POLARIS RZR XP 900: In The Driver’s Seat

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Spin up the RZR XP 900’s mill and immediately you know this ain’t no even firing pushrod 800 twin.

The engine cadence gives away its 180-degree firing configuration sounding a bit like a Japanese street bike’s mill.

The twin cammer’s willingness to rev, combined with its smooth and rapid climb of RPM is proof positive DOHC mills are a big deal.

Snick the RZR’s familiar shifter into “high” and stand on the loud pedal. You’re thrown back into the seat as the belts tighten around your gut.

Rear wheel spin is nothing short of violent on anything but pavement and even there the rear meats spin hard.

You look down and find the 4×4 switch – you can’t wait to feel the XP pull with more traction.

Stab your right foot to the floor again and the XP accelerates even harder. As the front tires search for grip, you detect a slight pulling sensation from side-to-side feeding back into the wheel.

Your eyes glance at the speedo. You just cleared 65 mph and the engine is still pulling like a freight train. The DOHC reactor behind you is screaming at eight grand when suddenly you panic at the site of huge whoops ahead.

Its too late to decelerate and since you ate a hearty breakfast this morning, you decide to go for it – nailing the whoops at speed.

The chassis shudders slightly and rocks fore and aft while you de-wrinkle planet earth at a rate you had never dreamed possible. You suddenly realize the RZR XP 900 handled those whoops better than a full-on motocross bike.

You keep powering through turns like a drift car with the throttle pegged and the tail sliding out in totally predictable oversteer, as the chassis self-directs its way through corners.

Need a line change? Just power through and aim the front end where you want it to go. All this is happening in a nano-second while the banshee wail of that incredible mill is resonating in your ears.

Jump on the brakes and skid the XP to a stop. The 4-wheel discs with braided steel hoses have better feel on dirt than Helio’s Indycar binders on blacktop. You look at your co-pilot strapped in next to you and he sheepishly admits his pants are damp.

That’s what its like to drive the world’s first truly extreme performance side-x-side.

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