Americana Outdoors E-Magazine - May 2022

vehicle with this price tag. There’s still plenty of flimsy plastic and weather-resistant materials, but the touch points are all solid and confidence inspiring.

railing through the sand, it hurts visibility in a big way.

The Commander’s Smart-Lok front differential lets it down on one steep climb.Photo by Justin W. Coffey

Despite its age, the Polaris General XP 1000 doesn’t give up much ground to its rivals.Photo by Justin W. Coffey

“It’s hard to see out of on big drops,” Fitch said. “It takes a lot of faith. That low position is fine at speed, but not for crawling.” Richardson echoed those thoughts. “ The front visibility is bad. I smacked a ledge too hard because I couldn’t see it.” The second issue came to light while we were playing on a near-vertical incline. While the RMAX and the General walked their way up the rock face with only a little drama, the Can-Am couldn’t be convinced to do the same. That was mostly due to the Commander’s Smart-Lok front differential, which requires almost a full revolution of the front tire before engaging. Once that tire had broken traction, the damage was done and the Can-Am couldn’t make the climb. While we love the electric front locker on the RMAX, the General won praise for its seamless limited-slip front differential, offering the best of both a mechanical locker and a limited slip. Mostly, it meant we never had to think about flipping a separate switch. Just aim the machine and go.

Which brings us to the General. As the oldest machine in attendance, we half expected the Polaris to be a distant third to the Can-Am and the Yamaha, but we were wrong. Polaris did its homework when it penned the General XP 1000 all those years ago, and the company hasn’t been idle while the market caught up. Small, incremental changes have kept the rig competitive. “This is the oldest rig here and it feels it,” I wrote. “But the thing is so competent. Approach and departure angles are excellent, as is visibility.” “The handling is so much fun,” he said. “It’s predictable. Loves throttle. And it’s not twitchy despite its short wheelbase.” The Bad But it wasn’t all sunshine and puppy dogs. Our routes gave each rig an opportunity to shine, but also stressed their strengths and weaknesses. For the Can-Am, two became immediately apparent. While that low-slung seating position is great for Richardson was also pleasantly surprised.

But the General didn’t get off without criticism.

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