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2006-2013 Sportsman 500 Wheel and Brake System Inspection and Tire Rotation

Required Tools and Supplies

  • 15mm Socket
  • T20 TORX® Socket
  • Torque Wrench
  • Breaker Bar
  • Brake Rotor Measurement Tool
  • Brake Pad Measurement Tool
  • Flashlight
  • Brake Fluid
  • Tread Depth Gauge
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Safety Glasses
  • Nitrile Gloves

To learn more about tools, read the Tools and Fasteners Guide. Always wear safety glasses and nitrile gloves when servicing your vehicle.

To inspect the wheels and brake system and perform a tire rotation on your Sportsman 500, follow these steps:

1. Take a close look at each tire. 

  • Verify there is sufficient tread depth. Tires should be replaced once they reach 1/8 inch (3 mm) of tread depth.
  • Inspect for damage that may compromise the integrity of the tire.
  • Inspect the tire pressure and verify it is set to specification. Reference the Owner’s Manual or tire pressure label on your vehicle for the correct specs.
  • Take a close look at how the tires are wearing. If there is irregular wear, it may be time for a rotation.

2. Inspect the fluid level and condition in the master cylinder, located on the left handlebar. Tip: A flashlight can be used to illuminate the reservoir in dark areas.

3. If fluid is needed, clean the area with a clean cloth. 

4. Remove the two cover fasteners with a T20 TORX® socket.

5. Lift the cover and diaphragm off and set both aside. Warning: Do not allow brake fluid to contact painted surfaces or paint damage may occur.

6. Add fluid as needed. Do not overfill. 

7. Reinstall the diaphragm, cover, and fasteners. Torque the fasteners to 7 in-lbs (0.79 Nm).

8. On X2 models, lift the cargo box up before continuing.

9. Lift up on the rear of the seat and pull back to remove.

10. Inspect the fluid level and condition in the rear brake reservoir near the airbox. Add fluid as needed. Tip: A flashlight can be used to illuminate the reservoir in dark areas.

11. Reinstall the seat by aligning the front retaining tabs and pushing down in the rear.

12. On X2 models, lower the cargo box and ensure it is secured.

13. Remove the wheels from the vehicle. 

14. Begin by loosening the lug nuts while the vehicle is on the ground using a 15mm socket with breaker bar. Do not remove them at this time.

15. Safely elevate the vehicle. Reference your Owner’s Manual for proper lifting techniques.

16. Once safely elevated, remove the lug nuts and set aside. 

17. Remove the wheels and set aside. 

18. Follow the front brake lines from the front reservoir to the front junction block in the center of the chassis frame and in front of the fuel tank. 

19. Follow the lines all the way to the front calipers, looking for any leaks, kinks or damage. Also ensure the brake line retainers are properly secured.

20. Inspect the connections at the front brake calipers for leaks.

21. Look at the brake pads and rotors. Warning: Always allow the brakes to cool completely before inspecting to prevent the risk of burns.

22. Check the brake pad thickness using a suitable tool. Be sure to check the thickness on the inside pads as well and replace any pads that are worn beyond their minimum thickness of 0.180 inches (4.6 mm).

23. Use a brake rotor measuring tool to measure the thickness of the brake rotors and replace if worn below the minimum thickness. The front rotors should measure 0.140 inches (3.556 mm). The rear rotors of X2 and Touring models should measure 0.170 inches (4.318 mm), while the other models' rear rotors should measure 0.178 inches (4.52 mm).

24. Follow the brake lines back to the rear of the vehicle, checking for leaks, kinks and damage. 

25. Inspect the connections at the junction block for leaks.

26. Follow the brake line to the rear brake calipers, looking for leaks, kinks and damage. Also ensure the brake line retainers are properly secured.

27. Inspect the rear brake calipers and connections for leaks. 

28. If inspection reveals any concerns, do NOT attempt to drive the vehicle. See your authorized Polaris Service Center. 

29. Once the brake system has been inspected, the tires can be rotated and reinstalled. Note: Due to different configurations, some wheels may not be able to be rotated. Always pay attention to all markings and directional indicators on the tires. 

30. Rotate the wheels as needed based on wheel configuration. 

  • Install the wheels on the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts until fully seated.
  • Once installed, safely lower the vehicle until the tires begin to touch the ground. This will help keep the wheels in place when torquing. 
  • Once lowered, torque the lug nuts on steel wheels to 27 ft-lbs (37 Nm) or aluminum wheels to 90 ft-lbs (122 Nm) in a crisscross pattern. 
  • Finally, lower the vehicle completely.

For more information, see your authorized Polaris Dealer. Find a dealer near you with the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.

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