|FOX Edition Polaris RZR XP 1000 Dune Review
By Jon Crowley,UTVGuide.net
In late 2014, Polaris introduced a special RZR XP 1000 that almost seemed to be built specifically for the southwest dunes and desert. The new RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition features FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks, re-tuned coil-over springs, a new front stabilizer bar, and a softer rear bar.
To complement the new shock package, Polaris outfitted the RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition with redesigned coil-over springs. The progressive rate upper spring is a lighter-weight spring that absorbs small impacts while the stiffer, main spring maintains ground clearance and absorbs bigger impacts in rough terrain. Paired with the massive 3.0 rear shocks, this package offers the best bottoming resistance of any UTV on the market today.
Chassis tuners know that proper swaybar setup can improve handling dramatically. And the new FOX XP1K features the first front sway bar on any RZR. Generally, a front swaybar is used to reduce body roll and dive in hard cornering, allowing the front shocks to work together during compression.
After picking up our demo unit at Placerville Polaris, we slapped a set of Camoplast tracks on it and to it on ride in the snow. While the FOX edition XP 1000 did awesome hauling us around 10,000 feet with huge tracks on all four corners, this wasn’t what we really had planned for this RZR. So, three days later, we swapped out the tracks for a set of GMZ sand tires and headed to Glamis for the4th Annual UTV Industry Ride.
Dune carving is unlike any other type of riding youre likely to encounter. There are no trails to follow, no pre-set lines- and with a well set-up car, its more of an adrenaline rush than any roller coaster. High speeds, huge g-outs, sharp transitions, gnarly whoops and big jumps- dunes ask a lot of a UTV.
Bottoming out in a big G-out on a fast ride is probably my biggest pet peeve. I hate having to slow down at the bottom of a bowl, but if the shocks aren’t up to the task, bottoming out is far worse. Either your front end tries to blow the top shock mounts through the hood, or your rear skid plate slaps the sand like a massive belly flop- neither is pleasant.
What I found in the new FOX Edition RZR XP 1000 put a big grin on my face. The OEM FOX PODIUM Internal Bypass Shocks feature an absolutely massive 3″ body in the rear, and a 2.5″ body in the front. To put that into perspective, the current 6,000 lb Ford SVT Raptor pickup uses 2.5 body FOX shocks. The internal bypass technology built into these shocks uses 5 progressive zones to stiffen the travel depending on shock position and shaft speed. In the chop, the ride was plush, but as I demanded more, the shocks bumped into a stiffer zone to slow the suspension movement down, instead of blowing right through the stroke. In addition, the shocks feature 3 zones of rebound damping to minimize pitching and harsh top out to give you an ultra plush ride and better handling over a wider range of terrain at any speed. Proper rebound control is critical in a UTV, as it helps determine the cars attitude over rough terrain. A well-tuned rebound circuit allows the wheels to return to their extended position quickly enough to retain some up-travel for the next hit.
When it comes to pushing a UTV hard in the dunes, the FOX Edition RZR offers the best OE-level shock tuning I have ever experienced. We even tossed the keys over to ATV racing legend Kory Ellis- either it was his skill at jumping, the shocks, or a bit of both- the car landed big hits like butter every time.
After a bit of hard duning and jumping, it was time to give it a run through the whoops. With one person in the car and the shock settings untouched from our dune run, the FOX Edition RZR faired decently. I was able to go through at a decent clip, but there was more body movement than I felt was ideal. The rear did not buck or try to swap ends, but I just didn’t feel comfortable enough pinning it through the big stuff. We later repeated the same test with two people in the car, and it felt a little better. I feel like I could have lightened up on the compression setting and done better in the whoops, but this would end up sacrificing my g-out compliance in the dunes- and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice that.
Body roll was kept in check well by the additional sway bar tuning, and the XP 1000 felt very predictable in hard cornering and in the whoops. Some people like to feel some body roll and pitch, letting the weight transfer aid the cars bite on loose terrain. Those people usually feel that a front sway bar inhibits performance. In my opinion, the setup felt better than the base model XP 1000.
The RZR XP 1000 FOX Edition comes standard with Polaris Click-6 Harnesses for maximum security in the cockpit. These odd 6 point harnesses feature an easy single-click latch and adjustable lap and thigh leg straps, while integrated shoulder straps with built in retractors allow freedom of movement unlike traditional harnesses. I felt much more secure in these retractable harnesses than I do with factory three-point automotive style belts. They do take a little time to get used to, and the sternum strap mounts on the back of the shoulder straps did bother me a bit, but as a factory offering, I think they are a good option.
Overall, I think Polaris and FOX have hit it out of the park with this model. This RZR XP 1000 is the most capable and comfortable out of the box two-seater I have even driven. While the OEM FOX Internal Bypass Shocks don’t have all the bells and whistles that FOX’s aftermarket IBP shocks offer, they are extremely capable. If I was looking for a two-seater for dunes and desert that can be driven hard right off the showroom floor, the FOX Edition XP 1000 would top the list.
My only suggestion to Polaris / FOX is to offer a dune-specific valving package. There are quite a few people that only used their vehicles in the dunes, and by narrowing the terrain choice to dune-only, I think the OEM package could be nothing short of extraordinary.
The RZR® XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition Turbo Silver has a U.S. MSRP of $22,999 and is available at Polaris dealers now.
Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2014 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® and RZR® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.
Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory® and Indian Motorcycle® and Slingshot® brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S.,and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin®, Cycle Country® and Pro Armor® brands.
Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PII, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index. Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime atwww.polaris.com.