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UTV Off-Road Magazine Project RZR XP4 900 Reveal

February 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Feature Articles, Polaris

In our last issue, we revealed the beginning of our Project RZR XP4 900 which included a full cage replacement, side panels and front bumper from TMW Off-Road. We also changed out our factory Liquid Silver body plastics with new black plastics from Pure Polaris to serve as a base color for our build. For added comfort and an upgraded look, we added a set of Triple X Industries X3 seats in the front and a bench seat in the rear. Helping to secure us to our new cushions, we added four 3” H-style harnesses from UTV Inc.

If you have been following along, you may have noticed a few items have changed since our last article. For our final build, we swapped out our original TMW side panels for a set of TMW’s new doors. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, they weren’t available when we started this build; and secondly, since this vehicle is a press vehicle, we are constantly getting in and out to take photos while on photoshoots and events. We love the look of the low profile panels, but opening doors would serve us better in the long run for ease of exit and entry. The larger doors would also provide us with more real estate for our graphics.

The completed vehicle you see here in its finished state has yet to hit the trail. Since we wrapped everything up right before this issue went to press and added a host of new products, we wanted to provide you with a rundown of all the products we have added. This will give you some additional information when looking for available companies and products you may be searching for when updating your UTV. In our next issue we will put our XP4 through its paces, and we will be reviewing each product and provide you with our honest opinions on what worked and what did not. We feel that our project turned out amazing, and it has everything that we can think of that we need. Chances are throughout our testing there will be a few things that we may change or update. Watch for our Dec/Jan issue as we reveal to you the final outcome. Until then, here are the product details we have added to our build.

ImageRIGHT: If you are anything like us, you may find that you want to add accessories to your UTV, but are left in a quandary as to how to mount them securely to your ride. Axia Alloys offers a wide variety of great products, one of which is a unique modular mounting system that will fit any tube size for a number of components. Whether you are mounting a GPS, iPod, rifles, lights/light bars or mirrors, their system will fit your size tube. We used Axia Alloys to mount our Lowrance GPS and GoPro video camera, and to keep an eye on the trail left behind, we added their side mirrors and center mirror.Image

BELOW: When it comes to lighting, the choices seem to be endless and it will drive you crazy choosing which light you think will work best.   We ended our search when we discovered the LazerStar series of LED lighting.  LazerStar has been in the lighting industry for years building quality lights for the off-road industry, and they also offer lights for the truck, Jeep, motorcycle, auto and marine industries.   Up top we went with their Atlantis 3 watt 34” single row LED light bar.  They include a total of 32 LEDs. This combination light bar features 16 LED spot optics in the center for distance and a total of 16 LED flood optics (8 on each side) adds side illumination.  The 32- 3 watt Cree LEDs are housed in an aluminum casing and protected by a polycarbonate lens. This slim profile bar measures in at 1.76”H x 2.93”D x 34.12”W, and draws 3.52 amps. BOTTOM:  For additional light, we added the Discovery series – this 12”, 6 spot beam, 10watt LED light bar puts out 6000 lumens in a compact size (2.56” x 4.02” x 13.12”) with a 2.28 amp draw.

BELOW: Doors are becoming commonplace, and there are a lot of quality options to choose from. The latest product to roll out of TMW’s shop is their X-4 full opening doors that fit both the Polaris RZR XP4 900 and the Polaris RZR4 800. The frame is constructed from 1” steel tubing, with hand formed aluminum door panels. A solid latch is what everyone is looking for and the TMW X-4 doors feature a unique dual stage slam latch system. The latch can be easily adjusted for smooth opening and closing. A rubber doorstop keeps the door tight to reduce rattling while driving. The latch provides easy opening and closing of doors without any rattling.

BELOW: The TMW XP-4 radius cage features an 8”-lower-than-stock radius cage made from 1-3/4” mild steel. Complete with hand formed aluminum hard top, dual whip tabs, threaded mirror bungs and built-in hand grips, this cage has it all. TMW also ran all of our wires for interior lighting, whip lights, rear lights and antenna wires for a clean look.

RIGHT:  Interior lights is something often overlooked, but once you have them you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them.   TMW offers a convex interior dome light set that puts off an amazing amount of light for such small lights.

