UTV - Side by side feedback wanted. Can help me with a new job

  • OK guys,

    I have moved to a new job and will be exploring the UTV - side by side market. I'm looking for just general info so that I better understand what its all about. This is not for my new job directly but more me asking questions to people that I know that can help me direct my focus better and where to look. Hope you guys can help a little. I do come from the off-road side of things but it has been related to Jeeps and honestly have never owned a ATV, or UTV. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


    (1) There are so many UTV models available I will focus on the top two. Like automobiles how often does Polaris and Can-Am drastically change models? 4-5 years or shorter?


    (2) How long do people normally own there UTVs? I see financing running the same as cars (36 -72 months). Is it like the Slingshot where you have most that hold on to them 3-5 years then trade in or those that can get a new model every 2 years or so.


    (3) If you have a UTV what is the buzz in the market? Who is doing good and who is not? is it like Ford vs. Chevy kind of thing?


    (5) Just like SlingShots what are the must have first mods?


    (5) Like vendors here who have you done business with and what keeps you going back?


    Thanks guys.... This is NOT RELATED to MeanSling. With my new Job I am being tasked with business case studies for UTVs and the Ford Bronco.

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup:

  • Well Patrick I'll give you what little info I might have but my experience is strictly on the ATV side. I've owned and ridden quads for more than 20 years, starting back in the 80's with Honda Odysseys.


    I don't have any perspective on model changes. I've been riding Polaris Sportsmans and it seems like they add features frequently but have always had the same platform and basic drive train (increasingly bigger engines and CVT tranny).


    There is strong brand loyalty among riders but all the major brands are considered quality machines (Polaris, CanAm, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki). Some just do some things better than the others. I chose Polaris for it's durability, ride comfort and 4-wheel capabilities. I've ridden with hundreds of guys, gals and machines and I can tell you that if they get through it, I'll get through it. If they can't get through it, I still might. Ground clearance, power, traction and technique win the day. In Canada, CanAm is the dominant machine and in remote areas (like Alaska) Honda is the go to for it's reliability and parts network. With UTVs, Yamaha broke ground with the Rhino which was hugely popular but Polaris came in with the Ranger, then the Rzr which changed the game. Now there are several competing side by sides that are all top-notch in quality and performance.


    I'm not the guy who buys new so my perspective is also limited on that. I bought my 1st Polaris from a neighbor who bought it new, took it out twice in 5 years for vacation, then sold it to me virtually untouched once his 5 year loan was paid off. I found one for my wife that a guy bought for hunting and used it on one trip before selling it to me with 27 miles on it. I would change out my quads every 4 or 5 years when I was putting major miles on them (3,000-5,000/yr), but have owned the 2 I have now for several years. They are both 2005s and my wife's is the one we bought with 27 miles. Like Slingshots, motorcycles, boats and other niche equipment, there are a lot of impulse buyers who quickly discover that their lifestyle doesn't include the new toy and they simply never use it. That's who I buy from as well as the guy who upgrades every couple of years. Those guys are out there too.


    As far as mods, again, I'm not the guy. While I put a few (thousand in) parts on the Sling, most of my equipment is bone stock. For quads/UTVs I have three. Winch, mud tires and dry storage. I keep two separate sets of four wheels and tires for the Sportsman. The stock tires which are very good in all conditions and super aggressive mud tires. The winch is not an option. It's gotten me home many times and I've used it to get me back on my feet when gravity gets confused and turns me upside down. I've also rescued countless rigs that have left the trail. Dry storage is really important for hunting in our wet climate.


    I do know that modding among the UTV crowd is more prevalent. If/when I end up in a warmer climate, a side by side will likely be my future in off-roading if I continue riding. I might just go back to the CJ5 I still have in the stable though. It's nice to have options.


