Words by: Joey D.
Photos by: Vincent Knakal // UTVUnderground.com – Mad Media
We have done a lot of builds over the years, and with each one we have to dig to be creative. We can’t stand to think that we are doing the same thing others in this sport are doing when it comes to building a new and innovative UTV. Luckily, there are a lot of companies out there that share our passion and drive to innovate and buck the trends that so many follow. Now, I am not knocking following a trend, we all pick and pull from things we like and draw inspiration from others and their own builds.
One guy does something cool, you want to apply that feature and so on and so forth. With that said, we feel a responsibility to our readers and to ourselves to not just do the same ol – same ol build after build and thats why we are so proud to finally feature our 2014 Polaris RZR XP4 we call “King Ranch”.
As a fan of the Ford F-Series of trucks, naturally I love the King Ranch edition. Its rich earthly tones look rugged yet still give off a look of feeling premium and high end. As we racked our brains for a theme we found that we couldn’t find anyone that has really taken the chance of going with browns & tans. Of course the natural choice for us is to go red or blue, many do orange or white and of course we are also known for our black builds.
But this one we wanted to go out and take a chance and do something different so we gravitated to the King Ranch as inspiration and with some awesome conceptualizing by Tim Berendes at SDR Motorsports we had a color scheme that would surely set us far a part from anyone else and yet still look cool and be something that others like and want to also emulate. We settled up on a bronze metal flake powder-coat that SDR applied to our suspension, wheels and to the entire roll cage. We had all plastics painted black and we powder-coated our aluminum black as well.
ProLineWraps would integrate a cool graphic scheme onto our panels that fell inline with our Kustoms Inc. hand applied pin-striping which you can find all over the machine. of course the “saddle tan” leather seats by Twisted Stitch set the whole look off and really allowed the machine to flow as it pertained to a King Ranch theme.
Once you are done appreciating the unique color scheme you can’t help but take in the lines of the machine. SDR Motorsports created their new look with the King Ranch being that it was the first XP4 to roll through their doors late last year. The Polaris RZR XP4 is unlike any other platform on the market. Its superior suspension, ride quality, and power from stock makes this 4 seat UTV the most desired machine for those who want to transport more than 1 passenger while still enjoying the fun of being in a RZR!
SDR did what they do best and thats create a look that you can’t help but want and of course many others in the sport couldn’t help trying to duplicate. King Ranch looks fast just sitting still, its rear class 1 inspired bumper with fully enclosed aluminum trunk / bed give the RZR a finished and detailed look. The rear trunk area is functional, features an opening lid and perforated steel vent to allow heat generated by the engine and exhaust to escape. We use this area to keep our cooler and other essentials accessible and yet hidden at the same time.
One of our favorite details SDR Motorsports incorporated into the build is the 30″ RDC (Radius) LED light bar which they “frenched” into a seamlessly perfect radius aluminum roof and top windshield bar. 2 SafeGlowWhips and our race radio antenna also mount through the roof. While we draw much of our influences from off-road race machines we still like the convenience of play machines that thats exactly what this high-end family off-road machine is all about!
To ensure comfort and ease with getting in and out of the machine, SDR designed 4 suicide opening doors that can open and close individually or all at once without fear of aluminum paneling on the doors touching one another. The design is well thought out and the doors work great utilizing the factory Polaris door latches.
I touched on the seats earlier in the story but these seats deserve some serious love. Twisted Stitch knocked out what we feel are some of the nicest seats ever put into a UTV, PERIOD! The saddle tan and brown tie the entire color scheme together and you can’t help but think of a Ferrari when you see the interior of the King Ranch. We can’t thank Twisted Stitch enough for all of their efforts in making sure this machine went over the top.
The fact that they were able to perfectly match the rear bench to the fronts also stoked us out. My youngest boy is 5, still small so Twisted Stitch set the middle seat up with lower cut harness slots and added a little more bolster so that he fits safe and secure. Their 4-point harnesses keep us all safe when mashing through the desert and dunes!
We love the power the stock XP1000 provides and we also love the reliability of stock. We know many love to turbo or build their engines and we also enjoy the added ponies these upgrades can provide. But when building a play machine I always want reliability. I want to sit in my seat, turn the key and drive every time I get to my ride destination. So for this one we decided to go stock on the engine and draw our additional ponies from the Muzzys Dual Exhaust system and Muzzys fuel programmer.
Not only did Muzzys set us up with the right exhaust they took it one step further and fully customized the exhaust with UTVUG logos therefore calling it the UTVUnderground Edition! The sound, look and performance this system gives us is awesome!
We like our night rides and thats where Rigid Industries came in for us on King Ranch. We installed their 30″ RDS LED light bar up top, installed their Rigid Industries 2014 Polaris Ranger XP1000 LED Grille with a 10″ SR-Series LED light bar and then dialed the RZR in with a total of 6 A-Series rock & dome lights. The lights are all tied into custom SDR Motor sports switches mounted into our bad ass GlazzKraft fiberglass dash. Also mounted into the dash are our Alba Performance Belt Temp and Voltage Gauges.
