By Jon Crowley
After the fun we had at the first annual SxS Adventure Rally in 2015, I knew I’d be back in 2016. The CST SxS Adventure Rally is held at Sand Hollow State Park is near Hurricane, Utah and features a reservoir, sand dunes, and some of the best rock crawling in Southern Utah.
Although Sand Hollow is a 10 hour drive for me, I absolutely love the variety of terrain, the scenery and the ability to zip out and hit a trail within minutes of the main event headquarters. I have been to Sand Hollow on a few occasions while on location for the WORCS Racing series (see Rock Crawling with “The King” at Sand Hollow and Running Double Sammy in Our Ranger XP 900) and then for the 2015 SxS Adventure Rally.
For the 2016 SxS Adventure Rally, manufacturers stepped up big time and offered demo rides in the latest and greatest sport UTVs. The guided rides went out for several mile rides at Sand Hollow so enthusiasts could get a good feel for each machine in varied terrain.
On the first day, I joined in with HCR Racing and D&P Performance on a trail called Plan B.
Plan B is a fun trail with a few alternate lines that can be more of a challenge. At the end of the trail we headed back to event headquarters for lunch, then about 3PM we got the itch to do another trail. We gathered up a few willing participants and headed up the hill just a bit and went into a trail called Double Sammy.
This was my first time doing the entire trail and I have got to say it is my favorite. Decently challenging even for seasoned rock crawlers, close to camp and packed with obstacles, it is a great trail that can be driven in either direction.
On Friday, I joined up with SxS Performance and D&P Performance and we tackled Milt’s Mile, and then headed back over to Double Sammy.
Later that afternoon we go a group together for a night run on Plan B. Crawling at night brings on a whole new set of challenges. Finding the trail. Staying on the trail. Breakdowns. It all ads to the adventure. It was dark, and I was having fun so no pictures from this run.
On Saturday, I went out for a few quick photo shoots. First up was Craig from STI Tire & Wheel. He was in a new Can-Am Maverick X3 with 32-inch STI Chicane tires. The Maverick X3 had absolutely no problem spinning the big 32-inch through the dunes. Then I wanted to check for any clearance issues while rock crawling.
After seeing the Maverick X3 in action with the 32-inch tires, I am convinced that the car can handle them, and this will be the direction I head when I get a demo unit.
After that, I stopped by the Raceline booth and talked Ryan into a quick ride. He recently bought a Yamaha YXZ1000R and had it outfitted with 30-inch Arisun Aftershock tires mounted on Raceline beadlocks. This combo looks well proportioned on the car, but moving from stock 26-inch Bighorns to the 30-inch Aftershocks made the gear ratio a bit tall in first gear. Perhaps what Ryan needs is the new GYTR Torque Assist Gear Reduction Kit with a 30% reduction in the final drive and an additional 40% reduction in first gear!
Then to cap off the trip, I joined Damon from HCR Racing over on a trail called Nasty Half to check out his long travel Polaris GENERAL. This +5″ kit from HCR adds 10” of overall track width and 2 inches of wheel base for better handling, stability and overall performance. High clearance front arms offer 1.25 inches of additional ground clearance. Achieve overall performance gains with 17+ inches of travel on all four corners.
The HCR Polaris GENERAL is running 30-inch Arisun Aftershocks mounted on Raceline beadlocks, and both front and rear sway bars were still connected. If Damon was going to focus in on rock crawling specifically, he could have disconnected the bars for much more flex.
The trip to the SxS Adventure Rally was a great opportunity for me to get more seat time in our new Polaris RZR XP1000 Gold Metallic LE. I have decided to take on the 2017 King of the Hammers UTV Race and this is my whip. This limited edition XP1000 already comes well equipped for rock crawling (see RZR XP1000 Gold Metallic LE Rock Crawling Review), and with some minor upgrades and safety equipment, it will be race ready. I am thoroughly impressed with the low-range gearing and cannot wait to hit the rocks again.
Past Event Coverage from Rally on the Rocks in Moab: