Side-by-side racing at its best

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Racing around a custom-built track with rally champion Cody Crocker in the latest Polaris extreme performance side-by-side Razor was one hell of a ride.

Mud, straights, slides, jumps and sharp corners were all part of the fun and no match for Cody and his Polaris RZR XP 900.

The new class side-by-side Razor focuses on power, suspension and agility.

It was built for extreme performance but it could be a key part of any farming vehicle fleet.

It has 88 horsepower, double the amount of some competitors, a 180 degree crank shaft for balanced performance and 3-link suspension, giving more tyre surface and control when cornering.

Each Polaris Razor has the patented engine behind the seat design.

This means it has the lowest seat height and centre of gravity in the industry, but it still has 13 inches of ground clearance.

Cody, who has been racing side-by-side vehicles for three years, said the Razor models had got bigger and faster, culminating with the RZR XP 900.

Against competitor models, the RZR XP 900 is said to be 29 per cent faster, which Cody proved when he raced the new model at the Thumb Pump 300, in Pinnaroo, South Australia and won.

The event is notoriously tough for quad bikes, which race 300km along sandy tracks, steep ruts, straights and everything in between.

Cody’s race was a trial event — the first time side-by-side vehicles had been raced at the Thumb Pump 300 — and he raced 10 laps of a 5km circuit.

The only modifications to Cody’s side-by-side were extra protection for arms, under-body guards and an aluminium sump tray.

What is available on the retail floor is similar to Cody’s set-up.

“What we are trying to do with this category is to keep it fairly standard so it’s cheaper, ” Cody said.

In between events on the racing calendar, Cody keeps his side-by-side on co-driver Greg Foletta’s farm, north of Melbourne.

“Greg said it’s one of the best farm utilities he’s got, because it’s so versatile, ” Cody said.

“It’s his vehicle of choice for getting around the farm and you can put a trailer on the back.”

Cody’s next challenge will be the legendary Cliffhanger 4x4 and side-by-side racing event across desert terrain near Cobar, New South Wales on July 3 to 8.

The journalist was a guest of Polaris at a media ride event in May

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