We replaced the doubled-in storage box on our GlazzKraft dash with our Rugged Radio’s 660 5-place intercom & 50w Race Radio. The location is easily accessible by driver and co-driver, has all the channels we need pre-programmed and allows for all 5 passengers to enjoy conversation with one another as well as communication between other vehicles. We also can pump music strait into our helmets or headsets.
We don’t need the music option often however and thats because SDR installed an INSANE SSV Works stereo system utilizing Kicker components. We can clearly hear our stereo while riding even with our helmets on and when we stop at the hill you know we can keep the part rocking all night, or as long as the battery will last!
Wheels and tires are always an important decision for any automotive build. They are especially important for an off-road vehicle. When we built this car we knew we would primarily use it in the sand but that doesn’t mean we want to run sand tires. We still will put it into the dirt and even though we like to go over the top we still try to be practical. This is why you will see us run the same set ups in the sand and in the dirt. For this build we went with some of the best wheels money can buy in the 3-piece OMF Performance NX-G2 wheel with 30″ GBC Mongrels for tires.
Now I know what you are thinking, Mongrels are not great for sand, and we will admit we thought the same thing until we drove King Ranch in the dunes over Camp RZR weekend. We dropped the air pressure to about 6lbs and the tires worked great. They had awesome flotation and actually worked pretty damn good when climbing the soft stuff. Are they as good as a paddle tire in the sand? NO, but they also are a lot easier on the belt then paddles are so the trade off for us is well worth it as we lost no belts all weekend in Glamis! Of course we can lend some of that credit to the clutch tune that SDR Motorsports put in King Ranch!
I love to jump, I love to hit off-camber transitions and I really like to rhythm whoop sections. To do this you have to have a good shock set up. Once again we hooked up with Walker Evans Racing and they not only re-valved our rear 2.5″ shocks they also upgraded our front shocks to 2.5″ also. The valving that Walker Evans installed might feel stiff to some but once you are ripping in the big stuff you soon realize that this big 5 seat RZR never bottoms out and never bucks uncontrollably. We love the way these shocks are set up and the all black bodies really tied into our overall theme. To ensure strength in our suspension we added Assault UTV oversize tie rods and rear radius rods.
You can’t build a custom machine without focusing attention on the details. Whether its the trick aluminum work that SDR performed or the custom GlazzKraft Dash or bad ass hot rod inspired pin-striping, this machine does not lack details! We added shock guards, cv guards and side view mirrors from Assault UTV. Suede / quick release steering wheel and passenger grab handle from DragonFire Racing. The labeled and laser etched switches from SDR also help bring the detail out in King Ranch!
When we brought King Ranch out for the first time earlier this year for a photo shoot in Glamis we knew we had a winner. This is not your run of the mill build, King Ranch is unique, functional and most of all its a trend setter as it pertained to the look and details. Multiple machines were ordered from SDR and were built with inspiration derived from King Ranch and that to us means we did our job!
We had an absolute blast driving it in Glamis. My wife and kids had an amazing weekend riding around in King Ranch and seeing my wife running it in the big group ride made the entire build process all worth it. I can’t thank Polaris and SDR as well as all of our other product sponsors enough for helping us build this over the top machine. We hope you all enjoy the photos and our soon to be released BREAKDOWN video!!
See you all in the desert…..
Builder: SDR Motorsports
Model: RZR XP1000 – 4
Cage/Chassis: SDR Motorsports
Suspension: Factory Suspension, Assault UTV Rear Radius Rods & Tie Rods
Shocks: Custom Valved Walker Evans Racing 2.5″ Front & Rear
Sway Bar: Factory
ECM: Muzzys Piggy Back A/F Programmer
Exhaust: UTVUnderground.com Edition Muzzys Dual
Wheels: 14″ OMF Performance 3-Piece NX-G2 Bead Locks
Tires: 30″ GBC Motorsports Kanati Mongrels
Seats: Twisted Stich Front Buckets and Custom Rear Bench
Paint / Graphics: ProLineWraps.com & Kustoms Inc Pin Striping
Audio: SSV Works 5 Speaker Kicker Stereo System
Lighting: Rigid Industries 30″ RDS top bar, 10″ Single Row front grill, multiple A-Series lights in white for rock & dome lighting
Communications: Rugged Radios 5-Place 660 Intercom w/ 50w Race Radio
Accessories: GlazzKraft Custom Dash – Assault UTV Side View Mirrors, Shock Coil Guards & CV Guards – Alba Racing Voltage Gauge & Belt Temp Gauge – SafeGlowWhips – Twisted Stich 4 Point Harnesses – DragonFire Racing Suede Steering Wheel w/ Quick Disconnect & Passanger Side Moto Style Grab Bar –
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