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The Ragland’s RZR Pre-Runners

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It was just under a year ago that I was introduced to the world of UTV’s.  I was asked to assist UTV Underground with the Rally on the Rocks in Moab, UT.  From the first moment I got behind the wheel of a RZR I was hooked.  My mind immediately envisioned epic adventures down the Baja Peninsula.  So when my pops, Baja Champion Larry Ragland and I received our Polaris RZR XP 1000’s, we couldn’t wait to get started building our dream adventure machines.

We wanted to outfit our RZR’s with parts from manufacturers that we have used on our Trophy Trucks. Parts and people that we are already familiar with and comfortable using. We knew that we would be running race helmets with intercoms and forced air. We would also often be very long distances from parts, fuel, and friends so we would have to be self reliant. With all this in mind, we set out to build the most versatile, best handling, and extremely reliable Polaris RZR XP 1000’s.

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We started with the cage.  We wanted the look and strength of a Trophy Truck in a simple yet very effective design. While there are some absolutely wonderful cage manufacturers out there, we saw a huge opportunity to produce our own cages. So, that is exactly what we did. Our first design is the Race Cage by CageWrx. Trophy Truck inspired and built on the same laser cutting and mandrel bending machines many of the sports top trucks are built on. We topped off the cages with custom aluminum roofs.

While I have opted to keep my suspension relatively stock, my pops went all out, with full boxed stock replacement chromoly arms and custom spindles. The front arms utilize a box style design for increased strength while also using uni balls that are also significantly stronger than the stock ball joints. The front arms are joined by a very trick spindle mated to 7075 aluminum tie rods. The rear trailing arms are built using the same box design with large heim joints at the front pivot and extra gussets throughout. All rear radius rods are machined from 7075 aluminum and secured with oversize heim joints. CageWrx is also hoping to bring these products to market in the very near future.

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The stock shocks from Walker Evans Racing have been revalved and tuned for terrain more suited to desert racing. Walker Evans Racing also provide 14″ aluminum beadlock wheels that we mounted with 30″ tall GBC Mongrel tires. We carry a spare tire and tools to either plug or change a tire in the field.

Because of the incredible performance and reliability of the engine and drive train, we decided not to touch a thing. Reliability is king when you are on these long adventure rides that we like to do so keeping the engine stock we felt was the best way to retain reliability as it pertains to power.

PCI Race Radios was gracious to provide race intercoms and radios as well as their own Race Air systems for both of our RZRs.  Because we are used to racing without windshields and with race helmets, it only made sense that we build our RZR’s this way.  Lowrance GPS units provide very accurate positioning as well as running detailed maps that are produced by PCI as well.  The systems work so well, there is absolutely no reason we could not pre run for any major off-road race in our RZRs.

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We went to Baja Designs to discuss lighting options, and when they recommended we use two of their new Squadron XL LED lights per vehicle, we were a bit skeptical.  We should not have been.  These lights are simply awesome.  We run a dual lens with both flood and spot patterns that we find is a perfect combination and more than enough light for our RZR’s. The lights are mounted to our front CageWrx race inspired front bumpers. We also installed Baja Designs push button LED lights both inside the cab and out for additional utility lighting.

When it came to seating opted to run a new seat from Momo called the Lesmo One. This tub style race seat provides extra side protection as well as being very comfortable. We paired out the seats with suede steering wheels also from Momo.  Momo produces quality racing products that many in the UTV world may not be familiar with, but are absolutely worth checking out.

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Another trusted name in motorsports is MasterCraft. They produce a huge line of racing products of which harnesses are just the beginning. We installed 5 point harnesses with 2″ shoulder belts. While the shoulder belts may not approved for most racing, they are still extremely safe and comfortable on very long days.

In the end, we certainly do not have the flashiest or the highest horsepower XP 1000’s.  But with almost 2,000 hard off-road miles already under their belts, we do have vehicles that are fast, fun, reliable and always up for a great adventure.

On behalf of my pops, we want to thank Polaris for these amazing machines they have developed. We want to thank all of the companies who have helped us with building these awesome RZRs and of course we want to thank UTVUnderground.com for introducing us to this amazing sport!

– Chad Ragland

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2014 Polaris XP 1000 Specs
Chad Ragland
Cage: CageWrx Race Cage.
Fabrication: Richer Racing
Lighting Front: Baja Designs Squadron XL (2).  Baja Designs push button LED Dome Lights (2)
Radio and Intercom: PCI Race Radios Comlink X Elite Intercom and Kenwood TK 8360H Radio
GPS: Lowrance HDS 5M
Driver Air: PCI RaceAir Twin
Seats: Momo Lesmo One race seats
Custom Seat Mounts: Richer Racing
Belts: Mastercraft 5.1
Steering Wheel: Momo Mod 80
Steering Quick Release: Dragon Fire Quick Release Hub
Wheels: Walker Evans Racing 14″ Beadlock (custom color)
Tires: GBC Motorsports Kanati Mongrel 30″
Suspension: Walker Evans custom valved RZR XP 1000 shocks and springs
Steering Tie Rods: Holz Racing XP 1000 tie rod kit
Misc:  Powertank compressed air tank.  Spot GPS Tracker.  Mastercraft Tools bags.

 

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Larry Ragland

Cage: CageWrx Race Cage.
Fabrication: Richer Racing
Lighting Front: Baja Designs Squadron XL (2).  Baja Designs push button LED Dome Lights (2)
Radio and Intercom: PCI Race Radios Comlink X Elite Intercom and Kenwood TK 8360H Radio
Navigation Lowrance HDS 5M. Driver Garmin GPS.
Driver Air: PCI RaceAir Twin
Seats: Momo Lesmo One race seats
Custom Seat Mounts: Richer Racing
Belts: Mastercraft 5.1
Steering Wheel: Momo Mod 80
Steering Quick Release: Dragon Fire Quick Release Hub
Wheels: Walker Evans Racing 14″ Beadlock (custom color)
Tires: GBC Motorsports Kanati Mongrel 30″
Shocks: Walker Evans custom valved RZR XP 1000 shocks and springs
Suspension: Cage Wrx CEM front suspension includes upper and lower arms, spindles, tie rods. Cage Wrx CEM rear suspension includes trailing arms, upper and lower radius rods. Holz Racing XP 1000 tie rod kit.
Misc:  Powertank compressed air tank.  Spot GPS Tracker.  Mastercraft Tools bags. ABF Fabrication Steering Quickener.  Foddrill Fabrication custom foot box and brake pedal. Holz Racing Products rear bumper w/ Spare Tire Carrier

Photos by: Vincent Knakal // Mad Media – UTVUnderground.com

Location: Booze Brothers Brewery / Vista, CA

 

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