    As far as vendors, I've stuck with Polaris for the cushy ride, serious 4-wheel capabilities, and also because I have learned the machines really well and can keep them repaired and running properly. I have gotten support from Polaris outside of warranty on 2 occasions in the form of no-cost ECU replacements. One was my wife's aforementioned 2005 that died suddenly when it was around 4 years old. I contacted my local dealer, Polaris of Portland, who contacted Polaris on my behalf. Polaris said they had a bad batch from that year and sent me a new ECU free of charge even though I didn't buy it new, nor was it covered by warranty. Polaris did this for me a 2nd time on another 2005 that I bought from a wrecking yard after a theft recovery. The rig had been ravaged by tweakers and as I got the electrical back in order, I discovered the ECU was not functioning. Again, Polaris shipped me a new ECU free of charge. Now you can say that they did the right thing if they had bad parts but they certainly did not have to replace these parts for me under these circumstances and I have always appreciated that.


    Well that's a lot of words with not much info but I guess you're trying to build a body of knowledge. Hopefully there's something useful for you in there.


    Congrats on the new gig! I'm looking forward to hearing more about it as time goes on. Happy Trails Ruptured Duck !

    Remember folks - this isn't a rehearsal, it's The Show!8)

  • it’s going to depend on how they are used....summer and winter have different needs.....short rides long rides.....daytime night time....on roads or muddy trails.....used a little or used a lot....casual riding vs camping vs business....I’ve seen them on road construction sites. Probably the foreman...LOL

  • I have to disagree with SlingLow on one thing with CanAm being the dominate choice in Canada. I dont believe that one bit. I think Honda and Polaris are the top choices around my area. For speed and sport CanAm makes a good machine but for a work machine that will last and take a beating i think they will leave you stuck. I have owned both Honda and Suzuki with no issues. Where i live alot of farmers are now going with the UTV side by side for work. Pulling wagons and chore work seems to be the go to anymore. I see alot of Polaris rangers in the fields. For hunting north of me the quads are still the favorite due to trail size and mobility around the bush. I am actually looking to purchase a side by side in the near future and will be shopping for a Polaris ranger due to the simplicity of them. Not looking for speed but pulling and load capacity for hauling wood. Again just my $.05 worth (we dont have pennies in Canada)

  • I have to disagree with SlingLow on one thing with CanAm being the dominate choice in Canada. I dont believe that one bit. I think Honda and Polaris are the top choices around my area. For speed and sport CanAm makes a good machine but for a work machine that will last and take a beating i think they will leave you stuck. I have owned both Honda and Suzuki with no issues. Where i live alot of farmers are now going with the UTV side by side for work. Pulling wagons and chore work seems to be the go to anymore. I see alot of Polaris rangers in the fields. For hunting north of me the quads are still the favorite due to trail size and mobility around the bush. I am actually looking to purchase a side by side in the near future and will be shopping for a Polaris ranger due to the simplicity of them. Not looking for speed but pulling and load capacity for hauling wood. Again just my $.05 worth (we dont have pennies in Canada)

    I stand corrected gooseman . Like so many things in my life, my knowledge is outdated! My comment came from a large group of Canadian recreational riders that I rode with a few summers back in B.C. Definitely a small sample. There were lots of Polaris machines but Can Am was the dominant species.


    As far as durability, I've watched a Can Am tip over and end up with the handle bar busted and jammed into the shifter slot on the fender and major body damage. On the other hand, when I was down in the Flaming Gorge Wilderness in Utah, I rolled my Sportsman end over end down a steep hill, watching it bounce several feet into the air (I recovered my saddle bag from a tree branch above my head), until it disappeared through the brush about 75 yards downhill. Fortunately I stayed at the top. My comment to my wife after the sound stopped was, 'I just lost $5,000'. I was amazed when I found it just shy of the creek at the bottom and it was still basically in one piece. The battery fell out (recovered) and took the starter solenoid with it (lost). The bead broke on one tire. We rode my wife's Sportsman out, trailered it, and removed the solenoid. I caught a ride back in and put it on my bike, aired the tire and rode it out. Now for full disclosure I did have an extensive session with my buddy's hydraulic lift and chains to get all the wheels pointing the same direction again. I rode that quad a couple more years then sold it with the rear wheels offset about two inches to the right of the front wheels.


