Project: 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR

Rexburg Motorsports kicks off build of custom sand machine

Jun. 07, 2007 By Stephen Clark

The Polaris Ranger RZR for 2008 is the first truly sport-orientated side-by-side to hit the market. Building on the incredible success of Yamaha’s Rhino, the RZR offers a smaller, more-maneuverable chassis with a powerful 800 engine and decent suspension. Polaris has really hit the nail on the head with the RZR. On our first ride on the dunes we were very impressed with the way the RZR handled the sand. It was able to go everywhere an ATV could, even with two people in it. So if the RZR is this good stock, can you imagine how good it will be at the end of this project build up?

RZR’s are just starting to hit the showroom floor this month and the guys at Rexburg Motorsports were fortunate to get one of the first production units for this build. RMS is a large multi-franchise dealer just a few miles from St Anthony sand dunes in Idaho. They also have a dedicated Mod Shop for aftermarket projects like this RZR.

Bobby Barney runs the Mod Shop and in the past year has built several mean Mod’s including a Rhino, a YZ dirtbike, and several snowmobiles. The machines that Bobby and the other staff in the Mod Shop build are top-notch; built with the best aftermarket parts available and with excellent craftsmanship. If the Rhino the Mod Shop built last year is anything to go by, this RZR will be nothing short of incredible.

The modified Yamaha Rhino on the right, dwarfs the Polaris RZR.
RMS built their modified Rhino to the hilt, but it is not just for show. Here Bobby Barney launches the Rhino over a step-up on the dunes.

Since the machine is so new, many aftermarket companies have yet to begin designing components for the machine, so the RMS RZR will be taking a few trips to aftermarket R&D departments to assist in the design process. Many of the parts to be installed on this RZR will be pre-production prototype parts.

So what exactly are the plans for this RZR? Well, it will be built for aggressive riding with an emphasis on dune performance. Suspension is one of the first areas that will modified. Upgrades will be made so the RZR will offer a plush ride and soak up big hits on the dunes without sacrificing the driver’s or passenger’s back. Suspension on a side-by-side has to be very plush because the driver and passenger can’t soak up any of the impact with their legs like on an ATV. The guys at ARS-FX will be providing all the suspension parts for the RZR. In fact, as you read this, their engineering department is working around the clock to have parts ready for next month’s update.

Once the suspension is dialed in, work will start on the engine. RMS built a full-mod Rhino last year with a Mountain Performance Supercharger and were very impressed with the results. MPI will be providing a centrifugal supercharger kit for the RZR that should double the horsepower of the 800. The RZR is fuel-injected so electronic tuning will play a big part in how it will run, MPI also offers an electronic controller that will adjust the fuel injection to work with the engine mods.

This RZR won’t look like this very much longer.

The suspension and supercharger will be the two most significant upgrades to the RZR but a number of other modifications will be made to transform this already good machine into an even better one. Being such a new machine may cause a few issues along the way but the staff in the Mod Shop are well-qualified to handle the RZR build. The RZR is so much fun stock it is hard to imagine how good it will be after some modifying. We very excited about it and can hardly wait to install some parts and put them through their paces. Stay tuned!

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