Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

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Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Laverton Luck on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 10:55 am

"Merry Christmas! Everybody"

After a lengthy battle with Polaris after spending $80,000 with them I received an email from Polaris Australia which I thought should be shared with anybody considering buying a quad bike.

POLARIS RESPONSE:
We are aware of the very fine dust that is in the northern parts of Australia. In these extreme dust conditions additional air filter maintenance is required on any internal combustion engine. If the air filter becomes plugged with dust, the vacuum of the engine will suck in dust from an alternative location, we believe this is what has been happening with your units.  We repaired 2 of your units as good will as we are certain that this issue was not caused by a defect, rather through a lack of air filter maintenance. Unfortunately this has caused the engines on your units to ingest dust which has resulted in engine damage and excessive oil consumption. Regrettably Polaris will not be able to repair these additional engines under warranty.

The two units they fixed under "Goodwill" broke down again within hours of use.  The Mechanic at Polaris Central in Perth told me that the dust had sucked into the bottom end of the motor through a seal which is on an oval pipe, sealed with a round sealer, they silicone it to stop the dust sucking in.  These two bikes also had just been serviced by Polaris, new filters, oil etc...  Polaris denies a fault on the bikes and point the blame to me for not doing "Extra" maintenance on the bike.  I was never, ever told they needed extra maintenance but we cleaned the filters after each tour and replaced them per the service manual specs.

We will no longer be conducting tours, the bikes are too unreliable and constantly breaking down.  Seasonal use and not even two years old.

We purchased two Honda TRX 250's in 2005 and they have never, ever broken down after 8 years in the outback.

My point here is be careful what you purchase and do a lot of research before purchasing.

Thanks
Kim
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Laverton Luck


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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Banjo on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 11:25 am

Wow, sounds like a major design flaw and should of been addressed with a recall instead of using silicon and crossing your fingers, very poor form on Polaris's behalf.

Thanks for the heads-up, also on the report on the reliability of the Honda gear Very Happy

Darren

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Laverton Luck on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 11:36 am

Hi Darren
You are more than welcome.
I purchased these bikes in 2012 from Polaris Central in Perth and by 2014 we have had 5 out of 6 bikes with some major issues, two are totally broken down.

Foolishly I purchased these bikes because I was lead to believe they would do the job, not so.

The Hondas are brilliant and Can Am offered to look at these bikes but I need to go through the process of Consumer Affairs and Dept Fair Trading first.

Polaris wanted me to take the Bikes back to the dealer and told me I would be charged for them to look at them. Obviously $80,000 of product doesn't get you goodwill at all, or any warranty, it is not good.

Cheers
Kim
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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Bignuggs on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 11:48 am

Wise words. do you research before buying and there are times you really need to read the fine print, especially with the warranty.

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Laverton Luck on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 11:56 am

Yes Bignuggs, you are dead right. Really doing a sound research may have provided a different outcome. A hugely expensive mistake.
Cheers
Kim
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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 12:11 pm

if u want to get rid of the 2 bangers Kim i'll give u 2 cartons of beer and i'll get them trucked to Karratha.

regards
oneday

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by martinjsto on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 12:31 pm

i always read up and research all major purchases now and would rather wait and go without than buy first only to find the common known issues when in use. the forums are great and the whirlpool forum is a great place to start for a lot of items, not much on polaris ATV's which is actually a good thing with whirlpool. most makes has a forum associated now a days ie.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

i usually try to go to independent sites like

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

reading up they seem to have a relatively good rep but your situation seems to shows otherwise.
cheers for the heads up and I hope they make good for you.




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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Wedgetail on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 1:50 pm

Kim,

This bit here from Polaris is bull*,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,If the air filter becomes plugged with dust, the vacuum of the engine will suck in dust from an alternative location,. By the time an air filter on an engine is THAT blocked the engine will be playing up something shocking. Engines these days are very finely tuned and subject to all sorts of emission control equipment, especially if they are used in the USA. Consequently, any form of reduction in air flow creates havoc with the fuel injection or carburettor systems. The engine would have played up and practically stopped long before it "blew the bottom end" out of the bike.

Besides which, if this "plug" is on the bottom end of the bike that has nothing at all to do with the air that flows through the fuel systems air filter - especially on a four-stroke engine. It's possible on a two-stroke but not likely as the engine would have stopped by then.