These stealth dome lights are almost invisible until turned on. We installed four lights to the underside of our roof to illuminate the interior of our XP4.  At $39 for a set of two, you can’t go wrong.

ABOVE: From Dragonfire Racing, we replaced our flimsy factory plastic steering wheel with DFR’s ultra comfy D-shape aluminum steering wheel. This affordable ($99) wheel is wrapped in high quality suede leather for extra grip with or without gloves. We matched it up with their 6-lug quick-release hub and spline adapter for easy removal of our wheel, which acts as a theft deterrent. You can’t drive it without a steering wheel. The black anodized aluminum hub features a spring-loaded lock ring, and the 6-lug pattern will accept popular wheels like DFR, MOMO and Grant Wheels. This wheel not only looks great, but also feels great in your hands. We really enjoy the soft suede and thumb indentions while driving. It will be hard to ever drive a UTV with a plastic steering wheel again.

ABOVE: We love extra ponies in any vehicle, and in UTVs we love it more. When it comes to power there are a lot of options available on the market today that will wake up an already powerful XP. For our build, we wanted everything to be bolt-on products that the average consumer can complete in his or her own garage without opening the motor. With that in mind, we contacted MCX-USA after discovering their latest turbo RZR XP application. Recently they have developed a low boost and economical ($3,375) turbo kit that is a bolt-on application and requires no motor work and runs 91 octane pump gas. Current higher boost turbo offerings from MCX-USA require a head shim kit that lowers the compression ratio, allowing the vehicle to run on 91 octane gas. The low boost kit provides 125 crank horsepower running at 5.5 lbs of boost, which is a 45% increase in overall performance. After driving both high boost and low boost equipped XPs from MCX, we liked the low boost better because we feel the turbo lag is less. Test runs from MCX-USA puts an RZR XP with a low boost kit at 71mph in just 9.3 seconds. In stock form, the XP hits a meager 69mph in the same time. Their high boost kit will hit 72mph in 7.5 seconds. The low boost kit includes a Mitsubishi Turbo, intake plenum,integrated blow-off valve, aluminum high flow muffler, intercooler and charge tubing, boost gauge and adjustable weight kit with Team Industries clutch components.

Typical of all MCX turbo UTVs is the air-to-air intercooler mounted up high just behind rear seats to provide maximum air flow. The base low boost kit comes with a red UNI foam filter that is typically installed behind the driver side seat/rear seat. An upgraded UMP aluminum canister with a Donaldson filter is available for $390, which mounts on top of the bed on the driver side. For our application wanted to keep our bed area open for additional storage, so we went with a Donaldson canister and air filter ($160). We located our new airbox under the driver side bed and connected it to our factory airbox inlet. A stock XP4 has great power, but when extra weight is added from products the extra power goes a long way. We love the extra power increase the turbo provides through our initial testing, and with all of our products added we will be fine tuning our clutch and boost level for optimum performance. The kit can be added in about 5-8 hours time depending on your experience level. If performance is your thing, then check out MCX-USA’s soon-to-be-released Race Turbo, putting out 230hp at the crank running 21 pounds of boost on race fuel.

ABOVE: This XP4 will see more than its fair share of dunes and desert trails. For those instances when we encounter large obstacles, having extra clearance is crucial.  In our past experience while rock crawling in Moab, we were unhappy with the XP’s factory trailing arms that seem to hang up while cresting large rock ledges.  To prevent this, we added a set of ZBROZ Racing/ARS FX max ground clearance arm for an impressive 3” of additional clearance.  From the front pivot to the shock mount, the arms are level with the skid plate, they then tapper down from the shock mount to the hub. The trailing arms are built from DOM tubing and available in glossy black, white, red and Orange Madness.  The max clearance radius rods provide more clearance through their arch design. Factory rods are susceptible to damage while hitting rocks on the trail.  A bent rod will throw off the camber and caster angles on the rear wheels.  The gusseted rods are built from DOM tubing for added strength.

RIGHT: Protecting the underside of our XP4, we added a set of Trail Armor 1/2” UHMW full skids (right). The high-density plastic polymer is perfect for sliding over rock obstacles. We prefer these to typical aluminum skids for their durability. They don’t dent and absorb hard-hitting impacts. On the left, our OEM skids took a beating in a short amount of time but our chassis suffered more damage. This is one of the better upgrades you can add to any UTV that will save you expensive repairs in the long run.

