Polaris RZR 170 Top Speed: How Fast Can This Youth UTV Go?

Polaris RZR 170 Top Speed

Are you considering the Polaris RZR 170 as a first off-road vehicle for your young rider? One of the most common questions parents have is, “How fast does the RZR 170 go?” In this article, we are going to cover the top speed of the Polaris RZR 170, factors affecting it, owner reviews, modifications to increase speed, and everything else you need to know about the performance of this popular youth UTV.

Bike Model Overview

The Polaris RZR 170 is a youth side-by-side utility vehicle designed for drivers aged 10 and up. It features:

  • 169cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine
  • Fully automatic Polaris variable transmission (PVT)
  • 2WD drivetrain
  • 6 inches of ground clearance
  • 5 inches of front and rear suspension travel
  • Sliding driver’s bucket seat and tilt steering wheel
  • Adjustable speed limiter for parents
  • Safety features like seat belts and nets

This micro UTV aims to provide a safe and controlled introduction to off-road riding for young enthusiasts.

Pricing and Availability

The 2021 Polaris RZR 170 EFI had an MSRP of $5,399. Prices may vary based on location, dealer, and any accessories added. The RZR 170 is widely available through Polaris dealers across the United States.


Top Speed of the Polaris RZR 170

According to Polaris, the RZR 170 has a top speed of around 29 mph (46 km/h). This relatively low top speed is intentional, as the vehicle is designed for young, inexperienced drivers learning to navigate off-road terrain safely.


While specific acceleration figures are not provided by Polaris, owners report that the RZR 170 feels quick off the line thanks to its low gearing. However, the acceleration tapers off as speeds increase due to the modest 169cc engine.

Specifications Table

Here are some key specifications of the 2021 Polaris RZR 170 EFI:

Engine169cc air-cooled single-cylinder
TransmissionFully automatic PVT
Front SuspensionSingle A-arm, 5 inches of travel
Rear SuspensionSwingarm dual shocks, 5 inches of travel
Brakes4-wheel hydraulic disc
Front Tires19 x 7-8 Duro
Rear Tires20 x 10-9 Duro
Length85 inches (216 cm)
Width48 inches (122 cm)
Height55 inches (140 cm)
Wheelbase65 inches (165 cm)
Ground Clearance6 inches (15 cm)
Dry Weight532 lbs (241 kg)
Fuel Capacity2.5 gallons (9.5 liters)

Factors Affecting Top Speed

Several factors contribute to the Polaris RZR 170’s top speed of around 29 mph. Understanding these can help you determine if the performance aligns with your expectations.

Engine Power

The RZR 170’s 169cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine produces modest power, which limits its top speed capabilities. This small displacement is intentional for a vehicle aimed at young riders.


The automatic Polaris variable transmission (PVT) is geared for low-speed torque and controllability rather than outright top speed. This gearing provides enough power for hills and rough terrain at lower speeds.


With a dry weight of 532 lbs (241 kg), the RZR 170 is relatively heavy for its size and engine displacement. This weight contributes to the limited top speed.


As a boxy utility vehicle, the RZR 170 is not designed with aerodynamics in mind. Its upright seating position and flat body panels create substantial aerodynamic drag at higher speeds.


The RZR 170 is built for off-road use on trails and rough terrain. Its top speed is less of a concern than its ability to navigate obstacles and inclines at lower speeds.

Owner Reviews

To better understand the real-world performance of the Polaris RZR 170, let’s look at some owner reviews.

Positive Reviews

“The top speed is perfect for my 11-year-old son. It’s quick enough to be fun but not too fast to be scary or dangerous.” – Sarah T., Sacramento, CA

“I was surprised by how peppy the RZR 170 felt off the line. The low gearing gives it great torque for climbing hills and navigating tight trails.” – Mike R., Atlanta, GA

Negative Reviews

“While the low top speed is understandable for a youth model, I wish it had a bit more passing power on open trails.” – David K., Denver, CO

“My daughter quickly outgrew the RZR 170’s performance capabilities after a year or two of ownership.” – Jessica M., Phoenix, AZ

Comparison with Competitors

To put the Polaris RZR 170’s top speed into perspective, let’s compare it to some key competitors in the youth UTV market:

ModelTop Speed (mph)Engine Displacement
Polaris RZR 17029169cc
Polaris RZR 20038181cc
Kawasaki Teryx KRX 100076999cc
Can-Am Maverick Trail60976cc
Honda Talon 1000R73999cc

As you can see, the RZR 170’s top speed is significantly lower than full-size adult UTVs like the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 or Can-Am Maverick Trail. However, it’s on par with other youth models like the Polaris RZR 200.

Modifications to Increase Top Speed

While the RZR 170’s top speed is limited from the factory, there are several modifications enthusiasts can make to eke out a bit more performance:

Engine Modifications

Installing a big bore kit and performance exhaust can increase displacement and power output, potentially raising the top speed by a few mph.

Gearing Changes

Adjusting the gearing by installing different-sized sprockets or a performance clutch can alter the power delivery for improved acceleration and higher top speeds.

Weight Reduction

Reducing weight by removing unnecessary components or installing lighter wheels and tires can improve power-to-weight ratio and top speed.