Poor excuses from Polaris is what I reckon. Plus what's different about dust in WA when compared to dust in the Sahara Desert, the plains of Mongolia or the gold areas around Nevada? bull* is what it is. It's supposed to be a bush bike isn't it!

BUT - I will say that as an ex-mechanic, I would be cleaning out air filters at least very two days in these conditions.

If you want to dispose of the bike I can get them collected from Lav to Leo in a few days - wherein I may be able to fix them but no promises. Check your PMs

HTH


Wedgetail


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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Wedgetail on Wed 24 Dec 2014, 1:52 pm

PS - I try and buy Honda wherever I can, cars, generators, lawnmowers etc. HONDA - best in the world - FULL STOP.

Wedgetail


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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Dozer on Thu 25 Dec 2014, 7:41 am

The dust here in the outback is different (finer and hygroscopic) and does cause problems, but that is no excuse for a design issue.
The key words to remember in all your dealings with Polaris are
"fit for purpose"
If the product does not meet this criteria it is up to the manufacturer to put it right. Whether that happens or not depends on how long your patience is and how deep your pockets are.
Back to the dust issue however, any water getting into the air filter system will turn the dust into a mud that will in turn distort any paper air filter as it dries. Air can then be sucked around the filter which in a short time will allow dust in and eventually the motor will die.
Always have a spare filter on hand and if there is the slightest doubt about the integrity of the filter throw it away. Wherever possible driving through bulldust should be avoided and please remember to clean paper filters from the inside out as it will prolong the life of the filter. Plastic housings for filters are easily distorted and any gap, no matter how small is a "dusted motor" waiting to happen. Silicone is not a substitute for the correct seal and should only be an emergency/temporary fix.
Sorry about the lecture but I don't like seeing motors killed from dusting.

Dozer


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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Fri 26 Dec 2014, 3:59 am

Ingestion of dust into any engine will create a situation of excessive wear to internal parts, I have seen many engines from brushcutters, chainsaws, generators and even 4wd engines wrecked by sucking dust internally, mixed with the oil it becomes like fine grinding paste and just wears internal parts away.

But having said that many of the engines I have seen and what we call "dusted out" have ended up this way simply from lack of maintenence, invariably due to air filters being left clogged and as they state the engine will just suck in the dust particles from another source, if the ingestion is from around the intake manifold or base of the filter, the fine dust particles will enter the compression chamber mixing with the fuel/air mix and will create excessive top end wear, particularly with the piston, cylinder and rings and also the valve guides.

If the engine in ingesting the dust through another source into the crank case of the engine, not seeing the engine I can only assume where from? if its managing to get into the crank case it will of course mix with the oil and cause rapid wear of the bottom end componenets such as,con rod top and bottom bearings, gudgeon pin, big end bearings etc

The wear is very agressive and rapid, if each time the engine is used and in between services of the filter, and the engine is able to ingest the dust it may only have to be a small quantity each time and the engine will suffer wear until the point where it loses compresion and then it of course is hard to start, wont idle, runs rough and the effects of the wear become apparent, so the damage done might have happened simply over a period of time rather than only on one or two occasions.

Many machines that are built outside of Australia are of course designed for the conditions of the country they are made in, our conditions and the areas we operate in are some of the worst in the world and a lot of the gear that comes here gets wrecked, I have seen it a lot with brushcutters and chainsaws etc where they are also designed to meet stringent anti pollution laws in other countries and they are fitted with fixed jets in the carbies that cant be altered without removing protective covers and caps or without modifying the jet size they cant be tuned properly, they work as they should in the temperatures and air conditions of the country of manufacture or for where they are being mainly sold but do not do well in our climate.

I am surprised to hear you have had these isssue with Polaris as they are are seen here as pretty much the "ducks guts" in quads etc and seem to have a better reputation than a lot of other brands, and that they are not trying harder to placate you as their reputation is at stake, in reality they should be investigating teh exact cause of the problem to make sure that there machines are not affected by a design flaw, if your machines are doing it then there are other users out there that will be experiencing the same issues as well.

If you can be sure that you have been doing the right thing service wise and you are certain that the ingestion of the dust is from another source due to a design fault then you should have a strong case against them, firstly see if you can find another operator who is using the same machines and experiencing the same sorts of issues as you are, and get people on side that are having issues and then put the information back in the polaris dealers hands, suggestion of a class action by yourselves and the other operators might see them coming to the party, you can be sure that if they have been having issues all along and have been dealing with other operators the same way as thay are dealing with you then this might motivate them to resolve your issues and to remedy the cause.

It may be that modifications to the air intake such as done with 4wds, like the safari snorkel system or fitting of a pre filter mounted higher up on the outside might be the answer, but if you purchased the machines here you would just assume that they would be good in our conditions, if the dealers did not warn you of any modifications being necessary to avoid these issues and they were aware of it then you have another ace up your sleevs as well.

au-fever

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by NuggieDreamer on Sat 27 Dec 2014, 1:39 am

I would be interested to know what model machine you are complaining about so I can do some research for you and some American Forums I drop in on.

Dealing with Polaris here in Australia (KTM Perth) or overseas can be two different things from my experience with racing dirt bikes over the years (I have had my share of 'dusted' engines too). Forget trying to get any warranty on a racing machine after it leaves the shop, basically without a crying match!

Sounds like they are just pointing out the maintenance on the machines wasn't up to their level of attention and putting the blame back on the consumer and that maybe your model has a different designed airbox than a Honda and has its own pros and cons (small snorkle type airbox entrance). Sure Honda probably make a decent farm Quad but it has no comparison in performance with a Polaris with the same engine size. That's why you bought them, no? Why a mechanic would say a bad seal on the bottom end would ingest extra air when the air filter starts to clog has got me stumped (unless that breather gets blocked/kinked?) Most engine breathers connect to the carburetor intake to re-burn crankcase gasses why pressures would get so high to suck passed the seal sounds a bit far fetched.  

If your filters are being caked with dust before they are getting changed at reasonable intervals for the conditions you are experiencing, then there needs to be a re-think to find the issue that needs to be addressed.

I would be blaming the dealer who sold you the bikes for not prepping them for your business use and the persons maintaining them between services for not picking up the clogged filter issue, changing them more often or fitting the filters correctly. (KTM's can be a bugger to seat the filter properly, maybe this is the case with the model Polaris you have too, No? I always felt around the mating surface for gaps and never trusted the filter retaining spring clip)

Often desert racers resort to siliconing up seams and joints in the airbox before an event, heavily grease the foam filter mating surfaces, use a decent oil based sticky filter oil and pool skimmer basket pre-filters (pantyhose) on or modify airbox openings collect cleaner air to prolong filter life on bikes with open less restricted airboxes.
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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Sat 27 Dec 2014, 6:44 am

never had a problem with quads being dusted--mainly due to the fact that we never ride up each others ass..however with the dry blower well that is a completely different kettle of fish,

had a pre filter and a paper filter in a second housing and I still dusted a (Honda) motor--the fortunate part is that these motors and there images are easily repaired..yep piston and ring-s. bearings and head gasket.

There is a very good lesson to be learnt--clean your air filter every week when in use regardless and if using a dry blower --every bloody day.

Going to modify the air intake of the dry blower as to allow a larger amount of air to be available through a much larger filter--Paper and dry..

I wouldn't use oiled filters on a bike in very dusty conditions, but I would clean them very regularly.

surely one can get after market parts for Polaris engines of the net and do a rebuild -- give it a quick hone if not scored--in most cases its the rings that shitt themselves and the bearings --the head is usually still good to go.

regards
oneday

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Laverton Luck on Sun 28 Dec 2014, 9:19 am

Thanks Everybody!

Oneday- Thanks for your offer but I don't drink!! The two Hondas never had a problem since 2005 in the same conditions so I am obviously pleased with their performance. Our customers were told to ride a distance from each other but when we were filming we would try and get the bikes closer together or when it was a crawling speed.

Martinjsto- Thank you for the links. I have been active on some of the bike forums and found out lots of useful information. There are places I can get parts so I may attempt to try and get the bikes fixed up.

Wedgetail- When I spoke to Polaris Australia they told me to take the bikes back to a dealer but I would be "charged for just looking at the bikes". The bikes ran out of warranty last June. Even though they were obviously aware of the problem with the dust I was told to use Polaris Genuine Oil, Filters etc... or I would have voided my warranty. They say you get what you pay for.