TOP LEFT : Just in case the unexpected happens, we added a fire extinguisher complete with red anodized aluminum mount from UTV Inc. Two quick-release pins allow quick removal. TOP RIGHT: To keep our beverages cool, we snatched up a soft-sided cooler from AO (American Outdoors) Coolers. This 24-can cooler is strong and easy to clean, one of the best coolers for off-roaders. No more lids flying off or cans/bottles rolling around. To secure it to the bed, we added a UTV Inc. cooler rack that can be configured to fit in the Polaris Lock & Ride system. A single strap keeps the cooler in place. No more bungees or ratchet straps. UTV Inc. offers this combo for $169.95. The cooler runs $59.95 from AO Coolers.

LEFT: To bring some style to our dash, we applied carbon fiber vinyl from ATV Basecamp out of Canada. The 11-piece dash kit has a 3D texture that refracts light like real carbon fiber. This durable, scratchproof overlay is easy to install and won’t discolor or become brittle from the sun. They also offer overlay kits for your hood, doorsill, brake and gas pedal, body panels for the RZR and RZR S models and many tube overlays for bumper and cages. ATV Basecamp recently released a red carbon fiber to match the factory red plastics. We think they look great!


BELOW: When it comes to wheels, a set of OMF Performance Beadlocks is at the top of our list. Their latest, Type R, 3-piece billet center wheels offer a lighter outer ring with water drain holes. To protect our bolts and beadlock rings, we added black mini Rock Domes to every other bolt on the outer ring. Rock domes are like skid plates for your beadlock wheels and they add a cool look. Wrapped around our stylish and functional wheels, we went with the latest tires from GBC. The Kanati Mongrel by GBC Motorsports is the first true all-purpose DOT tire built specifically for UTVs/Side-by-Sides. The 8-ply, DOT approved radial also boasts an impressive 1,000 lb. load rating and an equally impressive 87 MPH “N” speed rating. Current tire size offerings are 26×10.00R12. The Mongrels will also be available in a 28” size soon. With all of our tires the same size, we went with 12×6 wheels with a 4+2 offset on all four corners.

ABOVE: Bringing everything together in one cohesive look, our XP4 received a full graphic wrap from our new friends at Wolf Designs. Owners Jon and Amy Wolf not only create amazing custom designs, they are UTV enthusiasts as well and understand the off-road industry. Wolf Designs also offer large trailer and truck wraps, pretty much anything that can be wrapped. They currently have stock designs for the RZR line and door templates that fit TMW Off-Road, Pro Armor and UTV Inc style doors. Designs will be available on their new website soon. Check them out on the web at: or call 602-531-0160.

ABOVE: When it comes to safety, we promote riding with helmets at all times. And with recent laws being passed in California, everyone driving or riding in a UTV will be required to wear a helmet. To keep things fun and personal on the trail, we ordered a set of pre-wired HJC DOT-approved helmets and intercom from PCI Race Radios. This will allow us to have a normal conversation with our passengers without talking over engine noise from our UTV. PCI Race Radios recently introduced the New Elite Series Intercom. This new intercom boasts crystal clear communications with an all-new digitally controlled VOX system. For our application, we went with the Elite DSP Bluetooth. The Bluetooth feature allows you to connect your intercom to your cell phone or any Bluetooth enabled music player. This way we can listen to music without connecting any wires or have a cell phone conversation without ever connecting our phone to the intercom system. This will be great for hands-free driving!

ABOVE LEFT: A 150-ohm dynamic noise-cancelling microphone in our helmet is crystal clear.  ABOVE RIGHT: Located behind the inner lining of our helmet is a 3.5mm earphone speaker.

ABOVE: We also added an Icon 5020 series radio to keep in contact with other UTVs outside of ours that we will be riding with. PCI offers a 2-seat or 4-seat communication package for your UTV and comes with easy-to-install brackets. The 4-seat package comes with a 50 Watt, VHF, 128 channel Icom Mobile Radio, cables, antenna and coax, an MP3/Satellite radio interface adapter for the ability to plug in your MP3 player or satellite radio directly into the intercom. Four carbon fiber headsets are also included, but check with PCI if you are wanting wired helmets. They also offer a helmet wiring kit that you can install in your own helmet.

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