UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

Is it the ultimate or not? 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels with Jack Trittler

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

Jack Trittler has a lifelong affiliation with all things motorized. For much of his life he supported the family by working in the marine industry, but along the way he raised a pro motocross and freestyle rider, dabbled in hot rods and has a lot of experience with tow vehicles and motorhomes. The transition to the UTV world was a natural progression. He was able to combine a lifetime of towing experience with a love of off-road and an obsession with high-performance machinery.

Trittler and his wife and partner in fun, Judy, progressed through a number of machines before landing on what he thought was his dream machine, the Polaris RZR Turbo S Dynamix. He was able to put together a machine he was fully satisfied with. Although it was backwards from most other owners’ experiences, Trittler was able to build the machine, then attempt to purchase it from Polaris. It turned out to be an early machine that was not for sale.

When he started looking for a replacement, he ended up backing away from the 72-inch RZR Turbo S and buying the RZR Pro XP Ultimate. Like the Turbo S, the 64-inch Pro XP Ultimate comes equipped with Ride Command and Dynamix computerized suspension with Fox Live Valve shocks. He explained, “I put 3500 miles on the Polaris Turbo S two-seater in one year, and it was a nice package. But, I had heard good things about the new Pro XP. When I received the Pro XP, I was looking for an improvement in everything. Our first RZR 800s seemed like toys next to new cars. I call them ‘cars,’ because I feel they are closing in on a Jeep in size and ability. Or, maybe a Jeep is creeping closer to Polaris off-road cars.”

After driving many miles in a RZR Turbo S, Trittler found that he liked the character of the 64-inch Pro XP in turns. He stayed with the stock chassis and suspension arms.

THE GOOD STUFF

For the most part, Trittler was impressed with the performance of the new ride. The first thing he noticed was the steering was very tight and accurate. The car doesn’t seek its own path, but always goes where you aim it. He had thought that he was fully converted to the 72-inch width, but he found the 64-inch width had some advantages. He decided to split the difference by installing a set of OMF 15-inch beadlock wheels with 2 inches more offset than the stock wheels. He also chose to up the tire size from the stock 30-inch tires to 32-inch ITP Tenacity tires.

Typically, when you increase the wheel offset, you add the width that you are looking for, but you can create at least two problems for yourself. On the positive side, the track was upped to 68 inches. That is the same as the new Kawasaki KRX 1000 and the Honda Talon 1000R. As expected, the added width made the car more stable in turns and more planted on cambers.

A common drawback of added offset is bump steer where the car wants to jerk away from your intended line if you hit a bump with just one front wheel. Trittler’s Pro XP doesn’t bump-steer at all despite the added offset. The other potential drawback is added load on the wheel bearings and suspension components. To combat the bearing issue, he replaced his near-new stock ball-type wheel bearings with an All Balls Racing tapered DAC wheel bearing upgrade kit. Stock replacement wheel bearings from All Ball are roughly $28, but the tapered bearings are $49.95. Polaris offers a similar bearing upgrade kit as well.

The numerous added electrical accessories required a number of added switches. The radio and intercom are from PCI Race Radios. The kit included helmet kits.
Beadlock OMF wheels look nice, but with the 32-inch ITP tires, they all but guarantee getting back on four wheels. The winch is always good for peace of mind. Note the tiny indicator lights.

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

MORE GOOD

Trittler and his wife had replaced the seats in the Turbo S, but didn’t find the need with the Pro XP. They were happy with the rest of the interior, but did opt for a degree of personalization. They ride in the dust a lot of the time, and they did not like the way the stock doors sealed. Polaris Accessories one-piece steel doors fit well and have quality seals that keep out the dust. Plus, they add hip room. A set of handy PRP door bags added storage and include a pad to provide a comfortable place to rest your knee while driving or riding passenger. The Ultimate package comes with a roof, so a PRP overhead bag added more in-cab storage.

Like our staff, Trittler found that the Ride Command system works well and it is very fun to use. In fact, he feels that Ride Command alone could persuade a person to choose Polaris over competing brands. In addition to Ride Command, Trittler uses a Samsung Active 2 tablet that is waterproof and shock resistant. It is fitted with a Ram mount made specifically for this tablet with a charger. He prefers the Avenza trail app, as you can download forest service maps and the like for free. Avenza bread crumbs has lots of useful features and is easy to use on the trail.

For communicating with Judy in-car or with other members of a group, Trittler chose a PCI Elite California Ultimate 2 package that has an in-car intercom and a car-to-car radio in a package with helmet kits. That is what makes it a “California” kit, since California requires helmets. No matter what state the Trittlers are in, they wear helmets. Jack felt that the early PCI radio mount kit he used was a hard fit, but notes that PCI has a new and better kit available now. Trittler also upgraded the interior with a Ryco horn and turn-signal kit.

It was helpful that the RZR Pro XP Ultimate package came with a roof. Trittler added the removeable Polaris windshield, rear storage boxes and flip-up spare-tire carrier.

