How To Begin UTV Off-Highway (Aspect-by-Aspect) Journey
The pandemic wasn’t bad for every company. The quest for social distance has resulted in a number of categories in the outdoor industry seeing unprecedented growth. In cities like Los Angeles, Strava has measured the number of bike rides has increased a staggering 93 percent, while other socially distant sports like surfing, fishing, and off-roading have seen a surge in popularity since the pandemic began.
This is all good news for niche areas of these markets, like UTVs for the off-road enthusiast. These “utility task vehicles” are more often referred to as side-by-side vehicles and were created from the ashes of the classic dune buggy culture – the helicopters of the world of off-highway vehicles (OHV) – and combine the useful details of vehicles who have favourited ranchers and hunters made love. Who wouldn’t want a 100 HP engine with a spring travel of over 30 cm to be able to transport loads? Given the growing popularity of UTVs, here’s exactly what you need to get you going full throttle for this exhilarating powersport.
Almost every major ATV manufacturer except Suzuki makes a UTV. A powerful combination of features, chassis design, suspension and a bulletproof motor puts brands like Polaris at the forefront. In fact, its RZR has become so synonymous with the sport that it is common to call competitors a Polaris dominated name. However, not everyone wants to feel like driving a vehicle that was built for the grueling Baja 1000 race on the Mexican peninsula.
Thankfully, Polaris offers The General. Calling it an “entry-level” would be a misnomer as the engineers wanted it to be attractive to the weekend warrior while adding enough features to allow it to do double duty in a number of other applications, such as: B. when pulling a small trailer to collect firewood. Unloading is quick and with a cockpit that is intentionally easy to navigate. All you have to do is put the gear in gear and get started. Yes, it’s that easy to drive to those inaccessible places or go full throttle on a fire road and have fun.
One of the most impressive features of Polaris vehicles is navigation, which the off-road world has struggled to perfect while catching up with the ease and functionality of smartphone apps. Proprietary Ride Command technology not only ensures safe extension and retraction, it also allows you to ride independently with a group feature that highlights other riders on the 7-inch screen. The UX allows you to keep your eyes on the road with enough space between them that you’re not eating dust, but perfecting your drifting skills.
The General also expands the skyrocketing popularity of Overlanding, which gives you VIP access to America’s public land. With enough load-bearing capacity for you and your passenger’s gear, some states allow you to travel the distance on country roads to get to your favorite secret fishing hole or high-altitude, scattered campsite without a geotagger. In some cases, a UTV can reach places no other vehicle can and we love that about them.
A UTV provides the protection of a relatively enclosed cabin, eliminating the need for more protective equipment than you would expect from a motorcycle. However, it comes with a fair share of risks that you want to protect yourself against. First of all, a helmet protects your greatest asset in the event of a rollover or an accident. Arai has been committed to protecting the heads of riders since 1950, making the VX-Pro 4, which has some of the highest safety ratings in the off-road world. Not only are fans true to the fit, they also trust the DOT and SNELL certifications, which provide extra security when things go sideways. Use safety glasses rather than sunglasses like the Fox Vue Stray to protect your eyeballs along the way.
Side by side drops a windshield in favor of safety, so wind chill is a factor to consider when speeding up. Run above the waist in something that mitigates the breeze, like Klim’s Inversion Jacket with Gore Windstopper technology, to keep the elements out as you speed through the wilderness. Klim also makes a range of all season gloves to keep your steering under control and add extra protection to your digits. Of course, you’ll also want to wear your favorite adventure pants and some boots that are comfortable enough for you to explore far-flung places.
UTVs like the General offer additional loading capabilities with a bed box big enough to carry a cargo case like the Pelican BX80, a seemingly indestructible storage tub that you can put all your belongings in. Basic backpacking gear is more than enough for two to three nights. With a little creative wiring, you can also attach a refrigerator like the Mobicool 31 liter MCF32 next to it, which further expands the possibilities for longer UTV trips and opens up endless possibilities for adventure.
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