    I have other punishment stories that earned me my tagline 'The Depreciator' but that's for another day.


    Teaser:

    My nephew-out-law. He doesn't invite me as often as he used to:

    Remember folks - this isn't a rehearsal, it's The Show!8)

  • Wow thats a story! Canam seems to be for the guys that want speed not robust. And like most younger gen then want something that looks cool maybe not practical to the older riders so taking all that into consideration too.

  • I'm a big fan of the Polaris General.


    I'm gonna be in the UTV market for next year, and that's the one I think I'll purchase.

    It's a great cross over of work and play.

    Plus my legs are long, and the General is by far the most comfortable one I've sat in.

    Never trust a ConnMan!!
    (Man I love that line!)
    :00007555:


  • Patric,

    Just jumped into the UTV game. With limited areas close by to ride the main purpose for mine was to have something to use up at my cabin. Looked at everything and decided to go with the new Honda Talon X. It was the smallest with both Auto / Manual Transmission easy to drive so my wife could use it. Found one barely used at a great price. Honda did an outstanding job with this one. Waiting on my trailer to be built s I have ony been running around my property,


    I also have a John Deere Gator 825 - It is my work horse around the property - this is my third one and it has the Cherry engine. Great engine way better than the Kawasaki they were using prior to this. I fact I think Kawasaki is using it in the Mules now.

  • Just recently bought a 2017 Polaris Brutus. It's a diesel. But am looking at the new Kawasaki side by side. Around by me Polaris rzr are the king. But now that can am have kicked up hp to almost 200 hp I see more on the dealers floors.

  • Polaris rzr I can't fit in 6'4 long legs very uncomfortable driving passenger not so bad. Cam Maverick alot better. For my size alot better room. But still tight. The new Kawasaki room like crazy interior is amazing on room. I fell for it as soon as I sat in it. Legs weren't cramped at all. The one problem. Which is really not a problem. My wife said I had to pick either the new 2 door bronco. Or the Kawasaki. Decisions decisions.

  • So like the SlingShot where do you guys go to buy accessories?

    Do you just get them from the dealer or is there "the" online retailers?

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup:

  • So like the SlingShot where do you guys go to buy accessories?

    Do you just get them from the dealer or is there "the" online retailers?

    Super ATV has been very good for me looks like they make a good amount of the product they sell

    Side by Side Stuff is a reseller

    Race Drivin I just stumbled across yesterday looking for some more aggressive brake pads


    I have only been looking for Honda Talon accessories - relatively new to the SXS market I think it is the second year

  • Super ATV has been very good for me looks like they make a good amount of the product they sell

    Side by Side Stuff is a reseller

    Race Drivin I just stumbled across yesterday looking for some more aggressive brake pads


    I have only been looking for Honda Talon accessories - relatively new to the SXS market I think it is the second year

    what made you go with the Honda over the Polaris or Yamaha product?

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup:

  • what made you go with the Honda over the Polaris or Yamaha product?

    1- Honda dependability - you can guess why I might pass on Polaris

    2- Auto Trans / so my wife could drive it

    3- Size - it had the smallest foot print with the features I wanted

    4- Price - got it used with 700 miles for 14K - thing looks like new and has an extended warranty thru 2024


    If there were more places to ride closer to home I may have made another choice but this was mainly for use at my cabin and we have a fee 12 degree grades to get to the top of the mountain. This fit my needs perfectly

  • Rocky Mountain ATV is another parts retailer.

    They are very involved in giving back to the rider community through their "Race Gas" program.

    Never trust a ConnMan!!
    (Man I love that line!)
    :00007555: