Issue 52 Thin Green Line Tactical RZR Lt. Col. John Nores Jr. (Retired) 1 Comments, Join the Conversation In June of 2013, I found myself once again soloing the Baja 500. Since I had attempted this solo endeavor in 2010 and missed reaching the finish line by a heartbreaking 22 minutes over the time limit due to a race-ending crash and breakdown, the mix of emotions in that moment were intense. Exhausted, yet exhilarated, I navigated the final miles of the course as Jeff (my lifelong buddy, Baja racing teammate, and excellent rider who soloed and finished the 2010 Baja 500 in record time on his motorcycle) followed me in. Jeff had my back as we crossed the finish line together, sharing in the victory as the checkered flag dropped well before the 22-hour deadline. Within a few weeks of the Baja adventure, we launched the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) pilot program throughout the Golden State with our Delta sniper unit shortly following. The MET’s development, mission, and effectiveness has been featured and discussed in previous issues of RECOIL and RECOIL OFFGRID. My latest book, Hidden War, covers the MET’s development and first six years of operations. In a nutshell, the MET is a conservation officer special operations unit comprised of highly trained and skilled game wardens, K9s, and snipers developed specifically to combat the drug cartels operating within U.S. borders and threatening our public’s safety and decimating our wildlife, wildlands, and waterway resources throughout the U.S. Expanding Conservation Outreach Since retiring from active duty, I continue to promote the challenging, dangerous, and important work of our thin green line of conservation officers worldwide and commend the great work my MET brothers and sisters, and other units like our MET, do every day to protect America’s public and environmental resources. Besides current and conventional outreach media, an exciting and unconventional way of unifying and educating our nation’s outdoor enthusiasts has developed. With the generous support of a diverse mix of sponsors, the Thin Green Line (TGL)Polaris 2020 XP Pro Ultimate RZR was born. Reflecting on past and punishing solo Baja endurance racing challenges on an ATV, Lt. Nores appreciates the ruggedness, safety, exciting, and plush riding experience of the TGL RZR. With age comes a cage, and after riding and racing unprotected ATV quads for decades it’s exciting to be in the caged cockpit of one of the most high-tech and capable production side-by-sides on the market. The TGL RZR will be used throughout the U.S. at conservation, Second Amendment, patriotic, veteran, LEO, and other first responder and charity fundraiser events to represent, educate, and promote thin green line topics as they relate to protection of our nation’s wildlife and environmental resources. And you’ll likely see it in action in upcoming episodes of our Thin Green Line film series. Exterior Starting with a stock RZR XP Pro Ultimate machine in their black color scheme, a few immediate changes on the machine were necessary before our wrap team and sponsors at Stitch 2 Wrap dove in on TGL branding and sponsorship graphic layouts. Since the stock machine has bright red framerails and A-arms around all the Fox shock suspension components, our wrap team carefully refinished all of the suspension parts in a tough matte black finish as well as removing any red graphic decals on the machine. When looking at the before-and-after photos, the transition is incredible. The transformed exterior of the TGL RZR was emblazoned with thin green line features throughout. The wrap team did a beautiful job building bold thin green line American flags on both the driver and passenger doors with both flag stars appropriately facing forward. The rest of the machine is wrapped with a black multi-cam base color to make our sponsor’s graphics pop. Some sponsor graphics retain their original look and colors, while some were changed up to tactical color schemes to blend and contrast nicely with the matte black and OD green dark multi-cam base colors. The TGL RZR is impressive when navigating any overland terrain given its formidable power curve, shift-on-the-fly 2WD to 4WD system, and responsive and adaptive Fox Live Valve suspension system. The thin green line American flag punisher image is nostalgic, since the thin-green-line embedded flag image is a past MET unit logo and honors our worldwide conservation warriors. The TGL flag punisher graphic is centered cleanly on the hubcap of each Pro Armor bead-lock tire and wheel combination. Other external accessories added include full door close-offs to create a solid door on each side of the machine, a black poly roof wrapped in our base black multi-cam color scheme with a Rigid 32-inch LED flood/spot combination lightbar complementing the excellent stock LED marker and headlights up front and a pair of Rigid Ignite cube lights for added illumination behind the RZR. Other essential additions are the quick detachable front and rear poly windshields (critical in the colder months here in the Pacific Northwest), Polaris’ 4,500-pound winch system, and the convex rearview and adjustable folding side mirrors. For rough and rocky terrain, we added Polaris’ lower-profile front and rear bumper systems, as well as a set of their low-profile rock sliders below each door. We also added Polaris’ durable 70- and 40-liter polymer front and rear cargo boxes in the trunk area, with the smaller 40-liter integrated box working as an ice cooler when needed. Both boxes are modular and quickly attach and detach from the bed with two gasket sealed plunger locking levers that are easy to use. Between the two cargo containers, I was able to fit enough food, sleeping bags, tent, and other survival supplies to sustain a multiday overland journey in comfort. Interior When sitting behind the wheel in the TGL RZR’s cockpit, the styling and ergonomics of this machine are impressive. The generously padded seats are comfortable and four-point racing harness restraints are beefy, padded, and secure enough to handle the fuel-injected, turbo-charged 181-horsepower motor. Displaying phone and stereo Bluetooth settings, on- and off-road GPS, gauge instrumentation, and real-time Dynamix suspension performance, the large and bright Ride Command display screen is intuitive and easy to read. Other tech features included with the TGL RZR Ultimate package viewed on the center dashboard’s LCD screen are nationwide on-screen navigation for on- and off-road routes, front and rear camera systems, phone information, audio controls, dynamics for the Fox Live Valve suspension system, and a wide array of other gauge screens. The group ride (cell-based or GPS based) communication feature is cool and the topographic mapping, Bluetooth, and USB smartphone connectivity are equally as useful. Other features include AM/FM and weather radio, in-vehicle communications with optional headsets, a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with two tweeters, and two front midrange speakers and external 400W amp to drive your sound. The TGL RZR’s steering wheel controls can change Ride Command dash display, GPS, gauge selection, stereo, and suspension settings on the fly and smoothly in any terrain. Along with the external cargo boxes, we added essential storage compartments throughout the interior. My SIG Sauer .300 ACC Blackout Rattler pistol with SIG Romeo RDS optic and 30-round magazine fit in the carbon-fiber pocket snuggly while allowing enough space when unzipped for a smooth and efficient draw and deployment. Similarly, when testing the pockets with smaller platforms like my LAG Tactical thin green line holstered Glock 19x pistol, draw and deployment was smooth. Performance Up here in Montana, we can run OHVs on the street as well as off road, so the true test of how the TGL RZR handles and performs was conducted over 80 miles of everything ranging from paved streets to desert, rocky and rutted mountains, and boulder-ridden two-track national forest trails. The machine performs great in all of these conditions. With the addition of Polaris’ wireless remote controlled Pro HD winch system rated at 4,500 pounds, the TGL RZR can safely pull itself out of any situation. The TGL RZR’s motor has more power on tap than needed in most conditions and a power curve that’s snappy, but linear enough to be predictable and controllable when speeds climb quickly. The machine sticks to the ground exceptionally when you need it to, even at high speed in rough, uneven terrain. Impressive, considering the TGL RZR is the two-seat, compact, and short wheelbase model in the XP PRO lineup. The shift-on-the-fly two- and four-wheel-drive modes are quick and smooth during transition; this beast can climb just about any incline when the rear differential is locked, and the machine is locked in low-range, all-wheel-drive mode. Bead-lock racing wheels and eight-ply Pro Armor XG Crawler tires keep the TGL RZR rolling over any terrain while keeping with the stylish TGL theme. These handling qualities are largely due to the incredible Live Valve Fox Shock suspension system on the TGL RZR. Simply put, this system is the latest suspension technology as seen on the most recent Gen 2 Ford Raptor and other off-road racing vehicles due to its live valve system technology. By using electronic vehicle sensors, Live Valve instantly adapts the machine’s suspension performance to ideally match the terrain, speed, and conditions driven at any given moment while maximizing handling, comfort, and bottom-out resistance. Regardless of the suspension mode the machine is in, the Live Valve system is constantly reading the terrain and vehicle’s handling characteristics to make changes in real time. After hammering through rough terrain at high speeds and hardly feeling the big bumps below as the TGL RZR stuck to the ground and stayed on course smoothly, I was amazed at how effective and smooth the machine handled. Expanding the Conservation Network As my friend, TGL film series sponsor and OMF Performance Products founder Tim Orchard recently pointed out, the TGL RZR project is an effective tool in spreading the message. It broadens conservation education and outreach beyond the traditional groups within the firearms, hunting, angling, and tactical communities to previously unaware groups, in this case the off-road OHV and racing community. Multiple storage compartments on the TGL RZR can accommodate all EDC multiday trip essentials including Nores’ .300 ACC Blackout SIG Rattler PDW system. And while Tim has recently become an avid hunter and worldwide conservationist, his background has always been within the off-road racing community where there are millions of outdoor enthusiasts in that genre of motorsports who are largely unaware of the threats to our public and wildlife resources. Like all of us, they need to know and can help us fight to educate and protect our nation’s outdoor resources. The TGL RZR will expand the message while helping unify outdoor recreating groups in all areas for the good of us all. Editor's Note: Photography by Mike Weaver This Vehicle was sponsored by: Sponsors RECOIL RECOIL OFFGRID RecoilTV Polaris Montana Power Products Stitch 2 wrap Gun Digest VNIVES OMF Performance Products XTC Motorsports Hayes Taxidermy Studio KUIU ultralight hunting Allterra Arms Kestrel Ballistics Nosler Inc. LAG Tactical holsters Triumph Systems reactive targets Glock Inc. Sig Sauer EOTech American Zealot Productions Hill Shadow Pictures More on the Thin Green Line and on Transport The Weed Wars in the West. John Nores talks Hidden War with Lt. Col Oliver North, on RECOILtv. 2014 Polaris RZR: The Blade Runner. 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