2013 Polaris RZR XP4 Project – Part 1 0
The Walker Evans Edition 2013 Polaris RZR XP4 is a hell of an Off-Highway Vehicle right off the showroom floor, but you can always make a good thing better. There is a virtual plethora of aftermarket accessories available for the XP-series and more cool goodies are being manufactured every day. Any self-respecting RZR owner will be keen to admit that building your rig into a bigger, better and badder side-by-side is an addiction. Once you start bolting stuff on, you just can’t stop. And it starts as soon as you walk into the dealership.
Over the next few months we are going to give a play-by-play of what it is like to not only buy and own a Polaris XP4 but we intend to point out key upgrades and must-do maintenance tips that will make sure your RZR-experience is a good one. We picked up our XP4 at Parkers ATV & Cycle in North Bend Oregon and had them install a few must-have factory-options right out of the gate.
For big families, keeping the kids safe and happy is the key to a successful weekend of side-by-side riding, so we opted for the following Polaris accessories: Lock & Ride Poly Roof ($299.99), the Lock & Ride Half Windshield and the SSV Overhead audio system with LED and four marine-grade speakers ($799.99).
The Poly Roof is slickly designed to follow the angular lines of the roll cage. It features easy-release straps that allow you to remove the top in a hurry if you the need pops up. Here in Oregon we have lots of trees and even more rain, so right out of the gate this option paid dividends. It offers excellent protection from low-hanging branches and brush, plus it keeps passengers pretty dry in the rain. It isn’t perfect though. The angular design is laid out so that the driver and shotgun passenger’s shoulders are still directly exposed when it’s pouring hard. The driver’s left leg and rider’s right leg still get wet. The passengers in the back enjoy near complete protection. While coverage isn’t perfect, I would definitely recommend the Poly Roof.
The Half Windshield is awesome too. It has been our experience that when riding in the cold and wet conditions that the full-coverage windows tend to fog-up. The half window, while it doesn’t provide total coverage, offers an added measure of protection from splashing water, roost and cold air. Unfortunately, the polycarbonate plastic is susceptible to scratching. The first time wiped it down after getting roosted with wet sand permanently scratched it up. It is still 99% functional, but it ticks me off every time I see those scratches. On the flip side, I would recommend the half windshield as it provides a measure of protection from rain and wind without taking away from that wind in your face freedom that makes driving the XP4 so much fun.
The SSV stereo is the definitely the most popular of the three factory-installed components as far as the kids are concerned. At $800 it’s a steep price to pay but this thing is awesome. The stereo is an AM-FM radio with waterproof compartment and dongle that allows you to plug in an iPod or iPhone. The unit is located overhead, so it works well with the Poly Roof and is easily accessible. The stereo is also equipped with a LED light that serves as a dome light for the front of the XP. Its four 6-inch marine-grade speakers offer nice sound even though they are noticeably biased to treble and devoid of big bass (which you can upgrade with the Big Base speaker and amp combo that plugs right into the SSV system for another $549.99).
As it is, this set-up is plenty loud, plenty clear and has made our family riding experience even better. Plus, your phone stays charged when it’s being used and it is tucked neatly out of harm’s way. The bad part of the SSV stereo system is that on a couple hard-landings from jumps the rear speakers slid forward from the mounting location on the top of the roll cage and broke the connection off the wiring harness. We have since secured them a bit better and made a point not to go full bore mullet so much when we are driving. As a result we haven’t had any issues with the speakers since then.
That wraps up the first installment of our Polaris XP4 Project articles. Next time we will discuss paddle tires, aftermarket wheels and the all-important aftermarket doors.
Polaris RZR XP4 Driving Tips:
RZR Driving Tip #1:
The High and Low range on a RZR are there for a very good reason. The easiest way to ruin a day of riding is to fry your drive belt. This is the component that is most susceptible to breaking on any RZR and the majority of the time it is driver error that causes a belt to burn up. It is vital that drivers run their car in Low range when rock crawling or in other slow driving conditions. This is somewhat inconvenient because you have to come to a complete stop in order to shift from Low to High or vise-versa. But burning up a belt sucks a lot worse! So, take care of your belt, don’t spend undo time with the clutch spinning and the car not moving, or pulling other rigs out when they are stuck. That’s what a winch is for.
RZR Driving Tip #2:
Momentum is your friend. When driving at the dunes you must maintain speed if you plan to attempt big climbs. A stock RZR is fast, but these are heavy rigs and they tend to get bogged down if you don’t carry momentum.
RZR Driving Tip #3:
Don’t scare your passengers. Riding in a UTV is a lot of fun but passengers in the back seats get beat up much more than the folks up front. Take it easy, you can still have a great time without terrifying your friends and family. This is particularly important when you have kids riding with you. For old bastards like myself, it’s fun to haul-ass, but err on the side of caution because side by sides are not invincible and anything you can do to avoid a mishap will pay off in the long run. Keep speeds safe and you will have more fun.