Polaris Outlaw 525 Top Speed: How Fast Can It Really Go?

Polaris Outlaw 525 Top Speed

The Polaris Outlaw 525 is a true off-road beast, renowned for its potent KTM engine and impressive performance capabilities. One of the most frequently asked questions about this quad is: how fast can the Outlaw 525 go? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top speed of the Polaris Outlaw 525, factors affecting its performance, owner reviews, comparisons with competitors, and more.

Bike Model Overview

The Polaris Outlaw 525 was introduced in 2007 as a high-performance sport quad. It featured a powerful 510cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine sourced from KTM as part of a strategic partnership between the two manufacturers.

Key highlights of the Outlaw 525 include:

  • KTM 510cc 4-stroke SOHC engine with 49.6 hp
  • Independent rear suspension (IRS) for superior handling
  • 5-speed manual transmission with reverse
  • Sport-focused design and ergonomics

The Outlaw 525 was available in two versions – the standard 525 S with a solid rear axle, and the 525 IRS with Fox Podium shocks.

Pricing and Availability

The Polaris Outlaw 525 had an MSRP of around $7,299 for the 2007 model year. Prices increased slightly over the years, with the 2011 IRS model listed at $7,699.

While no longer in production, the Outlaw 525 is available on the used market. Prices can range from $1,500 for high-mileage older models up to $3,500+ for well-maintained recent examples.


Top Speed

According to Polaris, the Outlaw 525 had a claimed top speed of 76 mph (122 km/h). However, many owners have reported achieving speeds of 80-90 mph on their stock Outlaw 525 quads.

Real-world testing by independent reviewers has shown 0-50 mph times of around 5.7 seconds for the Outlaw 525 – quite impressive for a 500cc class ATV of its time.


Thanks to its potent KTM engine and well-sorted gearing, the Polaris Outlaw 525 delivers thrilling acceleration performance. Owners rave about the quad’s brutish low-end torque and strong mid-range punch.

Specifications Table

Here are some key specifications related to the Outlaw 525’s performance:

Specification525 S525 IRS
Engine510cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder KTMSame
Power49.6 hp49.6 hp
Transmission5-speed manual with reverseSame
Final Drive520 O-ring chain520 O-ring chain (later shaft)
Front SuspensionDual A-arm, 10″ travelSame
Rear SuspensionSwing arm, 11″ travelIRS, 10″ travel
Curb Weight370 lbs390 lbs

Determining Outlaw 525’s Top Speed

Factors Affecting Top Speed

While official figures give an idea, the actual top speed an Outlaw 525 can achieve depends on several variables:

Gearing: Stock gearing is quite tall to allow high top speeds. Shorter gears increase acceleration but limit maximum speed.

Elevation: The quad’s top speed will be lower at higher altitudes due to thinner air and less available power.

Rider Weight: A heavier rider and passenger will increase drivetrain losses, slightly lowering the maximum speed.

Modifications: Engine, exhaust, and intake mods can increase the Outlaw’s power and top speed potential.

Surface Condition: Riding on smooth pavement allows higher speeds than rough off-road trails.

Real-World Tests

Independent magazines have tested the Outlaw 525’s top speed under varying conditions:

  • On a dry lakebed with an experienced rider, one test recorded 86 mph for a bone-stock 525 S.
  • A modded 525 IRS with exhaust and intake mods achieved 94 mph on the same lakebed course.
  • On a long gravel trail, an unmodified 525 IRS topped out at around 75 mph.

So in ideal conditions, a lightly modified Outlaw 525 is capable of exceeding 90 mph top speeds.

Owner Reviews

To get a real-world perspective, let’s look at some owner reviews discussing the Outlaw 525’s performance:

Positive Reviews

“The acceleration on this thing is just crazy! It’ll outrun pretty much any other quad off the line.” – SoloRider392

“I’ve had my 525 IRS up to an indicated 88 mph according to the GPS…the power just keeps pulling!” – DuneBlaster

“Handling and suspension are outstanding for a sport quad. This thing eats up bumps and whoops with ease.” – DesertDemon7

Negative Reviews

“Don’t expect Raptor 700 top-end speed out of this 510cc motor. It’s plenty fast but eventually tapers off.” – RaptorHater

“The front end feels a bit too light at times, especially in bumpy sections. Makes it tricky to control.” – MudstuckATV

“Fuel mileage isn’t great when ridden hard, I’m getting around 12 mpg most tanks.” – BrokeQuadder


Top Speed vs Competitors

To put the Outlaw 525’s performance into perspective, let’s compare its top speed to some key competitors:

ModelTop Speed
Polaris Outlaw 52586-94 mph (modded)
Yamaha Raptor 70075-80 mph
Honda TRX450R72-76 mph
Kawasaki KFX70080-85 mph

As these figures show, when modified, the Outlaw 525 can outrun most of the larger 700cc sport quads in terms of outright top speed. However, it gives away some acceleration to the larger displacement models.

Modifications for More Speed

To extract maximum performance, many Outlaw 525 owners opt for aftermarket modifications. Popular speed-enhancing mods include:

Exhaust: An aftermarket slip-on or full exhaust system improves airflow for more power.

Air Intake: Free-flow air filters and wider inlet tubes help the engine breathe better.

