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POLARIS GENERAL RIDE REVIEW

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BEHIND THE WHEEL of one of the BEST MACHINES ON THE TRAIL
Written By: 
John Arens


The Polaris General 1000 excels at comfort, convenience, and ride quality. It’s the Side x Side we think of first for a weekend riding adventure, but it’s also supremely versatile. When not out playing, it’s a capable work machine and we’ve used it to haul landscape materials, a trailer load of firewood, cut brush, and countless other homeowner uses. It’s as adept at work duty as it is exploring new trails. The versatility is what helps make the General 1000 one of our all-time favorite off-road machines.


CROSSOVER KING

The General bridges the gap between the hard-working Ranger lineup, and the sporty RZR models. It’s become a favorite for many because it seamlessly blends the best qualities of those two model lines into one do-it-all machine. Originally introduced in 2015, the General received major updates for 2020 which they’ve carried over to the 2021 models as well. Key details of the new General 1000 and General XP 1000 are:

  • 100 Hp Polaris ProStar engines – most powerful in class

  • 600 lbs. cargo box capacity, 1500 lbs. towing

  • Bolstered bucket seats for comfort and secure ride

  • Half doors for protection

  • Electronic Power Steering

  • Easy integration of accessories through a 6 position Plug and Play bus-bar under the front hood

  • Cab designed for ease of operation, excellent ergonomics, and comfort.

  • Automatic Polaris PVT transmissions with AWD/2WD/ and VersaTrac Turf Mode for protection of sensitive turf


The General 1000 and General XP 1000 share most features, but there are differences as well. Essentially, the chassis, engine, cab and drive-train are identical, with most upgrade features on the XP1000 designed to increase comfort and usability. They definitely add value for the user. Those upgraded features on the General XP1000 are:

  • Wider Stance – 64” On the XP 1000 Vs. 60” On the Standard Generals

  • Increased Ground Clearance - 13.5 Inches Vs. 12 Inches

  • Increased Wheel Travel – 14” Of Travel Vs. 13.2

  • High Clearance A-Arms

  • Walker Evans Velocity Series Shocks

  • 30" Pro Armor Crawler Xg Tires On 15” Al Wheels – 27” CST Clincher Tires On 12” Cast Aluminum Wheels on General 1000

  • 4,500 Lb. Polaris Hd Winch

  • Rockford Fosgate Stage 1 Audio System

  • Poly Sport Roof

  • Convex Rear-View Mirror

  • Low Profile Sport Bumper


TRAIL TIME REVIEW

We’ve put many, many miles on different General models. For the last few months, we’ve been exploring the trails on a General 1000 Deluxe. Virtually identical to the 2021 General XP 1000 except with a different trim package, the top-of-the-line General Deluxe feels like a bigger, beefier machine, mostly due to the increased tire size. Overall, the bodywork styling presents a sporty, muscular look and it’s been very resistant to scratches or cracks. The composite bed has held up very well, and we love the LED lights at both ends. The Generals half-doors are a very welcome feature and they do a great job of securing both the driver and passenger.

Inside the cab, we love the new digital instrument cluster. It’s easy to read and right above the tilting steering wheel. Lighted switches on the dash make them easy to find at night, and the center mounted Rockford-Fosgate Audio System is also a great feature. We much prefer this position over the previous roof mounted audio system. The old system worked well, but this feels more natural. The seating position is slightly higher than RZR, but not as tall as the Ranger seating. We feel the General seating is more comfortable than either of its cousins, and the driver’s seat is also adjustable. There is plenty of water-resistant storage in the dash and in a center console, and one simple feature we really appreciate is the drain plugs in the floor. It makes it so much easier to wash out the interior.

On the trail the General 1000 loves to be driven fast thanks to its RZR inspired chassis, dual A-arms, and excellent ground clearance. Easily adjustable Walker Evans shocks let you to drive the General like the performance vehicle it is. We backed off the compression two clicks in the front, and one in the rear to make the ride a little smoother for the trails we drive. Both the General 1000 and the RZR share a nearly identical engine, but tuning is designed to match the chassis. This is done with a different EFI map and a slightly different CVT clutch set up geared more toward weight and towing capacity.