Dozer- You have a good point there. Polaris Central knew exactly what we wanted the bikes for and not once did they ever, ever mention "Extra" servicing. If you buy a product that is supposedly "fit for purpose" then you shouldn't have to be adding different filters, snorkels or what ever. I worked out the hours by the kilometres and it averaged at 16km's per hour. The bikes weren't abused, just thought I would add that.

AU-Fever- Thank you for your input. The bike filters etc... were changed as per service manual but we cleaned the filters after each tour by blowing the dust out from the inside out, cleaning the sleeve etc.. Again, at no time was I ever informed that I needed to do "Extra" maintenance, we just did it. I think it is obvious the dust was being sucked in through a faulty seal on the bikes because they siliconed them. The two particular bikes had been at Polaris Central in Perth from August 2013 til January 2014. We actually sent three bikes back in total. The two bikes that are broken down started okay when we got them back but when we used them in April on the first tour the problem was apparent again. They had brand new filters. The third bike wasn't even fixed, they just serviced it. After much perseverance they sent the part out and it was fixed but by doing so we voided the warranty on this particular bike. I should explain that we are 1000km's from Perth so freighting the bikes back and forth is very expensive.

NuggieDreamer- The reason I purchased the bikes is because I wanted 6 bikes for the tours. My first port of call was Honda but I had to spend a lot more to get the size bikes I was wanting. Polaris was cheaper and I had ridden one, they are a nice ride. The bikes are a nice ride but I don't recommend them for the Australian Conditions, you get what you pay for I think. I already know of two others in WA with the same problem. I very much doubt that Polaris will do anything about the bikes but it is good for people to be aware of the issues and to research carefully before spending their hard earned cash. Getting warranty from Polaris seems impossible. I would expect that Polaris Central, after spending $80,000 with them, would back me. Unless I was purchasing something they wouldn't answer my emails or return my calls.

I guess my point here is to just make people aware to do their research carefully before purchasing a quad bike for the Australian Conditions. I made a very costly mistake and I am only passing on my experience to others.

I have another question- What happens if you purchased a 2014 Polaris Buggy and it has a 2013 plate?
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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Sun 28 Dec 2014, 10:02 am

easy one --they should have discounted the price coz its out dated and secondly the warrantee starts from the day u brought it.

I would cut my losses and get rid of it while its still chugging along.

Maybe drop Polaris USA an email and tell em of the rough deal u have had etc etc.

regards
oneday

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Wedgetail on Sun 28 Dec 2014, 1:30 pm

Kim,

As per what "OneDay" says but put a link to this site in the email, plus any others on which you've been on this topic. A lot of manufacturers, politicians, celebs etc just don't seem to get the depth and social penetration of the internet. Much to their dismay occasionally.

Wedgetail


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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 3:41 pm

YEP --EXTENDED WARRANTEE--they might b a bit complicated for u to drive no matter what year they were made in.

i always have a good deal for genuine punters that want to have a go prospecting.

must admit--cant compete with the idiot going broke in the East--


sounds like polaris need a few mods to be done in 2015 to their quads--

regards
oneday

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Bignuggs on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 3:42 pm

Wedgetail wrote:Kim,

As per what "OneDay" says but put a link to this site in the email, plus any others on which you've been on this topic. A lot of manufacturers, politicians, celebs etc just don't seem to get the depth and social penetration of the internet. Much to their dismay occasionally.


Les take this on board real quick and I'm sure Martin and Ray will back me up here. do not use this forum to back up your arguments.
If you have a disagreement with a manufacturer or retailer, we are not responsible in any way.
You can discuss what ever you like within reason, but don't drag the forum into it.
I kid you not.

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

Post by Guest on Mon 05 Jan 2015, 5:16 pm

I don't think any more than what Kim has already done will rectify the bikes.
All correspondence is for her to deal with.

everything said on this forum is said "WITHOUT PREDJUCE"..

We are a gold forum and we will keep it that way..The info on here is for members and that's the way we like it.
Active members are free to voice their opinions and those that don't even give us the time of day after 12 months of being a member --we boot.

So don't get hot under the collar coz its hot enough outside -- I'm sure as this sarger draws on, Kim will keep everyone informed ...

regards
oneday

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Re: Polaris Quad Bikes and Aussie Dust

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