ATV’s, Side by Sides and other off road machines are some of the most most fun you can have in the outdoors. But what if I told you that you can find one of the best riding experiences and some of the best modifications to the Polaris RZR and other Polaris machines are found just outside of Shreveport, Louisiana?
High Lifter Products, Inc. has been developing and marketing unique, after-market accessories for utility, 4-wheel drive ATVs, UTVs, and RUVs since 1996. In this short time, the company has grown from a one-man, backyard hobby into a 65 employee, multi-million dollar corporation.
High Lifter began when Mike Smith first wanted a lift kit to his ATV. Mike had seen some homemade modifications before and wanted to make one of his own. He and his son Scott; who now runs High Lifter, manufactured a lift for Mike’s 1996 Honda 400 Foreman so he could run larger tires and achieve more ground clearance.
Scott and Mike soon realized that this was both a great and much needed product, but also realized that it could never be sold and marketed in its current configuration as a weld-on accessory. Over the next few months, work began on developing the bolt-on lift kit.
Since Mike had a full time job working for Caddo Parish, he realized that his “real” job did not allow the flexibility to pursue completing the lift and then marketing it. Rather than see this much needed accessory go by the way side, Scott and Mike both decided that Scott would take over and make the High Lifter lift kit a reality. Once the front lift for the Honda 400 was completed, Scott began to run test ads in the local Thrifty Nickel. This generated enough interest in the lift that more ads were run in Thrifty Nickels in 10 other southern cities. Within a few months, High Lifter was spending more on Thrifty Nickel ads than the first Dirt Wheels ad cost and was not getting near as much exposure.
Fast forward to 2007, High Lifter announced a collaboration with Polaris to create high performance modifications and accessories for the 2008 RANGER RZR. Shortly thereafter, Team High Lifter-Polaris Racing was formed. This team partnered the most experienced riders, fabricators and mechanics with world-class engineers at Polaris to create a racing machine that won nine trophies in their first two outings. The team continues to dominate the ATV mud racing scene.
Near the end of 2008, building on the success and popularity of High Lifter events like Mud Nationals, High Lifter announced the beginning of construction of a brand new off-road racing park located on 574 acres of land in Keithville, Louisiana. From their humble beginnings to their most recent grand opening of the expanded High Lifter Proving Grounds; Polaris and High Lifter are a match made in off road riding heaven.
This is where I found myself in Louisiana aboard a fully modified Polaris RZR ready to explore all 574 acres.
Come on the journey with me.
The Specs: Polaris Sportsman
For more than 30 years, Polaris® Sportsman® has defined the premium ATV category. Now the industry’s favorite big bore lineup is back with key product improvements along with two new models for true trail warriors. The No. 1-selling brand of automatic 4×4 ATVs introduced its 2019 big bore lineup featuring rider-inspired improvements on Sportsman® XP 1000 and Sportsman® 850 models. New to the lineup for 2019 are the Sportsman® XP 1000 Premium and Sportsman® 850 SP Premium models. In addition to best-in- class power, the 2019 Sportsman models now include the industry’s largest battery, class- leading suspension travel, and ground clearance to deliver the ultimate riding experience.
Engineered with class-leading capabilities and unrelenting power, the 2019 Sportsman XP 1000 and Sportsman 850 models give riders the freedom to push further, ride harder and work stronger. The battery now features 25 percent more cold cranking amps with 67 percent larger reserve power for the upcoming winter season. An improved drive chain, clutch upgrades and high-output electric power steering deliver reliability and precision handling. Three-mode throttle control featuring Work, Standard and Performance modes offers precise power delivery. New class-leading 12-inch ground clearance and 11 inches of suspension travel maneuver riders through the toughest terrain.
2019 Sportsman XP 1000 Premium and Sportsman 850 SP Premium
The all-new Sportsman XP 1000 and Sportsman 850 SP Premium models redefine standards with new premium features, including standard 3,500-lb winch capacity. Legendary ride and handling are a hallmark of every Sportsman ATV, and the 2019 Sportsman 850 SP raises the bar, with new factory installed accessories including front and rear bumpers for increased protection. The 2019 Sportsman XP 1000 adds to its class leading capability with new factory installed accessories that deliver the ultimate ride. New accessories include the increased winch capacity, front bumper, a third LED taillight, cut-and-sew seats and 27-inch Duro® Power Grip Tires to get through the roughest territory.
2019 Sportsman XP® 1000 and Sportsman® 850
Engineered with improved capabilities, unrelenting power and the industry’s best ride and handling, the 2019 Sportsman XP 1000 and Sportsman 850 deliver superior performance with legendary toughness. Both models have high-output electric power steering and class- leading suspension travel (Front: 9 inches and Rear: 10.25 inches). Both models come standard with the industry’s only rolled independent rear suspension. Additionally, the constant radius arched lower A-arms provide 11.5 inches of obstacle-devouring ground clearance. The Sportsman XP 1000 is available in Radar Blue and the Sportsman XP 850 is available in Sage Green and Titanium.
The Specs: Polaris RZR
For 2019, riders can expect a significant upgrade to its gnarliest and most aggressive RZR XP® Turbo S with the introduction of the four-seat model. While the initial RZR XP Turbo S set new standards in nearly every measurable category, the all-new machine takes it one step further, becoming the first-ever four-seat off-road monster to boast a 72-inch stance, 32-inch standard tires, exclusive DYNAMIX™; Active Suspension and 16-inch ground clearance to devour virtually everything in its path.
Polaris pushed the limits of engineering when designing the RZR XP 4 Turbo S. From a reinforced chassis to bigger, stronger axles, Polaris incorporated significant performance upgrades and strengthened nearly every component of the machine. The all-new isolated front drive features three times higher impact strength, while the ROPS, control and trailing arms, and radius rods help handle the extreme force produced by this beast of a machine.
These efforts helped make it possible to engineer the industry’s first-ever side-by-side vehicle to come stock with 32-inch tires. Delivering an industry-best 16 inches of ground clearance, the massive 32-inch tires are also 249 percent more resistant to punctures than the competition. The combination of a flickable wheelbase and massive tires produces a machine that is extremely agile, yet capable of smashing though the toughest terrain with the ease of a trophy-truck. Combined with the industry’s most capable suspension, performance upgrades and a cockpit with a superior driving position, RZRXP is a premier machine.
The Specs: Polaris Ranger
Polaris RANGER is the industry’s best-selling utility side-by-side 10 years running and it continues to advance the technical offerings and upgrade options across the 2019 lineup. For the first time, select 2019 RANGER XP® 1000 EPS models are available with RIDE COMMAND® technology as a factory-installed package and additional NorthStar Editions color options are available to choose from. The RANGER XP 1000 and RANGER CREW XP 1000 family also expanded to include the all new High Lifter® Edition and the 20th Anniversary Limited Edition.
2019 RANGER XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition
Purpose built for extreme mud performance, the RANGER High Lifter Edition is equipped with factory-installed industry-exclusive redesigned half doors with all-new one-inch water drains. The powerful machine delivers 82 horsepower and unrivaled industry-leading 11 inches of suspension travel for a smooth ride. Adventure-seeking mud consumers will experience a 20 percent increase in overall driveline strength and a new geared revers transmission allowing for robust durability that will cut through the mud pits all day long. The 28-inch Outlaw 2 tires, arched A-Arms and 13.5 inches of ground clearance get riders through the toughest mud pits. The RANGER CREW XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition continues to stand strong as the industry’s only six-seat mud machine.
With the holiday’s right around the corner…find more information about Polaris’ 2019 model year Off-Road Vehicle lineup and other recently launched 2019 models at Polaris.com