Many first-time UTV owners are surprised by the handling and drivability of the Polaris RZR 4 -- specifically with regards to engine braking. With how the stock clutch works, as soon as you release your foot from the gas pedal and let off the throttle, you will lose speed immediately; much quicker than in a car. In the case of most RZR 4 seaters, the machine will even provide enough engine braking to make you hit the gas slightly to keep moving downhill. Not all RZR 4 models have harsh engine braking -- especially the earlier years -- but most are clutched in a way that provides a substantial amount of engine braking. Like their smaller Sportsman four-wheeler cousins, the new RZRs (and in particular the RZRs up to the 900) require very little actual braking. While models like the RZR XP 1000 free rolls to a stop fairly mildly, models like the RZR 570 will put you on the dash when you let off the gas. You let off the accelerator and you're going to be going 4mph within a second or two going downhill. It'll continue rolling at 3-4mph, but when that clutch disengages, it’ll feel like you stomped the brakes.

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Engine braking not only makes the machine easier to drive, but it also extends the life of the braking system -- namely, the brake pads, brake calipers, and brake rotors. Some riders (especially those taller than six feet) have noted that the brake pedal is a bit further out than the gas pedal, making it so that you have to shift your whole foot over to hit the brake. But as we mentioned earlier, you'll probably not be needing to slam that brake pedal due to the deceleration of the engine braking. But if you're ripping it up pretty hard, racing, or navigating some technical trails, using both feet to control your RZR 4 can help. But if you tall folk are still concerned, you can modify the RZR to get the seat further back. Plus, the open dash area of the RZR 4 1000 should allow you to move more freely than other Side-By-Side brands, and door knee pads can help you avoid bruising your knees. When it comes to breaking through, just let off the gas and your rig will slow down instantly.

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