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Testing Lower Transmission Gears in our Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

By Jon Crowley

We have had our Polaris RZR XP Turbo S for about nine months now and have taken it to the dunes, desert and rock crawling. The Turbo S has lots of great features and upgrades (seePolaris RZR XP Turbo S First Ride Review), but the one thing that bothered me the most was low range for rock crawling (see Polaris RZR XP Turbo S Rock Crawling Review). In 2017 Polaris made the transmission gearing taller for all RZR XP Turbos and this carried forward to the Turbo S as well.

In 2016, the Turbo transmission gears were 12.46:1 High and 22.74:1 Low. For 2017 and newer 2-seat RZR Turbos, the transmission gears are at 11.58:1 High, 20.25:1 Low. This bumped the top speed in low range to about 45MPH which is crazy for technical rock crawling and just in general for this vehicle.  There is absolutely no reason I can think of to have a low range that is that tall.


2018 Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS Rock & Trails Edition with 55% Lower Low Range

In my opinion, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Rock & Trails Edition (aka #CrowleyEdition) was the best setup ever. This special edition has 11.79:1 High and 29.02:1 Low.   We raced this vehicle in the 2017 King of the Hammers UTV Race and got third place (see 2017 King of the Hammers Race Recap). With 32-inch tires, low-range tops out at about 30MPH and we hit 77MPH in high range during the race.

After researching all the different options available, I had some decisions to make. Unfortunately, you cannot lower low-range without also impacting high-range to some amount. Assuming 32-inch tires, I wanted to keep high-range top speed above 75MPH but lower low-range as much as possible. The best solution for my situation is 13.00:1 High/27.61:1 Low (82 MPH high / 38 MPH low). To get low-range down closer to 30 MPH, I would have had to also lower the high-range to 73MPH which is a bit lower than I wanted for riding in the SouthWest.

In order to achieve the 13.00:1 High/27.61:1 Low, I needed to get three different gears and one shaft –  27/46 Stage 2 set out of a 4-seat RZR XP Turbo and 25/67 low gear set out of a 2018 RANGER 1000.

Polaris RZR XP Turbo Lower Gears

  • Part #3235380 Reverse 27T
  • Part #3235381 46T Stage 2
  • Part #3236132 Low 25T
  • Part #3235232 Low 67T

Alpine UTV in Placerville, CA did the actual work for me, which is not for the faint of heart.  You must pull the transmission out of the RZR and split the case to swap parts.

After the swap, I loaded up to test in Johnson Valley, CA which is home to King of the Hammers.  This has some of the most extreme rock crawling trails in the SouthWest U.S. and it is a perfect place to test this all out.

Right away loading on our Alpine Designs truck rack, I could tell it was much better than before and could not wait to get it out in the rocks.

I spent the next two days running Boulderdash, Upper Big Johnson, Claw Hammer, Chocolate Thunder, Jack North, Sledge Hammer, Resolution and Spooners. I drove on day 1 and my friend Reid Nordin from Walker Evans Racing drove on day two and we were both thrilled with the improvement. You have much more control at slow speeds and much less belt slipping.  At the top end of low-range, we were able to hit over 30MPH which is plenty fast. End result is longer belt life, less cowboy maneuvers which ultimately save wear and tear on the vehicle.

We did not do much top speed testing in high-range, but I did hit 75MPH and it still had room to go. So I think this will work out fine.  This is the same high-range gears that the XP4 Turbo has, so it is proven for this clutch setup as well.

Overall, I think this change is the best choice I could have made. In fact, I see no reason why this gear set does not come stock on the RZR XP Turbo models.

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Rock Crawling in our Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Our Polaris RZR XP Turbo S has the following aftermarket equipment:

  • Cognito Motorsports cage, doors, tire carrier and front shock upgrades
  • Walker Evans Racing forged beadlock wheels
  • 32-inch BFG KR2 tires
  • Factory UTV UHWM skid plates, rock sliders and arm guards
  • Rugged Radios intercom, radio and MAC3.2 helmet air system
  • PRP seats and harnesses
  • Switch Pros Power Panel
  • Factor 55 Flatlink
  • Polaris front bumper and winch
  • Zollinger Race Products radius links and plate
  • SSV Works / Kicker 4 Speaker Audio System with RIDE COMMAND Integration
  • Assault Industries side mirrors and fire extinguisher/mount
  • Sick Stick LED whips
  • Alpine Designs – Transmission gear swap
Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S Rock Crawling Review

New 72-Inch Polaris RZR XP Turbo S

Polaris RZR XP Turbo S First Ride Review

2017 King of the Hammers UTV Race Recap

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