If you want a fun, small, recreational vehicle to ride on unbeaten paths, you certainly came across the UTV. Once used as a work vehicle, now the UTV is the staple of off-road fun, outdoor adventuring, and blood-boiling racing. Evolving on the shoulders of giants like the classic Jeep and the feisty ATV, the side-by-side came to us as a work machine.
Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for the public to ask for lighter, faster, and more performing side-by-sides for more than just farming, hunting, cargo hauling, etc. As a result, the recreational UTV of our times is a beautiful, powerful, and complex machine, acting more like a car than an ATV, capable of taking riders where no other vehicle has taken them before.
If you are on the market for some outdoor adventure and such a versatile vehicle, let’s see a few tips on how to buy the best UTV for your recreational needs!
First Things First: Buy New or Second-Hand?
New UTVs cost a lot more than used ones. Given that you want your vehicle to withstand your next outdoor adventure across mud, in and out of steep slopes, across sharp rocks, and on very narrow slippery forest trails, you might need newer models. Most likely, you will find used work UTVs for sale – machines that took many farming, hunting, and hauling beatings in their time. Even if you find older sports/recreational UTVs at second-hand prices, you will have to invest in their repairs and parts changes.
New UTVs don’t need the fixing and upkeep associated with buying used vehicles in general. Moreover, since manufacturers are always ready to please their fans, they build models with more amazing features and capabilities you will not likely find in used UTVs.
If you have the budget, experts recommend you buy a new UTV. It always comes with a warranty, original parts, low maintenance costs, a broad range of insurers ready to help you, and no uncertainty regarding the safety of your rides.
Mind the Aftermarket Parts and Accessories
Another issue to factor in your purchasing decision is the availability of aftermarket parts and mods to tune your side-by-side for mud, dirt, dunes, or forest trails.
These days, you can get almost ready-to-race sports or recreational UTV, but there is no off-road SxS enthusiast out there who did not go shopping for extra accessories and parts. For instance, any factory stock Honda Talon is an awesome ride, but all Honda Talon owners read more info about available Talon accessories before they even buy the said Talon. Safe, enjoyable, and comfortable off-road adventures entail a few welcomed changes to the original vehicle. Riders usually consider better seats, safer harnesses (4-point harnesses instead of the classic seatbelts), better exhaust systems, rear and side mirrors, radio systems, LED lights for night riding, and so on.
Manufacturers, Models, Seat Number, and Other Specs
The most frequent question people ask is, “what is the best UTV for sports and recreation?” We could write entire pages on this topic and still not reach a 100% satisfactory conclusion. If you are looking for big names with an unbeatable reputation in the field of sports and recreational UTVs, look at the vehicles produced by Honda, Polaris, Yamaha, Can-Am, or Kawasaki. Many of them have been legends in the automotive industry for eons.
You need to pay attention to what these manufacturers have to offer instead. So let’s see a few specs and features that can help you narrow down your search:
- The number of seats: two and four seater UTVs are more suitable for sports, recreation, and even racing. Six-seaters are larger, heavier, and ready to do very hard work.
- Engine size. If you are into power sports, heavy riding, or adrenaline-pumping races, go for UTVs with a 900-1000cc engine. They go great across mud, dunes, and rocky slopes. Smaller engines, less aggressive, are great for farm work, hunting, hauling, and other around-the-house activities.
- When you say “turbo,” you say amazing acceleration and power that feels infinite. Turbos pull hills better than anything does, so if off-road mountain trips are your poison, you might want to look into turbocharged side-by-sides.
As you can probably figure out, this was just the tip of the iceberg you need to conquer when it comes to buying the best recreational UTV for your next adventures. Our advice is to read as many things as possible about the models you like (manufacturers’ specs, UTV reviews, users’ opinions on forums, famous riders’ recommendations, etc.) and make an informed decision. Don’t forget that paying for a new UTV is not all you need to spend. Aftermarket parts, proper riding gear, insurance policy, tools, and accessories all need to be on the list.
If the budget is not a problem, we wish you happy hunting for your future recreational UTV, and may your rides be safe, thrilling, and memorable!