POJECT UTV: EPIC OVERLANDER

Ryan O’Hara’s Fuel General build By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Ryan beefed up the entire drive system. The front differential is much stronger, and the new Force Turbo kit breathes new life into the engine.

Life isn’t simply about the destination, but the roads that get you there. In our case, that’s the best dirt roads and trails we could ever imagine to find. Adventure riding and driving runs deeply through our souls, just like it does for Ryan O’Hara. Ryan eats, sleeps and breathes off-roading. He is so into our sport that he works for Fuel Off-Road and gets through terrain with their impressive wheels and tires. O’Hara’s dedication to adventure shows in his newly built Polaris General 4 Overlander rig. While most of us day ride, or ride our machines from camp just to return to it the same day, this machine was built to take you out into the deepest trails and camp remotely. Tent, tools, food and more travel with this General 4. 

A 55-inch High Country pop-up tent from Freespirit Recreation rests on top of this Polaris build when camping is to be had.

LIFE’S AN ADVENTURE

The best way to start debriefing you about Ryan’s rig is to tell you exactly what makes it adventure-worthy. We will touch on handling and engine enhancements soon enough. Protecting you and your ride from abuse is very important, but it is even more important if you are a long ways away from assistance. Ryan topped this Polaris with a new roll cage from Madigan Motorsports. They also created aluminum paneling and a roof rack to go with it. This new cage is stronger than the stock one with more bracing and thicker-walled tubing. On top of the rack sits a 55-inch rooftop pop-up tent. The tent creates a spacious area with a ladder that extends down to the ground. Talk about off-road luxury!

Simpson seats and harnesses keep the occupants safe and comfortable in the sketchiest conditions.

If you drag your gaze downward, you will see a set of Assault Industries Phantom Convex side mirrors and a center Bomber Convex mirror attached to the cage. The nightlife rests on top of the General, but the real party is in the back. The bed is a custom replacement from Madigan. The new bed is made from aluminum with hinged fenders and a sliding cooler mount. Ryan wanted tools to go, so he gathered two toolboxes from Boxo USA, filled them up and mounted one into each bed side. A Dometic electric cooler with a thermal-insulated cover rests in the bed next to a spare Fuel Off-Road wheel and tire on a custom tire-carrier mount from Madigan. A solar panel from Sunner Power is mounted on top of a Boxo box that feeds power to the Dometic cooler. A Samlex Solar 300-watt Pure Sine Wave inverter was also installed.

Force Turbo boosted the power output of the Fuel General greatly. When you add a bunch of weight to a UTV, more power can be required.

Ryan added a lot more useful trail-support items to the back of the General. An Assault Industries quick-release fire extinguisher mount and extinguisher are bolted to the roll cage in the rear. A mini Power Tank kit holds compressed air for filling up tires. UTV Inc. provided a mounting solution for O’Hara’s King Shocks jack. It easily lifts the General to change a tire. Hidden in the fold is a Savage UTV CVT spare belt holder kit. The unsung hero of this mix would have to be the highly protective UHMW poly skid plates and rock sliders from Factory UTV. That shields the entire underside of the General from harm.

The bed was custom fabricated by Madigan Motorsports. The toolboxes open with the rear fenders to display Boxo USA tools.

ELECTRIFYING

Wiring is an annoying task for most, but once it is done and all the equipment is operational, that feeling is like no other. Another upgrade that is like no other is the 8-pod Gravity LED Pro6 light bar from KC HiLites. If you want to see daylight at night, you may be interested in Ryan’s setup. A set of Slimlite LED 6-inch lights adorn the new front Madigan Motorsports bumper. The stock headlights were then replaced with a set from Polaris’ RZR Turbo model. The rear of the General gained a KC 28-inch multi-function rear facing chase LED light bar on the roll cage. Two 2-inch C-Series C2 LED backup floodlights were also mounted to the back of the cage to see in the General’s bed and surrounding areas.

Rugged Radios is a leader in the off-road communication segment. They connected the Polaris with a 60-watt VHF radio kit paired with a RRP696 2-place intercom kit with OTU headsets that hang on a billet hanger when not in use. Ryan installed this setup with in dash mounting plates from Rugged. Rockford Fosgate stepped in with their Stage 4 400-watt stereo system that included two roll-cage-mounted speaker pods. XTC Power Products offers a few easy solutions to wiring all these parts to the General. Their Plug & Play 6 Switch Power Control system was installed. O’Hara also mounted XTC’s Plug & Play self-canceling turn-signal system with a horn, along with a 6-inch six LED billet-aluminum license-plate frame.

A Madigan Motorsports front bumper holds a set of 6-inch pod-style LED lights from KC HiLites.

Every adventure could use proper guidance. This Polaris General didn’t come with a Ride Command system installed, so one was mounted into it directly from Polaris. Ride Command comes with GPS and their own buddy tracking system, along with multiple useful engine readouts. A battery from Odyssey Battery found its new home, along with a high-output coil kit from Energy Coil.

Night turns to day when these KC HiLites Gravity Pro6 LED lights are uncovered and unleashed. You can put as many of them together in a row as will fit on your rig.

