PRODUCT EVALUATION: APROVE FRONT INTRUSION BARS
Passenger protection for the RZR XP Pro By Ray Gibbs and the staff of Dirt Wheels
There you are, blasting down your favorite trail. Everything on your car is working just as planned. You take pride in your ride, and the accessories that you bought and installed. The day is going great! You are driving like a hero. And then, in an instant, a deer jumps out of nowhere and flies right across the front of your car. It missed you by inches. Or, it could have been a dirt bike or quad coming head-on that you didn’t see in time. Either way, whether it’s a machine or 200 pounds of kicking meat with antlers, it could come right through the open front of your car.
Out here on the West Coast, animal encounters aren’t as common as in other parts of the country, so thoughts of needing more substantial occupant protection may not be as high of a priority. Some cars come equipped with intrusion bars right from the factory, but mine, unfortunately, did not.
I was fortunate enough to install a robust set of front intrusion bars from Aprove Industries. Their offering for the RZR XP Pro is an excellent piece that is well-designed (in the U.S.), manufactured (in Taiwan) with high-quality materials, and the fit and finish are top-notch. The installation goes quick. It took longer to write this evaluation than it took to install the set on my car. There may be a few more steps to this if your car has a roof, but trimming should be minimal.
WHAT IT TOOK TO INSTALL
If you have a roof on your car, ensure that it will not interfere with the top, center mounting clamps. My car has a clear polycarbonate roof that needed a notch cut in it for proper fitment. Other roofs may vary. Place a nice, thick towel or a couple of (clean) shop rags on the hood and dash of your car for the bottom crossbar to temporarily rest on during initial installation. I found it much easier to join the vertical bars to the bottom cross brace first. Tighten the three bolts before you place it on the rags on the dash. This will require an Allen wrench and a socket or wrench.
The top mount consists of two sheet metal C-clamps that attach the top bar of the roll cage to the top of the vertical intrusion bars. These clamps get one nut and bolt each. Install these finger-tight. Next, you can install (finger-tight) the bottom bars’ clamp-type brackets that connect the lower horizontal bar to the car’s upright cage bars.
Ensure that the whole assembly is moved up as far as possible against the top bar before tightening the top clamp bolts. This will require a box-end wrench and a socket and ratchet. With the top clamps screwed on tight, you can tighten the four bolts on the two bottom clamps.
HOW IT WORKS
Initially, we thought that we would be distracted by the additional tubing in the front field of vision while driving, but after the first ride with the intrusion bars installed, you don’t notice them any more than the OEM cage upright bars at the sides. My wife even commented on how much more secure she felt (she was with me when the Bambi near-miss event transpired) with them installed. It looks like the intrusion bars could be an effective mounting location for a low-profile front light bar; we have Toy Box height restrictions.
Overall, these bars are rugged, great looking, reasonably priced and are a snap to install. Don’t wait for “the scare” before making this safety investment in your ride! For more information, call the U.S. helpline at (651) 207-8109, or go to www.aproveatv.com.