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Thread: S X S's: Is there something better than a Polaris Ranger?

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    Default S X S's: Is there something better than a Polaris Ranger?

    I am pretty new to the forums and was looking for some input on buying a new side X side. I have looked at the Ranger 800 XP EPS and am impressed with it. I have not owned a side by side before and have not established any brand loyalties. I am primarily looking for a family / hunting rig. I am past my rambunctious stage in life and am not looking to set speed records or go mudding every weekend. I want a rig I can take my kids out in and go on the occasional hunting trip.

    The only drawback to the Ranger I can see is that it is very big. Does anyone who owns a Ranger ever wish they had a smaller machine? What other machines are out there that are worth looking at?

    Then comes the question of tires. Everyone I have talked to says upgrading tires is well worth the money. I have looked at the Mudlite XTR's and the Interco Swamp Lites and both seem like they will do good. What are some other tires I should consider for good all-around traction (mud, snow, trails, etc.)

    Thanks for any and all your advice!

    Todd.

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    Quick answer: No. Unless you have $30k to step into an Argo, a Ranger is my choice, hands down. I've known several guys guys who started out on a Rhino only to sell up for a Ranger

    Ive got over 3500 miles on Rangers over the past 5 years and they have taken me anywhere I wanted to go and some places I simply shouldn't have been.

    Certainly not bulletproof- they can succumb to breakage as any other sxs however the only breakage I've had has been by my own doing.

    They are the roomiest of rigs, have great ground clearance and the newer 800 is a nice step up in power but we always want more of that.

    I'm out every weekend somewhere with a bed full of gear exploring. Let me know if you wanna check one out first hand before making a purchase.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Thanks for the feedback. I have test driven an Arctic Cat Prowler and it didn't feel nearly as solid or smooth as the Ranger. It didn't have power steering so it wasn't a fair comparison, but the Ranger seems to just have a better feel.

    Do you have any suggestions on what kind of tire you would recommend?

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    As for power steering, Polaris made a huge leap going from their strut style to full fledged IFS in the front, with stock tire configuration it's very effortless. Since I upgraded to 28s that's another story in 4x lock but that goes hand in hand with larger meats.

    Currently running Swamp lites, they were my second choice over maxxis Zillas (not the mudzillas which are a bit heavier) but at the time they were backordered. So far I like them, only put 400 miles on them in some very swampy conditions and I manage nicely- flotation is my main goal.

    Also ran Mudbugs- super tire, great flotation.

    ITP mud lites tend to have a less than stellar wear pattern because of the rubber compound and using them on a 1100lb machine but still a good all around tire.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    The Ranger comes with a 12" rim and someone told me to upgrade to a 14" rim with at least a 27" tire. Is there any real advantage to going to the 14" rim? The Zilla's are one of my top contenders, but I have also been considering the STI Mud Trax. I realize that most tires mentioned are all proven and will do a decent job, I guess it all comes down to preference. Thanks again for all your input!

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    I wouldn't call a rim upgrade a necessity but each does have an advantage.

    14s will give you less sidewall flex and more rotor clearance. I have seen rocks wedge around the brake and basically machine a groove down until it lost air.
    14's will be heavier and have a noticeable loss in power. 12's will ride better- more sidewall.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Have you seen the one that Kubota makes??? Diesel powered (=awesome), a PTO (if I recall correctly), 4WD; they're really good machines.

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    The Kubota is now where near the off road vehicle the Ranger is.

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    We use Kubota's at my job and they are great runners on flat ground, give'em a hill and they are super heavy!! As far as other sxs go my pops just picked up a Ranger 6x6 and the thing is pretty sweet, he's running 27" mud-bugs on it.... It has yet to see dirt, so we'll see how it performs soon..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W. View Post
    We use Kubota's at my job and they are great runners on flat ground, give'em a hill and they are super heavy!! As far as other sxs go my pops just picked up a Ranger 6x6 and the thing is pretty sweet, he's running 27" mud-bugs on it.... It has yet to see dirt, so we'll see how it performs soon..
    New 6x? Should be a great runner. They really shine in swampy areas
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Yes a 2012 6x!! I hope its a good runner in the swamp.
    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    New 6x? Should be a great runner. They really shine in swampy areas

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    I use my rzr for hunting trips... its a bit cheaper, faster, and smaller... it works great and you can fit a 7' black bear on the bed and still climb and get out of the woods... Just place a peice of cardboard down so you dont burn the hide.

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Have you checked out the Can Am Commander. If I was to get a SxS I do believe it would be a Can Am.

