Polaris RZR Forum - RZR Forums.net banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All,

Preface - I have a 2015 RZR 900 Trail non-EPS model. I recently took a trip to Ride Royal Blue (La Follette, Tennessee) with some buddies and realized what most Trail model owners realize: I needed more... more capability, clearance, comfort, etc. I didn't know what I didn't have. Short of buying a more capable machine, this is what I did to my trail to get it up to the standards needed. I'm posting this to hopefully help out someone who is in the position I was in coming back from that trip: What mods should I do and what can I expect out of it. This doesn't include smaller mods like windshields, roofs, etc. I mostly ride slow-moderate speed trails and rocks in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. So, in order of modification that I did, here's what I learned:

SuperATV 2" Lift - The trail model is notorious for giving you the cheese grater treatment since it doesn't have the ground clearance that the bigger cars have. The lift kit certainly helped with this problem and I didn't bottom out as much. For the price, it was a good upgrade. It did shorten my car width by a little bit, which created more of a rolling hazard, so on to the next...
2" Wheel Spacers - I wanted to ensure I wasn't endangering myself after the 2" lift, so I tried to gain more wheel base to stabilize the car. I loved the stability, but this didn't come free. One of the two things I wish I knew is about "wheel scrub". Because you're pushing the wheel/tire farther out from the hub, you get A LOT more feedback in the steering. Not having EPS, I really felt the effects of this. In certain cases, roots or ruts would rip the steering wheel out of my hands. The second thing I wish I knew is the effect on wheel bearings. Because you're pushing the wheel/tire out, it has a leverage effect on your wheel bearings and will decrease the life of them. My thoughts on this were that I'd rather forego wheel bearing life and have to purchase wheel bearings sooner rather than be a roll hazard.
SuperATV S Conversion Kit with 3" Lift - After a few months of riding, I realized that I still wasn't where I wanted to be. I decided to put some cash into this kit. Converting to the S gave me the width I was looking for (plus 2" spacers.. I was sitting around 64"). The arched control arms and 3" lift helped with ground clearance; I don't think I ever bottomed out on anything... at all. This is where I learned about axle angle limits. Too much lift can cause axle bind and axle failure. While I didn't experience issues with axle failure, I did experience axle bind, and that's not fun to deal with. The kit allowed me to use the original suspension from the trail model; I was excited about this at first as I was already shelling out $2k. After a few rides i thought, man this is great, until i finally drove an XP1000. I noticed how I lost the small amount of plushness that I started out with even though the travel wasn't anything like the XP. I also got to feel what the longer travel in suspension felt like. The XP felt like a Cadillac floating through the woods, where I felt like I was driving Fred Flintstone's car. The 3" lift put so much preload on my suspension that I was getting the poo beat out of me. All in all, it was a great upgrade going to the S, but this is where I really started getting my education. I had just spent $2K and wasn't satisfied...
Beadlock Wheels and Tires - I added these in at the same time as the S conversion kit. After learning about axle binding, I learned that I could get ground clearance without putting the stress on my axles by getting bigger tires (who knew!?). I went from the stock 26" tires to 30" Tusk Terrabites on Tusk Wasatch wheels. I run around 12-13lbs in each tire. I may reduce to 10-12lbs, but to date, I still love the setup for the type of riding I do. The Terrabites are a great crawling tire, not so good for mud and garbage in the snow. That being said, they match my riding style - slow crawling, moderate trail riding, and goosing it to break them loose every now and then. The beadlock wheels are great so far. I chose a 5/2 offset which extends the wheel 1" further from the hub. This gives more car width (awesome), but even more feedback in the steering wheel (not awesome). The beadlock bolts are recessed, the wheels are rated for 1,200 lbs, and the hardware is "grade 8". Side note on these supposedly grade 8 bolts - I have recently found that the bolts aren't a true grade 8. Most guys say they're good for the initial install and torque spec (20lbs), but a lot have snapped bolt heads when removed and reinstalled with new tires. So looking back, I might've spent an extra few bucks for a better brand of wheel... because now I'll have to chance a broken bolt head or buy real grade 8 bolts for the next set of tires
Shock Therapy Fox RC2 Suspension/Sway Bar Removal - At this point, I was at a crossroads... Cut out now and buy an XP1000 or double down and gain some rider comfort. Doing a cost analysis, I had come too far and still would've been further in financially to buy an XP1000. I sent my info into Shock Therapy and let them do their thing. I received my shocks sooner than expected by a few weeks. I spent a few days tinkering with ride height and different settings. They were pretty stiff even at their softest settings at first. I thought to myself, well this was a lot of money wasted... until they broke in. To date, I have everything much more on the plush side. I decided to remove the sway bars to let the suspension work independently. Cadillac Mode=Unlocked. After I put a few hours of riding in, the springs lost some of the stiffness and the ride was feeling good. Could it be... I was happy? Almost... [If you're curious about my overall opinion on Shock Therapy, go to the Summary]
Electronic Power Steering - The last thing I needed to work on was feedback in the steering wheel. Remember those wheel spacers and new offset? They account for 3" more of feedback and leverage from the hub. Being a 200lb super-strong alpha male (ha! more like dad bod), I felt like I was fighting the car more than driving it prior to EPS. I did some research here on the forums for how to get EPS without forking out the big dollars that RMATV, SuperATV, or Polaris want for a new system. I was able to go with the Ranger wiring harness and XP1000 links and motor for about $250 plus a couple hours in the truck. It was a fairly easy install. This was a GAME CHANGER. I took it up and down the driveway a few times and knew I made a good purchase. After recently having it out in the trails for the first time with the Shock Therapy RC2's, EPS, and removed sway bars I was one very happy guy. I finally felt like i got the car to a good place.
Summary - If I had to do it all again (starting from the decision to modify), I would have sold and bought an XP1000 as the Trail/S will never have that quality of ride. After all the work I did, I learned a lot about the car, but it still didn't get me there. The geometry of the two cars is night and day. BUT, that assumes you have the $10-15k to just go drop on a new and stock machine (assuming you sell the trail and include your proceeds in the purchase). I'm frugal... so I had to try this alternate route. Going back I would've skipped the 2" lift kit and the 3" lift portion of the S conversion kit. The EPS was hands down the best bang for your buck. Doing a little research on Babbitts, got me part numbers to find out what I could mix and match to make it happen for as cheap as possible. Next to that, the Shock Therapy tuned RC2's were worth every dollar. It was a tough pill to swallow financially, but I couldn't be more happy with them. They've got it going on down there. Their support has been excellent as well. Remember how I was looking for that XP1000 ride? It doesn't get me there, but it gets me darn close. The car is a great improvement from where it was and it has restored my love for it. I finally feel like I can drive the car and have fun. I don't fight the steering wheel. I don't worry about high-centering, and I am able to hit much tougher terrain with a more plush ride.

