The Polaris Magnum 425 was a utility ATV produced by Polaris from 1995 to 1998.
It was one of the first Polaris quads to ever hit the market, following shortly after the first Polaris Trail Boss that debuted in 1990.
While it only saw a four-year production run, it was extremely popular among off-road enthusiasts and was looked at as one of the most durable, dependable quads you could find at the time.
And had it not been for the arrival of the first Polaris Sportsman in 1996, there’s no telling how long the production of the Magnum 425 would’ve carried on.
This guide will offer the full rundown on the Polaris Magnum 425, including:
- Specs & key features
- Performance and top speed
- Value and what to consider when buying a used model
- Common problems experienced with this model
Polaris Magnum 425 Models
Similar to the Polaris Magnum 330 that came along after it, the Polaris Magnum 425 featured two different models – a 2×4 and a 4×4.
Aside from the different drive modes and a few other minor differences, the two were almost identical in every other way.
Both models are well known for being built tough, having a reliable powertrain, and offering easy handling and impressive power for their class.
They’re not all that easy to find these days, as there were only so many produced in their four years of production all those years ago.
If you’ve come across a used model, you’ll probably recognize that they don’t have many of the accessories or impressive features that more modern quads have.
But don’t let that fool you, as the Magnum 425 is just as capable in most areas provided you treat them right and know their limits.
And you can find some great values on used models, as we’ll get to later on.
But first, let’s have a look at the Magnum 425’s specs, key features, and performance.
Specs, Key Features, & Performance
Engine & Drivetrain
The Magnum 425 is powered by a 425 cc single-cylinder engine with an power output of around 34 HP.
Even as older machines, you’ll find that the engines in these models live up to the Polaris standard of reliability.
While it can be a little loud, the motor is counterbalanced to cut down on the engine vibration.
The engine offers excellent low-eng grunt, giving the 4×4 models the ability to power up the steepest hills or through the toughest terrain.
They may not do it quickly, but they’ll rarely fail to conquer whatever you throw at them.
The air-fuel mixture is determined by a 34 mm Mikuni carburetor like many ATVs of the 90’s and early 2000’s.
The carburetor is the source of many common issues for these older machines, but if kept clean and jetted properly, shouldn’t be much of a concern.
Both models make use of a shaft drive, which powers only the rear wheels in the 2×4 and all four in the 4×4 when desired.
The 4×4 offers push-button engage four-wheel drive via a switch on the handlebar, making for easy transitioning in and out of two-wheel or four-wheel drive.
The fully automatic CVT transmission cuts out the need to make manual shifts and offers both a Low and High gear, along with Reverse.
|34 HP (approximate)
|34mm Carburetor (Mikuni)
|3.5 US Gallons
|Selectable 2WD/4WD, Shaft Drive
|Fully Automatic CVT w/ High/Low/Reverse
The suspension system is the same system used in many of the early Polaris ATV models, with a Macpherson strut front suspension and a progressive rate swingarm rear suspension.
This suspension set-up does an excellent job of soaking up chop in the terrain, and offers excellent wheel travel for a utility ATV with 6.25 inches in front and 8.5 inches in the rear.
While it does sit low as a utility vehicle, the Magnum 425 offers sufficient ground clearance to clear rocks, logs, and ruts.
While you’ll want to keep obstacles within reason, the low-end power this quad offers enables it to crawl up and over pretty much anything as long as you can keep it from bottoming out.
The 2×4 model offers a slightly better turning radius than that of the 4×4, but both can turn tight enough that trail riding isn’t tricky.
|65 in (4×4), 60 in (2×4)
|Progressive Rate Swingarm
|Front – 6.25 inches, Rear – 8.5 inches
Tires & Brakes
The Magnum 425 4×4 and 2×4 models were equipped with different size tires to account for different types of riding.
The 4×4 was fitted with 25 inch tires in the front and rear, while the 2×4 was fitted with 23 inch tires in front and 24 inch tires in the rear.
For those looking to take advantage of this quad’s ability to crawl basically anything and tackle deeper mud, you’ll likely want to swap in some higher quality tires if this hasn’t already been done.
There are hydraulic disc brakes in the front and rear controlled by a single-lever and a mechanical auxiliary foot brake.
|Front Tires (4×4)
|25 x 8-12
|Front Tires (2×4)
|23 x 7-10
|Rear Tires (4×4)
|25 x 12-10
|Rear Tires (2×4)
|24 x 11-10
|Front Brake Type
|Rear Brake Type
The Magnum 425 features the bulky, boxy build of an older utility style ATV.
But it’s still compact enough to fit into the bed of a standard pickup truck and ride on tighter trails.
At a dry weight of 595 or 534 lbs depending on the model, it’s a bit on the heavier side for its class making it harder to handle for smaller riders.
But this weight and its wide, lower stance offer it good stability when out riding trails.
|595 lbs. (4×4), 534 lbs (2×4)
Polaris Magnum 425 Top Speed
As a utility ATV, the Polaris Magnum 425 is built more for trail riding and work tasks with its excellent low end torque.
But don’t let that fool you, as these quads do offer decent recreational appeal for what they’re built for.
Aside from making good trail options, the Polaris Magnum 425 can reach a top speed of between 50 – 55 mph for those still in good condition.
Polaris Magnum 425 Value
The following table shows the original list prices and current-day average retail values of each Magnum 425 model according to JDPower.
|Year, Make & Model
|Average Retail Price
|1995 Polaris Magnum 425
|1996 Polaris Magnum 425
|1997 Polaris Magnum 425
|1998 Polaris Magnum 425
As you can see, most used models can be had for between $600 and $800.
Many in that range may need some light mechanical work and potential replacement parts to have them running at peak, but once there they make for excellent all-around quads.
Common Polaris Magnum 425 Problems
Despite being looked at as durable and dependable, there are some common Polaris Magnum 425 problems these models tend to suffer from all these years later, including:
- Extreme exhaust heat burning legs and melting plastics
- Camshaft known to go bad
- Hard starting, stalling, and backfiring due to carburetor
Extreme Exhaust Heat
The main complaint with the Magnum 425 is a design flaw with the exhaust/muffler being located too close to the plastics.
This leads to the plastics becoming so hot while riding that it can be uncomfortable on riders’ legs, and in extreme cases can melt the plastics.
The exhaust usually only gets hot enough for this to happen if driving slowly for prolonged periods during hot days.
To combat this, you should wrap the exhaust/muffler in heat wrap.
Camshaft Going Bad
The camshaft on these older quads is also prone to wearing down and giving out, which will lead to the valves not opening and closing correctly.
This will usually lead to reduced engine performance and repeated backfiring.
Preventing this really just comes down to changing the oil regularly. Using a synthetic oil or Polaris specific oil will help as well.
While the carburetor in the Magnum 425 does offer some advantages over modern EFI, it is known to cause issues such as hard starting, rough idling, stalling, and backfiring.
Many times you’ll just need to clean your carburetor and the jets within it, as they’re prone to becoming clogged with sludge over time.
But you also may need to re-jet your carburetor to ensure the air to fuel mixture is correct.
Even all of these years later, the Polaris Magnum 425 will still hold its own with some of the more modern 400 cc utility quads.
While most used models have seen better days at this point, for those who are willing to put in some work to get them running right again, they can make for excellent values once you do.
For more Polaris, check out the following before you go: