Over the years, we have seen UTVs go from farm implements to all-out racing machines. Racers build these vehicles into competitive monsters with serious strength and durability. Those custom-built pieces then have a tendency to end up in the aftermarket by either inspiration or direct relation. CageWrx is what you get when life-long desert racers take to the aftermarket directly and aim to provide high-quality products at a better price.
Chad Ragland grew up in the desert-racing world thanks to his father, five-time Baja winner, Larry Ragland. When getting into UTVs, he and his father found that most of the parts were being hand-built by skilled fabricators, and thus expensive. Ragland and Danny Gormican started CageWrx and used CAD to not only design the parts they wanted to offer, but also utilized advanced machinery to mass-produce them. The result is safer rollcages and components for the UTV world.
The stock rollcage on a Polaris XP4 1000 does the job but it can be better in both strength and looks.
“The biggest problem with factory cages is really two-fold,” Ragland explains. “Strength is below what we feel the UTV needs in terms of the speeds they are achieving, and they look terrible. We solve both issues by building a rollcage 100 percent in CAD and then using large-scale machines that produce parts to very close tolerances. This also allows us to sell our cages as kits, or as fully assembled ready-to-run rollcages.”
Specifically, CageWrx uses DOM 1020 steel material to build their cages, with a wall thickness of 0.095 inch. The exterior tubes are 1.75-inch with 1.25-inch tnterior tubes and CageWrx uses both MIG- and TIG-welding when constructing the cage. Fully assembled and powdercoated cages are available, or as stated, CageWrx will sell you the raw pieces, and you can weld it together yourself.
We had a chance to follow along with the install process and documented the install of a CageWrx Assembled Race Cage on a brand-new Polaris RZR XP4 1000. The install was done at Dependable Offroad in Anaheim, California. This is an easy job most can do at home (with a little help muscling the unit in place, of course) and CageWrx will drop ship a unit right to your door.
CageWrx assembles all of their rollcages in their Perris, California, facility. Each unit is comprised of precision CNC-bent and notched tubing and is then mounted to an in-house fixture for final welding. External tubes are made using 1.75-inch DOM 1020 steel with a 0.095-inch wall thickness. Internal tubes are built using 1.25-inch DOM 1020 steel tubing with the same thickness.
Both MIG and TIG welding are utilized depending on location. CageWrx has streamlined the process of manufacturing so much that all the welder settings are predetermined for proper heat penetration.
Because CageWrx builds all of their cages in 3D modeling software prior to bending a single tube, they are easily able to compare the units directly to a factory Polaris cage as they go. The Racer Cage is streamlined to eliminate as many sharp corners as possible for ultimate strength.
Kick things off by removing the rear shock reservoirs. The simple Polaris designed clamp unbolts using an allen wrench. The reservoir can then be laid aside and does not need to be fully removed.
The door pins are secured by e-clips. Pop them off using a small screwdriver or pick, just make sure to shield it as it is removed, otherwise it will launch across your garage and be gone forever.
Unbolt the remaining door brackets. Save the hardware and brackets to reuse on the new cage.
Unbolt both the cage at each corner. Save the factory hardware.
The nuts and bolts get reused with the CageWrx cage.
The last point holding the cage to the RZR is the center mount. To access the nut on the backside, you will likely need to partially remove some of the plastic cladding. In this install, a couple plastic retainers were removed to allow the cladding to flex enough to get the wrench behind the bracket.
Grab a couple friends and remove the factory cage. It is not overly heavy but it is certainly awkward.
The new cage drops on just as the factory unit did. The protective wrapping was left on the cage to minimize damage to the powdercoat.
All the new cage mounts line up perfectly with the RZR chassis. The welded ends are CNC machined to CAD drawing specifications for an exact fit and superior strength. During this install, it seemed the front needed to be preloaded back using a strap, though we found that it wasn’t properly adjusted at the middle mount.
Reinstall all the hardware. Start with the center and work your way out. An alignment punch may be needed to adjust properly. Leave all the hardware loose until the last bolt is in. Then go through and tighten the hardware as per the Polaris factory torque spec.
The main cage is now installed.
The look the new CageWrx Race Cage gives the Polaris RZR is instantly more racer style than before. Next, is to reinstall the accessories.
The rear shock reservoirs get reinstalled just as they were on the factory cage. The CageWrx system accommodates both the factory Polaris reservoir mount designs; either the large single clamp-style shock reservoir or the dual clamp system that requires brackets on the bar.
CageWrx laser cuts all the brackets for the door mounts as well as the B-pillar hoop mount to the chassis. Each bracket is engineered in CAD software and test prior to production for exact fitment.
In the raw and unassembled kits, the tabs for the quarter turn Zeus fasteners are pre-welded but not fully assembled. The powdercoat finish was done locally which requires the installed to pop rivet the springs to the tab.
As with everything else CageWrx builds, the roof is also CAD designed. The roof is split into front and rear panels, helping with shipping costs. The two pieces overlap to avoid a gap.
Insert the quarter turn fastener into the front holes first and turn the head using an Allen wrench. The roof bends down to match the contour of the Race Cage when the rear fasteners are inserted and secured.
Here’s the new view. The V-bar has multiple purposes, to keep large items, including people, from entering or exiting through the windshield area as well as provide additional strength to the center of the front bars.
The final product: The CageWrx Race Cage has a much better form and function than the factory Polaris unit.