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    Tons to consider. I have not looked at the Can Am Commander yet, but that can be tomorrow's assignment. As far as the Kubota is concerned, I have not looked at that either, but unless I am overly amazed, I probably won't go for a tractor company product; I won't be doing any farming ;?

    Anyone have any experience with the Arctic Cat Prowler? The Yammy Rhino seems more like a run around toy than a work horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenaiphisher View Post
    I am pretty new to the forums and was looking for some input on buying a new side X side. I have looked at the Ranger 800 XP EPS and am impressed with it. I have not owned a side by side before and have not established any brand loyalties. I am primarily looking for a family / hunting rig. I am past my rambunctious stage in life and am not looking to set speed records or go mudding every weekend. I want a rig I can take my kids out in and go on the occasional hunting trip.

    The only drawback to the Ranger I can see is that it is very big. Does anyone who owns a Ranger ever wish they had a smaller machine? What other machines are out there that are worth looking at?

    Then comes the question of tires. Everyone I have talked to says upgrading tires is well worth the money. I have looked at the Mudlite XTR's and the Interco Swamp Lites and both seem like they will do good. What are some other tires I should consider for good all-around traction (mud, snow, trails, etc.)

    Thanks for any and all your advice!

    Todd.
    How many are in your family?

    I would strongly consider an Argo or Mudd Ox.

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    I think an Argo or Mudd Ox is every hunter's wet dream, but I think it will be (dare I say it) too much machine for my needs. I have considered the Ranger 6X6, but that is as extreme as I would go. The Arctic Cat 700 HDX is an interesting machine on paper, but I need to go look at one. With as impressive as the Ranger is, I doubt the Prowler will stack up.

    Thanks again for all the input!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan W. View Post
    Yes a 2012 6x!! I hope its a good runner in the swamp.
    There are several in our group that have both 4x and 6x Rangers. There are advantages to both but no comparison in the swamps or mud holes. The 6x rules but if you get it stuck be sure to come prepared or have another machine of size to winch to.

    Another comparison, last fall while out moose hunting, my partner brought his kawi 650 wheeler with good mudders on it. The first day out I had to pull him across mud hole after swamp hole after swamp hole. Needless to say, as much as he loves that machine and how capable it is, it still does not compare. He spent the next week riding in my 6x pissed at how incapable his wheeler was.

    I have ITP mudlites my 2011 6x. They work well although I'm not sure they are going to last. Got a cut in one tire that I beleive happened from breaking ice on water holes that split and failed the first summer out and put a hole in another that they had to patch and tube. Both were front tires but I have never had any issue with any other tire on wheelers so time will tell if the ITP's hold up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenaiphisher View Post
    The Ranger comes with a 12" rim and someone told me to upgrade to a 14" rim with at least a 27" tire. Is there any real advantage to going to the 14" rim? The Zilla's are one of my top contenders, but I have also been considering the STI Mud Trax. I realize that most tires mentioned are all proven and will do a decent job, I guess it all comes down to preference. Thanks again for all your input!
    My Ranger came with 14's and I upgraded to 12's. Tires are cheaper, more torque and seem to ride pretty nice. I also run the Swamp Lites and absolutly love them. I started out with the ITP mud light xtr's and kept blowing out sidewalls and got stuck far more than I do now. The swamp lites do real good cleaning out the mud.
    I personaly don't think there is a better rig than the Ranger for hunting and hauling family. I have been places I never would of thought I would get and back out. I have gone on several 100 mile+ hunting trips, loaded to the gill and never had to do repairs exept those darn mud lites. Those tires made me a master tire plugger. The ranger does have it's weakness. Backwards in 4x4 while turning under a hard load. Likes to pop the CV joint. Once I figured that out I haven't broke one since.
    I could go on and on about how much I love my rig. Keep them maintained and it will last you a long long time.
    Hope this helps

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    I'm going to go the other direction... I drove a ranger for a few years in the military, but then bought a Rhino. The Ranger IS big... for me, that means the boardwalk trail out to my subdivision is a no-go. The Rhino is only 1.5 inches wider than a Sportsman 700. Also, having experience in both, the Ranger is more nose-heavy than the Rhino, and does not handle the muskegs as well (the rhino isn't all that great either, but better than the Ranger). I've never found myself wanting the bigger machine than the Rhino, and Yamaha engines are bulletproof.

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    I really would love a 6x6 because of the increased capabilities. I have driven Ranger 4x4's with and without EPS and can tell a huge difference, however, I have not driven a Ranger in any real terrain. Does EPS make that big of a difference? I'm not a weakling, but I want something my wife would be able to drive if she wanted to, thus leaning towards EPS. Polaris does not offer EPS on the 6x6's yet and that is a consideration.

    Does power steering make that big of a difference?

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