spark plugs to the lugs on the Maxxis
tires, the journey is quite different.
Polaris uses a smooth, twin-cylinder
DOHC engine mated to a gearbox
via a belt-drive CVT transmission.
Yamaha uses a three-cylinder
engine that is just as smooth-run-ning. However, to get the power to
the ground, a shaft comes out of the
front of that engine and goes to a
five-speed gearbox located between
the seats. From there separate drive
shafts go to the front and rear differentials. The Yamaha does not use a
Yamaha gave the YXZ1000R a rear
end similar to the Can-Am Maverick. It
works a little bit better but not as well
as the RZR. The three-cylinder motor
likes to be revved, and it sounds great.
belt or chain. We found these different philosophies really set the two
cars apart. Both cars have four-wheel
independent drive shafts along with
four-wheel disc brakes.
Up front things are very similar.
Dual A-arms handle the movement
of the Fox 2. 5 shocks with 16 inches
of travel. Sway bars are also found
on both machines. Out back, the two
manufacturers go about things differ-
ently. The current RZR XP 1000 uses
trailing arms out back guided by thin
radius rods. This setup provides huge
travel numbers at 18 inches. Yamaha
uses a trailing A-arm setup. It has
dual arms controlling movement
and provides an inch less at 17inch-
es. Yamaha offers full adjustments
on their shocks, including compres-
sion, rebound and threaded preload.
Polaris shocks do not have rebound
A couple other factors that affect suspension action is wheelbase and tire
size. The wheelbase is nearly identical
on the two machines, with the RZR
being a half-inch shorter at an even 90
inches. Usually, the longer, the better
in this case. On the tires, the RZR tires
measure a full 2 inches taller at 29
inches versus 27. Taller tires help the
car roll over bumps better. However,
a taller tire can add weight as well.
But when we race RZRs in the desert,
we added taller and heavier eight-ply
tires all the time with good results.
The two cars in this contest are
two-seaters. The driver’s seats are
adjustable to fit a wide variety of
people. To test the limits, we had
a test driver that was 6-foot- 5 and
over 300 pounds. He could fit in both
but had a little more room in the