Polaris RZR Dune-Tested

Long term 2008 Polaris RZR Review

Oct. 01, 2007 By Dean Waters

We have been testing our 2008 Polaris RZR long term test unit in a number of environments but we recently had a chance to take it out on it's first dune test. We were headed to 2008 Oregon Dunefest and this would be the perfect opportunity to see just how the RZR would do, in factory trim with no mods. This includes the stock tires. Riding the dunes on a sport quad is an incredible experience but we were not sure how it would be on a stock side-by-side. Due to limited room in the trailer we didn't even bring our sport quad so there was a lot of pressure to deliver the "Fun" factor.

2008 Polaris RZR
Make sure to stop and take in the great scenery on the Oregon dunes.

We aired down to about 4 pounds and headed out. We quickly determined that AWD was the way to go. The RZR would tend to dig in when in 2WD only but that was not the case when in AWD. We found that we could cruise around at all speeds in AWD with no issues. We only had to shift back in to 2WD when returning to the hard pack.

2008 Polaris RZR
Play it safe and always wear your helmet and buckle up the full safety net. The net can be a pain to buckle but how much of a pain is a broken arm?

2008 Polaris RZR
The RZR is an absolute blast in the sand dunes. Right out of the box it has enough speed to blast around the dunes with no problems.

2008 Polaris RZR
The RZR always had enough power to climb the hills. Paddles may require some performance mods though.

2008 Polaris RZR
We didn't hit any 90 footers but we did have some fun with some smaller jumps.


We were thoroughly impressed with the 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR. We ripped around the sand dunes all weekend and never missed our sport quad. It was that much fun. We were able to out-climb the Yamaha Rhinos with ease - and these were slightly modded Rhino's but not supercharged. We never felt like it was tippy, although we did tip it on it's side once when we missed a corner and went over a sand berm. So yes, it does tip over. Some offset wheels and tires would be a simple mod and stabilize the RZR even more.

What would we change?

Well, after a full weekend at the sand dunes first on our list is some suspension seats and full harnesses. While the stock seats are pretty darn good we feel some suspension seats and good safety harnesses would make the ride that much more comfortable and safer at the same time.

Second on our list is a new cage with doors or safety nets that are easier to buckle and unbuckle. We have always felt the stock nets are very in-convenient but we do not want to sacrifice safety. Some doors would be convenient and safe. The stock cage is not rated for full roll-over protection so we would feel better with a heavy duty cage.

The 2008 Polaris RZR continues to impress us and gets a full two thumbs-up.


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