Polaris wisely keeps the air intakes high
and on the sides of the bed to keep
them away from water and dust.
This is what 11 inches of added width, 3 inches more suspension travel and abandoning the MacPherson strut front end did for the Ace.
Getting to the air filter and to the top of the engine is easy. There is no reason to
postpone critical routine maintenance.
For fast and aggressive driving the Ace 900 XC is at an entirely different level than
the Ace 500 or Ace 570. It is 11 inches wider, so there are some trails it can’t manage.
Polaris didn’t say specifically where
the difference in power came from,
but the Ace 900 is rated at 79 horsepower, while the RZR S 900 is rated
at 75 horsepower. With the lighter
machine and the shorter wheelbase,
we can say that whatever the number
claimed, the machine has big power
available at all throttle openings.
At a dry weight of 1075 pounds, the
900 XC is roughly 300 pounds heavier
than a 1000 Sportsman 4WD quad but
as much as 500 pounds lighter than
some high-end sport UTV two-seaters. A-arm suspension is new to the
Ace 570 for 2017, and it was naturally
selected for the 900 XC as well. For
aggressive driving the suspension
action is vastly improved. While the
Ace 570 has just over 9 inches of travel, the 11-inch-wider 900 XC has just
over 12 inches of travel controlled by
tuned Ace 900 XC-specific compres-sion-adjustable Walker Evans needle
shocks. Also, mounted in the front
and rear of the machine are sway
bars. Altogether the suspension is far
superior to the smaller Ace models for
rough and fast driving.
HANDLING & FEATURES
At the end of that well-tuned A-arm
suspension are cast-aluminum
wheels with 27-inch tires (the Ace
570 has 25-inch tires). Our first experience with the GBC Dirt Commander
tires was on the Polaris General.
They offer fine performance on a wide
variety of terrain while wearing well.
With standard EPS we didn’t feel the
added heft of the 27-inch tires at all.
Our ride experience was at a private 1200-acre ranch near Great
Falls, Montana. All of the trails in the
area are designed to be sustainable.
They were on the narrow side for a
59-inch-wide machine, but they provided a good test. There were no true
whoop sections, but there were rough
rocky areas, as well as substantial
G-outs on the trails. Unfortunately, no
publication got more than about 30