2018 POLARIS RZR 900 EPS
Standing ten feet away and squinting at it, the first thing you notice about the 900 is its length.
The RZR's wheelbase is over 11-inches shorter than a Maverick Trail, which makes a huge difference in the way it feels when you're driving it.
The RZR's 875cc parallel twin claims to boast 75 horsepower. This Polaris-built 180-degree parallel twin is a throaty, snarly piece of work that tips in like lightning and spins those meats like pinwheels. The driver experience is nearly exactly like driving a big-inch, highly touted model.
Our advice to you: When you open the throttle way-wide, better hang on tight. On the gas in AWD on anything less than dry pavement this thing starts to get crazy. It yaws left, then right and back again and feels as loose as Kyle Bush's Toyota in turn one. It's here you reap the reality this vehicle is narrow and short.
Do we hate this? No way; we love it! This is what makes your blood pump until your forehead veins look like a corduroy hat. If you could live on adrenaline alone, five minutes driving this vehicle would give you a 6-month supply of the stuff.
We love the power steering on the 900 because, believe us when we say it, you're going to be rotating that wheel a lot just to stay straight.
The RZR uses Polaris true 4WD which means you can operate it in 2WD, AWD or locked 4x4 by operating a switch. This is all good but honestly, with this power-to weight and the unending temptation to dip into the throttle, you’ll want to be in AWD all the time.
Handling is a Polaris specialty and the engineers love to brag about it. This 50-wide RZR can turn under and inside a rabid squirrel, responding telepathically to wheel inputs magnetically.
In rough and whooped-out trail spans the 900's ZF Sachs-built gassers provide a genuine uptick in control. ZF Sachs isn't a common SxS name yet, but the company is based in Utah and makes a lot of suspension components for the auto industry and torque converters.
Whatever. Combined with Polaris' know-how and the expertise and quality production of this company, the 900 rides better than the Maverick Trail - particularly the rear suspension.
If we may access your mind for a moment, picture a set of gnarly whoops up ahead and you know you're going much too fast. Your brain is telling you to back off and brake and it takes every ounce of pucker to stay in the throttle.
Actually, that's probably the best thing to do: Pucker, stay in the throttle and hang on.
The 900 will track straight and suck the pain out of those bumps like a giant leech if you keep the power on evenly. In these situations you have to believe in the chassis and let it do its magic.
- An extremely high level of fun - almost like a midway ride you have to swallow hard to take a spin on.
- Short length with corresponding rapid reflexes.
- Feels and is very light. Handles like a go-kart on steroids.
- Lots of suspension compliance and a boatload of engine.
- Comparably equipped, leaves you with a couple hundred bucks in your jeans compared to the EPS Maverick Trail.
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