HANDLE IT YOURSELF

Apparently the stock suspension system wasn’t going to cut it for the open-desert driving the General would be put through. An HCR long- travel suspension kit was installed with adjustable King Shocks. HCR fabricates their suspension arms to be much stronger and provide more wheel travel and width over stock. A new set of tie-rods came from Assault Industries. The axles were upgraded by Summers Brothers with 300M axles. Ryan felt it would be a great idea to install an RT Pro chassis arm brace kit. The front and rear dual-A-arm suspension was provided with a complete suspension and chassis 12-point chromoly bolt kit from ARP Bolts. The new stock spindles were given a new wheel stud kit from ARP as well. The front end benefits from a set of billet 7075 T651 aluminum front wheel hubs by Hess Motorsports. 

This build gained wider suspension, but it also gained larger 32-inch tall Gripper T/R/K tires mounted on Fuel Off-Road’s 15-inch Forge FF69 bead lock wheels. This wheel and tire setup weighs more than stock, and since they are now further way from the General’s center, the steering needed upgrading. O’Hara went to Shock Therapy for a billet-aluminum RZR 1000 race rack & pinion. This setup should be stronger and more reliable than stock. Streamline brakes stepped in with a 270mm front Big Brake kit, along with rear wave rotors and Xtream duty brake pads.

A King Shocks jack is held in place by a UTV Inc. mount. Hidden behind it is a Savage UTV CVT belt holder kit.

O’Hara upgraded the inside the cockpit, starting with a full set of Simpson Pro Sport seats with mounts and 5-point harness seat belts. Long Horn Fab sent over a set of front lowering seat brackets. Tall riders, or ones that want a lower center of gravity can benefit from this kit. It also allows passengers in the rear of the machine to see out the front better. The stock steering wheel was also replaced with a leather 350R wheel from Assault.

Fuel Off-Road 32-inch Gripper T/R/K tires are wrapped around their 15-inch beadlock FF69 forged wheel.

HEAVE THE WEIGHT

If you have gotten this far thinking to yourself, “Well, all these parts are going to make this project much heavier!” you would be correct. So, Ryan decided to take the naturally aspirated ProStar 999cc engine and add turbo induction to it. Force Turbo offers a system specifically for the General that boosts the output of the General’s engine. An upgraded intercooler kit was mounted to the roll cage where it gets ample airflow. The transmission was given a thorough treatment from Cryoheat. Gears were micro polished and treated, the cases were Vapor Honed, and much more was done to the trans to withstand the enhanced output of the turbo engine. A RCV Performance 300M transmission output shaft was installed before the trans found its way back into the Polaris.

The stock clutches were replaced with a Rage 3 primary and Tuner secondary from STM Clutch. Razorback has Ryan’s back with a CVT temperature gauge mounted into the stock case. High CVT belt temps often lead to broken belts, which could lead to catastrophic clutch failures. The final piece of the power train puzzle came from Sand Craft RCR. The front differential of the General was upgraded with bearings, sprague and a 12-tooth armature plate. The driveshaft was then provided with a GEN3 bearing carrier that reduces play in the system.

HCR Suspension is one of the toughest brands out there. They have boxed-style built products. Summer Brothers got Ryan dialed in with strong axles.
HCR Suspension is one of the toughest brands out there. They have boxed-style built products. Summer Brothers got Ryan dialed in with strong axles.

TIME TO ROLL

We’ve always loved the interior and seating position on the General. The problem for us is that the chassis and engine are really more capable than the suspension. We have experience with several four-seat Generals that have the HCR long-travel kit on them. All have had a superbly comfortable ride that soaks up trail trash and chop like nothing else we have driven. This one is just as great.

The suspension is actually so good that stock engine performance feels a bit muted. In this case, the weight of the mods that make this General 4 a great adventure rig further tax the stock engine’s output. Adding a turbo kit hugely bumps the horsepower. It has all the power it needs, a hardened drive train, and everything needed to camp on the go. We can’t think on a machine that we would rather have along while looking for adventures.

The HCR Suspension and King Shocks combination soak up anything you drive towards in the Fuel General.

