Getting behind the wheel of the new Polaris RZR S 900 EPS
Words: Robin Fawcett Photos: Robin Fawcett / Polaris Ind.
The 2015 RZR S 900 was released in place of the RZR800 this year. In our opinion the RZR S 900 not only replaced the 800, it far surpassed it along the way. The S 900 model was designed to be a trail friendly unit. With it’s 60 inch width and aggressive wheelbase, Polaris hit it right on the head. The RZR S 900 also features Polaris’ class leading Pro Star 875cc power plant. This power combined with the redesigned suspension and upgraded adjustable Fox shocks make for a controllable and predicable ride.
Another great feature of this unit is the braking system. Polaris took the brake design right off of the RZR XP 1000 and with a few small changes adapted it to the S 900. As you may have guessed, the XP 1000 weighs approximately 150 lb. more than the 900. This translates into great stopping power and less brake fade with the lighter machine. The other feature that makes this machine the total package is the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. The EPS makes the Polaris RZR so enjoyable and easy to drive. The benefits of the EPS and upgraded suspension become apparent very quickly on the tight rough trails. The comfort for the passengers of the RZR has definitely been maximized in the design and execution of this model. All of these features combined with the abundant power makes this machine a blast to drive.
For our preliminary testing, we put the 2015 RZR S 900 through its paces on the two most popular and different from each other terrains we could think of. We tested the RZR in the dunes and then on the dirt trails of Utah. Testing in these two very different theaters would really give a wide range of terrain and obstacles to get a quick feel for the capabilities of the machine. First we headed to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, which are located due West of Kanab, Utah. We had heard of the Coral Pink Dunes before, however had never been able to make a trip out there before. We were pleasantly surprised when we reached the dunes where our first test would take place. Coral Pink has a great mixture of wide open dunes and sandy trails with vegetation on both sides, this was a great change from the giant wide open sand desert style dunes we usually test on. As you follow the sandy trails further to the West, they give way to a harder park loamy dirt trail.
We warmed up our new RZR S 900 and headed for the dunes. It had rained throughout the night, and the dunes were perfect. We started out a little slow just to get a feel for how the new RZR would react to our driving style. However, we quickly found ourselves pushing harder and harder. The RZR S 900 almost instantly made us feel at home pushing it pretty hard through the dunes. One of the first things we realized (almost by mistake) was that we had been driving in two wheel drive. The interesting part about this discovery was that we had been carving around and climbing everywhere and hadn’t gotten stuck. Once we engaged the 4×4 on the unit, it was like driving a long travel slot car. The turning was point and shoot and we were able to climb the faces of the dunes while accelerating during our climb. This made our experience on the tighter trails exiting the dunes even more fun. The trails starters out flowing at a fairly hight speed with great banked sandy corners for roosting which gave way to tighter trails weaving in and out of the surrounding trees. The S 900 went through the choppy acceleration and braking bumps on these trails much like the RZR XP 1000 does. We pulled over and made a few adjustments to suit our driving style to the new Fox shocks that come standard on the unit and the handling kept improving! So far we were impressed with the performance of the newly released RZR S 900.