BUYER’S GUIDE: TOP 10 RZR XP 1000 UPGRADES

Right off the showroom floor, Polaris’s RZR XP 1000 is an incredibly capable, high-performance machine. A near-perfect combination of impressive handling, big horsepower and comfort have the XP 1000 owning the upper end of the extreme-performance category. We have logged thousands of miles on our test units—trail riding, duning, racing the WORCS series or even the SCORE Baja 1000—and the RZR is proving itself in many of these disciplines. While it’s incredibly capable and diverse in stock form, we’ve discovered a handful of different upgrades that improve durability, comfort and performance across the board. After nearly two years behind the wheel, here are the top 10 “fixes” or improvements that we can’t live without.

clutch cover update

1) PolarIs Clutch Cover Update
The first-year 2014-model XP 1000s were prone to heat related clutch-belt breakage. During slippage and even normal use, the extreme horsepower and weight of the XP 1000 would create extensive heat. The original clutch cover features only one intake and one exhaust duct. The 2015 XP 1000s received a new clutch cover with a large secondary exhaust ducting that truly gets the heat out before it can damage the belt. This updated cover provides twice as much airflow, reducing belt temperatures by more than 50 degrees. The new cover is available as a kit that includes a new clutch cover, all the necessary ducting, new high-flow intake filters and an improved clutch belt. Polaris sells this complete kit to the public for $270, which is barely more than the cost of a replacement belt.
www.polaris.com, $270

Sparks Spider Gear

2) Secondary SpIder Gear Upgrade
The XP 1000 secondary clutch utilizes a cast, internal spider gear as the final drive between the clutch and output shaft. The stock cast gear has proven substandard for the weight and horsepower that the rest of the system can handle. When this cast gear breaks, you are dead in the water. Curtis Sparks Racing and Team Industries both sell a hardened “Black” gear or “clutch damper” that will eliminate breakage. If your gear is a gold color, it needs to be replaced before it breaks. If it is black, then it has already been updated. This is the best 35 bucks you can spend, and it takes about 20 minutes to install.
www.sparksracing.com, $35

Albabelttemp

3) ALBA Belt Temperature Gauge
We have all figured out that heat is the number one killer of the clutch belt. If you can monitor belt temperatures and back out of the throttle before damaging the belt, your belt life will increase drastically. Knowing this, Alba developed a super-high-quality gauge. With Alba’s belt temperature gauge, you can keep your clutch in the “safe” temperature zone and back out of the throttle any time it gets too hot. Monitoring the belt temperature also educates the driver about what causes excessive heat, essentially training him to be easier on the belt for increased life. Made in the USA.
www.teamalbaracing.com, $150

DSC_1802

4) CageWrx Front Sway Bar
By design, a sway bar applies pressure to the outside tire, enhancing cornering ability and stability. The RZR has come with a rear sway bar since its inception, but many aftermarket companies have been supplying stiffer and more adjustable options for racers looking to improve cornering prowess. Chad Ragland of CageWrx has taken this further by adding a custom front sway bar that works in conjunction with the bumper. The CageWrx system attaches to the front A-arms via weldon tabs, and the chromoly-splined sway bar pivots off the front bumper. Adding a front sway bar nearly eliminates body roll and increases traction by keeping all four tires in contact with the ground. With the benefits of a front sway bar readily apparent, front sway bars quickly made their way onto Polaris’ drawing boards. Polaris recently released the Fox Edition XP with the first OEM front sway bar complementing the internal bypass Fox shocks.
www.cagewrx.com; $595, sway bar; $350, bumper

DSC_0067

5) Lower Half-Door Inserts
The Polaris RZR quarter doors are designed to contain passengers’ arms and legs and to protect against side impacts with brush, limbs, trees, etc. They are built well, and the latches work great and don’t rattle. Where they totally miss the boat is keeping the driver and passengers clean. The RZR’s front tires have a serious habit of throwing roost, sand, silt, mud and whatever else they can find right into the void left by the stock doors. Polaris sells a set of injection-molded lower half doors that easily install onto the stock upper-door halves. The Polaris inserts are stylish, durable and, by working with the stock doors, don’t rattle. Polaris gets 400 bucks for a set, but there are now a few slightly lower-priced options from vendors like Pro Armor, PRP and a few others.
www.polaris.com, $399

