The Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S has one big shortcoming (& we fixed it)


Let’s face it, the Polaris Scrambler XP 1000 S is a near-perfect ATV. It’s incredibly fast, supremely comfortable, and multi-talented beyond what most think a four-wheel-drive four-wheeler can manage. But it’s designed for fun, not utility, and as it turns out that’s a bit of a problem when you need to carry tools, sustenance, wet weather gear, and more while on the trail. Time to engineer a solution.

The Scrambler’s only standard storage (beer for scale)

The best there is, but not perfect

To refresh those just joining, Polaris kindly loaned me a Scrambler XP 1000 S to test for the 2023 riding season. The goal is to put it through its paces on the trails of the Northeast, subjecting it to everything from rock crawling to deep mud and everything in-between. While some of these adventures are short few-hour rides, we do go on longer, full-day, hundred-plus-mile hauls. On these longer trips, I need a place to store my stuff when out on the trail, and the Polaris’ stock storage capacity is, for lack of a better word, lacking.

To prepare for this, I turned to the past. Looking for a cargo box tailored to the Scrambler yielded expensive custom-sized solutions, none of which made financial sense or provided enough usable cargo space for what I usually carry. Instead, the answer came from my shed, and an old friend stashed inside it.

Use what you have (and know)

From 2007 through 2019 I rode a Kawasaki Brute Force 650 4x4i. After a couple of tries with soft cargo bags, I ponied up for a hard Moose cargo box that lived on the back of the Brute during every ride until I sold the Kawi in ‘19. For some reason that’s definitely not related to my unhealthy passion for hoarding old ATV parts, I kept the Moose box long after the Brute had gone. Knowing the Scrambler’s rear rack is a limiting factor in how cargo cases fit on the machine, I didn’t have high hopes when I unearthed the bulky thing from the depths of my shed.

The ‘ol Brute in its natural element

To my surprise and joy, the Brute’s old box fit beautifully on the Scrambler. The only thing preventing perfection was clearance. Perched atop the stock Polaris rear rack, the front of the box was extremely close to contacting the Scrambler’s extreme, angled plastics. My brother was able to whip up a few spacers to prop the whole thing up so the area of potential contact was no longer a concern. Even with the added height the fender tips still had the chance of contacting the cargo box over bigger bumps, so I put on a bit of painter’s tape for protective measures. This isn’t my quad, after all.

Ready to rock (and ride)

Removing the factory rack for this process also provided an even better look at the fancy Walker Evans Racing suspension. All cleaned up, it’s a sight to behold. Beautifully machined threads, shiny metal, and the right offset colors all create a premium look. What the Scrambler lacks in storage it makes up for in hardware.

While the Moose box’s aesthetic isn’t exactly visually suited to the Scrambler’s sporty looks, it does the job and is already battle tested to survive the elements. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for when retired parts come full circle and are put back into use. It’s recycling in nostalgic form. And with that, the Scrambler XP 1000 S is ready for more time on the trails, Moose box in tow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *