrade to a 3,500 lb Polaris Pro winch. The front bumper and rack extension from the Trail model are joined by a rear rack extension, in addition to a ton of other exclusive features, capabilities and well-integrated controls through Ride Command.
Key Ride Command Benefits
Ride Command’s 7” touch screen comes mounted in the headlight pod. It displays all of the typical info you’d find on an LED display. However, it’s much easier to see at a glance and the instrument display layout is highly customizable. It offers GPS, trail maps, Group Ride capability with other Ride Command-equipped Polaris vehicles, and smart devices using the Polaris Ride Command app.
Ride Command lets you play music from your phone and listen through wireless earbuds. It also lets you control your phone for messaging or calls. Fortunately, Ride Command is laid out very intuitively making it pretty easy to navigate and use for beginners.
Polaris 3 Multi Select power steering and throttle drive modes are controlled through the touch screen on the Ride Command Editions. The reverse rev-limit override button doubles as a programmable button that works with certain Ride Command functions. Unfortunately, our top choices for power steering level or throttle modes aren’t on that list.
Plow mode is also controlled through Ride Command allowing you to raise or lower the plow with the push of a button or set it on automatic mode, raising the plow when you put the transmission in reverse and lowering it when you put it back in forward.
Polaris’ pin security system allows you to keep others from using your Sportsman even if they have the key. Geofencing allows you to set speed limits outside a certain boundary allowing you to better limit others who might be operating your ATV.
Ride Command has a ton of functionality, but since it’s the icing on the cake of the Sportsman 570, we’d recommend checking out Polaris’ growing number of videos on Ride Command if you would like to learn all about it. Look for links below.
The Sportsman 570 is powered by a fuel-injected, 567cc, single-cylinder Polaris Pro Star engine featuring a four-valve, double-overhead-cam head design. Power is more on par with the 700 class than the 450 class at 44 horsepower, 11 more than the fun and affordable Sportsman 450 we recently reviewed, and only 6 hp off from the Yamaha Grizzly 700.
Throttle modes include work, standard, and performance. Work mode is designed to smooth out initial throttle delivery for low-speed operation. Standard is tuned for more of a linear 1 to 1 response you’d get from a cable-equipped throttle. Sport mode applies more throttle sooner in the throttle throw for aggressive riding. If you’re coming over from two wheels, think of it like putting a quarter turn throttle on your dirt bike.
A fully automatic, continuously variable transmission features two forward ranges plus neutral, reverse, and park, selected by a long throw gear selector that looks a little utilitarian among the otherwise modern styling, but works beautifully for quick, intuitive shifts between forward and reverse. The transmission is engine braking equipped.
The drive train lets you select between 2wd, all-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive with Active Descent Control through a slide lever mounted on the throttle. All-wheel-drive typically operates in 2wd unless the rear tires start spinning marginally faster than the fronts for a partial revolution, after which the front wheels kick in providing full power to all four wheels. Power to the front wheels disengages once traction has been restored. When engaged, Active Descent Control provides a higher level of engine braking to all four wheels under 15 mph when the throttle is closed.
The 570 Ride Command edition’s 860-pound claimed dry weight is only 19 pounds lighter than the 879-pound Sportsman XP 1000 Ride Command Edition. It significantly outweighs the Can-Am Outlander 570 and Yamaha Grizzly 700.
The Sportsman starts with the turn of a key, warms up quickly and is ready to go. An occasional sputter at idle is the only real indication of the EPA’s strict emission standards.
Knowing the Pro Star 570 engine is pushing around a few extra pounds makes its performance that much more impressive. Power output feels perfectly suited for trail riding. There’s plenty of low-end power on tap to get rolling quickly and you rarely feel the need to grab a handful on climbs unless you simply want to go faster. Find something to bump the front wheels off of and brap the throttle; there’s enough power on tap to easily raise the front wheels or launch the entire machine into the air. The 570 delivers a satisfying amount of engine performance, never feeling as though it’s struggling or underpowered.
The 570’s performance has more in common with the big-bore singles from Yamaha and Suzuki than it does with 450cc class machines. Strong low-end and midrange power let you power out of turns with authority. Mildly slick conditions, two-wheel drive, and plenty of power make the Sportsman fun to slide around. Switching the throttle into sport mode makes things feel a little more lively and snappy when you crack the gas.
While its performance satisfies us, those looking for super-smooth power delivery that won’t wear them out will love the Sportsman. Thanks, in part, to 2021’s updated clutching, engagement off-idle allows for butter smooth acceleration with no jarring snap to surprise or fatigue you in the least. Letting off the gas at speed, engine braking engagement felt smoother with less driveline chatter than we’ve noticed on previous 570 models we’ve tested.
