Suspension is responsible for many important things like keeping the tires on the ground, allowing the chassis to do its work, making sure you’re comfortable, and maximizing the engine’s ability to put power down. And that’s just to name a few. The suspension on the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S is perhaps the greatest highlight of an all-around amazing package, and one that continues to impress on our long-term test quad. Let’s take a look at the Walker Evans Racing 3-Way Adjustable Shocks and the rest of the setup.
The biggest and baddest ATV on the market needs the corresponding kit to go with it. While many other makes and even Polaris in some cases rely on Fox for suspension, the Scrambler XP 1000 S is equipped with Walker Evans Racing springs and shocks. The company is named for its co-founder, Mr. Walker Evans himself, who is one of the most famous and storied off-road racers ever. His brand has made its name on specialized setups for powersports suspension and the example here is just one example of such.
Polaris chose to go with the 3-Way adjustable suspension for the Scrambler XP 1000 S. It has dual-rate springs and remote reservoir shocks which look particularly pretty when the machined metal is cleaned up. On the adjustability front, the parts offer the ability to manually toggle compression damping for both high and low speeds, which manages stiffness and thus a good portion of compliance. It’s hard to see in photos, but there’s actually two dials at the top of each shock, one for low-speed (red) and one for high-speed (black).
Down at the bottom where the shock mounts live the flathead screwdriver-operated rebound adjusters. These impacts the rate and force with which the shock goes back to its static position after doing its job of absorbing a hit and the subsequent compression that comes with it. Preload is also adjustable, with 9.5 inches to play with up front and 11 out back. Dual arched a-arms help minimize the likelihood of slamming a vital part into a rock or stump.
Polaris didn’t stop there. Because the Scrambler XP 1000 S is 55 inches wide (wider than any other ATV in production), and because they know these machines will be ridden hard, the company threw some beefier parts at it to keep you on the trail when lesser components may have failed. These come in the form of the front differential and half-shafts straight from the bigger, heavier RZR XP 1000, all of which allows the suspension to do its job better and allow the drivetrain components to work the way they’re designed to. 27-inch tires on 12-inch wheels also add a supplemental bit of “suspension” thanks to copious sidewall.
All of this helps the quad to tout some race truck-like specs with 14.5 inches of ground clearance and 14 inches of rear suspension travel. On the spec sheet it makes for some serious hardware, and in practice it makes for a spectacularly comfortable ATV with extreme capability that soaks up tough terrain like it isn’t even there. Having ridden the Scrambler XP 1000 S hard on the trail, I can confirm that the Fox-equipped 2013 Scrambler XP 850 I owned was nowhere near as compliant over harsh surfaces. Given, it had seen its fair share of getting beaten on in its seven years of life before I took ownership, but the Walker Evans kit is pure magic on the Northeast’s tight trails.
Given, the suspension on the Scrambler XP 1000 S should work given the machine’s price of $17,799 MSRP. We’ve tested it on our local trails, bashing through mud and over rocks and dodging between trees, but how good is it out on the more open trails of northern Maine? Stay tuned: We’ll soon find out.