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Inside The Polaris ACE: An In Depth Analysis

Thinking about getting the Polaris ACE one-seater side-by-side? Are you weighing the options between the ACE models, comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of the ACE 325, ACE 570, and both the ACE 900 XC and 900 SP? Stick around, because in this post, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the Polaris ACE, identifying what makes this awesome machine tick, and outlining a few of the benefits and drawbacks of each edition. 

How Does The ACE Compare To The RZR?

Before we compare the four different types of Polaris ACEs, lets first draw some distinctions between the ACE and it’s bigger brother: the Polaris RZR.   

When juxtaposing the ACE 900 XC and the RZR 900S, one can see the differences right away. The RZR 900S makes 75hp, the 900 XC makes 78hp (that is, when it is properly upgraded and tuned with an integrated clutch, tuner, and exhaust). The RZR weighs 1204 lbs, and the ACE only weighs 1050 lbs. With more power and less weight it would seem obvious that the ACE must be faster than the 900S, but that ultimately depends on the final gearing and the aftermarket accessories installed. They both use the same motor,  but according to Polaris, The ACE SP can only output 60hp stock, which is considerably less power than the RZR 900 — especially in the sand.  

We have also come to understand that the latest 900's in both the RZR and the ACE use a single throttle body fuel injection system that is drive-by-wire. Consequently, there are huge gains to be had by switching to the older duel throttle body set-up, but some light fabrication is required to connect a throttle cable up. There are a few other things required to complete that conversion, but we’ll digress for now so we can touch on the differences between the Polaris ACE models. 

The ACE 900 VS The ACE 570: Which Is Superior?

Like with all UTVs and off-road vehicles in general, there is no clear winner between the ACE 900 and the ACE 570. The superior vehicle side-by-side is one that works best with your personal driving style and the conditions you ride. Do you creep through tight, technical, trails, or fly down open roads at high speeds? Are you looking for smooth rides and powerful bursts of acceleration, or something that can take you further on the same amount of gas — is it all about miles per gallon, or is a metric like smiles per gallon more appropriate? All ACE models are dependable, sturdy, and reliable, but if you want to optimize for your area and preferences, it’s good to know the differences between them. 

The trail edition ACE 900 XC, for example, uses significantly more fuel than it’s smaller-cylinder counterparts. The range in the 570cc ACE is about 130 miles, whereas you’ll likely get no more than 90 miles out of a single 900 tank. The ACE 900 also generates a bit more cab heat, which is why many ACE owners refrain from adding the lower doors to their machines — but you can also add two small pieces of foam pipe insulation under the dash to help block the heat. 

If the ride quality is your main concern, you may want to go with the 900 XC. I the 900 XC you can easily go 50-55mph in a sandy creek over 6" ruts and not feel much. The 900 XC suspension soaks up a lot of the smaller stuff when going slow as well. So in addition to having more power and twin cylinders, the 900cc ACE has better suspension. 

On a strictly horsepower basis, yes the ACE 900 is more powerful. But for many riders, the ACE 570 has more than enough power. Besides, you can only go so fast on trails anyway. Unless you plan on driving your ACE to work on the interstate, the top speed of the 570cc is likely fast enough. Because the 900 is more powerful, however, it can easily handle a hundred pounds of aftermarket accessories and gear, steep inclines, bigger tires, and strong headwinds. On the flip side, the 900 ACE is more expensive and harder on fuel, so it all boils down to what you deep to be important. The extra horsepower of the 900cc ACE might be totally unnecessary, or it might make a day of cruising 50-60mph effortless. 

ACE Wheelbase Widths: Does Size Really Matter?

Another key difference between the ACE 900 and the smaller ACE 570 and ACE 325 is the width of the machine. For 50” trails, the 570 will take you a lot further than the ACE 900. Further, if you don't add 2" wheel spacers and offset wheels all the way around, tuned up, 90hp ACE 900 SP is a death trap. There’s just way too much power for that wheelbase and width. And if you do widen the wheelbase, the 900 SP will no longer be legal for all those 50” trails. Thus, many riders think its best to stick with the fuel efficient 570, which has plenty of power for the trails. 

If you’re a speed daemon though and yearn for that acceleration-powered adrenaline rush, you might well opt for the ACE 900 XC — which has the same motor as the 900 SP tuned correctly from the factory as well as front a-arms with the proper stance to accommodate that insane horsepower. 

Summing Up

If you think you need that much motor and are willing to pay more for the bragging rights, the ACE 900 is sure to impress. For many riders, however, the 570cc ACE is more than enough to meet their needs. Some ACE owners would rather have the newer front end, but many prefer the old faithful strut system because they’ve been working with it for so long. Most accessories work for both ACEs, so there’s not many differences when it comes to potential performance ad-ons. At the end of the day, be it an ACE 325, an ACE 570, or an ACE 900, it doesn’t really matter what size ACE you have as long as you’re having a blast riding it! 

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