In a lot of cases, these decisions come down to money, so to get to the math of it:

2015 RZR Trail New: $12,000 (sunk cost for me from 5 years ago)
2015 RZR Trail Resale Value: $9,000 (It was paid off)
Upgrades: $5750
All In New: $17750
All in Resale plus cash available from upgrades not purchased: $14,750
XP1000: $18,599.

If I was buying new, I'd pick up the XP1000. If you are in my position a few months ago (which is the purpose of this post) wanting a far more capable machine in both ground clearance, wheel base, and rider comfort, making the upgrades comes down to this decision: Do you want to spend $6k to get that capability and comfort, or spend $10k to start fresh with a new machine? All in all, I'm very happy with how it turned out. It's all worked out really well for the type of riding I do. I hope this helps for anyone that is looking to get more out of their trail model.
 

Registered
Joined
71 Posts
I have to stay at 50" because we have a trailer and shed and deck at Sandaraska Park in Ontario Canada.. Sandaraska Park is right beside the 11,000 acre Ganaraska Forest near Peterborough, Ontario.. Anything wider and I would have like 5% of the area to ride drive in the Ganaraska Forest.. That's basically the gravel fire roads.. With the 50" trail wide we can ride drive don't know exactly how much but everything but the single track reserved for dirt bikes.. 馃檪
664693
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
@Splatman hey man, I hear ya. You need to have a machine that鈥檚 set for the riding you have in your area. When I purchased mine in 2015, the salesman sold me on the trail model because I鈥檇 be able to ride more places. While I have come across some tight spaces from time to time, the sport has evolved and so have the trails. All of the trails have gotten much wider in these parts and the need to stay slim has gone to the way side. Coming full circle to the purpose of my novel above, I was vectoring the information toward someone who has bought a trail and is looking at upgrading vs buying a more capable machine. They are just some things I wish I knew when going through the process. I could鈥檝e saved time and money.
 

Registered
Joined
71 Posts
I love guys (not that way hehee hahaa) who think size matters.. 馃榿

As posted just yesterday.. It allows me to buy a set of 4 Elka Stage 5 Shocks worth $4000+ for $1800 CDN..

664694


He used the shocks 3 times maybe 500 kms.. His new ride is what you would like (I believe).. He lives near Calgary, Alberta in the mountains (not where our trailer is) and I'm guessing the trails are wider..

664698
 

Registered
Joined
71 Posts
Another guy did some most of the same upgrades similar to you mentioned above inc the Super ATV S Conversion.. He recently removed all the aftermarket stuff and sold the stuff separately.. I bought a EVO Exhaust worth $700ish for $250 CDN.. This is his 50" Trail Wide with upgrades..

