— Dirt Wheels shop foreman to the rescue —

By Boss McKannick:

Hey Boss — My son has an RZR170 and I would like to get a speedometer to measure current speed and distance traveled. It would also be nice to accurately measure any performance modifications done. By the way, what is the max speed of a stock RZR170? Do you recommend mechanical or electrical speedometers?

Dean Daniels

Tabor, SD.

    Well Dean, I don’t believe there is a mechanical speedometer made. If there is I am not aware of it. Plus if there was one, generally they would be more work to install. I have installed digital bicycle speedometers on quads and they would work on your RZR too. What is involved is installing a magnet on a front wheel (or any rotating surface for that matter) and then position a pickup to read the magnet each revolution. Then you just have to calibrate the display with a GPS (or back in the day, we timed 1/8 mile runs @ 30 mph) However that is old school (but still works). Today you can purchase a GPS powered speedometer that sets into the dash and looks just like a conventional speedometer.  

    Vent Racing Technologies, in Clearfield UT., (  801-614-0114) has a nice unit that registers heading, elevation, 1/4 mile time, speed, odometer, trip, clock, and direction. It is also back lighted for night rides. Also note that this unit can be installed on most any vehicle and not just the RZR170’s. All it needs is a 12V power source and a place on the dash. Maximum needle sweep is limited to 60 mph but the small LCD screen, located directly below the needle pivot, can display the numbers of higher speeds.

    Trail Tech makes speedometer and GPS units specifically designed for sport quads, and an upgrade for 4×4 quads and UTVs. Their new Voyager Pro GPS model has been getting great reviews from people who have purchased this unit.

     For your RZR 170 the top speed is generally around 28 – 29 mph unless you have the big wheel kit, then it jumps to low 30’s with the stock gearing and mid 30’s with the included gearing.  Most people that I have talked to use the factory gearing to increase the low end with the taller tires because the taller tires coupled with the taller gearing reduces acceleration and hill climbing ability but increases ground clearance by 1.5”. All these speeds are actual readings and are dependent on elevation and conditions.

Are you having any problems with your UTV or ATV? Boss McKannick has the answers on how to fix it. All you have to do is E-mail him your questions. Include your name, city and state and E-mail it to [email protected]

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