If you’re new to the UTV scene, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of modification options available on the aftermarket. It doesn’t matter where you go, be it UTV events, OHV parks, or popular off-roading trails, you’ll almost guaranteed to see modified Polaris Rangers out there ripping it up. Some Rangers have simple mods, while others are completely decked out and bad to the bone. But why? If you’re not sure about aftermarket parts, accessories, or modifications and want to know more, keep reading. Today, we’re going to talk about why people modify their Polaris Rangers, what these aftermarket modifications actually do for the machine, and which mod options are best for what reasons.
Modding The Polaris Ranger
A lot of people have asked us over the years if modifications to the Polaris Ranger actually enhance the vehicles performance. Sure some mods are mostly for the “wow factor”, and it is definitely a dude thing to want the biggest and baddest ride in town. But there are few (if any) aftermarket accessories for the Polaris Ranger that aren’t good for something, and each accessory has its place and function.
When deciding on specific modifications to and accessories for the Polaris Ranger, the right parts, equipment, components and mods will depend on what you use the machine for. If you use it for yard work, farm work, hunting, etc. a few accessories like windshields and roofs are nice, but not needed. If you plan on really off-roading the machine, almost everything on your Ranger will need upgrading. But let’s not get ahead of urself here, because some riders would disagree with the necessity of a roof and windshield for a farm-working Ranger… especially the roof. Polaris seats can double as solar collectors in the hot season, making the seats dang near scalding. Sit down with only shorts on and you’re bound to get burnt.
Ranger Vs RZR
If all sorts of modifications are required to turn a Ranger into an ultimate off-roading beast, many riders opt to get an RZR instead. And yes this is a good question. When compared to an RZR on a purely performance basis, the Ranger does appear to be a little more clumsy… that is, bone stock, straight from the factory without any modifications of any kind. That being said, Polaris Rangers are plenty stable for mudding, and you can definitely build a nicely-performing rig that can still get work done. Because when it boils down to it, an RZR can never outwork a Ranger. Besides, t’s hard to fit a big ol’ cooler in an RZR… but surely there's a mod for that too!
Riders who want three seats but don’t want the four-seat RZR wheelbase may also opt for a ranger instead of an RZR. People who hunt, ranch, farm, or need a vehicle with more cargo space typically get Rangers, adding what they want later for a work / play machine. Factor in the price differences and it’s no wonder why so many individuals in the market for a side-by-side go for Polaris Rangers
Other Reasons For Modifying The Ranger
Undoubtably, a lot of the Polaris Ranger modifications you’ll see are done for a certain look. Appearances aside, however, many riders get their new machine, and before getting home decide on at least a few few mods to have done; but there’s a clear distinction between modifications done for aesthetics, and ones that provide practical, real-life, value.
Things like roofs, doors, and windshield are added for rider comfort, and a winch is an obvious accessory to have in case you get into trouble. Also ,swapping out the tires and wheels may prove beneficial depending on the terrain on which you ride. For example, if most of the miles put on your machine are down the highway to and from your deer lease, the stock tires won’t last and are easily damaged on the rocks, stumps, and bumps you’ll likely encounter on a hunt.
Going too big with the tires and wheels can bring further complications, as room becomes an issue and rubbing may occur. For this, lift kits as well as wheel spacers can help riders maximize their tire size.
There are many guys and gals that just want to have things a little cooler, a little better, and a little more unique on their Polaris Ranger. Add the frustration of getting stuck, the fear of missing out, or the inability to go where you want and the reasons why riders modify their machines becomes clear. One might argue that thousands upon thousands of dollars are spent to create a vehicle that would be easily outperformed by an old Jeep — which comes with a heated cab, AC, and is street legal — but that’s clearly a flawed argument. Whether it be for work, exploration, having fun, or generating cool stories, a stock Polaris Ranger is great, but a modified one is even better.