POLARIS ACE 900 XC

— Testing a fast single-seater UTV —

Polaris aimed its first Ace single-seat UTVs at off-roaders who wanted fun, affordable, entry-level trail machines. The Ace 900 XC is more affordable than many sport UTVs, but it’s a whole different high-performance animal than the smaller Aces. Hit the gas hard enough on this beast and it’ll aim for the sky!

WHAT KIND OF UTV IS IT?

It’s a 59-inch-wide, single-seat sport machine with 78 horsepower and  more than a foot of suspension travel, front and rear.

Piggyback reservoir, compression and spring preload-adjustable Walker Evans shocks are used up front.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The Ace 900 XC is $12,999, the Ace 570 EPS is $8999 and the Ace 500 is $6999. The new RZR RS-1 is $13,999. The RZR S 900 is $14,699. There are no single-seat sport UTVs from other brands, but Can-Am’s new Maverick Sport starts at $14,699. The Textron Wildcat Sport starts at $14,599.

WHAT’S NEW?

Fender flares add splash protection. Improved seat sliders make seat adjustments easier. The new Velocity Blue paint scheme stands out more than last year’s Matte Silver Pearl.

The single, centered seat provides a comfortable, commanding place to attack the off-road world from, and centering the driver’s weight helps the machine’s handling.

WHAT POWERS IT?

An 875cc, double-overhead-cam, eight-valve, inline twin with 78 horsepower. That’s three more horses than the larger, heavier RZR S 900!

WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT HAVE?

Selectable 2WD/4WD with an automatic-locking front differential.

There’s a large storage area under the front rack.

HOW FAST IS IT?

It’s a rocket. With 78 horses pulling just 1050 pounds, the 900 XC has a ridiculous power-to-weight ratio, so it accelerates seriously hard.

HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?

The Ace is only violent when you mat the throttle. If you get the urge, this thing can break the tires loose to slide or light all four tires up with a stab at the gas pedal. At moderate throttle settings, it’s on good behavior and can cruise calmly or claw its way through tough, obstacle-strewn terrain with impressive control.

With 78 horses pulling just 1050 pounds, the 900 XC has a ridiculous power-to-weight ratio, so it accelerates seriously hard.

WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?

Double A-arms front and rear with 12.3 inches of travel up front and 12.6 inches in the rear. Piggyback-reservoir Walker Evans are shocks are used up front and remote-reservoir Walker Evans shocks handle the bumps out back. The front and rear shocks are spring preload- and compression-adjustable.

HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK?

Great shocks, lots of travel and very little weight give the 900 a plush ride with remarkable bottoming resistance. You don’t have to push this machine hard to make the suspension work, but if you do, it can handle big high-speed impacts very well.

The Ace 900’s 875cc, DOHC, eight-valve engine makes three more horsepower than the larger, heavier RZR S 900.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?

The Ace 900 XC is one of the most agile machines in its size range, and its 59-inch width keeps it from feeling tippy, but it can be twitchy, so you have to pay attention when you’re driving it aggressively. The 900 has no trouble breaking traction to slide, and front and rear sway bars keep it flat in corners, but you need to finesse the steering and throttle more than on most machines to drift it gracefully. The Ace has quick handling due to its compact 67.5-inch wheelbase, and all that power can make things happen fast.

WHERE DOES IT WORK BEST?

The 900 XC is happiest in tight woods trails where it can give larger, more powerful rigs fits with its quick reflexes. This machine can be big fun in technical desert terrain and in the dunes too.

HOW IS IT ON HILLS?

Having enough power for big climbs is not an issue with this machine. With enough traction, you can even wheelie over the top. Actually, you can wheelie off any good rise on the trail if the dirt is tacky enough. Downhills demand focus in the Ace because it doesn’t have automatic engine braking, and the machine can get sideways more quickly than some. The powerful four-wheel disc brakes have no trouble slowing this machine’s modest weight.

Remote reservoir Walker Evans shocks are used in the rear. The suspension is impressively plush and has remarkable bottoming resistance.

CAN IT HANDLE MUD AND WATER?

Most definitely. With 13 inches of ground clearance, a short wheelbase, high-mounted intakes and tons of power, the Ace 900 is a natural swimmer and mudder.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS AND COMFORT?

They’re almost all good. The seat is comfortable and the cabin is roomy. The power steering keeps the steering effort light but with good feel. There’s plenty of storage in the dash and under the front rack. Maintenance items like the air filter, oil filler and battery are easy to get to. The 900’s only annoying detail is that it goes through its smallish 5.25-gallon fuel supply pretty quickly. The RZR 900 has a 9.5-gallon tank that gives it much more range.

A hatch in the bed provides quick access to the air filter and oil-filler cap.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?

The Ace 900 XC’s reflexes are so quick, they’ll challenge yours. It has a ton of performance in a compact package with agility that makes some larger machines seem lazy.

SPECS:

POLARIS ACE 900 XC EPS

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin

Displacement 875cc

Bore x stroke 93mm x 64.4mm

Compression ratio 10.6:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction 46mm EFI

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch

Air filter:

  Type Paper pleat

  Access Tool-less, undo 2 clips

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

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 5.25 gal.

Wheelbase 67.5”

Overall length/width/height 94”/59”/72”

Ground clearance 13.0”

Dry weight 1050 lb.

Rack/bed weight limit 120 lb./240 lb.

Hitch Optional 1.25-inch receiver

Towing limit 1,500 lbs.

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel square tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arms w/ comp- & prel.-adj. shocks/12.3”

  Rear IRS A-arms w/ prel.- & comp.-adj. shocks/12.6”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front 27×9-12 GBC Dirt Commander

  Rear 27×11-12 GBC Dirt Commander

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front Two 50W headlights

  Rear Dual brake/taillights

DETAILS

Instrumentation Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/gear/

clock/2WD-4WD

Colors Matte Silver Pearl

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $12,999

Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS

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