The first time you do a big jump on your Polaris RZR it is truly terrifying… that is, until you land on flat ground and don’t even feel it. Depending on what model and edition of the Polaris RZR you have, be it the single-seater RS1 or the turbo-charged RZR turbo, your machine might have come stock with great suspension components. But when you’re headed straight towards a takeoff with a wide open throttle running right up until the moment before you're airborne, it’s nice to know that your RZR is running the best UTV suspension setups to handle the landing. The capabilities of suspension systems can also be optimized for other types of terrain, such as rocky and rough trails or tight and fast roads. Look no further, because this is a down and dirty runthrough of Polaris RZR suspension systems.
A Quick Rundown Of Polaris RZR Suspension Fitment
The standard Turbo RZR and the RZR XP1000 have the same suspension and front differential. The Turbo S and RS1 have the beefier front differential. HCR makes a kit now to mount the Turbo S differential in the other cars now. Standard Turbo arms fit on the XP1000, whether they have sway bar mounts or not. RS1 arms don’t fit any other car because the pivot tubes are shorter. The “legs” of the arms are not the right width apart as well. If you want wider suspension, LSR, HCR and a handful of other aftermarket RZR suspension manufacturers make wider arms for the RS1. With the shorter wheelbase, be careful about getting too wide though. A short, wide bike is going to be squirrely.
So basically, the Turbo S suspension will interchange, but the RS1 and S front will not interchange with any other chassis. The rears will fit on every RZR 1000 and turbo chassis, but the fronts will not. The front differential that they use changes the mounting points.
RZR Jumping Suspension
It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting natural rock jumps in Moab or man-made track jumps at any number of side-by-side tracks and courses across the globe, if you’re gonna go big, you want exceptional RZR shocks underneath you.
The ZBroz Exit 2.5’s are super nice, providing ample cushioning for the flattest of landings while still maintaining the rebound to propel your machine off the lip of the jump. The only caveat with Exit shocks is that they don’t fit the HRC Kit. You might assume they just bolt right on, but the bottom spring retainer hits the upper A arm.
Another option is the Walker Evens shock setup. Even old Walker Evens suspension kits can be sent in. You can have them re-valved and tuned as well as swapping out the springs with new crossover’s. This will make a big difference, and you’ll definitely be able to tell on both the takeoff and landing.
Regardless of the shocks you run on your RZR, it is always wise to stay on the gas until you know you’re off the ground. Your trajectory in the air obviously depends on how the jump is shaped, but it is also affected by your machine’s velocity at takeoff. Make sure to slowly let off the gas after leaving the face of the jump, and ensure that the face is at least 1.5 times the length of the machine. Further, the rebound has to be slower in the rear to mitigate the kicking effects of the jump. To avoid both nose-diving and flying tail down when you jump, you have to realize that it’s more than just scoping the jump and performing some fancy footwork. If you love to send it, you’ll love sending it even more with a proper suspension system.
RZR Trail Suspension
When you break enough parts or end up getting hurt, you might not jump as much. But that doesn’t mean you’ll stop ripping your RZR. Like with jumping, a good set of shocks can make or break a trail ride. UTV Companies like Shock Therapy and others make suspension setups with sway bars that connect the two wheels together in a line. Although this does result in a loss of articulation, if you compare the sway bars on Shock Therapy shocks vs. stock sway bars -- especially on the RZR XPT -- you’ll find that you may not even need them. The shocks themselves should make a big enough difference and have the adjustability to not need a better aftermarket sway bar.
Some people assume you’re bike will get more body roll with a true dual rate suspension setup, and that's where the Shock Therapy sway bars help in that regard. It really depends on how u set it up. You can revalve and re-spring one set for racing and adjust the ride height down for less body roll, and re-valve another set for dunes.
Whether you’re looking at RZR suspension upgrades for shortcourse or trying to find ones optimized for the dunes as well as jumping, a new suspension setup will no doubt bring benefits to you and your machine when riding.