The Polaris High Lifter models are all about getting muddy and wet, and we travelled to Shreveport, Louisiana to do exactly that at the High Lifter proving grounds to see how these machines work.
The High Lifter treatment is available on the Ranger XP 1000, RZR XP 1000 and the Sportsman 850 and XP1000 from Polaris, and the package contains essentially the same gear for each of the machines.
All three units run Outlaw 2 tires designed by High Lifter, with 29.5-inch units coming on the RZR and Sportsman while the Ranger makes due with 28-inch tires. Unique bumpers are mounted on the front and rear, meant to keep things up out of the mud, while each front bumper also creates a home for a high-mounted winch that is part of the High Lifter package. New half doors with a one-inch drain space at the bottom are fitted to the Ranger, and as you climb out of the water, it runs straight out of the cabin seemingly as fast as it came in.
Underneath, 13.5-inches of ground clearance are available from the Sportsman and Ranger, while the RZR sits a full 15-inches off the ground. Arched A-arms along with high-clearance rear radius rods help to keep essential gear from dragging in the ruts. Suspension travel remains at 11 inches for the Ranger, 21 inches for the RZR and 7.4 and 6.7 inches on the Sportsman front to back. The spring rate on all of these models is also cranked up to make things stiffer, allowing for over a hundred pounds of caked-on mud to be accommodated for.
But once the speeds pick up, the Ranger still offers enough suspension travel to make sure you can have some fun going a bit quicker. If you really want a best-of-both worlds machine when it comes to speed though, the RZR still has lots of suspension travel, offering the kind of no-lift feeling through the whoops feeling that models with this much suspension are known for.
Everything that needs to breathe and vent, including the engine, transmission and differentials all can do so thanks to the high-mounted snorkel. Additionally, the Sportsman gets a high-mounted radiator to keep itself out of the mud.
Gearing in the transmission has been made lower in each machine to get better torque to the ground at lower RPM.
So what does it cost to go mudding with a High Lifter on your home turf?
The Ranger XP 1000 High Lifter sells for $19,999 in the US and $24,999 in Canada.
The RZR XP 1000 High Lifter goes for $21,699 in the US and $27,099 in Canada.
Finally, the Sportsman XP 1000 High Lifter sells for $13,999 in the US and $17,499 in Canada.