POLARIS RZR RS1 – MAKING IT FASTER
— Testing HCR Racing’s modified RS1 —
We got a demo ride in the all-new Polaris RZR RS1 EPS earlier in the year but not enough seat time to report on it fully. Our first impression was that it would make a great short-course racer, but it was a handful in whooped-out desert terrain due to stiff rear shocks and a short wheelbase. HCR Racing set out to cure that with its mid-travel suspension kit (RS1-05400), and we got to test the HCR RS1 Moab Edition build at the Rally on the Rocks.
WHAT’S AN HCR RZR RS-1 MOAB EDITION?
HCR’s MTS kit widens the RS1 3 inches per side to a 70-inch width, plus the longer boxed, catacomb A-arms and trailing arms add 2 inches of wheelbase for a total of 85 inches. The CNC-machined and TIG-welded control arms also greatly enhance strength and increase ground clearance by 1.25 inches in front and 2.5 inches out back. A new front shock tower is wider to correct the motion ratio of the front shocks with the wider A-arms. The RS1 MTS kit also includes RCV +3-inch axles, tie rods and boxed link rods. High-clearance lower links are an option, as are spherical bearings. Best yet, the RS1 MTS kit uses the stock 2.0 front and 2.5 rear Walker Evans Racing needle shocks; HCR had the top spring powdercoated to match the Moab Edition build.
HCR welded mounting tabs to the stock RS1 cage for KC Hilites’ new Pro-6 Gravity LED lights (six are $842.99) and installed lit whips. HCR powdercoated the cage and built an aluminum roof (price TBA). Ryco Moto’s turn-signal kit was installed, and the stock wheels were replaced with Raceline A71MB Mamba 15-inch beadlocks ($199.99 each) and accessory rings ($93.99 each) shod with 32×10-15 GBC Terra Master tires. The RS1 body got a custom HCR wrap for the Moab Edition build, and a Pro Armor G-Force suspension seat ($524.95), five-point harness ($124.95) and Formula padded steering wheel ($79.95) completed the cab.
Other than the factory Polaris High Lifter XP1K lower transmission gearing and HCR suspension arms, the HCR Racing RS1 Moab Edition is mechanically stock with a stone-stock 999cc engine.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
Polaris set the RS1 EPS price at $13,999, and the $4,999 HCR MTS kit brings the total to $18,998. GBC’s 32-inch Terra Masters add another $872. The RZR XP 1000 EPS starts at $17,999. The Ride Command Edition is $19,499. The High Lifter Edition goes for $21,199, and the Rocks and Trails Edition, which is closest to the Moab Edition RS1 in equipment, is $22,499. The Polaris Ace 900 XC is $12,999, and there are no other single-seat UTVs to compare to the RS1.
HOW FAST IS THE PROSTAR 999?
It’s as fast as the RZR XP 1000 but not on top. The HCR RS1 has the same 110-horsepower ProStar EFI twin as the XP1K, but the 29-pound advantage the RS1 had over the XP1K was erased by the extra weight of the HCR MTS kit, Raceline wheels and 32-inch tires. Also, the HCR RS1 Moab Edition got Polaris’ lower High Lifter transmission gearing, so it tops out at 65-plus mph instead of 78 mph in high and 35-plus mph in Low instead of 42 mph. It’s still fun to pitch into turns and slide, though.
HOW ABOUT THE DELIVERY & DRIVETRAIN?
It’s better than the two-seat XP1K tested last month. The factory RS1 gets the XP Turbo’s higher-grade front diff, transmission, primary and secondary CVT clutches and CVT belt. The HCR MTS kit adds RCV axles to the RS1 armor, along with stronger suspension arms and links. The HCR Moab Edition’s lower gearing and RS1’s narrow body make it the best rock-crawler we’ve driven, as it’s easier to spot your own front tires and select lines. The lower gearing also adds compression braking, although the On-Demand AWD only slows the rear wheels.
HOW DOES THE RS-1 HANDLE?
It’s agile but not as twitchy as the stock RS1. The factory RS1 has an 83-inch wheelbase, and the stretched HCR MTS arms lengthen the wheelbase to 85 inches. The added front travel and more leverage of the longer arms on the OEM WER shocks level and soften the ride quality. For comparison, the Ace 900 XC has a 67.5-inch wheelbase, and the RZR XP1K has a 90-inch wheelbase. HCR disconnected the rear torsion bar on the Moab Edition build for articulation in extreme rock-crawling conditions, so it has more body roll than if the torsion bar were used.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUSPENSION & WER SHOCKS?
The RS1 starts out the same as the XP1K with 2.0 front and 2.5 rear WER needle shocks, but the RS1 has remote-reservoir rear shocks instead of piggybacks. The HCR kit adds a new front shock tower to calibrate the shock motion ratio for the front WER shocks, and longer A-arms yield 18-plus inches of travel, leveling the ride. HCR didn’t even re-valve the WER shocks on the Moab Edition build, and ride quality is excellent in rocky desert terrain and sand. Racers, desert denizens and duners will probably want to add a front torsion bar and stiffen the shocks, but we were pleased with the ride on technical trails.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
The RS1 has the same brakes as the XP1K. Each wheel gets a twin-puck caliper and 248mm rotors. HCR’s Moab Edition improves on that with a larger contact patch from the 32-inch GBC Terra Masters (mounted A-side out for intermediate to soft conditions), and lower tire pressures allowed by the Raceline beadlock wheels.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
The HCR RS1 Moab Edition is super comfortable. The RS1 has a roomy cockpit and great ergonomics, and the Pro Armor suspension seat, harness and Formula padded steering wheel improve on the RS1 components. The aluminum roof also elevates cabin comfort, and the switches for the KC Hilites LEDs were placed below the OEM controls on the driver’s right. But, the biggest advance is in the HCR MTS kit’s plush ride quality, aided by the low-psi GBCs. Although we drove the HCR RS1 at Moab, we’d choose it first for Brimstone, Windrock Park and any other eastern ride spot.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Polaris packed a lot of great features and upgraded technology into the all-new RZR RS1, and it has a lot going for it, including an awesome engine, turbo-grade driveline, and proven suspension and brakes. It has greater capabilities and comfort than the top-shelf Ace 900 XC too. HCR Racing improves on the RS1 package with its Mid-Travel Suspension kit and with its partners: Pro Armor, RCV, KC Hilites, Raceline, GBC and Assault Industries. The HCR Racing Moab Edition RS1 has next-level ride quality, suspension, handling and creature comforts.
2018 HCR MOAB EDITION POLARIS RZR RS-1
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin
Bore x stroke 93mm x 73.5mm (x2)
Compression ratio 11.0:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Induction 48mm EFI (x2)
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch w/brake on
Type Paper pleat
Access Tool-less, remove seat, hatch & undo 4 clasps
Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ reverse
Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock
Final drives Shafts
Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.
Overall length/width/height 112”/70”/74.75”
Ground clearance 14.25”
Claimed dry weight 1,340 lbs
Bed weight limit 50 lbs
Towing limit N/A
Frame Steel round tube
Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0 shocks/18”
Rear IRS Trailing-arms w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.5
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Lever on console
Front 32x10R15 GBC Terra Master
Rear 32x10R15 GBC Terra Master
DC outlet Right-side console
Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Instrumentation Digital speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/
Colors White Lightning, Black Pearl
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $18,998
Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS;
HCR Racing, (888) 865-7223
MORE POLARIS RS1 INFO BELOW: