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  • Polaris RZR Trail Recovery Ideas To Get Your RZR To Safety

    Any good RZR owner knows to ride prepared. Before going out, packing along the proper tools as well as spare parts is always a must. But some times, unexpected accidents occur, ones that are unforeseen and unpredictable. So what should one do when in a situation such as this? Well, there are a few options, but it really just depends on what happened to your machine, where you are, and what you have at your disposal. So if you’re looking for some trail recovery ideas to get you back to camp with with broken a-arms, tie-rods or something else that broke to make the wheels not be able to rotate, here are some quick-fix solutions to help you get to where you’re going. 

    If you’re a solo rider, you should be particularly prepared for any situation that you may encounter. Never push your machine to the limits when you’re riding alone, especially if you’re deep in the back woods miles away from civilization. If you’re riding with a crew, however, you have a little more leeway when it comes to going hard and breaking things. 

    A friend of the site broke the front a-arms of his RZR when riding the OHV trails of the great Smokey mountains. Luckily, he came prepared with some basic tools and was able to take off both wheels, disconnect the shocks and a-arms, and strapped them up as high and possible. His riding buddy then tied a tow strap from the center lowest part of his front bumper to the highest center part of the back of his cage to keep the front end up as high as possible, which allowed his friend to tow him out to an easily accessible area for a truck and trailer to be brought in. 

    Broken tie rods are quite common, and there are a variety of ways to rig them up temporarily. Zip ties and hose clamps work great in a pinch, and can not only get you back home, but often times will allow you to keep riding throughout the weekend! There are almost endless ways to fab up trail crutches, and you’re really only limited by the scope of your imagination. Wrenches, straps, wire, whatever you have on hand could be used to make trailside repairs and enable you to limp back to the nearest garage for a permanent fix. Tie rod couplers are a handy tool to have for broken tie rods, and skid plates are sure useful if you need to drag your machine out without tires. 

    The old RZR mating mount is a classic trick to get your machine to safety, but you can also ratchet strap logs to the ports and radius rods and drag your rig back to your truck like some kind of military medic. A little influence from a hammer and a ratchet strap for the axel can go a long way in times of need. 

    If there’s any scrap metal near by — or if your desperate you can use your hood — slide your RZR up onto it and drag it out like a sled. If you’re lucky and have some strong friends, you may be able to get your RZR to safety with shear brute strength. But if you’re all by your lonesome and stranded without supplies, tools, or equipment, the only one you have to blame is yourself. You may have to hoof it a few miles to get help, or if you have cell service a quick phone call can be a life saver. CB radios and other UTV communication devices are also helpful when you’re in distress. Emergency position-indicating radiobeacon stations can be used as a last resort, but hopefully you’ll never need to use one. But as they say, it’s better to have it and not use it than need it and not have it. 

  • Upgrading Polaris RZR Parts: Wants Vs. Needs

    To upgrade or not to upgrade, that’s a stupid question. But in all seriousness, it can be hard sometimes to decide which parts and components of the Polaris RZR need upgraded. Obviously, it depends on your riding style and what you do with your machine, but other factors also come into play when deciding whether or not to swap aftermarket parts into your Razor. We’ll touch on a few of these in this post, and discuss some of the UTV accessories that are imperative, and some that are… not so much.

    RZR Wheel And Tire Upgrades

    Many Polaris RZR owners that we’ve talked to are looking to upgrade their wheels and tires, but can’t decide on the size to run. Tire brand notwithstanding, 30” or 32” are pretty typical, and both sizes will clear without any problems. One recommendation that we often make, however, is a clutch kit. Although it’s not essential, you can definitely feel the difference a clutch kit makes -- especially if you run a heavier tire and/or wheel on your side-by-side. 

    A lot of people say that you’ll start breaking things if you don’t upgrade your clutch when running bigger tires, but where and how you drive plays a much bigger role in the clutch’s performance. You can still ride tails and rocks as well as moderately steep hill climbs with a stock clutch, but your best bet will be to run in low range 90% of the time and not beat on it too hard. 

    The size of your machine’s engine will also come into play when deciding on tire size. For the Polaris RZR 1000, 30” is dang near optimal. You’ll experience next to no power loss and be able to plow through almost anything without having to worry about added stress on the axles, joints, and other drivetrain and powertrain components -- including the belt. 

