By Danny Adair, PayDirtMedia
It’s that time of year when the leaves fall, and the long days of summer dissolve into darkness. The summer camping gear gets stowed away and the snow gear comes out to play. With the Polaris General 1000 EPS Deluxe ready for action, we gladly said YES to a quick day trip with the Hawley Mountain Rippers UTV group.
Partly cloudy and 39* degrees registering on the tow rig thermometer, the first winter outing was sure to be chilly. We started in the small town of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, where we met-up with William of Toy-Up Industries. When he’s not building racks to transport UTVs and Snowmobiles, you may find him leading rides into the Boise National Forest.
After a short drive up a graded dirt road, we turned off into a small creek bed with a small run-off flowing. William had warned us things were going to get a bit tight, he wasn’t joking. We found ourselves hugged by branches almost like a haunted forest with arms reaching out at us. Ducking and folding branches back, this was one point where the 1.5” RT Pro lift kit wasn’t helping our cause with the low hanging trees, but don’t worry just read on we’ll share you where the lift kit excelled.
Once we popped out of the creek bed we found ourselves on a lightly snow covered forest road that meandered around and up the mountain, treating us to some amazing views.
As we continued up the mountain, the snow covered roads grew deeper and deeper. Before we knew it, we had the Polaris General pushing through over a foot of snow. Right here is where the 1.5” RT Pro lift and 30” Sedona tires gave us plenty of ground clearance to push through the deep powder.
With everyone stoked on the ride, and the Polaris audio system treating us to some great tunes, it became apparent Snownuts (Snow Donuts) were in order. A couple of sliding turns and then POP! The snow fun got serious, as the front passenger side axle had just ejected itself from the outer hub! We’re pretty sure that the full-throttle donuts combined with the lift probably put the axle in a bind situation that didn’t make it happy (full droop + full turn + throttle = BOOM).
It was quite obvious we’d be finishing our ride in 3-Wheel or 2-Wheel Drive. I’m not going to lie, we really didn’t know how things would go with the amount of snow and hills we still had to pass through.
After removing the axle, we aired down the Sedona Rock-a-Billy tires to get the best flotation and bite on the snowy trails and off we went. The General kept me on my toes in 2WD/3WD with a few pucker moments when we wanted to go straight but it wanted to go right. At one point we ended up stuck on a snowy hillside, but my trusty co-driver jumped out and grabbed the Factor 55 and winch line. With some of his own pulling, we were able to throttle out and back onto the trail in just a few seconds.
Overall the Polaris GENERAL 1000 did really good in the snow despite running without an axle for half of the ride. The decreased air pressure in the 30” Sedona Tires seemed to help push us across the mountain as best to be expected. Had it been another summer day, it would have been a breeze to finish the ride. We can definitely say Winter is here, let make the most of it.
Thanks to William and the Hawley Mountain Rippers for a great ride, til next time.