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110 degree desert heat couldn’t stop our fun as we got our first spin aboard the all-new and highly anticipated Polaris RZR XP 1000 in Parker Arizona last week.

The 999cc ProStar mill grinding out a claimed and industry leading 107 horsepower is enough to make any enthusiast drool, but drop your foot to the floorboards and as rubber connects with dirt your heart rate immediately quickens and you’re pasted to the ridiculously comfortable new seats.

The XP1K uses electronic throttle management, better known as drive by wire. We’ve been mostly unimpressed with this feature in other manufacturers’ vehicles because resistance when pressing the pedal felt too loose and disconnected and finding the perfect amount of pressure with your foot left us feeling frustrated.

Polaris engineers have worked tirelessly to provide the most natural feeling accelerator we’ve found so far. The throttle is smooth, but you actually feel the immediate engagement as you press your foot to the floor. Resistance is comfortable and just about as perfect as we’ve tested to date.

Like probably everyone else, the first thing that caught our eye was the tallboy king can-sized remote reservoir of the rear 2.5-inch Walker Evans needle shocks mounted up on the rear pillars.

The big idea here was to move the reservoir out and away from the engine to maintain consistent heat, which would regulate the consistency of oil flow within the reservoirs as well as offering more accessible location for making adjustments to the 16-position clickers. Brilliant move.

The industry exclusive Walker Evans needle shocks at all four corners are a needle-in-shaft system to manipulate oil flow within the shock. As the shock approaches the bottom of the stroke, the needle plugs off oil flow to the reservoir to resist bottoming then additionally slows rebound to limit the bucking sensation from the back end upon landing a big air or as the SXS moves quickly through the ruts.

The all-new trailing arm rear suspension provides 18 inches of travel and geometrical modifications allow it to deliver 13.5 inches of ground clearance.

The rear suspension of the XP1K is probably its most impressive feature and it rides and handle through bumps the size of Volkswagen Beetles as well or better than a 4-seater side-x-side, which benefits from a lengthened wheel base. Similarly, the XP1K’s wheelbase has been extended by 8-inches so the vehicle bridges each mogul as it passes over it. Step on the throttle and the faster you hit the woops the smoother your ride becomes. It’s as though the XP1K is saying to you, “Is that all you got, tough guy?”

The combination of an incredibly powerful motor and an impressive suspension package makes the RZR XP 1000 – in our opinion the fastest and smoothest riding side-x-side to date. It is fully customizable and we have to believe an XP1K 4-seater is already being tested and will be accepted industry wide in future generations of the RZR.

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Mike Lester
Mike Lester
Mike Lester is Staff Photographer and Digital Content Manager for Dirt Trax TV. He is also a Contributing Editor and Guest Correspondent on the show.

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