May 19, 2008

Testing, testing

Well, the Open Days have come and gone and here's yours truly at the wheel of the Polaris RZR. I've got to say I was very impressed, not just with the quality of the thing, but also with the reception I had from Ets Petitpas, who not only let me play with the RZR but also answered all the questions I had, rummaged in their workshop to look at how things could fit together, and gave me a drink. I'm very impressed and if this is a sign of Polaris's quality I think the RZR is the way to go.
So the RZR, it really is a blast to drive, in many ways it's very car like, you're sitting up and you even feel quite high, quite commanding. The steering is a little heavier than a car, but that's because I'm used to power steering, and the RZR has none and also has those off-road tyres. And of course it's noisier than a car, but not unduly so, and it wouldn't give me a headache even after a day at the wheel. The handling's great it feels very surefooted, I know the Euro-Spec RZRs have wider tyres and track so it'd be hard work getting one to fall over (see YouTube for details). You have to remember you're in a very small mid-engined rear-wheel-drive though and drive accordingly, pile into a corner too fast brake sharply and the back will come round, but it's very controllable on the throttle.

Off-road is another story, the RZR really goes, and is amazingly comfortable, you really wouldn't know you're doing 50+ mph over mud, ruts and potholes, the suspension just seems to absorb what you throw at it, and I know we'd be able to step out at the end of the day off-road and not feel shaken to bits. The bodywork keeps you a lot more protected than some of the buggies we've looked at but at the same time you're not insulated from the world like a full 4x4.

I think the RZR is the one for us, now I just have to persuade Cameron.

And speaking of Cameron, you might be wondering where he is? Well he's aboard ship, living it up on a cruise, although he's not a guest he's the entertainment, and it's not a luxury cruise ship it's a sailing ship. So he'll not be sat in front of a computer for a while, but expect to hear all about it when he's back. Meanwhile some of us have to work.