664701


He upgraded to I believe either 900 S or 1000 S but 60" wide.. Then he did more so it looks like this now and 64".. He lives in British Columbia in the mountains.. Just yesterday I laughed at him "that's why you're the president of your club so you can dictake that the trails will be even wider this year"..

664700
 

Registered
Joined
173 Posts
I would only get the Trail setup if you are into tight trail riding. In Michigan where I am at the trail let's me use most all the system if I can manage to fit down them, but they have not been maintain in many years and some would be hard to fit my Honda Rancher 350 down on a good day.

I when a slightly different route from you and went with a used pile of RZR that looked good until I tried to really use it. The clutch was broken so I went with the Duraclutch and love how it works. Next I went with tires and rims and the 28's got me the height I needed for most things here where I ride.

Then I installed Rhino 2 axles on all 4 corners and sense my drive shaft was junk sent with the super ATV c style front and rear drive shafts. While I do like the setup the huge amount of weight that I need to spin is making me research gear reduction.

The item you did not list that I loved was new seats. The difference is night and day, if you ever get the chance to try out someone's ride with good aftermarket seats I can see you getting some they are worth every penny.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would only get the Trail setup if you are into tight trail riding. In Michigan where I am at the trail let's me use most all the system if I can manage to fit down them, but they have not been maintain in many years and some would be hard to fit my Honda Rancher 350 down on a good day.

I when a slightly different route from you and went with a used pile of RZR that looked good until I tried to really use it. The clutch was broken so I went with the Duraclutch and love how it works. Next I went with tires and rims and the 28's got me the height I needed for most things here where I ride.

Then I installed Rhino 2 axles on all 4 corners and sense my drive shaft was junk sent with the super ATV c style front and rear drive shafts. While I do like the setup the huge amount of weight that I need to spin is making me research gear reduction.

The item you did not list that I loved was new seats. The difference is night and day, if you ever get the chance to try out someone's ride with good aftermarket seats I can see you getting some they are worth every penny.
I鈥檒l have to look into it. I haven鈥檛 heard anything about seats. With most of my smaller mods like that, they鈥檝e provided more benefit than I was expecting, so I could see that.
 

Registered
Joined
18 Posts
I run fox 2.0 QS3s. Another thing I did is raise the ride height. When I installed I set the preload to stock ride height, but lifting the 900 to pack the wheel bearings i noticed the springs that came with the QS3s (Eibachs), the spring was unloaded completely at full wheel travel. I tweaked the collar down until the spring had some preload, so that gained me an inch of ground clearance. Also converted to a 900xc, so run 27" tires (another inch of ground clearance); with the wheel offset i am now at 55" wide. I ran this setup once last year in Grayling, and it was night and day (ran @ 50" earlier in the year with just the QS3s, same trails)

I ran the 50" width with just the fox 2.0 QS3s and stock wheels/tires on the H&M trails (rock house, buffulo, pinnacle, etc). It was okay, but want to test out the final setup back there or go down to Royal Blue. I think beadlocks are needed for high speed desert running, but lower speed trail riding i think they are overrated (more appearance driven). I know the feeling, I wish I would of went all in with 900s, but chickened out when I saw the size difference (learned my lesson). Once I get tired with this i might go up to a turbo XP, we'll see.
 

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
I bought a 900 50" trail premium several months ago and find myself in the same situation as the O.P. described. I have taken it out about half a dozen times and high centered lengthwise and widthwise almost every time at some point if not several times during each ride. I appreciate the O.P.'s post because I too thought about selling it to get a S1000, in my case, but I think I will stick with my machine and upgrade it. So far I like medium/high speed trail/open riding to low speed trail/rock crawling in my short time behind the wheel but I find the car's capabilities lacking at times and the ride feeling like a pogo stick at times. In addition the 50" width has felt a little too unstable at times. I have been doing some research and I am thinking about getting the SATV S conversion kit w/o the lift and getting S length Bandit shocks to go with it. From what I have read that seems to be a very satisfactory solution for more ground clearance, more stability, and a less jarring ride. The high price has kept me away so far but I am hoping that will work out later this year.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I run fox 2.0 QS3s. Another thing I did is raise the ride height. When I installed I set the preload to stock ride height, but lifting the 900 to pack the wheel bearings i noticed the springs that came with the QS3s (Eibachs), the spring was unloaded completely at full wheel travel. I tweaked the collar down until the spring had some preload, so that gained me an inch of ground clearance. Also converted to a 900xc, so run 27" tires (another inch of ground clearance); with the wheel offset i am now at 55" wide. I ran this setup once last year in Grayling, and it was night and day (ran @ 50" earlier in the year with just the QS3s, same trails)