DSC_1803

6) SuspensIon Re-valve & Re-sprIng
The stock suspension is really impressive in deep whoops, braking bumps and G-outs, but it could use some serious help in a few other key areas. One of these “key” areas is limiting body roll. Both Walker Evans and Shock Therapy have extensive re-valve/ re-spring packages that improve handling across the board. Both companies update to a better dual-rate spring and crossover setup, providing huge improvements in cornering and offcamber feel. Shock Therapy also has steel shock bodies and front and rear sway bars for maximum side bite.
www.walkerevansracing.com www.shocktherayst.com

PL-1014 Clipped

7) K&N AND UNI AIr FIlterS
The XP 1000’s stock paper air filter does a great job of filtering dirt and providing your engine with healthy, clean air; however, its major downfall is that you can’t clean or service it. In dusty conditions, the stock air filter can be completely hammered in a few hundred miles. Reviving it will cost you a trip to the dealership and about 35 bucks for a new filter. Stock replacement filters from Uni and K&N increase airflow and does every bit as good a job filtering, yet you can easily service them with cleaner and filter oil. The K&N filter is known as a million mile filter in the automotive world and will undoubtedly outlast the life of the vehicle. Adding a dry charger pre-filter will increase the time between service intervals and keep water out in extremely wet conditions.
www.knfilter.com; $99, filter; $54, dry charger www.unifilter.com; $65

proarmor 5 point

8) Four- or FIve-PoInt Harnesses
Safety is the number one concern when off-roading, and a proper harness is the key to keeping you locked down and safe within your cage. Pro Armor offers both 2-inch and 3-inch harnesses in both five-point and four-point designs. The Pro Armor harnesses feature sewn-in pads, a water-resistant cell-phone pocket and an LED cab light. With a newer RZR, you will have to bypass the stock seatbelt indicator by splicing the two wires together or by purchasing a $12 bypass plug. If you don’t complete this circuit, you will be restricted to under 20 mph.
www.proarmor.com, $129

30 inch ITP

9) EIght-Ply TIres
The stock Maxxis Bighorns that come on the XP 1000 are super lightweight for increased performance, but they are also very prone to flats. A solid set of eight-ply tires from GBC, ITP, Maxxis or any other company will increase durability. We have had great luck with 30-inch ITP Ultracross R Specs and the GBC Kanati Mongrel in the desert. For WORCS or more MX-type terrain, a 28-inch tire will provide better turning stability and be quicker out of the hole.
www.gbcmotorsports.com, www.itptires.com; $195, 28-inch; $210, 30-inch

arp studs

10) ARP Heavy-Duty Wheel Studs
The 10mm stock wheel studs were prone to breakage on the XP 900. The size was carried over from ATVs to the RZR 800 and then onto the bigger and heavier XP 900 model before it became a weak link. As the XP 1000 got bigger and heavier, Polaris bumped the wheel-stud size to 12mm. By design, the new XP 1000 studs press through the brake rotors and into the hubs. The problem is that they have a tendency to back out or loosen, especially with any aftermarket wheels that flex or give a little at the mounting holes. The stock studs only use about 3/8th of an inch of spline, counting what is wasted on the rotor. ARP, in partnership with Maxwell Industries, has developed a much stronger press-in stud that uses more than an inch of the pressin spline. ARP has also developed a thread-in type “Race” wheel stud that requires tapping of the OEM hub prior to install. These 35-percent-larger ARP studs are heat-treated 8740 chromoly that’s hardened to 180,000 psi and CADplated for resistance to the elements. We have used these for miles upon miles of trouble-free desert and off-road racing with many different brands of wheels.
www.maxwellindustries.com; $15 each, threaded; $12 each, press-in

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