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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The UMP Filter for the Polaris RZR:

As you may remember, I have searched for a solution to the RZR intake problem for quite sometime. If you’re a RZR owner or even a RZR want-to owner you no-doubt know what we’re talking about.

We’ve had a new RZR every year since they came out and we have never had a problem with the stock filter system not doing its job properly. But we continue to hear enough horror stories about RZR engines being destroyed to think that there must be something going on. Although Polaris claims to have fixed the so-called intake leaks on the RZR, it seems the talk continues about dirt leaking into the intake and ‘sanding’ the engine, sometimes with several hundred miles of use!

No matter what, there’s enough talk that I wanted to be sure that my RZR wasn’t going to suffer a dirt meltdown if there was a way to prevent it. After all, I’m too-often too far from civilization to have more things to worry about…

We’ve talked to RZR owners with their solutions – most of which require home-built fabrications. What I wanted was a bolt-on solution that I could be sure of.

I have used K&N filters for many years on many different types of off-road race vehicles with never a problem, so that was my first effort. The K&N system went on easy enough, although requiring the removal of the bed and bulkhead for better access.

While the K&N filter system may do an incredible job of keeping dirt from entering the RZR’s engine, the one item I didn’t think to consider was the additional intake sounds due to its open design. Intake noise is seldom a problem on race cars, but on a RZR designed to explore the back country, quieter is a better thing to have rather than noisier!

Under acceleration or with enough throttle to climb mountains, the additional intake noise definitely was more than noticeable. For me it was bothersome as it really reduced the ability to easily talk with your passenger.

So I continued to look at options. One of you wrote me suggesting I check out the UMP filter system. So I did. It didn’t take long before UPS delivered the UMP for me to try out. The UMP is a great canister system that is designed to have the air flow spin into the system. Plus it is a fully sealed unit and pulls the air into the filter through the stock intake tube. One important item to remember in all this is that the K&N filter claims to add power (which it seems to do) and the UMP filter makes no claim other than to better filter the air that goes into the engine. And that it seems to do.

Like the K&N (and any filter system I suppose) the installation of the UMP filter requires the removal of the bed and the bulkhead. The first thing I noticed is that the UMP canister mounts very, very securely, better than both the K&N and the stock filters.

I like the idea that the UMP unit is a more sealed unit and uses the stock air intake tube. And that’s no doubt part of the reason that there is little or no increase in power for the UMP filter. But once again, this unit is not about increasing power, it’s about eliminating the destruction of your RZR’s engine without any additional noise irritating you or your passenger while trying to enjoy a great trail ride.

We’ll have an installation video and a follow-up as we put some miles on our RZR. But some times you can just ‘see’ that a product is built correctly and do the job it was meant to do.

I’m no longer worrying about getting dirt in my intake and ruining my RZR. No-sir-ee, now I’m free to worry about other things!


  1. Hey Doug it looks sweet! I'm glad to hear it seems to be what you were looking for. I can't wait to see the video and hear more about how it works when you get some miles on it. Were there any certain reasons you went with this one instead of the BTI unit from Dragonfire Racing? Just wondering...

  2. Dan! I can already tell you it's quiet! That's a big plus. And it looks very similar to the filter on my CAT which really, really works!

    I contacted both UMP and Dragonfire. It just so happened that UMP got back to me first. Maybe we'll test the BTI unit later as well.

    At least I'm finally comfortable with driving in the dust ;-)

  3. "At least I'm finally comfortable with driving in the dust ;-) "

    I would have thought that you would be use to that by now. :)

    Sorry Doug, I just couldn't pass that one up. ;)

  4. This is an incredible system, there are half a dozen aftermarket Air Filter systems on the market but UMP's continues to be the ultimate sealed unit to keep dust and dirt out of the engine. I got mine and