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Increasing The Top Speed Of Your Polaris Ranger

Jan 19th 2020

Whether you’re doing some high-speed highway driving, drag racing your side-by-side on flat blacktop, or just have the need for speed, there are various ways to give your Polaris Ranger some added giddy-up-and-go. Simple things like tuning or flashing your machine’s ECU / ECM to remove the speed governor will increase the top-end limits on a stock Polaris Ranger, but without more substantial UTV mods, you’ll never reach the potential of your machine.

While LS small-block or Hayabusa engine swaps will surely make your Ranger faster, there are more practical and less intrusive ways of speeding up your Ranger 900, Ranger 570, or Ranger 1000 — after all, stock tires are only rated for certain speeds, and your stock belt will likely slap the case like mad at high velocities. Nevertheless, if you’re tired of lagging behind your friends with RZRs and no longer want to be the caboose of your convoy, here are some ideas that could quicken up your Polaris Ranger.

Tweaking The Engine Control Module For A Faster Polaris Ranger 

Depending on the cc size of your Polaris, a simple ECU tune can really wake your machine up. A Polaris Ranger 1000, for example, has the same motor as the RZR 1000, so you would think their top speeds would be comparable. Yet because the Ranger 1000 comes tuned down from the factory, it will lag behind an RZR — that is, if you don’t adjust the ECM. 

You can send your Ranger's ECU in to have it reflashed, or install an ECU tuner for your Full-size Polaris Ranger to make the requisite adjustments yourself. Furthermore, if your Ranger feels sluggish, make sure that you’re using it in performance mode and that your performance switch is plugged in. It might seem obvious, but some people mistakenly think that their Ranger is abnormally slow, only to find out that they were just riding in low or four-wheel drive. Additionally, having your seat belt plugged in and ensuring that your seat belt sensors are functional — or overriding the seat belt safety measures all together in the ECU or in the plug itself — could also help you increase the top speed of your Polaris Ranger.

Shop Polaris Ranger ECU Tuners

Going Faster With Polaris Ranger Road Tires

If speed is the only thing you’re after, you may as well just get a sports car. At around 2,500 Lbs bone stock with no adds or accessories, the Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Full-Size, or Crew will never feel like a supercar no matter how much you put into it. This isn’t to say, however, that it can’t be woken up with a few supplementary parts. If you’re running bulky Polaris Ranger mud tires, your side-by-side's max speed will be limited. So if you ride on paved roads and are primarily focused on increasing the top speed of your Polaris Ranger, smooth radial tires made for on-road riding are your best bet. 

The lighter the UTV, the faster it will go... simple physics, right? Therefore, lighter Polaris Ranger tires are better suited for high-speed applications. But in addition to installing lighter tires, you could also reduce the weight of your vehicle by operating with less fuel in the tank. And if you have a bunch of hefty Polaris Ranger accessories on your UTV that you rarely use, stripping them off will also aid you in your pursuits to increase the top speed of your Polaris Ranger. This may seem extreme, but nearly everything related to off-road riding requires a sacrifice, and most things are zero sum, meaning that performance gains in one area will detract from another. So you must ask yourself, are faster speeds worth making compromises for?

Shop our Tire Selection for your Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Polaris Ranger Full-Size, Polaris Ranger Crew or the Polaris General.

Increasing Speed And Acceleration With A Clutch Kit

The best way to both increase the top speed of your Polaris Ranger as well as achieve quicker rates of acceleration is to install an aftermarket clutch kit. And among the many great Polaris Ranger clutch kits out exist top-end clutch rebuild kits, clutch upgrade kits, and clutch part replacements by companies like Gilomen Innovations, RVS Performance, SuperATV, and High Lifter. With one of these clutch kits, clutch components, and their corresponding clutch tuners (as well as an aftermarket Polaris Ranger belt), you can reach nearly 80MPH in your Ranger without taking ages to get up to speed. 

Polaris Ranger clutch kits are the first aftermarket changes that many riders make to their Rangers, even before things like roofs, winches, and windshields —  they are that good. Polaris Ranger owners with large tires or track systems also tend to upgrade their clutches, which not only bring their vehicle's speed back up to near-stock levels, but also enhance shifting engagements and boost the overall torque of the UTV.

Conducting clutch work is rather simple and straightforward if you want to do it yourself. Few specialized tools are required, and even when they are, you can find them at a place like Everything Polaris Ranger at deeply-discounted prices. As a side note to those with 2015 or older Polaris Ranger 900s, we'd suggest adding a spider jam nut if you perform any clutch work on your machine, as the extra power will spin your spider off on the primary. Polaris included this feature in models after 2015, but for individuals with older editions, spider jam nuts are cheap and worth installing while you've got the clutch opened up. One caveat, however, is that a specialized tool is required. But don't fret, because we sell that tool at Everything Polaris Ranger!

Most riders opt for clutch kits with a stiffer secondary spring because it pinches the belt a little more, and heavier primary clutch weights are often installed as well. The Giloman or RVS tune basically brings the de-tuned Polaris Ranger 1000 motor close to the same specs as the 1000 RZR. For A Giloman tune, you need to send in your ECU every time you need to change or upgrade a tune. With RVS, however, they will download tunes onto a Dynojet tuner and you can switch back and forth or upgrade the tunes yourself.

Shop our Clutch and Clutch Kit Selection for your Polaris Ranger Mid-Size, Polaris Ranger Full-Size, Polaris Ranger Crew or the Polaris General.

Closing Thoughts

The Polaris Ranger isn’t a racing side-by-side. And despite what you may have seen at the local mud hole, it’s not a submarine either. This isn’t to say, however, that going faster isn’t a priority for some riders. So if you want to wake your UTV up a bit, yet still want all the benefits that come from an off-road vehicle like the Polaris Ranger, there are options to be had. And at Everything Polaris Ranger, we have a great selection of parts and accessories that are guaranteed help you increase the top speed of your Polaris Ranger!