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Rocks and Ruts Project Polaris RZR First Look

Discussion in 'Project RZR First Look' started by bluesmanjesse, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    Rocks and Ruts Project Polaris RZR First Look

    rzr_4.jpg

    The Inspiration behind this Project RZR is to showcase what can be done to a RZR to make it a better machine for an individual riding style. I have seen dozens of RZR projects on television, magazines, and the internet but it seems like all of those builds are geared towards sand dune style riding. They typically put on long arm suspension, a turbo charger, paddle tires, etc., and while these are all great modifications for dune riding they would render your RZR nearly useless for the tight woods trail style riding most of us in the eastern half of the US enjoy. After all the original design and selling point of the RZR was a 50" wide trail legal machine designed for serious trail blasting fun. Polaris accomplished this in spades and now the RZR has been transformed into many purpose built versions for various styles of riding. While the RZR XP is great for wide open fire roads and dune riding it can be a fish out of water on tight woods trails. We want to make our RZR a tough, reliable machine that will conquer any trail condition we throw at it while keeping its narrow, nimble, trail carving footprint in mind. So while many have forgotten the 50" RZR 800 in favor of "bigger, better, faster", I plan to show just how good a standard RZR 800 can be with a few carefully selected modifications. The aftermarket is being flooded every day with new products designed for the RZR line and it is a testament to how popular these machines have become.


    rzr_2.jpg

    Our Project RZR already had a few modifications when we bought it and most of them will remain in place. It had a set of 26" tires on 14" wheels which help with ground clearance a little and it already has a clutch kit installed to compensate for the upgraded tires as well. It also had a set of rock sliders and some bumpers so we will focus our efforts on other areas that need improvement. First we must decide what exactly we want to do with the RZR to adapt it for our intended purpose. Most of our riding will be done in places with tight woods trails, technical rocky type terrain, and an occasional dose of mud for good measure. With that in mind one of the very first things that is a necessity for that style of riding is a good winch, the old saying "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it" certainly applies to a winch. The first time you find yourself precariously teetering on a rock ledge or fender deep in a sticky mud hole without a winch you would be willing to pay double the MSRP and throw in an arm and a leg for a winch at that moment.

    rzr_1.jpg


    Next if we are going bashing our way through rocky creek beds and crawling over tight trails with extreme break-over angles a quality set of skid plates is a must! The factory skid plate is fine for light duty use but anything beyond that you will find it will quickly start to resemble the old plastic garbage can your neighbor should have thrown away 5 years ago. The factory CV boot protection is downright laughable, if I were the engineer that designed those I would fire myself! Because of this, we will be adding a full set of skid plates from Ricochet Offroad to protect the RZR's underside.


    rzr_3.jpg


    Now that we have the belly of the beast protected some protection for the rider and passenger becomes a priority. A full day in the elements riding can take a toll on the riders and if you're two days into a five day riding trip you want to focus on having fun not on your sunburn or worrying about the guy on the dirt bike in front of you roosting gravel and dirt in your face. So with these things in mind we will look to add a roof and windshield to the RZR, almost any new RZR owner will find these items at the top of their list after their first ride. We may also look into some additional comfort items as well.


    rzr_5.jpg

    The RZR runs and handles great in stock form but there is always room for improvement. In its most basic terms an engine is a big air pump and the more air you can get in, mix with fuel, then expel, the more power you will make. The best and most logical place to start is with the exhaust system to let the engine exhale a little better and also give the RZR a little more growl, this may facilitate the need for a fuel controller to keep our air to fuel ratio optimal for best performance. Another area where the RZR is lacking in a big way is storage, it has virtually none from the factory, we plan to do rides at places like Hatfield McCoy where you can pack up in the morning and ride all day, and you really need dry storage for all of your gear on rides like this. Another requirement for these long rides is the ability to carry extra fuel so we will try to address that need as well.


    rzr_6.jpg

    The RZR is known to have a few weak points on the frame and with enough abuse you will find those weak points, many aftermarket companies offer shock tower braces, gusset kits, etc. to deal with this issue so we will be looking to address that need as well. If you are like me and have an uncanny ability to break things it's a good idea to add a little insurance so you don't find yourself broken on a trail side somewhere. Lastly we can't have an awesome trail machine like this and leave it looking all plain Jane; we will be looking at ways to add a little style and visual pop to the Project RZR as well.