When we weren’t testing the limits of performance, we often left the throttle in the standard setting. This provided the usual response of a cable actuated throttle. Combined with the smooth clutching, we felt it offered all the throttle control needed for technical situations leaving work mode best suitable for work, or if you decide to let a beginner take a spin.
Polaris’ All-Wheel-Drive system has improved over time. In all-wheel-drive, you can feel the steering firm up slightly as soon as you start rolling, even in high traction conditions, indicating the front wheels are already pulling without the rear end ever breaking traction. All four wheels seemed locked in any time we hit the throttle. We happily left it in all-wheel-drive any time we weren’t trying to slide around. It enhances directional control and keeps the machine tracking straighter and steering more accurately everywhere.
Active Descent Control is magic at crawling down steep stuff at a snail’s pace, and you can always power out if things get a little too steep.
Fuel capacity on the Sportsman 570 is 4.5 gallons compared to 5.25 gallons on the 1000. Polaris tells us that the 570 is 20 to 30% more fuel efficient depending on how and where the machines are ridden. With the Ride Command edition’s appeal for long-distance riding, it’s worth noting that both machines should go a similar distance on a tank of gas. If you pack extra fuel, though, every gallon will take you 20 to 30% farther in the 570.
Adding a good aftermarket exhaust and fuel tuner like HMF’s Titan series exhaust and Fuel Optimizer can reduce operating temperatures, add a couple extra horsepower and increase torque across the RPM range, bringing the 570’s horsepower more in line with big-bore singles like the Yamaha Grizzly 700. For added protection, HMF offers their LT front bumper and Defender rear bumpers, constructed of high-quality .095 inch steel tubing, they offer solid construction and an added level of protection for your Sportsman 570 or 450.
Suspension and Handling
2021’s increase in front suspension travel from 8.2 to 8.9-inches brought the dual A-Arm front suspension travel more in line with the XP chassis used on the Sportsman 850 and 1000. Out back sway bar-equipped dual A-Arms feature 9.5-inches of suspension travel, around ¾” less than the 850 and 1000. The older generation back end design gives up the raked out, Rolled IRS found on the XP chassis. Still, overall suspension travel is leading among single-cylinder, sport-utility ATVs! 5-way, preload adjustable shocks are found at all four corners. High clearance arched front lower A-Arms are a standard premium feature.
Machines like the 570 are why Polaris sets the standard in 4×4 ATV suspension performance in many ways. The ride is plush taking the edge off all types of jarring square edged impacts. The plush ride begs you to stay out on the trail.
Our 570 came with the shocks in their softest setting, yet they did well at keeping body roll in check both in turns and on off-camber trails. The only time we felt there would be any advantage in adding a notch or two of preload was when we started getting carried away and trying to ride the Sportsman like the updated 2022 Polaris Scrambler S; test coming soon.
The front shocks bottomed gently a couple of times, and we managed to unsettle the rear end a bit rebounding from bottom after hitting a g-out at speed. We could have added a couple notches of preload for extreme situations, but for typical use and all-day rides, you can’t ask for a much better ride than the 570 delivers.
Certainly a full-size machine, the 570 measures in at 48” wide with a 50.5” wheelbase, 2.5” shorter than the Sportsman XP 1000 and 850. Its claimed 33.25” seat height is low by full size 4×4 ATV standards. 26×8-14 front and 26×10-14 rear Duro Powergrip tires come wrapped around attractive aluminum wheels. They help yield 11.5” of ground clearance, one of the highest in its class. Although the Duro’s weren’t our favorite tires on test during our 1000cc Sport Utility 4×4 Shootout a while back, the 570 seemed to steer more accurately than the 1000 with these tires. We suspect the 90 horsepower engine was causing them to break traction powering out of turns. The 44 horsepower 570 steers more accurately with these tires.
Overall handling is great for a do-it-all, 4×4 machine. The ride is stable going up, down, or sideways. The Sportsman does well at going where it’s pointed, especially when you lock in All-Wheel-Drive, which helps pull you through turns with greater precision.
We’ve asked for it, and Polaris has delivered with their new Multi Select electronic power steering. It allows you to choose between three different levels of assistance and bump filtration. We didn’t notice the high-speed steering sensitivity we’ve experienced on other Polaris models equipped with power steering in years past. This could be attributed to new power steering mapping and the front tires coming toed-out a bit from the factory, which seemed more apparent on our 2022 570. A bit of toe-out helps take the edge off nervous straight line steering.
We occasionally used the power steering’s standard setting while operating in 2wd at higher speeds, but left the Multi-Select EPS in high assist a majority of the time. We saw no need for the low assist setting and would like to see the standard and high assist maps moved down to low and standard assist settings with a slightly higher assist mapping for the high assist setting. It might be beneficial for prolonged low-speed operation in all-wheel-drive.
