It's been a busy time at the Bridenbaugh farm in Ohio, but Daryl Bridenbaugh, a Team FIN member, took time out to test drive the new Polaris General, a 1000 cc/100 hp side-by-side introduced earlier this year. As Daryl notes:
"Even before I drove the Polaris General, I knew it was the King Kong of sport utility side by sides. With its 1000 cc motor developing 100 hp, it far exceeds its nearest competitor. Even the most powerful Suzuki Samuri and Geo Tracker only had 96 hp," he days.
He notes that the machine is a comfortable ride, adding that sitting in the cockpit reminded him of the 1975 Corvette he once had. "The bucket seats are super comfortable and the gear shift is in a console between the seats," he notes.
Bridenbaugh, did find one feature to get used to noting that when he first took off with the new machine he found the operation jerky and acted as if the parking break was on. The reason is the machine's differential lock and engine braking system, which Bridenbaugh said he soon got used to.
And while the machine has the Polaris four-wheel drive system, Bridenbaugh didn't engage it, finding that the side-by-side had plenty of power and traction in two-wheel drive for the around-the-farm chores he did. "And I liked the engine brake because it kept it from freewheeling down hills and would bring the machine to a stop without using the regular brake pedal," he says.
Daryl also put the machine through some speed paces too - moving from field to field of course. But he found that the acceleration was "just blazing" going from 0 to 40 mph in 3.6 seconds. "The torque curve if flat and it is ready to rip at any rpm. Even at 60 mph the engine roared and accelerated rapidly when I floored the gas pedal."
He notes the General comes in three models - standard, premium and deluxe. The deluxe model comes outfitted with Fox shock absorbers. And Daryl put that suspension system to the test. "My neighbor and I, with a total body weight of over 600 pounds combined, took the machine at speed through a shallow roadside ditch at a 45-degree angle. My neighbor, who is a highly experienced 4-wheeler driver, raved about the smooth ride," Bridenbaugh says.
Bridenbaugh likes the way The General steers providing straight, steady performance with little need for correction. "Even at over 70 mph I could relax and steer with one hand."
At work in the field
In the field, the continuously variable transmission was a positive too. "I didn't have to worry about shifting when I was pulling my sprayer. It [worked] with the 60-gallon sprayer that I have and could easily have pulled one twice as big," Bridenbaugh says. He was concerned about the corn stubble pounding the bottom of the machine's body during spraying, including a worry that the exposed undercarriage might collect grass and tangle.
He also did some general prep work for a church yard using a drag weighted down with wood logs to level the ground. The General pulled the load. He notes, however, that the General has a lower tow rating than the Polaris Ranger.
One safety feature Bridenbaugh found is that the machine would not go faster than 15 mph without the seat belt being fastened. "That worked out fine because when I was picking up rocks I could just jump in and out without having to fasten my seat belt every time," he adds.
Bridenbaugh's conclusion: "In summary, this is a good machine for spraying around the outside of fields and doing spot spraying. It is fast and can run from one field to the next in no time at all."
You can learn more about the Polaris General at polaris.com/en-us/general-utv