Since 2010, many an off-road prodigy has started out in Polaris RZR 170s, and they’ll be continuing legacies through the Pro ranks. Now Polaris has improved on 11 years of the RZR 170 with the all-new 2022 RZR 200 that carries Pro XP DNA. While the entry-level RZR has more safety features than ever, it’s also engineered to win races and groom future champions on tracks around the country and world. Here are ten things about the RZR 200 every parent and racer will need to know.
1) HELMET AWARE TECHNOLOGY
Past youth machines have had intake and/or exhaust restrictors that had to be mechanically installed and removed; others have had throttle limiters that had to be set. Polaris is the first to have Helmet Aware Technology with the RZR 200. Youth UTVs including the RZR 170 come with two helmets, and the new 200 comes with twos helmets and a Bluetooth beacon. Attaching the beacon to one of the helmets, parents can use the Polaris Ride Command App to prevent the RZR from starting if the beacon is out of range of the gauge sensor. It also has a plastic guard on the floorboard to prevent anything like a helmet on the floor or the passenger’s foot from getting under the throttle pedal.
2) GEOFENCING AND EFI THROTTLE CONTROL
Parents can also limit top speed on their Ride Command App to pair speeds with ability via the Youth Ride Control feature. No more mechanical limiters or restrictors! Also, Geofencing allows parents to set up the containment area for their youth pilots, and power will cut off if the RZR 200 is driven outside the boundaries. It gives piece of mind and protects prodigies if parental attention is distracted by texting photos or getting the gas can. As skills and experience grows, parents can increase to speed from 10 mph to 25 mph and increase ride area size.
3 & 4) EVEN MORE SAFETY FEATURES
Also new, the RZR 200 comes with bright LED headlights and a taillight for daytime visibility at public riding areas. This is in addition to the standard safety whip and flag and the two helmets. Also new for 2022, the RZR 200 comes with Pro XP-inspired half doors, where past 170s had nets. The doors have ProXP-styled skins and tubular frames, and the latches are tiny and hard to reach by occupants, so they can’t be opened accidentally. They’re painted red. The doors are topped by full-length nets to keep arms inside the cabin, and they open with the doors.
5) PRO XP-INSPIRED CONTROLS
Like bigger RZRs, the new 200 has a tilt steering wheel, but it’s not a hydraulic unit or easily adjusted. A large thumb screw lets the parents set the optimum tilt level for the 10-and-up youth(s), then tighten with pliers to prevent misadjustment. This is an improvement over the 170, as its adjuster requires a wrench and is obstructed by bodywork. The throttle pedal is black, and the 170’s limit screw is absent on the 200, while the larger brake pedal is painted red. The shifter is simple and has a large F-N-R on the knob, and the hand-operated parking brake rides in front of the selector. And the fuse box rides to the left of the driver’s seat so a parent can quickly cut power if any electronics go awry.
6) LARGER DISPLACEMENT FOR THE 200
The RZR 200 has a bore and stroke of 62.5mmx57.8mm for 177cc, which is only a 5-percent displacement increase over the 170. Compression goes from 9.5:1 on the 170 to 9.6:1. Many companies have big-bore kits for the old RZR 170, which has a 61mm piston and 57.8mm stroke for 169cc. Vent Racing’s 63.5mm big-bore kit yields 183cc, and there are even 204cc and 232cc kits available. Both the 200 and 170 use the air-cooled GY6 engine case, and race tuners port heads for bigger valves (30.5mm intake, 26.5mm exhaust) and higher compression. While the RZR 200 is more trail worthy in stock form with the extra 8cc, there is room for improvement for racing. Also, the EFI throttle body is 32mm; the 170 went EFI for 2015 and had a 24mm carburetor before that; Vent’s 180cc kit has a 26mm carb, so the 32mm EFI is a big improvement. Horsepower is 11.1 and torque is 9.7 ft-lbs. The RZR 200 has a Donaldson-style air box with much-larger pleated paper filter like full-sized RZRs, and the engine sits further back in the frame than the 170. It has two venting ducts for the large cover over the CVT clutch, too.
7) UPGRADED DRIVELINE AND HYDRAULIC BRAKES
RZR 170s have a rectangular swingarm and five inches of non-independent travel in back, and only lower A-arms in front. Since the RZR 200 has independent rear suspension, it got two rear axles with inner and outer CV-joints, which is a huge upgrade. The old 170 has its single hydraulic caliper at the right-rear wheel, and the 200 has a larger caliper in the center next to the drive sprocket for more centralized mass.
Up front, the 170 has strut-style suspension with hydraulic calipers on each wheel, which are shod with 19×7-8 Duro tires. The RZR 200 has dual front A-arm suspension with larger hubs and brake rotors, and huge tie-rods ride in front of the hubs with a huge steering rack, like Trophy Trucks and Wildcat XXs. Not even Pro XPs have tie-rods in front. Also, the RZR 200 has a huge upgrade in tires with CST 24×8-12 front and 24×10-12 rear, which greatly improve ride quality and flotation.
8) ADJUSTABLE SEATS AND CABIN UPGRADES
While the RZR 170 has nets and tubular side bolsters, the RZR 200’s enclosed doors provide more security. While the seats are the same, both seats are adjustable on the 200; only the drver’s seat adjusts on the 170. Wheelbase and width are the same at 65 inches and 48 inches, respectively, but the engine sits further back in the frame for more cabin room. New RZR 200 instruments have the Youth Ride Command with Helmet Aware Technology, Geofencing, Speed Limiting, plus selectable modes and nine parameter read-outs.
9) PRO XP-INSPIRED SUSPENSION
By far, the biggest upgrade is the 200’s all-new suspension with Pro XP-inspired trailing arms in back and gull-wing dual A-arms in front. Trailing arms are constructed with two tubes forming upper and lower hub mounts and converging into one at the front pivot, and plates sandwich the tubes, forming boxed arms. Upper and lower tubular A-arms are gull-wing shaped and heavily gusseted, and the RZR 200 has front and rear torsion bars to fight body roll. HPG shocks are five-way preload adjustable and provide 7 inches of front and rear travel, while the 170 only has 5 inches. The RZR 200 weighs 735 pounds dry, while the 170 weighs 532 pounds, and the 200 costs $500 more.
10) BUILT TO RACE AND GROW WITH YOUR RACER
It’s like Polaris shrunk a Pro XP into a Youth UTV, and the trailing-arm rear suspension even has double-shear mounts for the radius rods at the hubs (a weak point for 2017-2021 X3s and Talons). Gaining 205 pounds also means that construction is more durable and race-ready, as the new suspension and drivetrain can’t account for all of the extra heft. The RZR 200 platform is several levels above the 170 from the factory, and the aftermarket will make it better still. We can’t wait to see what our Youth test pilot Graham Smead thinks of it stock, and what aftermarket companies like LoneStar Racing, Elka, Cognito, and SuperATV will produce for Youth racing. Full-race RZR 200s will further bridge the gap between entry-level Youth and 570 UTVs.