    RZR Safety Upgrades

    In addition to tire and wheel upgrades for the RZR, safety accessories are also one of those things that should never be overlooked. Upgrading the cage is an option -- because honestly, the stock Polaris RZR cage won’t withstand much punishment -- but things seatbelt upgrades are a surefire way to keep you and your passengers safe when ripping it up on a Polaris RZR. 

    We here at Everything Polaris RZR like to recommend either 4-point or 5-point harnesses. The 5-point harnesses are kind of a hassle with passengers coming in and out all the time, which is why many riders go with the easier 4 points. That being said, however, the 5 points give anti submarine support, which may help in a crash.  

    Fire extinguishers are another accessory that aren’t obligatory, but still good to have around. On the flip side, you could always just let your UTV burn, collect the insurance money, and use that for a down payment on the latest and greatest Polaris Razor. All jokes aside though, safety should be your number one priority, because it’s sure hard to hold a steering wheel with a broken collar bone. 

    RZR Suspension Upgrades

    The last component we’ll dig into here is suspension. Some RZR riders like it soft and squishy, while others like it hard and firm. Shock upgrades are an easy way to match your machine’s suspension with the terrain type where you’re riding. King shocks, for example, are popular because if you go to an event that they are at, they will tune them for you. Alternatively, they will walk you through how to do it yourself over the phone. But beware, knock offs are common, so all you Ebay shoppers take heed and make sure you’re getting the genuine product. Other than King shocks for the Polaris RZR, we’ve also heard good things about Fox’s RC Race Podium shocks as well as Elkas. And while you might come down with a slight case of sticker shock when you see the price of such suspension setups, the performance enhancements may well be worth it -- especially if you have a Highlifter XP edition that you want to run gear reduction on for 32s. 

    That being said, it depends on where you ride. Sure some high-travel HD suspension is great for bumps and rocky terrain, but if you’re mudding or doing tight, twisty, and fast wooded trails, you might want something tighter with a sway bar to maintain speed and counteract momentum around turns. But heck, most of the higher-end shocks are adjustable, so you can have the best of all worlds no matter where you ride.  

    Conclusion

    For most of us, budgetary restrictions demand that we prioritize or UTV priorities. Yes it would be nice to upgrade everything and get the best parts for your RZR, but the next best thing is to upgrade only the components that make the biggest difference to you, your riding style, and areas in which you ride. 

  • Getting Your RZR Cleaned Up, Tuned, And Run-Ready For Riding Season

    Spring is upon us, and for those who live in places with capricious weather conditions, side-by-side season is fast approaching. Regardless if you rode through the winter or hibernated your Polaris RZR in the warmth of your garage, ensuring that your rig is tuned up and ride-ready is a must for all UTV owners. So bust out the pressure washers, get your grease gun, and blow the cobwebs off your side-by-side tool kit, because it’s time to giddy-up and get your a$$ on the trail. 

    Getting Your Rig Lookin Good

    Although you should have properly washed your machine before covering it for winter, a nice spring cleaning never hurts. But leave the garden hose, sponges, and buckets of soap for the cheerleading squad’s car wash fundraiser. If you want to clean like a boss — thoroughly and efficiently — a pressure washer setup is the way to go. Gas washers are great, but those electric units are super easy to plug in and use. Whichever one you have, though, make sure to get the 1/4 turn nozzle setup so you can run a foam cannon. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the Husqvarna 3300 PSI gas washer with the foam cannon, and Home Depot sells a Ryobi with a Honda engine that is great as well. The trick with these, however, is to turn it down to half throttle for more foam. Full blast over powers it way to much, and can actually damage your machine’s delicate areas such as the CV boots and electrical system. Regarding the latter, mainly steer clear of the area up against the back of the seat where the controller and voltage regulator is and not the entire fender well. 

    General best practice is to start by spraying your machine off completely, and then hit it with the foam cannon. Let that sit for ten minutes and then rinse it off, starting at the top and working down to the bottom. The only issue you might encounter is that, unless you leave your water on all the time,  your pressure washer will usually have air inside at the start, so it might take a minute or two of holding it open before it all get's out and you get water flowing. And don’t let the PSI figures fool you, there’s more to a good washer than the pressure ratings. For example, a 4000 PSI washer at 2.5 GPM (Gallons Per Minute)won’t clean much and it’ll do it slowly. Look for the higher GPM and you’ll be a happy washer.