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

TAKING IT WITH YOU

Although willing to undertake shorter rides, Trittler has his Pro XP and his fifth-wheel toy hauler setup for multi-day adventures and long, often remote exploring. To prepare the Pro XP, he turned to Polaris brand accessories for their fit and convenience.

Polaris’ storage box and ice chest were their choice. “The 70-liter forward cargo box fits the front of the bed perfectly, is dustproof, and you can still see over it. A 23-quart rear ice chest keeps ice cold and is easy to access. An over-the-bed spare tire carrier keeps the 56-pound spare over the rear wheels for better handling. Polaris was also the source of the half windshield.”

According to Trittler, “The Polaris half windshield is pricey but of high quality. After 5000 miles, it still looks and works like new. There are an odd combination of lights, mirrors and hand-holds on the car, but those are mostly products carried forward from past builds. Polaris makes great winches, but Trittler chose to go with a Warn VRX 4500.

The rear of the machine is literally filled with Polaris storage options. They install easily, fit perfectly, and let you take everything you need with you safely and securely.
These aftermarket doors are from Polaris, and the door bags are from PRP. PRP is also owned by Polaris. Together they add comfort and storage to the cab. (
There are a variety of lights on the Pro XP build, including some from Vision X and KC HiLites. Most have been passed forward from past builds, but still push the night back well.

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

TAIL DRAGGER

Early RZR Pro XPs are known for soft rear springs that can soon get even softer. Adding the rear storage boxes, carrying tools and a full cooler topped with a spare tire did nothing to help the situation. Trittler found that the suspension was far too softly sprung for his taste with the final trail-ready package he had built. He has an established relationship with Shock Therapy, so as soon as the company reported they had the Pro XP suspension dialed in, his Fox Live Valve shocks were in the mail.

While the spring kit alone would have dealt with the ride height issues, Trittler opted to have the shocks valved as well. When the shocks were returned and mounted, Trittler found the mods were well worth the price. “We all think the best ride possible is the best ride we have ever experienced. We didn’t know what a great ride was until we experienced the Pro XP with the Shock Therapy suspension. Getting back in the car, I could not believe the difference. Big problem solved.

“Being able to drive and change the suspension on the move works well for me. I like to drive on the softest setting with my thumb on the red button. Hitting it provides instant full-stiff suspension for a hard turn or G-out.”

We drove the car in the high desert where we had a mix of fast roads and trails connecting to rougher sections, and even tight and rocky trails through trees. True to claims, the Shock Therapy suspension has a smooth, almost floating feel. Very little of the terrain input to the wheels and suspension ever reaches the driver or passenger.

The balance was good as well. Even with a fair amount of weight over the rear of the car, it feels level with no tendency to hammer through the stroke. Truly impressive for a total price of $1645!

Polaris gave the RZR Pro XP a pleasant rake and styling that looks fast standing still. This project added only what was smart and prudent for remote exploring and long rides.

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATE

LONG-TERM CONCLUSION

Nothing is less satisfying than spending time, effort and money on a machine to find that it is not what you had hoped for. Luckily, the Trittlers dodged that arrow by a mile. In Jack’s own words, “This is the best side-by-side I have driven. Nothing has broken, and it has never lost a belt! After 5000 miles the primary clutch does not need a rebuild, and the wheel bearings are good. I love the tilt steering wheel, and I like drink holders that are in reach. What I like best is, I can drive it out and drive it home.”

This is a car that is constantly out and on the go. It is maintained well, but has 5000 tough off-road miles under the tires, and the car feels tight and drives like new. We’d call this a common-sense car. It doesn’t have a fancy wrap or any appreciable bling factor—just what is needed to do the job at hand. We can get behind common sense.

 

UTV PROJECT: POLARIS PRO ULTIMATEPARTS LIST

ALL BALLS RACING: www.allballsracing.com

Tapered DAC front upgrade kit: $49.95

Tapered DAC rear upgrade kit: $49.95

ITP TIRES: (800) 827-1001, www.itptires.com

Tenacity 32-inch tires: $333.30 ea.

OMF PERFORMANCE WHEELS: (951) 354-8272, www.omfperformance.com

NXG 3-piece beadlock wheels: $449.95

PCI RACE RADIOS: (800) 869-5636, www.pciraceradios.com

Elite California Ultimate 2: $1,299.99

RZR Pro XP radio intercom bracket: $64.99

POLARIS: https://rzr.polaris.com/en-us/shop/accessories

Aluminum doors, two-seat: $584.99

73 QT forward cargo box: $324.99

42 QT rear cargo box: $224.99

Pivoting spare tire carrier: $524.99

Lock & ride half windshield, hard coat poly, mid: $249.99

PRP SEATS: (800) 317-6253, www.prpseats.com

Door bags with knee pads: $154.99

Overhead bag: $199.99

RYCO MOTORSPORTS: (801) 643-3440, www.facebook.com/rycomoto

Turn signal and horn kit: $305

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

Spring kit: $850

Shock modifications: $795

WARN: (833) 727-8784, www.warn.com

VRX 45-S powersport winch: $599.99

 

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