As a new owner of a Polaris RZR 4 I soon found out the stock skid plate wouldn't provide adequate protection for what I was going to throw at it. My side-by-side-driving buddies all have two-seat units and have been extreme trail riding for years. I quickly found myself doing things in a UTV that I never could imagine being done. The RZR can go wherever they can, but the longer wheelbase makes it prone to some hard undercarriage hits, getting hung up on high-setting obstacles and hillcrests. After four trips out with the new RZR I decided to finally grin and bear it and see what all those loud, disturbing noises resulted in. The undercarriage was showing some real signs of abuse. The frame was getting scraped up, the stock skid plate was warping in places, and the unprotected outer area was showing gouges. It couldn't endure this much longer without damage to internal parts occurring. This is when I decided it would be a wise investment to get a full-frame skid plate protective system from Tusk.
The Tusk system provides 3/8-inch-thick UHMW front-to-back and side-to-side protection to the underneath of your UTV. Installing the skid plate system can be done solo, but I recommend a little help from a friend; an extra hand holding the plates while the other bolts them down would save some time and eliminate frustration. A wrenching buddy is also convenient when extra muscle is needed to bend up and screw the outer plates to the sides of the UTV. Some simple drilling to add mounting points is also required. All simple stuff if you've turned a wrench and used basic power tools before. A floor jack and strands are recommended to give you adequate space to install the kit. The total install time was about 2 1/2 hours.
I took my RZR 4 out to my stomping grounds in Ocotillo Wells, California, and soon found out the Tusk system was definitely worth the investment. The smooth, full coverage of the undercarriage allowed the UTV to glide over those hill peaks. I was no longer getting hung up on the frame and other exposed pieces. The 3/8-inch-thick protection laughed at the hard terrain obstacles. The arsenal of hits the desert threw at it was quietly soaked up and spit out. Inspection of the Tusk skid plates showed only typical wear scratches. Most important, there were no bends or penetration. The plates withheld the abuse and the UTV was fully protected. -Dave Roe
|PROS / CONS||TUSK OFF-ROAD|
|+||Complete undercarriage protection, UHMW material glides over rocks better than aluminum|
|-||Installation can be tedious for the mechanically challenged|
|=||Even with tough installation, these skids are well worth your time, money and effort|