You drive the Ranger with the steering wheel; you drive the General with the throttle! Thankfully, the Generals brakes are capable of handling all the power the engine can dish out, with twin piston calipers in front, and single piston calipers at the rear. Mash on the brakes and it will bring you to a safe, controlled stop. Pedal pressure is perfect, and both the throttle and brake pedal angles are very good. Thankfully, Polaris gave the floor plenty of grip and your feet stay securely anchored, even over rough terrain.


OPTIONS and ACCESSORIES

Polaris likes to provide options for buyers, with some packages based on features, and some based on price. Within the General 1000 lineup there are actually 3 models to choose from. Those choices are:

  • GENERAL 1000 SPORT – Plenty of power, great handling, excellent features, and the perfect machine to make your own with accessories. Msrp $15,999 U.S.

  • GENERAL 1000 PREMIUM - Factory added upgrades ready from the dealer floor. Msrp $18,299

  • GENERAL 1000 DELUXE – The name says it all. Everything you need in a powerful, easy to drive package. It doesn’t get any better than this! Msrp $20,799

As with every Polaris model across all of their product lines, the Generals are highly customizable. Polaris knows you are going to add accessories, and they make it easy with integrated accessory mounts practically everywhere on the vehicle. If you want to add an accessory, we can all but guarantee there is a mount in place for it already, and even a wiring connector if it happens to need power. You’ll love it!

In the General XP 1000 lineup a second model is available and that unit is called the General XP 1000 Pursuit Edition. It’s an all-new model for 2021 aimed squarely at hunters, and equipped with the tools to go deep into the back country after big game.


PURSUIT EDITION DETAILS

The General 1000 XP 1000 Pursuit Edition is ready for opening day right from the dealer floor. Polaris Pursuit Camo highlights the mostly blacked out bodywork, and about the only shiny spots are the winch fairlead rollers, and the lug nuts. It’s meant to sneak in. Even the seat covers get the camo treatment. Guiding you in and out of the woods before dawn and after sunset is an 11-inch Pro-Armor light bar mounted on the front bumper. A Kolpin gun boot gets the job of carrying your firearm safely, and a new rear cargo rack provides extra storage in the bed. We really like the look of the new rear storage rack, and along with the Kolpin gun boot, it integrates very well into the bed thanks to the Polaris Lock & Ride system. The new rack is also made to accept the Polaris NorthStar cooler / storage box! You can never have too much on-board storage. Once again, the Polaris General shows its versatility.

ADVENTURE MACHINES

The Polaris General has always been an adventure machine. They’re the perfect combination of fun, features, and comfort, wrapped in a stylish package. What began as a great machine years ago has developed into a complete lineup of even better models today. Whether at work or at play, they continue to excel! You’ll never be disappointed by a Polaris General.

www.polaris.com/en-us/

Polaris.com/OffRoad

2021 POLARIS GENERAL 1000 BASE MODELS SPECS

Engine: ProStar 1000 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder, Liquid Cooled, EFI, 100hp

Transmission: Polaris Automatic PVT with AWD/2WD/Turf Mode P/R/N/L/H

Overall Size: 116.4 x 62.5 x 73.8 in (295.6 x 158.7 x 187 cm)

Weight: 1422 lbs.

Bed Dim: 27.5 x 43.1 x 11.6 in (69.8 x 109 x 29.5 cm) - 600 lbs.

Hitch: 2” Receiver – 1500 lbs. towing

Fuel Cap: 9.5 Gallons

Ground Clrnc: 12 Inches

Brakes: 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front and Rear Calipers

Susp.-Front: Dual A-Arm with Stabilizer Bar 12.25 in (31.1 cm) Travel

Susp. - Rear:Dual Arm IRS with Stabilizer Bar 13.2 in (33.5 cm) Travel

Wheels: Cast Aluminum

Tires – Front: 27 x 9-12 NHS; CST Clincher

Tires – Rear: 27 x 11-12 NHS; CST Clincher

EPS: Electronic Power Steering – Standard

Instruments: Dual-sweep Analog Dials w/ 4" LCD Rider Information Center: User Selectable Blue/Red Backlighting & Brightness, Programmable Service Intervals, Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer, Trip meter, Clock, Hour Meter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Coolant Temperature, Voltmeter, Service Indicator and Codes, Seat Belt Reminder Light, Gear Indicator, DC Outlet

Colors: Ghost Gray with Red highlights

MSRP: $15,999 U.S.



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