Polaris Ride Command continues to innovate for the better.
In the powersports world, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve the riding experience beyond the usual off-road upgrades like a wider wheelbase, a better ground clearance, a softer rear suspension, and features like electronic power steering. Probably the biggest technological advance of recent years is Polaris Ride Command.
Since Ride Command displays were first introduced to Polaris Industries Inc's side-by-sides like the RZR XP 1000 and RANGER XP 1000, the company has expanded its offerings to their snowmobiles, and most recently, their Sportsman line of ATVs.
You may be wondering: "What exactly is Ride Command?" And "Why would I need it?" We are glad you asked because we have all the details on this innovation which is making the company's off-road vehicles even better than ever.
What is Polaris Ride Command?
This feature, which is available as either an option or in special Ride Command Editions of Polaris' vehicles, is a seven-inch display monitor for your machine that gives a plethora of data meant to improve your riding experience. Polaris has slowly introduced the technology to almost every vehicle in their lineup from UTVs to ATVs. They have even begun incorporating the technology into their Slingshot three-wheel motorcycle and subsidiary company Indian motorcycles' offerings in recent years. It is safe to say this feature is here to stay.
One of the biggest features of Ride Command is the GPS capabilities. The system uses maps vetted and collected from state DNR agencies, and more than 1 million miles of trails marked with crowdsourced data. No more getting lost in a maze in your favorite ride areas, a quick glance of the screen will tell you exactly where you are. You can also toggle between snow and off-road to ensure you are getting maps that are appropriate to the season you riding.
Riders can also establish a connection between their vehicle and others equipped with Ride Command. Polaris calls this feature "group ride" It allows you to see all the machines in your group on the GPS screen. That means you do not have to worry about staying close in a cloud of dust to "follow the leader." You can hang back a little from the rider in front of you and you will not have to worry about missing a turn somewhere. You can also send messages between machines for quick and easy communication.
While Polaris has built in Bluetooth connectivity that allow you to control the features of Ride Command via an app, they also recognize that sometimes you are going to be deep in the backcountry far away from satellite towers. They built Ride Command to work off GPS signals, no cell service required for those back woods adventures. Depending on terrain, it will work between machines up to one mile apart. The GPS functions also allow users to save waypoints for important places like your treestands, your campsite, or that perfect hidden camping spot no one else knows about. Riders can also create routes which can then be shared with friends or re-traced later.
Other features of Ride Command
Ride Command also displays lots of technical details about your machine. You can quickly access maintenance records. No more trying to remember when you last changed a belt or certain fluids. Riders can also toggle displays for things like fuel gauges, indicators for two wheel or AWD, a speedometer, compass, elevation, odometer, volt meter, tachometer, trip meters, coolant temperature, and much more.
Users can even access weather reports, check radar, and even rainfall and snow amounts before they go. Polaris built some additional functionality into the app by adding some geofencing and speed limiting capabilities to go with their lineup of youth machines like the new RZR 200 EFI. It allows parents to better control the safety of their children as they build their skills in the machine. Another major feature only added in the last couple years is plow mode. When you have this activated with either a UTV or ATV, Ride Command automatically senses when you shift gears. Switch to a low gear and the winch lowers the plow. Shift into reverse and it raises it. The whole idea was to make plowing easy for riders of all skill levels, even those who have never done it before.
Last, but not least are the mobile and audio capabilities. Connect Ride Command to your cellphone via Bluetooth and you can receive calls and text messages seamlessly. You can even reply to texts using Ride Command's glove-touch display. Extra kudos to the engineers for realizing the display needed to be capable of registering touch through typical riding gear. The system also allows you to stream music wirelessly. The system will also adjust the volume of the music based on your speed, so you never have to take your hands off the wheel or handlebars of your ORV. We really like that feature just for safety reasons.
Finally, Ride Command also offers the ability to use a backup camera, which is extremely helpful when you are towing a small trailer or simply if you need to see exactly where you are going on a tight trail.
Is Ride Command worth the money?
From our conversations with Polaris Engineers, Ride Command is the most popular option for their off-road lineup these days. And as word spreads about the cool features of the system, we predict it will only become more popular with riders. The whole idea takes inspiration from the automotive industry. Consumers are looking for more connectivity with their machines and Polaris Industries has responded well to the demand.
If you are planning to do a lot of riding in the backcountry, Ride Command is worth the extra money. There are so many useful features to the system that there is sure to be something for everyone here.
Ride Command also helps to give a little extra peace of mind that you will not get lost, and that you can stay connected in case of an emergency far from the main roads. It is little wonder Polaris decided to add Ride Command packages to the Sportsman 570 and XP 1000 models for their 2022 lineup. We expect the offerings for this package to only expand in the future. For more information on Ride Command and the latest in the Polaris lineup, visit Polaris.com
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