PROJECT UTV: SARA PRICE’S PERFORMANCE RZR
— A play car for a fast female —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels.
Sara Price knows her way around a dirt bike better than most riders. She has won multiple championships and competed at the pro level. Eventually, Price switched gears and decided that piloting roll-caged machines with four wheels was the way to go. She battles through the desert in a Kawasaki Teryx, races 800-horsepower Stadium Super Trucks and toughs out short-course tracks in a Polaris RZR for Terracross racing. Price landed a championship in Terracross racing in 2015 and was so fond of the Polaris RZR XP 1000 that she decided to build herself a play car out of one!
Price started racing Super Trucks in 2016, and the horsepower difference between one of those machines and an XP 1000 is major. She wanted to slightly bridge that gap by increasing the power of her RZR, so she started out by getting a Big Gun EXO stainless steel dual-exhaust system that provides a higher exhaust flow. The dimensions of the new header and muffler add power throughout the rpm range, as long as you change the mapping of the ECU. Price went to Benchmark Performance to obtain an ECU re-flash that changed how much fuel and air entered the engine.
An increased flow in exhaust means an increase airflow is needed. Sara installed a performance air-intake system from K&N Filters. Their filters are serviceable and reusable while allowing a higher volume of air to flow through them. After upgrading the power, it was time to move on to improving the handling.
SPEED ISN’T ALL ABOUT POWER
As a racer, Sara Price knows how important a fine-handling machine is to be able to go fast. Walker Evans Racing was more than happy to assist her in obtaining a premium suspension upgrade. Velocity Series 2.5-inch piggyback needle shocks are Walker Evans’ top-of-the-line shocks for the RZR XP 1000. They feature high- and low-speed compression and adjustable spring preload. These shocks have a dual-rate spring set up with crossovers so the top and bottom springs work specifically for small chop to big hits. The bottoming resistance is increased over stock as well, with valving and needle profiles that are properly set up for the type of driving Price does. Price installed (she does all of her own work) a set of Walker Links, which are mini shocks for the rear sway bar of the RZR. We tested a set of the links on one of our own RZRs, and the upgrade was most impressive.
Price also knows that durable equipment is just as important as better-handling parts. SuperATV has Atlas Pro heavy-duty boxed A-arms that will outlast any stock Polaris A-arm. The construction of the parts makes them less prone to bending or breaking. SuperATV also has heavy-duty trailing arms for the RZR that provide the same durability and strength that the A-arms do. New Rhino axles were installed on the RZR, along with IMG Motorsports heavy-duty radius rods and tie-rods. Now, Price can worry less about breaking parts and focus more on going fast!
Traction is a major player in the speed department. Sara installed a set of Raceline Mamba beadlock wheels with 30×10-15 Arisun Gearbuster tires wrapped around them. These tires roll over terrain better than the stock ones, have an eight-ply sidewall construction to resist flats and grip well on hardpack terrain. Sara uses Slime tire sealant as her flat-prevention system in her Arisun tires.
PROTECTION IS IMPORTANT
A stronger roll cage provides confidence when it comes to driving UTVs. Price had IMG Motorsports build her a much stronger roll cage with an aluminum roof built onto it. In the seating department, Sara picked up PRP Alpha composite seats that have high backs and an upright seating position. Six-point racing harnesses keep Price secure in her seat. In case of a roll-over, PRP also has half doors that were installed on this Polaris project.
SuperATV nerf bars were mounted up to the RZR to protect the sides of the machine from rubbing on rocks, trees or tires of other machines. The final protection part is a Safecraft PB5 fire-extinguisher system. We firmly believe that every UTV should have a fire-suppression system installed on it.
Sara Price topped off her playful Polaris RZR XP 1000 build with some electronic upgrades. Her machine starts faster now with the use of an Optimas starter. She installed a PCI Race Radios 4 Link Pro system so she can talk to her passenger and other drivers while having the ability to listen to music through the system and answer phone calls. Finally, Sara hooked up with KC Hilites to get a set of stock-replacement Gravity G34 LED headlights that provide a wider and longer beam that is also brighter than the stock lights.
HOW IT DRIVES
The Terracross-racing RZR-turned-fun toy is a machine that is built to handle short course and desert, or, as Price said, “It’s great because the whole car is adjustable and can fit any terrain.” When we got to test it, the RZR was set up more for short course, with a suspension setup that kept the Polaris closer to the ground. The Walker Evans shocks and sway-bar links are far better than stock. They gobbled up whoop sections, handled chop in slow and fast driving environments, and cut down heavily on body roll. The power was smooth yet strong through the whole range. The throttle was still manageable in corners, even with the ECU re-flash, K&N Filter system and Big Gun exhaust system installed.
The PRP seats are very comfortable and keep you sitting snuggly in them with the aid of PRP’s 6.3 racing-harness system. The IMG radius rods and heavy-duty tie-rods gave the machine a more precise steering feel, along with providing us with more confidence due to the increased safety.
Sara told us, “The tires are a bit grabby, but I pushed them hard and even ran over some cactus and they were great!” We felt the same way about the Arisun Gearbuster/Raceline Mamba beadlock wheel combination. They are eight-ply tires, so the flat-prevention system is helpful, and the addition of Slime in the tires made us feel more confident that we wouldn’t easily get a flat.
Sara Price is an impressive racer, fast rider, and, above all, a great person with a personality that makes you want to spend hours hanging out with her and listening to her talk about racing and trail-riding adventures. She knows what works and what doesn’t work on a UTV and can school most of the people we know on a dirt bike. Her playful Polaris RZR XP 1000 build was provided with enough aftermarket parts to make it fast, safe and fun. Catch up with Sara through www.facebook.com/sarapricemx, Instagram @sarapricemx and her website,www.sarapricemx.com.
CONTACTS AND PRICE LIST:
www.arisuntireusa.com, (714) 893-3311
30×10-15 Gearbuster tires $176.99 each
ECU re-flash $399
www.biggunexhaust.com, (714) 970-0423
EXO stainless series exhaust $919.99
www.imgms.com, (951) 471-1615
Cage and roof $1599.99
Radius rods $399.99
www.kchilites.com, (888) 689-5955
Gravity G34 LED headlight system $714.44
www.knfilters.com, (800) 858-3333
Performance air-intake system $342.99
www.optimasmotors.com, (713) 466-6131
PCI RACE RADIOS:
www.pciraceradios.com, (800) 869-5639
PCI 4 Link Pro $629.95
www.prpseats.com, (800) 317-6253
Alpha composite seat $850 each Doors $550
6.3 harness $199 each
www.racelinewheels.com, (800) 529-4335
15×7 Mamba beadlocks $169.95 each
Pro Series lug nuts $64.99
www.safecraft.com, (800) 400-2259
PB5 fire extinguisher $498
Tire sealant $8.99 per 16 oz. bottle
www.superatv.com, (855) 743-3427
Atlas Pro high-clearance boxed A-arms $649.95
Heavy-duty rear trailing arms $649.95
Nerf bars $249.95
Rhino axles $224.95 each
WALKER EVANS RACING:
www.walkerevansracing.com, (888) 933-7223
Velocity Series XP 1000 shocks $899.99 each
Walker Link sway bar links: 375 a pair