If you’re looking for a used sport side-by-side that offers one of the most impressive price to performance values in the industry, look no further than the Polaris RZR 800.
Not only do these models make for some of the best used side-by-sides for sale under $5,000, but many of them have already been outfitted with any number of accessories that enhance their off-road capabilities by previous owners.
That said, the RZR 800 models don’t come without their flaws, and there are a number of things you’ll want to consider before pulling the trigger on one.
This guide will bring you up to speed on everything you should know about these models, both good and bad, while detailing the following:
- A brief overview of the RZR 800 models
- The key differences in the two main models
- Build quality and performance
- What owners love
- What owners don’t so much love
- How fast these models go
About The Polaris RZR 800
From its introduction in 2007 through its final year of production in 2014, the Polaris RZR 800 was the king of sport side-by-sides.
It was the fastest, most nimble sport model in its class until the RZR 900 came along, which the RZR 800 was eventually phased out for in 2015.
And even all these years later, you might be surprised with how well these models stack up with similar sport side-by-sides in terms of performance and durability.
The RZR 800 consisted of two main models – the standard RZR 800 and the sportier RZR 800S.
Key Differences in the RZR 800 and RZR 800S
While the RZR 800 and the RZR 800S had a number of minimal differences, there were two main factors that really set them apart from each other – the suspension systems and their widths.
The RZR 800S offers a sportier suspension than that of the standard RZR 800, making it more comfortable to ride off-road and more capable on the trails due to a number of factors which will be highlighted further along in this guide.
But the RZR 800 offers one big advantage, which is a width of only 50 inches compared to the 60-inch width of the RZR 800S.
This difference in widths gives the RZR 800 standard model the advantage of being able to ride most ATV and UTV trails, while the RZR 800S needs to stick to the wider trail systems.
Both of these models make for excellent off-road riding options, and are known for their overall build quality and dependability.
Build Quality & Performance
The components and parts that make up these models are mostly known to be high quality, but there are a few things to look out for if you’re on the fence about purchasing a RZR 800.
Both the RZR 800 and 800S are powered by the same ProStar 760cc twin-cylinder engine.
Both models were upgraded to High Output (H.O.) in the later years, giving them a small power advantage over earlier models.
The standard engines offer a max output of around 55 HP, while the H.O. models get slightly more.
The low-end torque in these engines is awesome, making them quick off the line and giving these models the ability to power through the toughest terrains including mud, rocks, and steep hills.
Honda Pioneers are known as the “billy goats” of the side-by-side industry, but the RZR 800 isn’t far off and will climb just about any mountainous terrain you throw at it.
They do okay in the sand, but there are better options for dune riding out there.
At 55 HP they pale in comparison to the pop offered by modern day RZR 1000 models, but it’s not as far off as you might think given the price discrepancy and differences in age.
The ProStar engines are about as bulletproof as they come and will continue to fire up year after year as long as they’re cared for.
|Bore x Stroke Ratio
|80 x 76.5 mm
The suspension systems are one of the biggest differentiators between the RZR 800 and RZR 800S.
The RZR 800 is equipped with independent dual A-Arms in the front and the rear, which offer 9 inches of travel in the front and 9.5 inches in the rear.
While the RZR 800S set-up is quite similar, it’s a bit more sporty than the suspension of the standard model.
The RZR 800S gets the same suspension set-up in front and rear, but with Fox Podium shocks that offer adjustable preload and compression settings.
The RZR 800S also offers a good deal more suspension travel, with around 12 inches in the front and rear.
And it offers more room to clear obstacles while trail riding with the 12.5 inches of ground clearance it gets compared to the 10 to 10.6 inches of ground clearance (depending on the year) in the standard models.
All of this leads to the RZR 800S offering the much softer ride of the two, with the ride of the standard model being a bit rougher.
