2009 Polaris Ranger RZR S - A Competent Machine

    Our RZR S Joins Search And Rescue

    Phil HowellPhotographer, Writer

    As we've mentioned in every installment (in case you missed them), the 2009 Polaris Ranger RZR S has an 800 (760cc) EFI 4-stroke twin mounted transversely behind the passenger compartment that propels the RZR S to 63 mph. The fuel injection adjusts for all altitudes and attitudes and the mid-engine configuration makes for a balanced package. The long-travel independent suspension features Fox Podium reservoir coilovers that are adjustable for compression damping and spring preload. The long A-arms not only allow more suspension travel, they give the RZR S 12.5 inches of ground clearance with the OE 26-inch tires. The RZR S can run in two-wheel-drive or has switched on-demand all-wheel-drive. In all-wheel-drive, the rear wheels are driven until front traction is needed, when power is sent to the front. The rear diff is a spool, while the front is an automatic locking differential, so traction isn't a problem. The 7.25-gallon fuel capacity allows for respectable exploring range.

    In Southwestern Utah, Washington County Sheriff's Search and Rescue is an extremely active and professional unit that saves lives all year round. Every month they have at least two training days. We went along with our RZR S while Boyd Barney and Casey Lofthouse worked out a course for one of those training days. Casey brought his linked and coiled Suzuki Samurai, while Boyd drove his Polaris Ranger RZR. The RZR is similar to the RZR S, but its 50-inch width allows it to fit in tighter spots, but gives up some of the suspension travel of the wider RZR S.

    The course they set up went over sand and slickrock, and into sand dunes. Both RZRs and Casey's Samurai handled everything thrown at them. The RZR S's suspension worked when descending, climbing, or walking over ledges and rocks. In the sand, both RZRs ate up the dunes. In search-and-rescue situations, the Polaris RZR and RZR S are great vehicles to use when trying to resolve a situation quickly.

    Every time we drive our RZR S, it takes a long time to wipe the grin off our faces. Driving it is so much fun, our current crop of politicians are probably looking for ways to make it illegal. Until they do, we'll keep grinning and driving our Polaris Ranger RZR S.