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Discussion Starter #1
I'm happy to announce a new section dedicated to the discussion of modifying a Polaris ACE to suit the needs of a disabled or handicapped driver!

With this new easily accessible machine comes the ability to get more people out on the trails and into a drivers seat that might not normally be able to. This is just one more great reason why the convenience and safety of the ACE will find its way into more homes than your standard all terrain vehicle :cool:
 

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The Polaris ACE - proof that wishes can become reality

The Polaris ACE is a machine that's only been a dream for disabled riders like myself. Gimpman (aka Darrel Von), a member on the Polaris Razor forum lives in OR and has been a quadriplegic for over 40 years. I lived in CT for 20 years but moved to OR about a year ago and finally got to meet him. He adapted his RZR 800 to center steering and installed hand controls but since the 800 was never designed for a single rider the geometry of the whole machine is off. I was at his place three days ago and once again we were griping because there weren't any single seat ATVs available. When I heard about the ACE today I was ecstatic because I knew it'll allow thousands of disabled persons or riders who want a bit more protection to ride in safety.

I had polio when I was six and even though I regained some motor functions there were always things I couldn't do. When I was a teenager I rode dirt bikes but after crashing too many times because of poor balance & weak leg muscles I gave it up. In 2009 I bought a Grizzly 700 and invented and installed a high-back seat with a helmet backstop, a helmet restraint system that kept my head from flying forward when I hit a hump or log and I installed a four point harness. Everything worked the way they were supposed to but while waiting for a group of riders to meet me at a landing zone in Vermont I decided to take a short trip on my own. I broke the first rule of off-roading: "Never ride alone" and I ended up rolling my Grizzly onto it's side. Since I was strapped on I couldn't jump off and the only thing that kept me from continuing to roll down into a ravine was the helmet backstop. The extent of my injuries was a scratched pinky and that was because I forgot my gloves. After climbing off and looking at the Grizz' laying on it's side I had two thoughts within a few seconds; 'So, this is what the bottom looks like' and 'If I continue to ride this I'll kill myself.' I tipped it over on a Saturday and within three days I sold the quad, the trailer, a plow, a custom made log skidder, and countless dollars worth of accessories I'd installed. I lost thousands of dollars on the deal but I knew if I kept it I'd eventually kill myself.

I tried to find someone to build a 50" wide tubular steel ATV chassis with center steering & a roll cage but either the cost was prohibitive or the person claiming they could adapt a side-by-side was blowing smoke. I even wrote Polaris and asked them to either build a single seat machine or change the design of their existing SxS so it could be adapted to center steering. I have no illusion that Polaris decided to build the ACE based on my letter but thank God someone in their organization did the market research and determined there's a strong market for this product. I haven't seen all of the specs yet but for me to operate an ACE safely it'll need EPS and gas & brake systems that can be adapted to accommodate different physical limitations.

I'd like to thank Polaris for building the ACE and reaffirming to a 60 year old kid that Santa really does exist. Hopefully they'll have demo rides somewhere within a 300 mile radius of Portland soon. I'll be easy to spot because I'll be the guy banging on the door of the hauler yelling "OPEN UP!!!"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for telling your story Al! I think a lot of good can come from this and I hope we can learn what modifications need to be made so we can give everyone a chance to be able to go out and ride the trails safely in these machines :)
 

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ACE #1
there were single seat buggy's back in the late 70's lol

honda made the fl250(back breaker)from 78-84 then came the fl350(have a LT rotax one :D ) in 1985 and finally the pilot in 89-90 (have a LT one :D ) all of these were hand controls
also redline made the revolt up until 09 (basically a 4 stroke LT version of a pilot)
but its nice to see that some one has finally made a newer 4 stroke 4X4 one :D

i personally love the single seat buggy's
 

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ACE #1
there were single seat buggy's back in the late 70's lol

honda made the fl250(back breaker)from 78-84 then came the fl350(have a LT rotax one :D ) in 1985 and finally the pilot in 89-90 (have a LT one :D ) all of these were hand controls
also redline made the revolt up until 09 (basically a 4 stroke LT version of a pilot)
but its nice to see that some one has finally made a newer 4 stroke 4X4 one :D

i personally love the single seat buggy's
Yeah - I love those old Honda's but they're only two wheel drive. A friend of mine has one and he put taller tires on it, modified the steering & used zero offset wheels on the front so it turns on a dime and has 10 inches of ground clearance. He's a big guy - 6'-4" & 300 lbs and he doesn't really get in, he sort of puts it on like a pair of pants. He's able bodied and drives it like a madman on ATV trails & some of the club members complain when they can't keep up with him. I drove it in a gravel pit and it handles so well that within five minutes I was drifting it like a pro and generally having a blast but the real problem was getting in and out of it. The ACE, with its flat floor & easy ingress/egress solves that issue for folks like me.

I've seen a couple of handicap adapted SxS converted to use the Honda Pilot yoke/control system. Myself and a couple of friends were going to change Gimpman's RZR 800 to that system but he bought a new XP and installed some real expensive hand controls so the modified 800 doesn't get much use. If Polaris or an aftermarket supplier offered a kit that incorporated the yoke control method it'd allow quadriplegics & amputees to drive it without a problem. The ACE comes with a three-point belt system so quads & amputees would need to change to at least a 4-point harness but I'd recommend a 5-point harness to keep the driver from "submarining" under the harness like one guy (a double amputee) did.

It may sound far fetched but an ACE with handlebars would make a killer setup. The steering ratio would need to be increased significantly but a 2:1 steering ratio adapter can be had for under $50 at Summit Racing. Frank Schetti, owner & builder of the "Monster Jerky" monster truck combined his love of motocross & off-roading and built a monster truck that had a saddle & handlebars. He stood up while driving it and used his legs to help absorb some of the shock when coming off a jump. A very novel design demonstrating "out-of-the-box" thinking that's required sometimes.

So Polaris - give me a call & we'll discuss what can be done so the ACE can be used by people with physical challenges. I have an extensive background in new product development, mechanical engineering & have invented or adapted a lot of items for disabled people. I built a left-side gas pedal for my Escape because I didn't like what was available. It had to be approved by the State of CT DMV Engineer but he took one look & said, "No problem." It still has the stock pedal so I have to warn guys at tire & lube shops but I just tell them it goes twice as fast & gets double the mileage of a stock Escape.
 

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The only sad part I see for you folks in OR is their archaic attitude to ATV's with their saddle/handlebar requirements to ride on all their trails. I am waiting for someone to take the state to court for violation of the ADA with their refusal to allow any handicap exemption to their archaic rules. The ACE will be on their prohibited list until such a law suit is filed.
 

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Tex has a good idea......

I suggest the Lawyer J Noble Dagget for just such a case as I am currently watching True Grit.
 

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The only sad part I see for you folks in OR is their archaic attitude to ATV's with their saddle/handlebar requirements to ride on all their trails. I am waiting for someone to take the state to court for violation of the ADA with their refusal to allow any handicap exemption to their archaic rules. The ACE will be on their prohibited list until such a law suit is filed.
That law was forced through even though friends of mine, one of them a quadriplegic with a handicap adapted RZR 800, testified before a legislative committee on the issue. The person pushing for the change abused the power of his position because he was in control of the annual budgets for the various Land Managers. One of the USFS Managers spoke to my friends prior to testifying and said he didn't have any problem with them using 50" wide SxS on his ATV trails as they'd been doing for years but he said it within earshot of the funds manager. The committee took a break and when it came time for the USFS employee to speak he refused to look at my friends, was white as a sheet when he spoke and quite literally ran out of the hearing after his testimony. He perjured himself and claimed that SxSs do more damage than ATVs so it's fairly obvious that during the break his budget was threatened if he didn't vote with the committee chairman. During the hearing handicapped riders were SPECIFICALLY excluded from consideration but the good news is the jerk in charge of the funds has retired and I'm working with my local state representative to remove the restriction. She's on our side and is Co-Chair of the Oregon Veteran's Services Committee, her boss is Chairman and the existing restriction directly affects disabled vets.

I researched the Equal Access law as it pertains to the ADA and it would take a highly experienced lawyer to untangle it. I spoke to the USFS in D.C. and while I was given a sympathetic ear they didn't know who has final authority over USFS, BLM, and State OR lands or even how the ADA related to USFS land. Our only hope is my representative can assemble a coalition of like minded people and get a "rider" attached to a Bill during the 2014 session, which is shorter than most years.

When the anti-SxS law was written it created a new class of ORV (Class IV) and specifically mentioned if a machine used a steering wheel and non-straddle steering it was banned from areas that had been accessible for years. The combination of a seat and steering wheel makes the ACE illegal to use on the restricted trails even though it's really a slightly modified ATV with a roll bar. If I had the money I'd buy an ACE, convert it to use handlebars or the Honda Pilot yoke type controls, change the seat to a straddle seat & I'd be legal. The yoke conversion is fairly easy but the parts are hard to come by and I'd prefer handlebars because all of the controls are close at hand. Swapping out the bucket seat and installing a saddle with a separate high back support would be very simple and with a four-point harness it keeps the rider safe in case of a roll over.

If anyone from Polaris reviews the comments on this board they should understand the impact the current law will have on sales in Oregon. They need to get their lobbyists moving because I'm aware of a private consortium that has engineering drawings, mock-ups and a list of vendor specific parts ready and they're aiming directly at the OHV market for disabled persons. The machines are designed so disabled riders can pick and choose from a list of options that will allow them to drive the machine. The machines will be able for use by able bodied riders but instead of trying to adapt something that's already built this approach considers the needs of the disabled prior to building a unit. Every OHV company in the US designs their machines for the masses, which is understandable but they don't seem to consider what they could design into a machine so it could be easily adapted for disabled buyers. Demographics are shifting as the population ages and thanks to advances in medicine more severely disabled vets are returning home than ever before. The vets were active outdoor-types prior to their injuries and will want to resume some sense of normalcy when it comes to being outdoors again so OHV companies need to wake up and look at a market segment they've never explored before.
 

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ACE#1, I feel your aggravations with getting a ride together. I owned a highly modified scrambler in the 90's and was accused of resembling a madman on a chainsaw. I then had a sportsman 700 when they first came out. then a couple 800 Renegades before moving into a RZR-S in 2009. I modified a Redline Revolt with 3/4 lock to lock power steering thru a pilot type yoke steering wheel and raced it near Pittsburgh. Sold that this past spring and now ride a buddies spare Outty 800.
This new ACE seems like a good option for our population. I would look into putting a stock sportsman steering column, thumb throttle and single brake lever into the ACE. I would then get ahold of Wicked Bilt out of Cleveland to prototype a EPS-Unisteer for this new Polaris. They installed a Unisteer EPS unit in my Revolt at no cost to me. They may even have a way to control a stock polaris sportsman EPS system. Hopefully Polaris will read this and pull the parts off the shelf and make this a model/option. I would buy one for sure. My RZR-S was fun but was a pain to steer. I got tired and fearful of the Revolt. Took way too much effort to get in. Would/could never get out in case of fire.
Good luck. Fell free to pm me or use this forum if you or anyone has any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
^^Now that is cool! Thanks for posting up your machine and your experiences. I know with members such as yourself and ACE#1, this forum section will help a LOT of people get out on the trails and in one of these vehicles.
 

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I like whats being done here. My main riding buddy, Ron "The Gimp", paralyzed from the waist down, had his 800 modified with hand controls and he kicks ass! It's all I can do to keep up with him. Being a former motorcycle enduro rider he has the need for being on the trail and the fact he can do it in a UTV keeps him very enthusiastic about living. I would be the same way. Lose my legs, an arm, or both, I will find a way.
Good job guys!
 

