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 RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?

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Dirt Roads
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PostSubject: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:16 pm

I have driven both the 900 S and the XP1000. They are both amazing. Our riding will be mostly Tennessee and Kentucky trail riding. These trails consist of beautiful scenery along with V ditches you could loose a machine in, washed out boulders to climb up and slide over and the occasional rock ledge to bump it up and over. Most of you are thinking, sounds like heaven, me too.
My delima, I love that 900 S. It is quick, agile, and has a great turning radius. But, is it tuff enough to handle the more rugged terrain if operated with care? The frame and drivetrain do not appear to be anywhere near as strong as the 1000. Will it hold up and stay together? Just from looking at both machines the 1000 has a more heavy duty everything. In short, the XP1000 has a more rugged platform to build from if that is the better way to go.
Has anyone ever wished they had gone with the new 1000 instead of the new 900? Right now my thoughts are that the new 900 S is the best tool for the job.
All feedback would be very appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:36 pm

Dirt Roads wrote:
I have driven both the 900 S and the XP1000. They are both amazing. Our riding will be mostly Tennessee and Kentucky trail riding. These trails consist of beautiful scenery along with V ditches you could loose a machine in, washed out boulders to climb up and slide over and the occasional rock ledge to bump it up and over. Most of you are thinking, sounds like heaven, me too.
My delima, I love that 900 S. It is quick, agile, and has a great turning radius. But, is it tuff enough to handle the more rugged terrain if operated with care? The frame and drivetrain do not appear to be anywhere near as strong as the 1000. Will it hold up and stay together? Just from looking at both machines the 1000 has a more heavy duty everything. In short, the XP1000 has a more rugged platform to build from if that is the better way to go.
Has anyone ever wished they had gone with the new 1000 instead of the new 900? Right now my thoughts are that the new 900 S is the best tool for the job.
All feedback would be very appreciated.

TN & KY is where most of us ride drive  so you'll get plenty of help here.

IMHO rankings: (for our trails and type of riding)

1) XP900 4 seater
2) XP1000/XP900
3) 800S/900S
4) XP1000 (too long)

The added wheelbase of the four seater makes a huge difference in stability and steep climbs.


Last edited by RZR_Joe on Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:30 pm

I like the 900 s and think it would be a fine machine and I am sure it has a better turn radius but I love the 1000 there is no mistake that you have plenty of power on tap and it is nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the suspension is great as well.
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:39 pm

I have 2 friends that have bought the new 900s. Both of them have already bent the front control arms. I don't know if it's coincidence or not. Other than that I love the way they drive.
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:00 pm

Dog, I finally got around to getting the question out there.
Thanks guys, one and all for the feedback.

Someone had mentioned that I might should rephrase that is there anything about either machine that you do not like as it would pertain to trail riding?
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:52 am

The 2 biggest knocks I've heard on the 900 is the shock travel and the rear A-arms. A lot of people love the rear a-arms but alot of people hate them. I'm sure they could get hung up on rocks and such but so do the radius rods on the 1k. They make high clearance arms, radius rods and anything else you may need or want. It doesn't have as much travel as the 1K but it still has plenty.
I wouldn't think the 1k frame and drivetrain is built any better than the 900. Both machines have weak parts, so you'll need upgraded parts for either machine. If taken care of the 900 will last as long as the 1k.
If $'s not a concern go ahead and get the 1k. At some point you'll prob want the biggest and baddest rzr out, and at the moment the 1k is it. If it is, get the 900 and add to it as you go along and fig out what u may need. Either machine should take you on any trail you want to hit and provide you with all the fun you can handle.

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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:18 pm

I have had a 2010 800 S that I bought new in 2009. Still love it but when you see the XP's hit rough stuff that you need the speed to get up and they float and go up it, then you see the S's hit the same climb and they all keep jumping around and getting sideways and loose their momentum, then the XP is far better. This happened about 2 weeks ago at Black Mountain. Down side of the XP is the joints and axles do have breaking issues on hills sometime. Money is not an issue for me, but time to build another machine is. My S still has the same A Arms and axles. It is too dependable to get rid of at this point.
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:48 pm

Dependability is probably my biggest concern. Teryx guys, hold those thoughts.
In many of the videos of the two machines the XP does appear to work through the terrain with more ease, where as the 900 S, as much as I do admire it, will bounce around a bit to overcome the same or similar ground. A smoother ride is also a big issue due to a bad back. As much as I don't want to wait any longer, it may prove worthwhile to keep saving for the cost difference and get the XP 1000.
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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:12 pm

2015 Polaris RZR S 900: The Best on the Market
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The Polaris RZR S 900 might just be the best mid-range UTV on the market

The 2015 model lineup for Polaris is something to truly marvel at. Polaris has completely revamped their line of Off-Road Vehicles by introducing 29 brand new vehicles in 2015. This is something that is completely unheard of in the industry. It is an amazing undertaking to refresh that many vehicles in a single model year, and Polaris has done it in a fantastic way!

The Prostar engine initiative has been a large part of the reason that Polaris has been able to have such an impressive roll-out this year. Since the RZR XP 900, Polaris has been developing the Prostar technology for their engines. To date, there are more than a million Prostar motors in service powering machines around the globe. "There is no replacement for displacement" is no longer the paradigm that drives the industry. Taking queues from the automotive world, "power density," making the same or more power with smaller displacement engines, is now the name of the game.

This release was held just outside one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in this great country of ours. Zion National Park breathtaking. I have been atop mountains in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico surrounded by snow-covered peaks, in the desert amid a stunning sunset, and on the water during a Hawaiian sunset, and Zion blew me away with it's beauty. If you have not been, I strongly suggest it. Add to that, the varied terrain that you get to experience in the surrounding area. Utah is a mecca for off-road riding and driving. We were lucky enough to be hosted by the great people at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch. The location was a perfect base camp for our off road delights. Within minutes, you could be in the twisty, technical trails at Hog Canyon, experiencing big sweeping bowls of Coral Pink Sand Dunes, or even stay on premises to experience tight trail riding an ATV or an ACE.

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I will start with a bold statement that may be controversial and unpopular statement. "I think that I prefer the new RZR S 900 over the XP 1000." Before the stones to come through my windows, and the torch weilding mob descends upon my home... Let me explain. It is my personal opinion that, for my driving style and the way that I like a vehicle to feel, dollar for dollar, I prefer the S 900.

I will let you settle in to your seats while I work up my argument here. Lets talk sticker. With the S 900, you are looking at 16,499 for the EPS model. I will add here that EPS is one of those accessories that is absolutely a must when spec-ing out your new side by side. Compare that to the $20,299 that you will be looking at with the XP 1000. You are getting more horsepower, sure, but you are getting more weight. The big differentiation here is going to be the suspension. You get more. But let's ask the real question: "Do you need more?" Me. I don't think I really do.

I will go on. With the XP 1000 I feel as though I am floating down the trail. Sure, that sounds like what really really good suspension is supposed to do, but I almost feel like I am just a passenger on the ride that is the XP 1000 and not really connected to the machine, and ultimately the road. The S 900, in the tighter trails of Hog Canyon, felt like I had the precision of a laser at my command while we were shooting in and out of the arroyos of the high desert trails. The S 900 gives you positive feedback from the trail instead of just eating it all up in the stroke of the shocks. I like that feel. I like to feel like I am having to do a little bit of work while I drive. Call me old fashioned, but it is rewarding.

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Charging hard into a right-hander, the XP 1000 can be a little nerve racking due to the fact that, when I get to my turn-in point, I have to wait for that front left suspension to do all of it's compression and the body to roll before it really bites. To me, it feels like the front end may be pushing, and that is never a good feeling as you rush into a corner. Confidence in the way that your machine will handle is key to driving in the manner that these machines are built to be driven. Perhaps I could have dialed in the suspension setup. Perhaps I just need more seat time in the XP 1000. Perhaps, I need to jump into an "out-of-the-box" S 900. With the S 900, I never felt like there was a learning curve to drive the machine. Just grab your gear, the keys, and jump in the seat.