PARTS & CONTACTS

ARP BOLTS: (800) 826-3045, www.arp-bolts.com

Complete Suspension and Chassis 12 point chromoly bolt kit $500

Wheel Stud Kit $190

ASSAULT INDUSTRIES: (714) 799-6711, www.assaultind.com

Hellfire Front Grill $125

Quick-Release UTV Fire Extinguisher Kit $170

350R Leather Steering Wheel $170

Steering Wheel Hub $65

Phantom Convex Side Mirrors $310

Bomber Convex Center Mirror $100

Heavy Duty Tie-Rods $300

AUTO METER: (866) 248-6356, www.autometer.com

Sport-Comp Digital Boost Gage $200

BOXO USA: (657) 291-3950, www.boxousa.com

133pcs Metric Tool Set with 3-Drawer Carry Box $725

117pcs SAE Tool Set with 3-Drawer Carry Box $700

CRYOHEAT: (619) 940-4227, www.cryoheat.com

Transmission with 12% Gear Reduction and General Turf Delete kit $2,370

DOMETIC: (800) 544-4881, www.dometic.com

CFX 28 Electric Cooler $830

CFX IC28 thermal insulated cover $94

ENERGY COIL: (250) 581-0958, www.energycoil.com

High output Coil kit $390

FACTORY UTV: (916) 383-2730, www.factoryutv.net

3/8” UHMW Skid Plate  w/ Rock Sliders $840

FORCE TURBO: (801) 807-8046, www.forceturbos.com

Polaris General 1000 Turbo System $3,900

Upgraded Intercooler $200

FREESPIRIT RECREATION: (844) 833-2955, www.gofsr.com

High Country 55” roof top tent $1895

FUEL OFF-ROAD: www.fueloffroadutv.com

15” Fuel Forged FF69  Beadlock Wheels $550 each

32x10x15 Fuel Gripper T/R/K tires $230 ea.

HCR SUSPENSION: (888) 928-7223, www.hcrracing.com

Long-Travel Suspension Kit with King Shocks $6,000

Uni Ball Upgrade $300

Summers Brothers 300M 

Axle upgrade $400

HESS MOTORSPORTS: (940) 759-4597, www.hess-motorsports.com

Billet 7075 T651 Aluminum 

Front-Wheel Hubs $175 each

KC HiLiTES: (888) 689-5955, www.kchilites.com

Gravity LED Pro6 LED Light Bar (8 pods) $1,925

Slimlite LED 6” Pair Pack System $370

28” Multi-Function Rear Facing  Chase LED Light Bar $400

2” C-Series C2 LED Backup Area Floodlight System $190

KING SHOCKS: (714) 530-8701, www.kingshocks.com

Screw jack $900

LONG HORN FAB: (855) 797-8478, www.longhornfabshop.com  

Front RZR Seat lowing bases $180

MADIGAN MOTORSPORTS: (951) 382-0256, madiganmotorsports.com 

4 Seat Roll Cage $1,900

4 Seat Aluminum Roof Panels $400

4 Seat Roof Rack $600

Aluminum Bed w/ Custom 

   Hinged Rear Fenders $1,600

Sliding Cooler Mount $300

Front Bumper $375

ODYSSEY BATTERY: (610) 208-1991, www.odysseybattery.com 

Odyssey PC1200 $244 each

POLARIS INDUSTRIES: (800) 765-2747, www.polaris.com

Ride Command Mounting Kit $500

7” Ride Command Display $1550

RZR Turbo front LED Headlights $435 ea.

POWER TANK: (209) 366-2163, www.powertank.com

Mini Power Tank Kit $175

Tank Bracket $55

RAZOR BACK: (888) 525-2858, www.razorbackusa.com 

3.0 Edition/Infrared Belt Temp Gauge $300

RCV PERFORMANCE: www.rcvperformance.com 

300M Transmission Output Shaft $250

RT PRO: (517) 278-7768, www.rtproutv.com

Front chassis Arm Brace Kit $245

ROCKFORD FOSGATE: (800) 669-9899, www.rockfordfosgate.com 

Stage 4 400-watt stereo system $2040

RUGGED RADIOS: (888) 541-7223, www.ruggedradios.com

60-Watt (VHF) Radio Kit $425

RRP696 2-Place Intercom 

   with OTU Headsets $1315

Billet-Aluminum Dual Headset Hanger $55

In-Dash Mounting Plates $70

Dual Jack Mount $40

Audio Filter for Radio & Intercom $38

SAMLEX SOLAR: (800) 561-5885, www.samlexsolar.com

300-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter $200

SAND CRAFT RCR: (480) 539-4438, www.sandcraftmotorsports.com 

Front Diff w/ Upgrades $665

Carrier Bearings GEN3 $240

SAVAGE UTV: www.savageutv.com

UTV Drive Belt Case $120

SHOCK THERAPY: (623) 217-4959, www.shocktherapyst.com  

Billet-Aluminum RZR 1000 

Race Rack & Pinion $995 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS: (800) 654-7223, www.simpsonraceproducts.com 

Pro Sport Seat with seat mounts $600 ea.

5-point Harness $100 each

STM CLUTCH: (248) 673-8408, www.stmpowersports.com

Rage 3 primary $1,045

Rage 3 Tuner secondary $775

STREAMLINE BRAKES: (909) 987-4213, www.streamlinebrakes.com 

270mm front Big Brake kit $290

Rear Wave rotors $97 each

Xtream Duty Brake pads $29 each

SUNNER POWER: www.sunnerpower.com

Solar Panel and charging controller $120

UTV INC.: (480) 718-5511, www.utvinc.com 

Billet Quick-Release King Jack Mount $100

XTC POWER PRODUCTS: (480) 558-8588, www.xtcpowerproducts.com 

Plug & Play Self-Canceling Turn-Signal System W/Horn $390

6” Six LED Billet Aluminum License plate Frame $40

Plug & Play/Switch Power Control System $350

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