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ACE#1, I feel your aggravations with getting a ride together. I owned a highly modified scrambler in the 90's and was accused of resembling a madman on a chainsaw. I then had a sportsman 700 when they first came out. then a couple 800 Renegades before moving into a RZR-S in 2009. I modified a Redline Revolt with 3/4 lock to lock power steering thru a pilot type yoke steering wheel and raced it near Pittsburgh. Sold that this past spring and now ride a buddies spare Outty 800.
This new ACE seems like a good option for our population. I would look into putting a stock sportsman steering column, thumb throttle and single brake lever into the ACE. I would then get ahold of Wicked Bilt out of Cleveland to prototype a EPS-Unisteer for this new Polaris. They installed a Unisteer EPS unit in my Revolt at no cost to me. They may even have a way to control a stock polaris sportsman EPS system. Hopefully Polaris will read this and pull the parts off the shelf and make this a model/option. I would buy one for sure. My RZR-S was fun but was a pain to steer. I got tired and fearful of the Revolt. Took way too much effort to get in. Would/could never get out in case of fire.
Good luck. Fell free to pm me or use this forum if you or anyone has any questions.
Could you post a photo that shows the steering setup on this? I can't quite make out how it's configured.

Thanks
 

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Could you post a photo that shows the steering setup on this? I can't quite make out how it's configured.

Thanks
How I did this was; I took the stock Quick release hub and sandwiched the FL350 yoke with a custom built billet block and 3 bolts to hold it all together. That contraption on the right is the brake. I had a new mustang E-brake cable running the front brakes with the stalk/lever The FL400 master cylinder would lock the rear wheels with a quick squeeze. Sorry couldn't find a better picture.
 

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How I did this was; I took the stock Quick release hub and sandwiched the FL350 yoke with a custom built billet block and 3 bolts to hold it all together. That contraption on the right is the brake. I had a new mustang E-brake cable running the front brakes with the stalk/lever The FL400 master cylinder would lock the rear wheels with a quick squeeze. Sorry couldn't find a better picture.
Thanks! This explains it perfectly and let's hope someone at Polaris GETS THE MESSAGE! that there's a deep market need for 50" wide machines that can be adapted for us cripples. Maybe someone can create a smiley icon in a wheelchair - :)
 

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Outdoor Expo Shows in Oregon this month

I hope I haven't broken any rules but I posted most of this info on another thread as well.

There have already been two outdoor expos in Oregon this month (Eugene earlier in the month & Roseburg wraps up today) and there's another in Medford next weekend. I don't know if the ACE will be there but the Howe & Howe Technologies Ripchair will be and that should be interesting. It's not a Polaris but please Mr. Moderator don't pull my post because I mentioned another company ;) For what that things costs you could probably buy a couple of ACEs!

Medford is a five hour drive but I'm going down Friday morning & may stay for a couple of nights. See you there?
 

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I'm SCI para and I want to get back into riding. I think the ACE is going to be the ticket for me to get back into the great outdoors.

I was into the Odyssey's back in the late 90's / early 00's. I got out of them because they were unreliable, (despite the insane amount of $ I sunk into them) and not east coast trail friendly at all.

I'm thinking of running a set of MPD automotive type hand controls (Since I have a spare set.) with a spinner knob. My primary concern is that without power steering this setup might cause me shoulder issues. My secondary concern is that the MPD controls might not be very good for rough terrain. I’m worried that big bumps might cause me to accidently hit either the gas or the brakes. Anyone have any experience with and/or thoughts on this?
 

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AcesNEights -

A good friend of mine (Gimpman on the RZR fourm) was the first guy I knew of that converted a RZR 800 to center steering primarily because he's a big guy & didn't like the weight distribution of a stock machine when in a side-hill situation. He drove the RZR w/o EPS for about four years but when Oregon outlawed 50" wide SxS on 50" ATV trails (WT?) he bought an XP & had it fitted with Menox controls. They're expensive ($2k) but tremendously versatile and quite simple. It's push for gas, pull for brake & there's a rocker switch at his fingertips that allows him to lock the brake on a hill or when parking, etc. He'd used the old style mechanical linkage on the 800 but they get in the way and with the way he drives he most likely wore them out in about one season. Do a search for 'Carospeed Menox' for more info & keep fighting.
 
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