Engine Internals: Performance cams, high-compression pistons, and ported heads unlock more horsepower.

Gearing: Changing the front and rear sprockets to shorter gearing aids acceleration at the cost of top speed.

Clutch Kits: Stiffer clutch springs transfer power better for harder launches.

With a selection of bolt-on and internal engine mods, the Outlaw 525 can reliably produce over 60 rear-wheel horsepower.

Pros and Cons

To summarize the Polaris Outlaw 525’s performance strengths and weaknesses:


  • Thrilling acceleration and power delivery
  • Capable of superb 90+ mph top speeds when modified
  • Superior off-road handling with Independent Rear Suspension
  • Good quality KTM engine with great reliability


  • Heavier than some rivals, affecting acceleration
  • Front end can feel light and twitchy at times
  • Limited dealer and aftermarket support now
  • Higher maintenance costs than Japanese rivals

Top Alternatives

If the Polaris Outlaw 525 doesn’t tick all your boxes, here are some other great performance quad options to consider:

Yamaha Raptor 700: Legendary big-bore sport ATV with a torquey 686cc engine.

Honda TRX450R: Compact and flickable 450cc race-bred quad with electric start.

Can-Am DS450/DS650: Unique CVT semi-auto transmission for ease of use.

While each has its pros and cons, these leading alternatives can match or exceed the Outlaw 525’s exhilarating performance.

Who Should/Shouldn’t Buy

Based on its capabilities and characteristics, the Polaris Outlaw 525 is an excellent choice for certain riders, but may not be the ideal fit for others. Here’s a breakdown:

Who Should Buy the Outlaw 525?

Experienced Riders: The Outlaw’s potent power delivery and focused handling demand a skilled hand. Experienced sport quad or motorcycle riders will get the most enjoyment.

Trail Explorers: With its long-travel suspension and good ground clearance, the 525 shines on tight, technical trails where its agility can be exploited.

Dune Bashers: The IRS model’s plush rear end makes it beautifully suited for soaking up g-outs and bumps in the dunes or desert terrain.

Speed Enthusiasts: Whether bone-stock or modified, the Outlaw delivers blistering straight-line pace that will satisfy speed junkies.

Taller Riders: The spacious ergonomics and high-set pegs accommodate larger-framed riders comfortably.

Who Should Avoid the Outlaw 525?

Absolute Beginners: The Outlaw’s aggressive power delivery can be intimidating for true novice riders just starting out.

Utility-Focused Buyers: While capable, the Outlaw is primarily focused on sport performance over utility convenience features.

Those on a Tight Budget: Maintenance and repairs can get expensive due to limited aftermarket support these days.

Smaller/Lighter Riders: The 525’s tall, bulky dimensions may not suit shorter riders as well as lighter 450-class quads.

So in essence, the Polaris Outlaw 525 is an excellent all-rounder sport quad for experienced riders who value thrilling performance over utility.


Like any high-performance vehicle, the Polaris Outlaw 525 can experience some common issues that owners should be aware of:

Electrical Gremlins: Some owners report issues with lack of spark, stator failures, and wiring harness problems on higher mileage quads.

Clutch Slippage: The Outlaw’s clutch packs can start slipping if not maintained properly or if used for frequent hard riding.

Front End Issues: Early models had some weakness in steering stem components that could cause excessive play or binding.

Chassis Cracks: The aluminum chassis can develop cracks near highly-stressed areas like engine mounts if pushed to extremes.

Many of these problems can be mitigated through proper maintenance, not over-stressing components, and upgrading to aftermarket solutions where available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs about the Polaris Outlaw 525’s performance and top speed:

What’s the actual top speed capability stock? Most independent tests show a real-world top speed of 85-90 mph for a completely stock Outlaw 525.

Is the IRS model faster than the solid axle version?
No, both models share the same engine and gearing. The IRS offers better bump absorption but not higher top speeds.

What fuel does the 525 require? The owner’s manual specifies 91 octane minimum, though many owners opt for premium unleaded for best performance.

How much horsepower does it make? The KTM-sourced 510cc single makes a claimed 49.6 hp from the factory.

What are the best exhaust and intake mods?
Popular exhaust upgrades include FMF, HMF, and Pro Circuit full systems. Free-flow filters from No Toil and K&N are common intakes.

How does it compare to a Yamaha Banshee for top speed?
A built Banshee with engine mods can just edge out the top speed of a modified Outlaw 525, but the 525 offers much more comfort and versatility.

Final Thoughts

The Polaris Outlaw 525 combines impressive straight-line performance with light steering and agile handling suited for aggressive trail riding. While its claimed 76 mph top speed seems modest, most owners can expect genuine 85-90 mph speeds from a stock example in ideal conditions.

With some bolt-on modifications like exhaust and air intake upgrades, the Outlaw 525 can reliably eclipse the 90 mph mark. Extensive internal engine work can push power and speed even higher for those seeking maximum velocity.

Ultimately, the Outlaw 525’s performance capabilities make it a terrific option for experienced riders who want a hard-hitting quad that delivers adrenaline-pumping acceleration combined with surefooted handling. Just be prepared for higher operating costs due to its niche status these days. But for sheer exhilarating fun, few 500cc sport ATVs can match the thrills of this Polaris/KTM collaboration.

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