The Polaris RS1: Your Dream UTV In The Making

May 26th 2019

In the UTV world — and in a broader sense the entire world in general — it is humanly impossible to please everyone. And despite having done an incredible job on the Polaris RS1 — which is nothing but satisfactory for the majority of riders out there — some pedantic side-by-side nitpickers are still not satisfied. In this post, we’d like to address some of these concerns, giving our two cents as to their validity as well as what one can do to counter these concerns.  

Qualm #1: The Polaris RS1 Is Too Loud

True the stock Polaris RS1 can be a bit noisy for some riders — I mean, what else can you expect when the muffler is only inches behind your head. While this might be a non-issue for some riders, others would prefer a quieter ride to be able to listen to their stereo equipment or talk on their buddies through their integrated communications system. Yet, with a few aftermarket accessories, you can drastically reduce both the in-cab and external noise emissions of the Polaris RS1.

A simple slip-on muffler or full aftermarket RS1 exhaust like the ones by Trinity Racing, for example, work wonders in reducing exhaust noise. Alternatively, enclosing the cab with front and rear windshields will also lower the decibel levels experienced by the driver. But if you do run an RS1 windshield to reduce noise, installing both a front and rear panel is important. 

Without a rear windshield, an air vortex develops and drops all the dust and dirt from the trail right down the back of your neck. And as a bonus, It will stay a little cooler in the cab if you run front and rear windshields. Much cooler, in fact, than the Can Am Maverick, which is notorious for it’s engine heat and stifling cab. 

Qualm #2: The Gas Pedal On The RS1 Is Too Touchy

When first riding the RS1, some riders have expressed the opinion that the gas pedal is too touchy / unforgiving, making it hard to modulate the throttle on rocky trails without bouncing. But with anything new, it takes some time to get used to the RS1. It’s a totally different ride then any other side-by-side, and contrary to the layman’s viewpoint, it’s not just an RZR with only one seat. The entire feel of the RS1 is different, and once you get used to it, you should love it. Trail riders especially love the fact that they can see both tires when driving and place them right were they want.

You have to foot the throttle like a sandrail — placing your heel at the bottom of the petal. An ECU tuner will also help the throttle response. The stock RS1 throttle mapping needs refined. Polaris does it this way to fit the majority of drivers. An ECU tuner will help the throttle be more linear for a smoother response. 

Qualm #3: The Front End Is Too Light And The Wheelbase Is Too Short

For some riders — especially hill climbers — the front of the Polaris RS1 is a bit too light for their liking. Similarly, the shorter wheelbase of an RS1 doesn’t help on hill climbs either. But while the narrow wheelbase may detract from hill climbing performance, when it comes to tight and narrow wooded trails, the RS1 can squeeze through areas that other UTVs cannot. Yes the RS1 front end might be a bit light for some applications, but if you add some pre-load to the rear shocks it will help balance things out. 

Qualm #4: The RS1 Makes A Clunking Noise When Driving

Like Many Polaris CVTs, the RS1 is known to be a little clunky. Some riders hear it when they hit or release the gas, while others hear it on bumps or when traversing whoops. Put your RS1 in neutral and let it roll down a steep trail and you’ll likely hear nothing. More likely than not, this clanking sound is coming from the clutch sheeves clanking open and closed. Simply get clutching done and the clunk will disappear. Change the secondary spring to a helix and you’re good to go. Easy as that.

Qualm #5: The RS1 Doesn’t Have Enough Storage Room

Yes, the Polaris RS1 is a one-seater, and is thus smaller than it’s multi-seater RZR cousins. But this is no way affects the amount of cargo and supplies you can haul with it. There are countless storage accessories, from cargo racks to door bags, which will enable you to carry anything and everything you could possibly want or need. After all, storage without door bags is minimal in all models. 

Summing Up

Whatever you’re issue is with the RS1, there are solutions out there to remedy it. Both Polaris as well as dozens of aftermarket side-by-side parts manufacturers have gone over the RS1 with a fine-tooth comb, identifying all the problem areas and coming up with ways to fix them. So if there’s anything about your RS1 that you don’t like, you can bet your a$$ there’s an aftermarket accessory, a part upgrade, or a tune you can implement to make the RS1 your dream machine.