Aerodynamic Improvements

Adding aerodynamic bodywork or a rear wing can reduce drag at higher speeds, though benefits may be minimal for a vehicle in this class.

Pros and Cons

To help you decide if the Polaris RZR 170’s performance suits your needs, let’s look at some key pros and cons:


  • Safe and controllable top speed for young riders
  • Enough low-end torque for trail riding and hill climbing
  • Adjustable speed limiter for additional parental control
  • Relatively affordable price point


  • Limited top speed may be quickly outgrown
  • Lack of power for more demanding trails or dune riding
  • No 4WD option for enhanced traction
  • Minimal storage and towing capacity

Top Alternatives to the Polaris RZR 170

If the RZR 170’s performance doesn’t quite fit your needs, here are some alternative youth UTVs to consider:

  • Polaris RZR 200: Slightly larger with a 181cc engine and 38 mph top speed.
  • Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000: Full-size performance UTV with a 999cc engine and 76 mph top speed (not suitable for young drivers).
  • Honda Talon 1000R: Another adult UTV with a 999cc engine and 73 mph top speed.
  • Hammerhead GTS/GL: Youth models with 150cc engines for ages 16 and up.
  • Yamaha YXZ1000R SS XT-R: While not a dedicated youth model, this 998cc sport side-by-side can be an option for more experienced teenage riders under adult supervision, with a top speed of 77 mph.
  • CF Moto ZForce 500: This utility model features a 495cc engine and a top speed of around 45 mph, making it a step up from the RZR 170 in terms of performance.

When considering alternatives, it’s crucial to match the vehicle’s capabilities with the rider’s age, experience level, and intended use. Models with higher top speeds may not be suitable for younger or inexperienced operators.


Who Should Buy the Polaris RZR 170?

The Polaris RZR 170 is an excellent choice for families introducing their children aged 10-14 to the world of off-road riding. Its controlled performance, safety features, and adjustable speed limiter make it an ideal starter vehicle for building confidence and developing riding skills.

Parents who prioritize a safe and manageable introduction to UTVs over outright speed and performance will appreciate the RZR 170’s design philosophy.

Who Should Not Buy the Polaris RZR 170?

The RZR 170 may not be the best fit for:

  • Experienced teenage riders seeking more power and higher top speeds.
  • Adults or families without young children in the appropriate age range.
  • Those who primarily ride on open dunes or other environments where higher speeds are desired.
  • Riders looking for a utility vehicle with significant hauling or towing capabilities.

If your needs involve more demanding off-road performance or utility tasks, you may want to consider a larger, more powerful UTV model.


While the Polaris RZR 170 is designed for young riders, it’s still a powerful off-road vehicle that can encounter issues. Here are some common problems and their potential fixes:

Engine Won’t Start

  • Check for proper fuel level and quality
  • Inspect air filter for clogs or damage
  • Ensure battery connections are secure and battery is charged
  • Refer to owner’s manual for more detailed troubleshooting steps

Poor Acceleration or Top Speed

  • Check for any obstructions or damage to the air intake system
  • Inspect the exhaust system for clogs or leaks
  • Consider performance modifications like a big bore kit or exhaust upgrade
  • Ensure proper maintenance, including air filter changes and oil changes

Transmission Issues

  • Check for proper fluid level and condition
  • Inspect for any damage or wear to the drive belt or clutch components
  • Refer to a trained Polaris technician for complex transmission repairs

Handling or Suspension Problems

  • Inspect tires for proper inflation and wear
  • Check suspension components for damage or fluid leaks
  • Ensure all suspension pivots and bushings are properly lubricated
  • Consider upgrading to performance shocks or springs if needed

Proper maintenance and timely repairs can help ensure safe and reliable operation of your Polaris RZR 170.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top speed of the Polaris RZR 170?

The Polaris RZR 170 has a top speed of around 29 mph (46 km/h).

Is the RZR 170 fast enough for adult riders?

No, the RZR 170 is designed specifically for young riders aged 10 and up. Its modest top speed and power output may not be sufficient for most adult riders.

Can the speed limiter be removed or adjusted?

While it is possible to modify or remove the speed limiter, this is not recommended as it can compromise the vehicle’s intended safety features and may void the warranty.

How does the RZR 170’s top speed compare to other youth UTVs?

The RZR 170’s top speed is on par with other youth models like the Polaris RZR 200 (38 mph) but significantly lower than full-size adult UTVs like the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 (76 mph).

What modifications can increase the RZR 170’s top speed?

Potential modifications to increase top speed include engine upgrades (big bore kits, exhaust), gearing changes, weight reduction, and aerodynamic improvements, though these may impact the vehicle’s safety and warranty.

Final Thoughts

The Polaris RZR 170’s top speed of around 29 mph may not be the highest in the UTV world, but it serves an important purpose: providing a safe and controlled introduction to off-road riding for young enthusiasts.

With its manageable performance, adjustable speed limiter, and focus on safety features, the RZR 170 strikes a balance between excitement and responsibility. As young riders gain experience and maturity, they can eventually transition to more powerful models.

For families seeking a first off-road vehicle for their children, the Polaris RZR 170 offers a well-rounded package that prioritizes skill development and enjoyment over outright speed. Just remember to always follow proper safety precautions and local regulations when operating any off-road vehicle.

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