You can tell the difference between the two, but the suspension set-up in the RZR 800 still does just fine for off-road riding – it’s just a little stiffer with less customizability.
|Max Ground Clearance
|10 – 10.6 in
|Independent Dual A-Arms
|Independent Dual A-Arms
|Independent Dual A-Arms
|Independent Dual A-Arms
The RZR 800 models both feature On-Demand 2WD/4WD.
Mated to their engines is an automatic PVT transmission and a dry, primary drive clutch assembly.
This combo delivers power to the wheels.
The transmission features an in-line shift system with High and Low gears, along with Park, Reverse and Neutral settings.
|On-Demand 2WD/4WD, Shaft Drive
|P – R – N – L – H
Tires & Brakes
The RZR 800 comes equipped with 25-inch stock tires in the front and rear, while the RZR 800S makes use of 27-inch tires in the front and rear.
Both are the perfect size for trail riding and aggressive driving, offering plenty of traction in most terrains.
Some folks will upgrade to bigger, more aggressive tires depending upon their riding styles, but anything much bigger than stock will put the axles at more risk while riding rough.
The braking system consists of 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with dual-bore front calipers all the way around.
The brakes are excellent, and can bring these models to a stop on a dime on just about any grade or terrain.
|25 x 8-12
|27 x 9-12
|25 x 10-12
|27 x 12-12
|Front Brake Type
|Rear Brake Type
Besides the suspension set-up, the other main difference in the two models is their width.
The RZR 800S is a good bit wider at 60 inches in width, while the RZR 800 is more of a trail model at only 50 inches in width.
This gives the standard RZR 800 the advantage of being able to traverse some of the tightest ATV and UTV trails out there.
Aside from the width, the two models are pretty close in terms of dimensions, with the 800S the slightly heavier of the two.
Both models offer good towing capacities of 1,500 lbs and hauling capacities of 300 lbs via the rear cargo beds.
|945 – 995 lbs
|Cargo Box Capacity
What Owners Love About The RZR 800 & 800S
- These models make for one of the best and only side-by-sides you can consistently buy for under $5K- most of the time making for great value.
- For used models that generally fall into the $4K to $10K price range, these can do most everything that folks in much more expensive and modern machines can.
- Many used models are already outfitted with some of the best accessories money could buy during these models’ production years. Many will include thousands of dollars worth of add-ons such as side doors, upgraded harness belts, a windshield, a roof, a winch, etc.
- The RZR 800 does not have a reverse chain in the transmission, where RZR 1000 and 900 models do. These reverse chains are known to cause issues and break.
- The RZR 800 is about as reliable and durable as they come, from the internal components to the parts that make up its outer build.
- The standard RZR 800 can fit down the tightest trails with its 50” width.
What Owners Don’t Love About The RZR 800 & 800S
- A common issue in these models with their pinion nut giving way and ruining the rear differential can lead to expensive repairs if you don’t get out ahead of it before it potentially occurs.
- The lack of inner fenders on these models to help keep mud out makes them a real pain to clean after muddy rides.
- Most models don’t come with standard power steering, though some used models have been upgraded with it by previous owners.
- The stock headlights are halogen bulbs and don’t offer near the brightness of LED lights when riding in the dark.
- The design and location of the air filter makes these models more susceptible to dust finding its way into the engine.
- The stock shocks in the RZR 800 standard models are known to suffer from spring sag over time.
You can read more detail on some of these drawbacks in this guide to the common problems with the Polaris RZR 800.
RZR 800 Top Speed
The RZR 800 can reach a top speed of anywhere between 55 and 65 mph depending upon the year and the exact model.
For a full breakdown of exactly which years and which models can go how fast, check out this guide to the Polaris RZR 800 top speed.
If you can find a well taken care of used RZR 800, you can be pretty confident it will continue to run for a long time to come assuming you continue to service it regularly.
And you’re very likely to get a model that already includes a number of accessories at a really good price.
These models make for some of the best deals on used side-by-sides you’ll find.
But before you go, check out this guide to the best UTVs for the money for a few newer options.