Project Polaris RZR: Part 3 Long Travel Kit

Sep. 01, 2007 By

ARS-FX long travel and some PURE Polaris goodies

You may remember last month we installed some EXIT replacement shocks on the RMS RZR, these shocks made a vast improvement over the stock offerings, but we wanted the absolute best suspension available for our project RZR. So the RZR went back down to Utah to the ZBroz facility for the installation of an ARS-FX long travel suspension system complete with new EXIT shocks.

The ARS-FX kit replaces the front upper and lower a-arms with  4 ½” wider a-arms that have the optimum geometry matched for the EXIT shock absorber. The rears suspension gets similar treatment with new upper and lower a-arms that are 4” wider, the back is slightly narrower to make the machine turn better and overcome issues with pushing the front in corners. The additional width helps to make the RZR much more stable and less likely to roll. With the new suspension the wheel travel is increased to 13” on the front and 12” on the rear. To compensate for the additional width new tie-rods, axles, and ball joints were also installed. These components all come in the ARS-FX kit.

The EXIT shocks mounted on the new ARS-FX a-arms are very similar to the replacement shocks we installed last month but are sprung and valved specifically for the long travel kit. The advantage that ARS-FX and EXIT have is that both products are designed and built by the same people in the same facility, the two different names are merely for brand marketing purposes. Where most suspension companies either build a-arms or shocks the ZBroz team can design the shock and a-arm combination to work together. The EXIT shocks feature dual springs with cross-overs, this allows the suspension to be adjusted using different springs and by changing the cross-overs which changes the point in the suspension travel that each spring operates. Dampening is handled using an external reservoir with adjustable compression dampening and the dampening can be adjusted on all four shock from inside the cab using a billet adjuster panel.

With the big suspension the RZR really needed some bigger wheels and tires to make the machine look proportional; HS Customs helped us out by lending us their set of ITP SS108 wheels with 26” ITP TerraCross R/T rubber. These wheels and tires looked fantastic on the RZR and the larger tire helped give the machine a little more ground clearance, these tires are designed for trail use but with a little less air they offer remarkably good traction in the sand.

Bobby at RMS was scouting the PURE Polaris accessory catalog and came up with a new steering wheel and bimini top for the RZR. These items were promptly ordered and installed on the machine; the new steering wheel is nice and sporty and has a better feel than the stock unit. The bimini top is nice to have for hot days but we chose not to run it on our photo shoot. But undoubtedly Bobby will use it in the future to prevent the sun’s harmful rays from damaging his skin.

Driving the RZR slowly in hot conditions can cause it to overheat, this is somewhat caused by the small opening in the front to draw air through the radiator. HOLZ racing have come up with a solution to this problem with a second aluminum grille that mounts on the front of the hood. The grille is very easy to install and requires the hood to be cut out and holes drilled for the rivets, the kit comes with special black rivets to mount the grille. The black powdercoat and honeycomb pattern matches the machine well making the grille modification look almost factory.

Driving the long-travel RZR is absolutely awesome; the difference over stock is nothing short of incredible. Where the stock suspension would g-out badly on the transitions going into jumps and send a jolt through your back the new suspension just soaks it up. Where the landings on the stock suspension left us heading for the chiropractor the ARS-FX long travel kit just soaks it up. Even with Nate Zollinger behind the wheel hitting jumps at crazy angles we were only able to completely bottom out the suspension once on our test ride. We are really happy with how the suspension is working now and the handling is pretty much sorted, so next we will move onto some more engine upgrades in the quest for more power. Also the stock seats are a little firm for our liking and some suspension seats would be really nice, so that is also on the to-do list for next month.

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