The night before the first ride, we were urged to try out the new Low Gear, and, like most in the group, I scoffed a little and thought, "I don't know about all that. How good can it be?" The engineers seemed to be very adamant about us trying it out. They had apparently put a lot of time and effort into it and they wanted our opinion. After a load of miles with the machine, let me tell you this... The new Low Gear is good. I mean really really good. Like most, I usually run in High until I absolutely have to shift down to low. I popped this machine down into Low and took off expecting that I would hear the cringe-worthy high revs that you would normally accompany driving fast in Low. These were not present. Not at 20, not at 30, not at 35. Actually, the Low gear just kept letting me go faster and faster, never letting on that I was over-revving the engine. Even when I got to the limiter, which the boffins as Polaris have completely reworked, the traditional fuel cut accompanied with "whaaa, ba, ba, ba, ba" was not present. I had to look down to actually find out if I was still accelerating. Right around 42 mph, you will find that the fueling will gradually decrease to cap your acceleration. I ran all day in Low and was never once asking for a few more mph's on the trails of Hog Canyon. Similarly, the engine braking system is the best that it has ever been. Lifting after a high speed run in the flats is not met with a jerky deceleration, and descending a healthy slope was met with constant hold-back instead of the free descent that a lot of machines will allow.

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I realize that I mentioned that there is more "feedback" from the S 900, and that can translate into a "harsher ride" in some people's minds. Let me stop you there. If you think that is what I am saying, you could not be more wrong. The improvements that Polaris has made in the suspension and the geometry for the 2015 models has made it, by far, the best handling trail machine that they have ever produced. Attention was paid to the track of the 2015 machines by using what they are calling "Optimized Track." They took the center lines of the tires and pushed them as far out as they could to each corner while still maintaining the respective widths. The S 900 gains 1.3 inches of width, while the base model 900's see an impressive 2.7 inches of width over the previous 800. Combine the "Optimized Tack" with a longer wheel base, and you are no longer relegated to experience the bucking that was common in previous generation machines. The 2015 machines will hold a line through a corner better than any RZR that I have had the pleasure of sitting in.

Railing the trails at Hog Canyon was a highlight of the trip for sure. The compliant suspension that the S 900 gives the confidence to charge hard into a corner, and know that when you got onto the binders, that the tires and widened track would keep you planted on the trail. In the days prior, we had seen epic rains, and the trials at Hog Canyon drained well enough to eliminate any areas of standing water, but left the sand tacky. I don't think that the trails could have been prepped more perfectly to really push these machines. Hard cornering in the S 900 made me feel a little like a fly, changing directions with ease, as we gained and lost elevation on the winding, technical, high-speed trails. This was my kind of riding. The new and improved Low gear combined with the 4 wheel drive was the only way to attack these tight, off-camber corners. I did not notice any sort of gain or loss in power when I was switching from 4 to 2 wheel drive, the only noticeable difference was more grip in 4. In Low, I always had loads of torque to rocket out of the corners, and suspension that connected me to the trail so that you know exactly what is under each tire. I could feel how much water was left in the sand through the steering wheel. It was awesome!

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The mid-corner hold is due in part to careful tire selection by Polaris. The S 900 is outfitted with 8-ply GBC Dirt Commanders. This is my first time running Dirt Commanders, and I was impressed. The grip that these tires are able generate was fantastic! The interesting thing about the tire selection was this. After we were all done riding, and everyone was chatting up the engineers, the head of all things RZR came up to me and asked how I liked the machine. I mentioned that I enjoyed everything that the new machines had to offer, and in passing mentioned that it was my first time on that tire... He honed into that comment as I don't think anyone had mentioned it to him. We talked about the tire selection for about 5 minutes. I got the feeling that the Dirt Commander's were his idea. He listened to me swoon over them and he was all aglow. They are a great addition to the overall package that is the S 900.

