It’s not about the destination, it’s all about the journey. That’s a common saying that I usually consider accurate. And while it’s often true that the experiences along the way are worth more than the terminus, is it not also valuable to have purpose? Motivation of sorts to carry us through this expedition and to that place no matter what the outcome – good or bad. Because, at times, neither the journey nor the destination turn out so great. Instead, the objective becomes the only thing which matters. And if said objective happens to be a cliff-side taco party, perhaps even hours from civilization, well… Then enduring innumerable obstacles for hours in your side-by-side seems a whole lot more rewarding.
Outdoor meals for me have mostly been consumed campside. So, this consists largely of an assortment of hotdogs, sandwiches, freeze-dried meals and, if we’re lucky, some freshly caught fish from earlier that day. Maybe this is why the thought of finishing a long, fun day of riding with piping hot carne folded into a tortilla sounds so damn good. Or, maybe it just is good, and the fact is undeniable. Either way, the concept alone of “living the vida taco” in distant, desolate locations makes this purpose-built Polaris GENERAL XP4 1000 a certified-genius idea.
Externally, this GENERAL doesn’t look too dissimilar from one you’d find on the showroom floor. But it’s what lies within, stowed away neatly to preserve the UTV’s function and capability, which makes this build such a tasty sensation. With crucial instruments (and tequila) tucked into custom drawers courtesy of Boxo USA, there’s no chance these essentials will slip and slide their way out of the car in deeper corners. Or bang up during a rowdy whoops section. The propane tank is secured to the side for easy access. And pulling out of a special compartment in the rear is the pièce de résistance – the package making this whole Taco Life business possible: Camp Chef’s dual-burner grill and cooktop. [Chef’s kiss.]
To handle that added weight in the rear, without losing any precious performance, the body sits on HCR’s Polaris GENERAL XP Long Travel Kit offering a smooth delivery of your dinner. And unlike UberEats, there are no boundaries on where you can enjoy your midnight (or midday) snack. And an upgraded HMF Titan-QS Twin Loop Exhaust means the meal will arrive anywhere with speed and stealth. The added width in the wheelbase is actually the biggest departure, visually, of this taco “truck” from its origins. But when the kitchen is buttoned up, it’s tough to tell the vehicle is meant for anything more than exploration. Yet every aspect of the GENERAL has been optimized for a single purpose, a taco party. But one can’t properly rage without the necessary accoutrement, appropriately stuffed inside the SxS like it’s a celebratory piñata… That you don’t beat to a pulp, of course.
Easiest to spot when you’re peeking into the interior are the plush Pro Armor G2 Front & Rear seats. They might appear like a standard modification at first glance, but one has a quick-release to be efficiently replaced with a small fridge so the three riders can be sure the lettuce will stay crisp, the cheese in-tact and carne up to code. To properly slice, dice and serve up these perishables, Savage UTV has customized one of their trusty storage cases with foam cut into the shape of utensils and plates (clever). And the UTV Sports crew had the forethought to design a hideaway cutting board in each rear fender for the perfect prep stations.
All these parts and pieces have a precise place on the GENERAL, many which need specific points to attach to, so UTV Speed Inc.’s Roll Cage is on double duty, protecting passengers and carrying the cargo. It’s even compatible with ARQ4WD’s A270° Awning so sun will never be a setback when it’s time for the XP4 to go from UTV form to full-fledged kitchen. And at dusk, the mood takes a different turn as the lights dial up to festive. An array of colors glow from the undercarriage ready for certain guests to spontaneously burst into dancing. To work off the tacos of course. Or tequila…
None of which would be possible without an incredible sound system. SSV Works was the go-to maestro with their 5-Speaker setup (plus four more individual speakers and the Phase EQ to amp up the party factor) blasting majestic tunes from the moment our grill rolled out. And while the event has folks moving and grooving, the line cook is just getting into his taco rhythm, flipping and scraping and sizzling under the glow of several KC HiLiTES Cyclone V2 LEDs. And if things become a bit too hot, Axia Alloys keeps a solution at-hand with their Billet Quick-Release Fire Extinguisher Mount.
But let us not forget the array of auxiliary illuminations spread across the vessel. Up front, Pro Armor gives added security on the drive and another late night dance floor at a stop with their 11” Single Row Spot LED Light Bar. Sector Seven’s SAWTOOTH Billet Lighted Mirrors lend a little – actually, a lot of – luminosity ahead of the GENERAL and its mirrors give you a full view of what’s behind. A full suite of lights means you can comfortably ride, cook, or dance in the desert – day or night.
When it’s time to pack up and head home, the pilot commanding the wheel can rest assured they’ll find their way out of the wasteland without trouble. Axia Grab Handles ensure your comrades don’t upchuck from unnecessary bouncing and bobbling, lurching and leaning. And their Panorama Rear View Mirror makes it very easy to spot if any loose taco particles were to fly off the back. Let’s say this venture stretches into the quiet morning hours, and that sun starts to rise again (right in your face), then flip down the Pro Armor 12” Aluminum Tinted Visors to carry on safely at a preferred speed. And the Klock Werks Flare Windshield helps to keep the wind from battering you at full cruise.
Built using the 2021 Polaris GENERAL XP4 1000 Trailhead edition as a platform, we found no reason to change the color scheme. With a sharp blue and orange pattern, a bit reminiscent of our Arizona sunsets, it was just the perfect feel to uphold the Southwest Taco Life. Just enough style to stand out – if the smell from the grill doesn’t do enough to catch your attention – but subtle enough to fly under the radar when you’re hitting the dirt or running errands in town. Since the beginning of UTV Sports, tacos have been part of our publication’s personality. Carne asada and tortillas are our go-to ingredients for a successful Trail Hero, let alone any other escapades which includes a basecamp. So having this new mobile repast machine at our fingertips just expands our set of tools, and our horizons.
This GENERAL can really go anywhere, any time. With GBC Terra Masters wrapped around MSA Off-Road M48 Portal Beadlock Wheels, we dare any type of terrain to try and stop this beast as it plows its way to wherever the hell it wants. And if that journey takes you into nightfall, then a pair of 5150 Two-Foot Light Whips signaling to anyone on the path to steer clear. These whips in particular have a fantastic, true-orange color, not something reddish or yellow as you might see with a lot of mainstream products. Noticeable but not abrasive: the way we like to present ourselves at USM on many fronts. We work hard, play hard, taco hard. And Polaris has time and again presented the best foundation to erect a shrine to the things we all love. Just look at their own GENERAL Ice Cream Truck which we ran the trails together and served tacos and ice cream at Trail Hero last October.
Whether they’re subtle or flashy, we think the details on this build are pretty remarkable (but maybe we’re a tad biased). From secured cooking pull-outs, creature comforts, and hidden chopping stations to banging sound systems, a pristine performance, and a lighting package that’ll make a rave feel like your little cousin’s Quinceanera, our UTV Sports Taco Life Polaris GENERAL XP4 1000 has exceeded all expectations. Move over Bumble Bee, this Transformer is the real hero of this adventure. From low-key trailblazer to full-blown fiesta at a moment’s notice. And if you’re lucky, you might just find your next favorite food memory in the middle of nowhere.