Things You'll Need
Pen and paper
Polaris began manufacturing all-terrain vehicles, referred to as ATVs, in 1985. The Sportsman model was introduced in 1995 and now the name encompasses much of the line of Polaris four-wheel ATV's with many different models and options. The Polaris Sportsman uses the 17-character standard VIN format. The VIN is often required to obtain proper replacement parts from suppliers. Locate and decode the VIN to reveal specific information about your Polaris vehicle.
Locate the Vehicle Identification Number stamped on the left side frame rail. Look inside the left-front wheel well on the right side next to the fender. Use a brush to clean the surface and a flashlight to help read the VIN. Find the VIN tag welded to a tube in the front fender wheel well area on early Sportsman ATV's. Make a note of it for reference. The VIN can also be found on the vehicle's title.
Interpret the first two characters to find where the Sportsman was manufactured. The numbers 1 and 4 designate North America and X is for USA.
Interpret the third though eighth characters by entering the number in a VIN decoder found on the Internet. This will tell you the vehicle type, body style and engine type of your specific ATV. The ninth character is a check digit for mathematically verifying a VIN for legitimacy.
Interpret the 10th character to find the year the vehicle was manufactured. The letter S is used for 1995, T for 1996, V for 1997, W for 1998, X for 1999, Y for 2000. The number 1 is used for 2001, 2 for 2002, 3 for 2003, 4 for 2004, 5 for 2005, 6 for 2006, 7 for 2007, 8 for 2008 and 9 for 2009.
Interpret the 11th character through an Internet decoder site to find the plant code. You can also find it by contacting Polaris Industries.
Interpret the remaining six digits. This is the build sequence and serial number of the Polaris Sportsman.