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The cabin is more roomy than all previous trail machines as well. The S 900 inherits the same bolstered seats from the XP 1000, and you also get half doors as standard equipment. They have made the vehicles more uniform to help with the inevitable customization of your RZR. Everything on the body from the b-pillar forward, is exactly the same. There are over 275 accessories for RZR in 2015 and 60% fit every model all the way from the 50-inch to the XP 1000. Being able to run wires inside the roll cage without having to drill, and an integrated busbar that will aid in accessorizing your RZR directly from the factory shows how much foresight and attention that Polaris has payed to their end users and how they actually use their machines.

After a hugely fun day in Hog Canyon, we were able to spend a full day in the dunes at Coral Pink. This is the realm that the XP 1000 normally walks away from the trail machines. I was pleasantly surprised with the power and capability of the S 900 out here in the sandbox. Running dunes is not my favorite thing on the planet as I am more a trail oriented rider, I suppose coming from the mountains of New Mexico, I would be. This probably explains a little about my predisposition to the S 900 trail machine instead of the big power XP 1000. Thinking that the S 900 would be lacking in certain regards here in the dunes, I really wanted to push it to see just how far short the S 900 would come. In short... It didn't. Completely capable of accomplishing everything that we were able to throw at it, from the long straight whoop sections, the bowls and faces, the trails at the North end of the park, to the wicked, sandy climbs up the Eastern edge of the dune area.

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The S 900 took it all in stride, and this was almost the best test area for the machine as it was well suited for everything that Coral Pink had to offer. Tight, fast trails; dunes; straight face climbs; and high speed sections. The well-rounded off-road mecca that is Southern Utah will test your machine at virtually every discipline imaginable.

It is hard to nitpick the S 900 apart and say, "This should be better," and "That should be different." Overall the machine is very well composed and the track optimization improvements have made a big difference in the way that the machine handles. The fit and finish is at the top of the class for a trail machine. Once it is all said and done, if you don't think that the S 900 is what you want, take the money you saved, and put it into restraints, seats, and light bars, and you will be there. When you sit in the Polaris RZR S 900, it feels complete. You don't have to fiddle with it.

The amazing level that UTV machines have reached is a testament to the progression that has been driven by the industry leaders. Through fierce competition, you are now able to drive down to your local dealer and buy a turn-key machine that will tackle virtually anything that you can throw at it. No longer do you have to buy a stock vehicle, and immediately dump thousands of dollars into it to make it capable of taking you and your family anywhere. Polaris has led the pack for years, and this new machine is no different. The competition, in their best efforts, fall just short of the RZR yet again in 2015.

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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:50 am

samiam, thanks very much for that article. That expressed exactly how my wife and I felt after the test rides at Camp RZR. This details why I said at the start of this thread, I love that S 900. Everything in that article is spot on. It was truly the most amazing riding experience ever. We drove the XP1000 first, then the S900. Without any previous discussion, as soon as we returned from the S900 drive my wife said, well I guess that decision is made, speaking in favor of the S900. It was that obvious.
Where I started second guessing myself was it was first year production for the S900 and the XP1000 had seen it's second year upgrades.
Bottom line, I do love that S900 and if I would quit all this analyzing then the decision would be simple. Go get it and Go Ride !!!

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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:57 pm

im planing on getting a 900s 4seater if they build one. but im in no hurry. like you i dont want a first year model so i hope i can hold out for the 2016.

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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:49 pm

Find a 2014 XP 900. They are still out there. Great machine. I started with a two seater and now I have a four seater and I love the thing.

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PostSubject: Re: RZR S 900, is it tuff enough?   Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:55 pm

Big-R wrote:
Find a 2014 XP 900.  They are still out there.  Great machine.  I started with a two seater and now I have a four seater and I love the thing.  
$12,994

http://www.abernathycycles.com/default.asp?page=xNewInventoryDetail&id=883699&p=4&make=polaris&s=Year&d=D&i=%2Fimglib%2Ftrimsdb%2F2046391-0-5380721.png&t=new&vt=utility%20vehicle&fr=xNewInventory
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