We Ride Polaris' New Ranger XP 900 EPS, Scrambler XP 850 H.O.

FYI: It was miles of fun

August 2012 Powersport News

By Mark Bourbeau

The media intro of the 2013 Polaris Ranger XP 900 EPS showed the similarities between the basically new-from-the-ground-up machine and its predecessor to be far and few between. As a matter of fact, the dump box and four wheels are about it and even those have been improved upon.

Our test session included an approximate 50-mile jaunt that took place at the nearly 13,000-acre Bull Run Guest Ranch located south and a little west of Cascade, MT, on ATV/side-by-side-specific trails across the high desert and in rugged mountainous terrain.

And while we are on the subject of rugged, the Ranger's new stiffer chassis and longer travel suspension handled the abuse like a champ. Couple that with the Electronic Power Steering for maneuvering over and through the rough twisties and keeping control in extremely muddy conditions (it rained quite a bit the morning of our ride), we were able to tame some fairly technical trails.

Another testimony of this bad boy of workhorse side-by-sides came in a demonstration where the Ranger XP 900 pulled a dead 3-ton dump truck up a slight incline without ever spinning or powering out. The dust was a flyin'. The 900cc powerplant has been re-designed for less horsepower but more torque (compared to the RZR 900) to be able to accomplish feats such as what we witnessed. We didn't pull any dead dump trucks but we did pull a fell long hills and the Ranger did equally as well.

These are just a few tidbits for you to chew on for now but we think this 2013 Ranger is quite possibly the ultimate work/pleasure combo.

We also spent a fair amount of time on the new Scrambler XP 850 H.O., riding all the same trails as what we rode on the Ranger. This new Scrambler flat out railed on everything we threw at it, including the mud, hillclimbing, creek crossings and wide open spaces where we could crack the throttle open. After the day's ride we couldn't really settle on what characteristic of the Scrambler XP 850 we liked most. The power was instant and responsive. The ride was great. You can't beat power steering. Nimble? Absolutely. Maybe it was the overall package that was most impressive.

We'll have a full report on both the Ranger XP 900 EPS and Scrambler XP 850 H.O. within the next couple of weeks so stay tuned.   

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