    Checking Your RZR's Fluids

    Before you take your RZR out for its first spring ride, checking and changing its fluids is highly advisable. It fact, it is recommend that you stock your shelves with fluids as well as filters, and get good at changing them because you’ll be doing it frequently. Most mechanical failures in UTVs are associated with a lack of lubrication. These units see extreme duty on a regular basis, and thus have very few things in common with an automobile. The three main fluids you should check and change are the engine fluid, front differential fluid, and transmission fluid. 

    Contrary to popular belief, fluid choice will not void your machine’s warranty — that is as long as the fluids you are using meet the hydrodynamic properties required and are made from the basic additives of Polaris branded fluids. And  if you rid mud and wanter, go ahead and completely Ignore the manual change intervals. In many cases, the differential fluid will need to be changed after every ride due to water getting past the seals as they wear. It cost approximately $3 for the fluid to change it out, so this is something you’ll just have to get used to it. Before you take your bike out after a Long winter — and routinely thereafter — check the air filter for contamination. Sand, dirt, and mud getting past the filter will quickly steal your power by reducing compression. 

    For the trans and front diff fluid, Polaris branded fluids work well, and for the engine, a 15-40 synthetic by Mobile 1 or Rotella T are the best you can buy. Neither, however, are designed to meet Polaris' specific requirements like Amsoil products. If you actually do the technical research, you'll find that Rotella T breaks down faster than Amsoil, and Mobile 1 does not provide as much wear protection as Amsoil. Amsoil also provides warranty coverage if the oil is proven to be at fault during a factory warranty claim. Neither Retella T or Mobile 1 will give you that type of coverage. Using an oil that does not meet the manufacturer's specifications leaves you open for coverage issues. 

    And if you turn your own wrenches, we’d suggest getting a bottle pump as well. Companies like Rocky Mountain ATV have oil change kits if you want a simple solution, but sourcing the fluids separately is by no means a difficult task. If you’re in a pinch and low on time, your dealer should have everything you need; but at a premium. And here’s a pro tip: make friends with the shop manager. Throw him a little service work here and there and tip with a case of beer. Even if you do your own work, it’s nice to have friends when needed.

    Preparing For A Long Trip.

    If you’re planning a lengthy ride to break your RZR in for the new season, bringing along a spare tire, a tire plug kit, an air pump, a spare belt, a Qt of engine oil, and JB weld (metal and aluminum) is a good start, but there are a few other items you should pack along to truly be prepared for whatever nature has in store. It is also advised to bring tools to change belt as well as remove the primary and secondary clutch, a spare front and rear axel (if you’re really getting crazy), spare ball joints, spare steering links, spare lug nuts, and tools to tear down to the axel. Make sure to bring a 15mm socket, as this is the size for your main nut on the hubs. 24mm, 13mm, and 7mm deep sockets are also ones not to forget.  

    A red Scotch Brite pad is useful to clean/scuff your clutch sheaves if you need to replace your belt, and a 20’x30’ tarp makes a good tent and can cover your RZR when not in use. 3” epoxy tape is also a great item to bring along for shovel handles or hammer repair. You just soak it in water, wrap it where it’s needed, and let it sets. This is also a great emergency fix for a-arms and radius rods. 

    Many riders also like to carry survival supplies on overnight trips. Jerky, trail mix, dried fruit and water work great as emergency rations. If you are going out of cell range, a GPS spot device is a life saver. Unless you’re riding along at competition speeds, it is unlikely you'll need much for spare parts. A flat tire is probably the worst thing you will encounter. Assuming you're not carrying your entire trip’s worth of fuel, it's assumed you either have checkpoint vehicles or planned stops. If so, let them carry all the heavy stuff and keep your RZR as light as possible. 

    Other than that you should be set and ready to rock. Finally, zip ties and tie wire are good to have around, and you might consider replacing your bicycle pump with a ViAir 12 volt portable air compressor — the 87P model is particularly nice. And for machine’s that are difficult to start, John Deere starting fluid is 80% ether, which should spark up even the peskiest motors. 

    Our last piece of advice for getting your Polaris RZR ready and tuned up for the spring riding season: quit reading, get out there, and have some fun! 

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