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  • Andy Hitch

Building the Best ATV Rental for Colorado Trails

Just about anywhere you can rent a Polaris Razor, you will end up with a stock machine NOT actually ready for the trail. Most companies are all about the profit. What's worse, is few even care whether the machine is durable and safe.

There is nothing worse than breaking down 20 miles into the Colorado back country because you failed, or the company you rented from failed to set the machine up properly.

Like any brand name, Polaris razors have known issues that MUST be addressed. These fixes and mods aren't cheap. Our Polaris RZR 1000 XP machines may look like any ole razor, but they are far from it.

First, it must have an after market skid plate. The cheap OEM skid plate is nearly worthless. You need a good one to survive the rocky terrain of Colorado. A 4 seat razor without an after market skid plate has a VERY short shelf life. The frame will break very quickly. A broken frame can lead to an accident. We use the Tusk skid plate shown below:

Second: We install an SLP high elevation, trail riding clutch kit. Without out this $350 upgrade and the continued use of the more expensive OEM drive belt, you'll go through clutches and shred belts left and right. Again, nothing worse than being stranded 20 miles back in.

Third: Specifically the 4 seat RZR 1000 XP has a known frame issue that takes place at the right rear stabilizer mount. The frame will crack and eventually break. This can be very dangerous. So, we install the Thunderhawk braces in order to keep them from cracking.

Forth: The Polaris RZR 1000 XP is known to have a reverse chain transmission problem. Going too fast in reverse will cause the chain to break, leaving you stranded without reverse. Since we actually employ real mechanics, we crack the transmission case and install an after market heavy duty chain and output shaft. This $700 upgrade and skills required to do the job is a must!

Fifth: We install front and rear Polaris brand bumpers. If you are unlucky enough to tap a tree with the front of your razor, you could rack up thousands of dollars in damage. Bumpers are a must and save you money.

Sixth: Although the rear Walker Evans shocks are great, the front shocks are extremely sub par. We replace ours with Elka stage 5 shocks out of Canada. These guys REALLY know suspension. The durability and ride quality is light years ahead of the stock shock.

Seventh: We only use OEM wearable parts. Most companies try to repair their machines as cheap as possible, or not at all to be honest. Most rental companies will just run the machine until the wheels fall off, then they'll blame you when something goes wrong. Our machines are serviced more often than required by Polaris. When we bring one in for service, we check every wearable part. Even if one ball joint is hinting at going bad, we replace all the ball joints. We can buy an after market ball joint for $10. Instead, we use the $65 OEM ball joint because they are designed to last. Again, nothing worse than being stranded 20 miles down the trail.

At the end of the day, we at Backbone Adventures put the customer experience and safety over profit. Yes, it's very expensive to do this, but it's the right thing to do. In fact, we turned down the opportunity to become an official Polaris Adventures outfitter because they wouldn't allow us to outfit our machines with the parts required to make the machine durable and safe.

Their idea is to run it until it falls apart and then they give you a new one. That's great for the rental company, but not so great for the customer stranded on the trail. So, instead of leasing equipment from Polaris direct, we pay cash and buy our machines outright.

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