I ran the 50" width with just the fox 2.0 QS3s and stock wheels/tires on the H&M trails (rock house, buffulo, pinnacle, etc). It was okay, but want to test out the final setup back there or go down to Royal Blue. I think beadlocks are needed for high speed desert running, but lower speed trail riding i think they are overrated (more appearance driven). I know the feeling, I wish I would of went all in with 900s, but chickened out when I saw the size difference (learned my lesson). Once I get tired with this i might go up to a turbo XP, we'll see.
I hear ya brother. A lot of the trails in our neck of the woods have gotten so wide that you can run pretty much anything (as long as you go to a public park). I'll hold onto my 900 in case I get out to some of the lesser ridden private property trailsets. Outside of that, I've got two babies now, so I'm greasing the wheels for an XP4 with the wife. She's on board, just gotta save up a nice down payment.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I bought a 900 50" trail premium several months ago and find myself in the same situation as the O.P. described. I have taken it out about half a dozen times and high centered lengthwise and widthwise almost every time at some point if not several times during each ride. I appreciate the O.P.'s post because I too thought about selling it to get a S1000, in my case, but I think I will stick with my machine and upgrade it. So far I like medium/high speed trail/open riding to low speed trail/rock crawling in my short time behind the wheel but I find the car's capabilities lacking at times and the ride feeling like a pogo stick at times. In addition the 50" width has felt a little too unstable at times. I have been doing some research and I am thinking about getting the SATV S conversion kit w/o the lift and getting S length Bandit shocks to go with it. From what I have read that seems to be a very satisfactory solution for more ground clearance, more stability, and a less jarring ride. The high price has kept me away so far but I am hoping that will work out later this year.
I think you've got a good shortcut to my shortcomings. Like I mentioned up top, I didn't know what I didn't know. If I could go back, I would've either bought an XP model or done exactly what it sounds like you're getting ready to do. I'd encourage you to find an XP1000 to drive before you pull the trigger on anything. You'll get close to that, but still not as good. The trail model will always buck more as it has the shorter wheel base among a few other things that are due to geometry. Side note, the Shock Therapy guys put out some really good videos that are educational on various aspects of the sport. I'd check them out if you have time. To that note, they have an article out there on a true dual rate spring setup - what is and isn't dual rate. It took me a little bit to wrap my head around it, but it was worth the effort to understand. I don't know anything about the Bandit shocks, but the dual rate setup is where it's at.
 

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
I think you've got a good shortcut to my shortcomings. Like I mentioned up top, I didn't know what I didn't know. If I could go back, I would've either bought an XP model or done exactly what it sounds like you're getting ready to do. I'd encourage you to find an XP1000 to drive before you pull the trigger on anything. You'll get close to that, but still not as good. The trail model will always buck more as it has the shorter wheel base among a few other things that are due to geometry. Side note, the Shock Therapy guys put out some really good videos that are educational on various aspects of the sport. I'd check them out if you have time. To that note, they have an article out there on a true dual rate spring setup - what is and isn't dual rate. It took me a little bit to wrap my head around it, but it was worth the effort to understand. I don't know anything about the Bandit shocks, but the dual rate setup is where it's at.
Good to know. According to Bandit's info the shocks are dual rate front and rear.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Good to know. According to Bandit's info the shocks are dual rate front and rear.
I checked into Bandit鈥檚 packages and according to Shock Therapy鈥檚 article (see link below), they are a true dual rate set up. I鈥檝e seen a lot of guys on the forum that are happy with the bandits so I鈥檓 not discrediting them in any way. However, there is a difference between the two products -having a crossover ring. Budget is a big factor between these two products, but I just want to provide info on what you are and aren鈥檛 getting. Best of luck brother!

If you want to get right to it, go around 2/3 of the way down to the paragraph in all caps:
 

Registered
Joined
57 Posts
Jburkert7 thanks for the in depth review. I too am in the same situation as you were. I've spent alot of money on mine as well as some things I regret. I was thinking of doing the S conversion but the price of it and wanting to upgrade my shocks has kept me from doing it. I just rode in my friends XP1000 and your right about the ride. I never realized how bad the ride quality was in my Trail compared to the 1000. Now I'm looking at used 1000's rather than put any more money into mine.
 

Registered
Joined
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Jburkert7 thanks for the in depth review. I too am in the same situation as you were. I've spent alot of money on mine as well as some things I regret. I was thinking of doing the S conversion but the price of it and wanting to upgrade my shocks has kept me from doing it. I just rode in my friends XP1000 and your right about the ride. I never realized how bad the ride quality was in my Trail compared to the 1000. Now I'm looking at used 1000's rather than put any more money into mine.
I鈥檓 with you brother. I think it鈥檚 the right move if you have the money! I appreciate the comment on the post.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top