Overall suspension and handling performance is on point for long distance way-point rides or spirited rips around your local trails.
Single lever, all wheel braking is controlled by the handlebar mounted lever with a right side mounted foot pedal operating the rear brake independently. Dual disc brakes are found up front with a single hydraulic disc brake out back. Steel braided brake lines help maximize power and feel.
Give the Sportsman’s brakes a little while to break in and both power and feel are good. With the braking bias of the single lever braking designed to keep the rear tires hooked up, we found we could scrub off speed more quickly by adding a little more rear braking force with the rear brake pedal. We just wish Polaris would put it at a height that is accessible to the rider without standing on your heel or picking your foot up altogether to utilize it. This is the next update we would like to see across the Sportsman lineup.
In spite of being a full-size ATV, the 570 just doesn’t seem quite as massive as the Sportsman 1000. In many ways, it is a little smaller and those little differences seem to add up. The seat foam is a bit too soft in our opinion. The floorboard’s raised foot pegs leave us wishing they were taller. Taller pegs let you ride with greater control and confidence everywhere, especially when mud or snow build up on the floorboards. Fortunately, mud and splash protection are quite good on the 570.
Still a very comfortable ATV to sit on, the engine in the 570 isn’t longitudinally mounted. This makes the midsection of the ATV noticeably wider than the Sportsman 1000, 850, or the old Sportsman XP 550. More than the difference in power, it’s the biggest reason we’d consider the 1000 Ride Command edition over the 570 for long distance touring. The 570 is comfortable, but not quite Sportsman XP comfortable.
While not a problem for sit-down or casual stand-up riding, it’s worth noting that the light pod housing Ride Command can be a little intrusive for head over the bars charging in extremely rough terrain.
Polaris is one of the best at making their racks add to the aesthetics of the ATV. Bucket rings allow low cost added storage for utility jobs. While not as easy to tie down to as steel racks, the included extensions should make securing cargo easier. Rack capacity is at the lower end in the 500cc-600cc segment at 90lbs front and 180lbs rear. It makes up for it, though, by offering a generous amount of on-board storage under the front rack and via a removable underseat storage bag.
A 1.25” hitch receiver helps maximize ground clearance, although we prefer a 2” hitch receiver for convenience. Towing capacity is class leading and just ahead of the Grizzly 700 and King Quad 750 at 1,350lbs.
The handlebar mounted light pod that houses Ride Command also has a ton of connectivity. There’s a USB port for charging devices or accessing files from a USB drive. A power port can be used for charging the battery with a battery tender. It also doubles as a power source for powering items. There’s also the usual DC outlet. There’s cutouts for buttons on the pod which is prewired for accessories.
We tried to keep our riding pace somewhat within reason knowing that this unit is targeted at long-distance touring and trail riding, not racer types. Jumping was kept to a minimum and no other publications had this unit prior to us, so we were rather surprised when we found ourselves in a mellow rocky creek with only front-wheel-drive. Both outer CV joints had failed on the rear for no apparent reason. Our local dealer, Midwest Polaris, swapped out the axles, and after a couple additional days of hard thrashing, we’ve been unable to duplicate the issue. We chalk it up to an anomaly in the supply chain. We’ve certainly seen them in other manufacturers in 2022.
If you’re considering the high-end, McPherson Strut-equipped 570 Premium, you’d be crazy not to spend $700 more and get the dual A-Arm front suspension, upgraded lighting, and factory installed winch on the 570 Trail.
If you tend to ride in smaller ride parks and typically ride 4x4s like sport quads, you’ll currently pay $1,800 more for the Ride Command edition than the Trail edition. Unlike Polaris’ RZR (pronounced razor), Ranger, and General side-by-side models, Ride Command isn’t inside a roll cage. One good tip over could easily cost you a couple grand or more in repairs. Of course, for long distance rides at a cruising or touring pace, accidents are far less likely.
For exploring vast trail systems with friends or braving the great outdoors alone is where the capabilities of Ride Command really shine. Add in the ample performance and efficiency of the Pro Star 570 engine, the stable, plush ride we’ve come to love Polaris for, plenty of on-board storage and the Sportsman 570 Ride Command Edition has everything needed for long days and big ride adventures.
2022 Sportsman 570 Ride Command Edition Ratings
Summary: For exploring vast trail systems with friends or braving the great outdoors alone is where the capabilities of Ride Command really shine. Add in the ample performance and efficiency of the Pro Star 570 engine, the stable, plush ride we’ve come to love Polaris for, plenty of on-board storage and the Sportsman 570 Ride Command Edition has everything needed for long days and big ride adventures.