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ATV World Magazine Polaris RZR 4 Review

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Hey guys,

Here's the initial test review of the Polaris RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition in ATV World Magazine: ATV WORLD MAGAZINE - North America's Best ATV/UTV Magazine

Here are copies of the actual pages in the magazine:

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You can download the complete article pdf here: http://www.utvreport.com/pics/atvworld/rzr4/initialtest/initialtest.pdf

Here's the article in text form with larger pictures:

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When Polaris first introduced the RZR in 2008, the recreational UTV and Side x Side industry was changed forever. As if that wasn’t enough, Polaris introduced the RZR S in 2009, which was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition with a high output factory long travel equipped sporty side x side. For 2010, Polaris has gone above and beyond once again with the release of their all-new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition.

So, if you’re like us you’re probably wondering some of the following whether you own an existing UTV or not:

- Does the engine have enough power?

- Does the extra wheelbase cause you to high center or hang up more?

- Can you really fit 4 people comfortably for an entire day’s ride?

- How is the turning radius?

- How well does it fit in tight woods trails?

- How well does it rock crawl?

- How does it do in the sand?

So, to begin, let’s jump right to the things we love about the new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition:

- Similar fit, finish, and comfort level of the existing RZR and RZR S

- Tilt Steering Wheel

- Digital Dash

- High & Low Beam Lights

- Simple 1-position On-Demand AWD System

- Comfortable bucket seats front and rear

- 4 cup holders

- 12v power sockets front and rear

- RZR S Suspension with heavier duty Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks

Here’s what we’d like to see updated for next year’s models of not only the RZR 4 but also the regular RZR and RZR S:

- Parking brake

- 6 tie down points in the bed

- Integrated hard sided lockable glove box

And, specifically for the RZR 4, we’d like to see Polaris utilize the additional space under the rear driver’s side seat for added storage, because you can never have enough space to store stuff when out riding the trails. And, last but not least on the RZR 4, we’d like to see a quicker steering ratio and power steering due to the extra length and additional weight on the front end.

But, we know what you’re really wondering is how it drove out on the trails, right? But, before we jump in with our full test, we’re happy to say the new Polaris RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition is an all around amazing sport side x side. As you can probably imagine, the extra size has its limiting factors, but it also has some very beneficial factors, as well. So, to begin our test, we headed out to the Brimstone Recreation area in Huntsville, TN to test its prowess in tight woods trails.

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Part of what we were wondering is how many times we’d have to do 3-point turns to make it through the trees. We were wondering if we’d get hung up making hard off-camber turns by catching trees on the roll cage. We also wanted to see just how often we’d get hung up on steep water breaks and big rocks. And, finally we wanted to get the feedback of other riders on the trails with us that had other brands and models of UTVs for some honest comparison feedback.

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In the end, we were pleasantly surprised with the way the RZR 4 handled tight woods trails. We had folks with existing RZR’s, RZR S’s, Rangers, Prowlers, and Rhinos drive and ride in it, and their responses were all very similar.

Engine

The engine is peppy when compared to non-RZR machines, and although not as fast as the RZR or RZR S, it seemed to have plenty of power to everyone that drove it. And, for those power hungry folks, there are plenty of options to increase the power of the High Output (H.O.) 760cc engine ranging from turbos to all sorts of bolt-on parts that can fit within your budget.

Extra Wheelbase

It didn’t get hung up on the tall and steep water breaks like everyone expected. Although you could feel it drag the undercarriage at times, there always seemed to be tires on the ground that were able to pull you through without getting hung up. The positive attribute to the extra wheelbase is that it rides very smooth, soaking up the bumps at both high and low speeds with little to no feedback through the steering wheel. When compared to the other 2-seat UTVs, some even mentioned it was possible to get hung up easier on the steep faced water breaks in their shorter wheelbase UTVs because their tires would be off the ground more.

Comfort Factor

Although we didn’t test it with 4 adults in the tight woods, we did put 3 adults in to drive it. Three of them currently drove Rhino 450’s, and they were pleasantly surprised at how well it rode, how comfortable the back seat was, and how much quicker it was when compared to the Rhino 450. Upon initial inspection we originally thought the rear seats would only be comfortable for small adults or children. But, after spending hours in the back seat, it’s truly as comfortable as the front seats with a nice grab bar running the entire width of the RZR 4.

Turning Radius

Our initial assumption was that we were going to have to constantly stop and make 3-point turns to make it through the tight woods trails. But, to our surprise, we only had to do this a couple of times in a full day’s ride. And, for comparison sake, the one guy with a Ranger XP had to do it in the same places we did. But, you will find yourself working the steering wheel more because of the added weight of the machine and what appears to be the same steering box ratio as a regular RZR. We’d like to see a quicker steering box ratio and power steering on next year’s models to make weaving your way through the woods a much more enjoyable experience.

Overall Tight Woods Impression

The astounding response we received from everyone that rode or drove the RZR 4 was “Wow, I didn’t expect that!” I think what we all realized is that our assumptions were nearly all wrong and that Polaris has really done their homework with the new RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition. It’s obviously not as nimble as a 2-seat UTV or ATV in the tight woods, but for most people wanting to take their families out trail riding, the positives far outweigh the few times you’ll have to back up or slow down to weave your way through the trees.

Continued below...

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Next, we took the RZR 4 out to Moab, UT for the 4th Annual UTV Rally. Our goal was to test the RZR 4’s ability to rock crawl and run through the sand. Although there’s not a ton of sand dunes in Moab, there are some areas we were able to get a feel for the RZR 4’s ability to power through the soft sand. And, of course, Moab, UT is most well known for its abundance of slick rock crawling, big ledges, and steep climbs and descents. There’s a big difference running on tight woods slick and muddy trails versus the famous slickrock in Moab, UT. Plus, with the added sections of sand in Moab, we’re able to give you well rounded picture of the RZR 4’s capabilities and limitations.

Steel Bender

When we first arrived in Moab, we took the RZR 4 out on Steel Bender, which is rated as a heavy moderate, light difficult trail for UTVs. It consists of loose rock ledges, choppy exposed rock, jagged rock faces, and some of the most scenic views in all of Moab. With the backdrop of the snow covered LaSalle Mountains and Ken’s Lake, we headed into the trail wondering how the RZR 4 would do on all the ledges, considering the longer wheelbase.

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To our surprise, the RZR 4 conquered all the major obstacles on Steel Bender with no trouble at all. What was nice is that the steeper the obstacles were, the more at home you felt driving the RZR 4, because you never felt like you were going to tip over backwards.

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Through the choppy terrain, we realized at times a little more ground clearance would be helpful and possibly no rear swaybar, as well. While dropping off some of the ledges, we definitely hit bottom, but never got hung up.

Hell’s Revenge

One of the most famous trails in Moab is Hell’s Revenge, so we had to take the RZR 4 out to test its capabilities on obstacles referred to as Hell’s Gate, Escalator, Tip-Over Challenge, and the famous hot tubs. In short, the main part of the trail proved to be no problem for the RZR 4 making short work of steep inclines, declines, and off-cambers. When we came to Hell’s Gate, we looked at it, picked a line, and headed down and back up with no problem at all.

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But, like anything, if you get offline a little bit, the obstacles on Hell’s Revenge can definitely create some pucker factor.

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We did both routes up and down Hell’s Gate, and we found the extra wheelbase was very confidence inspiring.

Next, we headed towards escalator, which is the hardest obstacle on Hell’s Revenge. It’s a combination of a v-notch with extremely steep rock faces to climb up at the same time. Having watched plenty of 2-seat UTVs attempt it with little to no success often times resulting in rollovers, we had to see if the extended wheelbase of the RZR 4 would either prove to be too long and cause us to high center or be just enough to make it up safely. The first face was no problem. The second bowl is nearly straight up with no real place for your right side to grip to, because it’s a sheer wall. We picked our line and slowly attempted to climb up. To our surprise, it walked right up without even spinning a tire or dragging the undercarriage. Right after us were some 8” over long travel RZR’s that all needed a strap to keep it safe and prevent them from rolling over backwards. On this obstacle the extra wheelbase definitely proved helpful.

Next we headed to Tip-Over Challenge, which although it is tall, steep, and off-camber, it proved once again to be no problem for the RZR 4’s vertical and horizontal stability.

Next, we headed out towards the famous hot tubs.

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We did the first one without any trouble for any of the UTVs with us and decided that having to strap off for the other two didn’t really prove anything. So, we resorted to the fact that we didn’t have big enough nerves to conquer the remaining two hot tubs and completed the rest of Hell’s Revenge without any trouble.

Fins N Things

One of the coolest trails in Moab is Fins N Things with its combination of slickrock and soft sand. Here, we took 4 adults out in the RZR 4 to see just how well it did fully loaded down on a moderate trail. Once again, we conquered all the obstacles on the trail with no trouble at all. But, this is where we did notice a difference in power. With the added weight of two more riders and the deep soft sand, more power would have been welcomed. But, regardless, we were able to speed through the whoops and high-sided berms with finesse. Once up to speed, maintaining it didn’t seem to be a problem at all. Surprisingly, we expected the suspension to bottom out and high center a lot more often, but we didn’t notice a huge difference in the way it handled. And, all the folks riding with us were amazed too, because they all had families and were interested to see how it did fully loaded down, as well.

Cliffhanger

Of the difficult trails in Moab, Cliffhanger is one where you quickly become acquainted with steep loose ledge off-camber climbs and descents. Once again we wanted to see if the additional wheelbase of the RZR 4 would prevent us from completing the trail. With us we had other RZR 4’s and lots of other 2-seat UTVs for comparison. We finally got hung up, but it was the harder alternate route that caused us to stop dead in our tracks.

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Otherwise, in comparison to the other 2-seat UTVs, we were now convinced that there’s very little if any detriment to having the extra wheelbase. Outside of a worse turning radius and being slightly harder to steer due to it’s weight, the added vertical and horizontal stability was gladly welcomed on Cliffhanger.

Hurrah Pass/Chicken Corners

This trail isn’t known for it’s hard obstacles, but rather it’s draw dropping views and high speed runs through the soft sand and whoops. With 3 people in the RZR 4, it was a blast to bomb through the whoops wide open, catch some air, and carve through the high-banked turns. As mentioned before, acceleration is definitely slower than a regular RZR or RZR S, but it’s definitely on par with the other available 2-seat UTVs with similar sized engines. What we also found on this trail is that it’s a lot of fun to be riding with more than one other passenger. We all took turns driving and laughing at how smooth the RZR 4 handles the whoops and small jumps. If big jumps are your thing, our recommendation would be more compression dampening by adjusting the stock shocks. Otherwise, once up to speed, it’s a blast to carve through the sand.

Poison Spider Mesa

If you only have the chance to ride one trail in Moab, our recommendation would be Poison Spider Mesa because of its variety of terrain and jaw dropping scenery. But, it’s also a 4/5 difficult trail with non-stop action along the whole trail.

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It includes steep rock faces, ledges, soft sand, slickrock, and excellent backdrops for amazing pictures against the LaSalle Mountains.

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Without boring you with a play by play of each obstacle, the RZR 4 definitely proved worthy of tackling any section of this trail with confidence and ease.

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In fact, many of the Jeeps out on the trails were amazed at how easily it went up some of the steeper rock faces that often times cause Jeeps and other fullsize rigs to flip over backwards or merely not have enough traction to make it up. DSC_0941.jpg

Final Impressions

Overall, the RZR 4 proved to us that its extended wheelbase, RZR S inspired long travel suspension, extra 2 seats and really cool looking paint scheme far outweighs the slower than desired steering ratio and extra weight. The back seats are just as comfortable as the front seats, which is mainly due to the stadium style seating and plenty of space to slide your feet up under the front seats. By no means do you feel cramped in the back of the RZR 4. As mentioned in the beginning, a parking brake, some tie down points in the bed, a lockable glove box, quicker steering ratio, and power steering would all be welcome features for 2011, but they’re definitely not required to have a great time in this machine with 3 of your friends or family. The Polaris RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition is definitely the ultimate family sport oriented side x side on the market today. No more do you have to put seats in the back of your existing UTV to bring your children or friends. The RZR 4 is capable of safely taking you and your family and friends anywhere you want to go more comfortably.

Continued below...

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2010 Specifications

Engine

- 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder

Displacement

- 760cc High Output (H.O.)

Top Speed

- 61 mph (98.2 kph)

HP

- 55

Fuel System

- Electronic Fuel Injection

Cooling

- Liquid

Drive Train

Transmission/Final Drive

- Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft

Drive System

- On-Demand True AWD/2WD

Suspension

Front Suspension

- Dual A-Arm, Fox Podium X 2.0 (Comp. adjust./res) 12 in (30.5 cm) Travel

Rear Suspension

- Dual A-Arm, Rolled with Anti-Sway Bar Fox Podium X 2.0 (Comp. adjust./res) 12 in (30.5 cm) Travel

Brakes

Front Brakes

- Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front Calipers

Rear Brakes

- Hydraulic Disc

Tires & Wheels

Front Tires

- 26 x 9-12; Maxxis Bighorn

Rear Tires

- 26 x 12-12; Maxxis Bighorn

Wheels

- Cast Aluminum Black Bruiser

Dimensions/Capacities

Wheelbase

- 103 in (261.6 cm)

Dry Weight

- 1,255 lbs

Length/Width/Height

- 130 in/60.5 in/75 in (330.2 cm/153.7 cm/190.5 cm)

Fuel Capacity

- 7.25 gal (27.4 ltr)

Bed Box Dimensions/Capacity

- 42 in x 22 in/300 lbs (106.7 cm x 55.9 cm/136.1 kg)

Hitch Towing Rating

- 1,500 lbs (680.4 kg)

Cargo System

- Lock & Ride

Ground Clearance

- 11.5 in (29.2 cm)

Hitch/Type

- Standard Receiver

Features

Instrumentation

- Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Hour Meter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlets (2)

Seating & Ergonomics

- Interchangeable bucket seats with 4 inches (10.2 cm) of adjustability

- Class-leading tilt steering with 10 inches (25.4 cm) of range

- Front and rear passenger handrails

Colors

Colors

- Painted Boardwalk Blue/Pearl White w/ Robby Gordon Off-Road Graphics

Accessories

Factory Available

- Over 80 accessories to choose from

Miscellaneous Pictures From Poison Spider Mesa

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