Project Polaris RZR Kicks Off
Keeping the Utility in a UTV
We have had great fun with the utility terrain/rough terrain vehicles (UTV's), watching the market grow and change. The racing scene is absolutely exploding with all forms of UTV racing. Long Travel and extreme UTV builds are everywhere. Even here at Off-Road.com, we have fallen in love with several, starting with our our first test of the Yamaha Rhino. So much so that our fearless leader bought the thing out of the press fleet, so he could keep it! Now, our latest "favorite project" is the 2008 Ranger RZR.
After a long-term review of this UTV, we have decided to start a RZR project - but not a long-travel extreme build. We want a side-by-side that we can continue to use for light-duty work around the farm during the week and then hit the trail with on the weekends. We think this build will be something the average UTV owner would like to duplicate. We want to extend the functionality of the RZR and make it more fun and safe for the weekend UTV Rally, weekend trip to the off-road park, or even the sand dunes.
Now don't get us wrong - we can appreciate quite a few of the extreme RZR builds we've seen. We just feel that most of them have lost their basic utility useability and the machines have become single-purpose. They have also often gone beyond the budget of the average owner. Since we are Off-Road.com and not Chrome-It-Out.com, we will try to keep our RZR multi-purpose - but we do want it to stand out from the crowd. It must look good and perform as well, without losing its all-around functionality.
To start the project we will be swapping out the factory wheels and tires. We are aware of potential stability issues with this small vehicle (yeah, we admit it. We HAVE tipped it over on it's side at least once already...) so we want to add some width to our RZR, which will give it some more stability and at the same time dramatically change the look of our RZR. We have chosen some 12" Motosport Alloys, the new M6 Nuke wheel, and we will wrap some Maxxis Big Horn radials around them. Watch for this in the next few weeks, as we show you the before and after and tell you just how well they work. We will keep our stock wheels and tires for those adventures where we may need a stock width 50" RZR.
Next we will add just a little more performance to our RZR. No, we don't really need more performance during the week but for the weekend trips it is a must for the "fun factor." We have a new dual exhaust on the way from DMC and we will show you just how to install this dual exhaust on your RZR and then report on how well it works. In conjunction we will add a DMC EFI controller to optimize performance with the dual exhaust.
We are still formulating phase three and beyond, but we have some things in mind:
- Removable windshield for cold weather use
- Suspension seats for more comfort and safety
- Operable doors for easier access and safety
- Mirrors for better viability
- High performance replacement shocks
- Bumpers and trail protection
- Hood scoop for looks
- Removable soft or hard top for weather protection
We plan to build our RZR into a Weekend Warrior that will stand out from the crowd, without breaking the budget, while retaining functionality for a little work during the week. Impossible? Well, keep checking back as we move forward with our Project RZR and let you know just how it goes.