PROJECT POLARIS GENERAL
— Polaris’ all-new General 1000 EPS is a huge hit with UTV Action, and we discover new aspects of its capabilities every time we drive it. It’s a fantastic rock crawler with its excellent Engine Braking System (EBS), letting it idle over gnarly rock ledges and down drop-offs, and it crawls at a walking pace in low range. With 12 inches of travel, you want to ease over the larger rock faces and ledges, so a walking pace is the upper limit of the General’s rock-crawling trail speeds. Adding travel to any recreational sport UTV greatly increases rockcrawling capabilities, so the HCR (Hard-Core Racing) crew bought a Deluxe General 1000 EPS and designed a Long-Travel Suspension (LTS) kit for the newest Polaris. Why crawl when you can run over the nastiest terrain imaginable? Increasing total travel by 50 percent and ground clearance, width and wheelbase promotes the General to the Joint Chiefs of Performance staff.
While the General shares its engine and suspension with a foot of travel with the RZR S 1000, it also has a lower low range (with 37 mph top speed), EBS and upswept boat-style frame that makes it a much more capable rock crawler for eastern limestone ledges and western sandstone boulders. However, only the $19,999 Deluxe General has adjustable piggyback Fox QS3 (QuickSwitch) shocks, while the $15,999 Base and $17,499 Premium come with HPG shocks with five-position preload adjusters. HCR Racing computer-designed boxed front A-arms that are 5 inches longer than the stock tubular arms and matched the 70-inch width in the rear with lower H-arms and upper I-arms.
The boxed HCR arms are much stronger and are connected by the OEM Polaris front and rear torsion bars. These bolt-on components are not only boxed for strength, they have internal ribs and tabs that are Tigwelded for extreme durability. Front and rear arms are designed with 2 inches more wheelbase and 5 inches of extra width, and King Racing 2.5 tuned remote-reservoir shocks with single-rate springs, ring preload and adjustable compression damping increase travel to 18 inches in front and 17.5 inches in back. Increasing travel by around 50 percent and upgrading internal compression and rebound damping turns the General into an extreme-sport UTV that can run with RZR XP 1000s and Turbos.
The HCR Racing General LTS kit also includes longer 300M axles by RCV, which is rapidly becoming the axle of choice for UTV racers like King of the Hammers 2016 winner Blake Van de Loo, and the HCR arms are made of proprietary steel. MSRP for the HCR Racing General LTS kit with King 2.5 shocks and RCV axles is $5999. HCR is the first, but High Lifter, Lone Star Racing and others will have LTS kits soon.
BEYOND FIVE STARS
Completed days before the Rally on the Rocks (ROTR), the LTS General was fitted with 30-inch Arisun Aftershock XD rock-crawling tires on 14-inch Raceline beadlock wheels, PRP RZR XP seats, an aluminum HCR Racing roof and Vision X LED light bar. The Pro-Fit Polaris cage and General front bumper were powdercoated to match the HCR LTS arms, and the General got a custom wrap with HCR door logos. At the Moab ROTR, “El General” (pronounced “El Hen-er-AL”) was fitted with HMF Racing’s Titan QS Blackout slip-on exhaust with a larger-diamater mid-pipe and Cerakote ceramic coating for better flow. The HMF slip-on system reduces weight by several pounds and increases power for $449.95. We wanted El General to be quiet, so HMF installed the Blackout QS with their $19.95 QuietCore insert, which eliminates the need for HMF’s $339.95 Fuel Optimizer.
We tested the General 1000 on Moab Rim trail and Behind the Rocks, and performance was incredible— way beyond our stock Deluxe. Not only does it increase rock-crawling to rock-ripping speeds, El General drives like a modified RZR XP in fast sand S-turns, and the extra width makes it super stable on off-cambers and tall sand berms. Bumps and G-outs that would bottom the stock suspension and rattle your teeth are ignored by the LTS General. After installing the HMF exhaust we hit the trails again, and the exhaust added to the already-impressive low-tomid power of the 100-horsepower General. It scooted up Moab’s Escalator, one of the hardest slick-rock obstacles there is, like a champion.
Formerly, our favorite weapon of choice for Moab was the HCR Racing Teryx4, but the extra power of the Polaris General and the limousinelike ride moves El General to the top of our list. The excellent, plush ride with the HCR LTS kit is awesome, and the PRP seats complement and add to the cabin comfort of the General. The only thing we found to complain about on the HCR General were the OEM door latches; we had to remove the Z-links inside the doors, which connect the inner and outer handles. This made the outer handles inoperable, which is a minor inconvenience and no fault of HCR.
We felt the five-star decals on the 600-pound-capacity bed were appropriate on the stock Deluxe, and the LTS kit should come with an extra row of stars; is there such a thing as a 10-star General?