Upgrading Polaris RZR Parts: Wants Vs. Needs
Sep 15th 2019
To upgrade or not to upgrade, that’s a stupid question. But in all seriousness, it can often be hard to decide which Polaris RZR parts and components to upgrade. Obviously, it depends on your riding style and what you do with your machine, as well as the type of RZR you own. What might need upgraded on an RZR Turbo may be best left untouched on an RZR 4 1000. 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 Polaris RZR upgrades 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 machine's wheels and tires, but can’t decide on the size to run. Tire brand notwithstanding, 30” tires or 32” tires are pretty typical, and both sizes will clear the fender wells, shocks, and other nearby components 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 Polaris RZR or RS1 clutch kit makes -- especially if you run a heavier tire and / or wheel set.
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 without a problem using the stock Polaris RZR clutch, as well as moderately steep hill climbs and technical trails. But your best bet will be to run in low range 90% of the time and not beat on your bike 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” tires are 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, CV joints, or other drivetrain and powertrain components -- including the belt.
RZR Safety Upgrades
In addition to tire and wheel upgrades for the Polaris 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 in a Polaris RZR.
We here at Everything Polaris RZR like to recommend either 4-point or 5-point harnesses. 5-point harnesses are kind of a hassle if you or your passengers need to come in and out of the vehicle with frequent regularity, which is why many riders go with the easier 4 points. That being said, 5-point Polaris RZR harnesses give anti submarine support, which may help in a crash.
Fire extinguishers are another UTV 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 edition of the 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 system we’ll dig into here is the suspension system. 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 over which 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 shocks by the off-road firm Elka Suspension. 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 they bring make them well be worth it -- especially if you have a Highlifter XP edition that you want to run a gear reduction on for 32" tires.
That being said, it depends on where you ride. Sure a high-travel HD suspension setup is great for bumps and rocky terrain, but if you’re mudding or doing tight, twisty, and fast wooded trails, you might want something firmer 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!
For most of us, budgetary restrictions demand that we triage our UTV priorities. Yes it would be nice to upgrade everything and get the best parts for your RZR, RZR Pro, or RZR XP, but the next best thing is to upgrade only the components that make the biggest difference to you, your riding style, and the areas where you ride.