    Our hope is that this Project will inspire RZR owners and help them decide what modifications to add to their machines to make their vehicle perform at its best. We also hope to showcase how easy it is to customize your SxS to suit your needs with all the aftermarket products on the market for the RZR now. I suspect as the popularity of UTV's continues to skyrocket the aftermarket will continue to offer exciting and innovative products to meet the needs of enthusiasts like all of us here at RocksandRuts.



    The first modification we made before hitting the trails in the RZR was to add a UTV inc sealed air intake to eliminate the dusting problem that is notorious with the early RZRs. The install write up can be found here! The review of the system can be read here!

    utv_inc_rzr_reveal.jpg



    Next up we added a set of Ricochet Offroad Armor skid plates to protect the underside of the RZR. You can read our installation article on them here! And our review of them here!
    ric_reveal.jpg



    After the skids were installed we added a parking brake from Pawltector. You can read the installation article here!
    pawltector_reveal.jpg




    Next up was the addition of a set of MSA M20 Kore Wheels and EFX Moto MTC Tires. You can read about our initial impressions of this setup here! You can read our 1st ride report here! Then head over and read our ride review here!
    msa_report_5.jpg


    Our friends over at Racer Tech sent us a set of their springs to beef up the suspension a bit. You can read our installation article for them here! You can also read our review for them here!
    rt_spring_review_4.jpg



    Next up we added a Roll Cage Extension kit from Racer Tech. You could read our installation article and first impressions here!
    rt_spring_review_5.jpg

     
    #1
  2. Butch450

    Butch450 Administrator
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    Good luck with the build Jesse. I can't wait to see the final result!
     
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  3. gwrrzr800

    gwrrzr800 Member

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    Oh great like I need help finding items to my wish list! LOL. Lookin forward to seeing what you come up with Jesse!”
     
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  4. sooflyfisher

    sooflyfisher Member

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    cant wait to see how this goes! good luck!
     
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  5. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    I'm looking forward to helping you spend your money Greg,lol.

    Honestly I'm really looking forward to this project!
     
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  6. liquid1

    liquid1 Member

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    WOW, Hope you got sponsers sending you products.. Way to go jesse, Good write up..Get that RZR outlaw proof..:clap:
     
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  7. Hammer

    Hammer Moderator
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    i'll be excited to see how this goes, Jesse. maybe you can get Greg to build you some custom pieces now that he has one too!
    will this buggy be gracing us at the fall WV ride? we'll be glad to help you isolate those "weak points"!
     
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  8. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    I hope to be in WV this fall Jack, I'm saving my pesos now ;)
     
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  9. thegrizz

    thegrizz Administrator
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    Good luck with the project. Brings back memories when I did mine.
     
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  10. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    I can only hope that mine comes out that good!
     
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  11. liquid1

    liquid1 Member

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    Yea I agree Jesse, after riding behind Gary for almost a day..His rzr was a bad arse machine..:headbang:..I Liked the Atv torture scheme too..
     
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  12. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Site Supporter

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    Im diggin' the machine and the color choice... got my vote :great:
     
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  13. Jfer

    Jfer Site Supporter

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    Sounds like a great beginning. Looking forward to the build.
     
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  14. MattN03

    MattN03 Site Supporter

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    Build projects are always fun to follow along!
     
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  15. MTGRIZZ700

    MTGRIZZ700 Member

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    I know a few guys around where i ride and they put some new springs on theres I believe they r King springs but not to sure on that but they said it make them handle alot beter and igive them a little bit of a lift as well not much though and then also take the sway bars off as well lol but looks like a great project
     
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  16. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    The rear sway bar was off when I got the RZR, not sure yet if I need any lift, I don't wanna scew up the handling but, I'm open minded about anything if it makes the RZR a more capable machine!
     
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  17. DLB

    DLB Site Supporter

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    Looks like a fun project. Looking forward to seeing what all you do.
     
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  18. ponti1

    ponti1 Site Supporter

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    Good luck on the build! Will be watching the progress from the sidelines for sure!
     
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  19. jeep98

    jeep98 Member

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    should be a fun build what year is your rzr and how many miles on it ?
     
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  20. bluesmanjesse

    bluesmanjesse Moderator
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    The RZR is an '08 with about 1400 miles on it, just broken in,lol.
     
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