A Look at Kaden Wells’ Custom-Built 2023 KOH Prepped Polaris
Words & Photos: Baja Designs
After winning the 2022 Baja 1000 Pro UTV NA class, Kaden Wells will take on the upcoming King of the Hammers desert challenge. He will be running his all-new 2023 Polaris RZR Pro R – day and night – equipped with a combination of Baja Designs lighting kits. Racing in the desert, it is crucial to have a superior lighting package which not only encompasses safety, with marking lights such as their RTL, but provides superior performance, such as the LP6 with the dedicated Integrated Peripheral Technology. Let’s see how Kaden’s all-new racing machine shows us how a minimalist design ethos creates an incredible platform to go race King of the Hammers.
Kaden Wells and Risq Racing are no strangers to building race cars that perform, and the proof is in the pudding. Over the past six years racing in Baja, he had podiumed every single race he had entered, with a few overall wins in the U.S. When it came time to develop a new racing team, Risq decided to start with a new platform and move up to the top-tier class: Pro UTV Unlimited.
They got to work building an all-new 2023 Polaris RZR Pro R with an unorthodox approach. Starting with a bare chassis, Kaden and his team built the racer from the ground up, utilizing Polaris parts and many custom components. The end result is nothing but extraordinary.
The RZR’s roll cage has been completely redesigned to maintain a lower profile. As a result, it sits 10 inches lower than it did from the factory. Sitting on Method Race Wheels wrapped in Tensor tires, it utilizes front 3.0 Fox shocks from an XP1000 and the rear 3.0 Fox shocks from a Can-Am. Since the custom aluminum paneling increases airflow, Risq developed an integrated roof scoop to channel air to cool the rear shock reservoir.
When it comes to off-road racing, lighting is a crucial component for both visibility and safety for others on the course. Kaden opted for a lighting package that reaches a variety of lighting zones. Up front is the Baja Designs Polaris RZR Pro R S1 kit. It replaces the factory headlamps with three S1 lights integrated into a direct-fit bracket good enough for Lighting Zone 1, directly in front of the vehicle, for use in dusty conditions.
Many people run multiple Baja Designs LP6 light pods mounted to the bumper. But on Kaden’s RZR Pro R, just one single LP6 is more than enough to reach Lighting Zones 3 and 4, driving and spot lights, paired with an amber driving combo lens. The LP6 Pro is a six-inch powerhouse, featuring a total of 11,225 total lumens and a 200-degree spread of usable LED light thanks to the dedicated peripheral lighting of their patented Integrated Peripheral Technology.
When racing, corners come fast, making it vital that a lighting package includes cornering lights. That is why the Pro R has been equipped with two Baja Designs Squadron Pro lights paired with amber wide cornering lenses angled out to the side. These are perfect cornering lights for Lighting Zone 2.
The last forward-facing light is the Baja Designs LP4. It is the epitome of power and functionality in a compact package. With 8,750 lumens of brightness and a 200-degree LED light spread, it illuminates its surroundings easily. The forward projection of 7,050 lumens and the additional 1,700 lumens of peripheral lighting from Integrated Peripheral Technology makes this light a heavy hitter.
Out back, this Polaris RZR Pro R features a rear mount radiator and a 20-gallon fuel cell tucked right above the engine to keep the center of gravity low. Just above the rear spare tire is a Baja Designs RTL. Not only is it required for racing, but it also provides multiple functions as a brake light and chase light when driving through the dust, making it a necessity when racing in dusty conditions.
Kaden Wells and Risq Racing have built an exceptional racer for the upcoming season, and we can’t wait to see it out on the lake bed this weekend. This 2023 Polaris RZR Pro R is a unique build, starting from a bare chassis to incorporating custom components and Polaris parts to create a minimalist yet powerful platform.