INVESTIGATING THE MYTHS!
— By Joe Kosch —
As with anything popular, myths circulate around UTVs, and like all myths, they thrive and spread when they don’t come in contact with facts. If you’re a UTV enthusiast and encounter somebody who is confused about our sport or somebody thinking about getting into UTVing, it can be helpful to have some myth-busting facts handy, so I’ve gathered some for you.
Myth #1: All UTVs are expensive. This myth exists because some UTVs are expensive. Can-Am’s new Maverick X3 X rs starts at more than $26,000. A Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo is more than $27,000. The truth is, most UTVs are far more affordable. You can get a high- performance sport machine like the Polaris RZR S 900 for under $15,000 and Can-Am’s Maverick xc starts at $15,699. The “Economy UTV Buyer’s Guide” in this issue has more than 20 machines under $10,000!
Myth #2: UTVs don’t require skill to drive. This myth exists for several reasons. It is true that UTVs are remarkably easy to drive in off-road terrain that isn’t challenging because most are as simple to operate as a car with an automatic transmission. UTVs are also so capable and stable, they make fairly difficult off-road terrain easy to negotiate even for relatively inexperienced drivers. Highly skilled drivers promote the myth by conquering seemingly impossible obstacles and maintaining incredible speeds in brutal terrain without appearing to do anything special behind the wheel. Trust me, they’re doing something special! The reality is, UTVs or any other kind of vehicle require quite a bit of skill and experience in difficult terrain, especially at higher speeds. To be on the safe side and have more fun, it’s best to learn basic skills before you head off down the trail. The Recreational Off- Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) has an excellent online course (www. rohva.org) and a basic driver course that are well worth taking.
Myth #3: The performance of the latest UTVs can’t be topped. It’s still a little hard to believe you can buy a stock UTV with 24 inches of suspension travel or 168 horsepower, but you only have to look at the popularity of aftermarket performance parts to see the thirst for more power and suspension is almost insatiable. I don’t think we’ll see a big step beyond the Can-Am Maverick X3’s 24 inches of travel or the Polaris XP Turbo’s 168 horses soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more machines that edge past those amazing performance numbers. There’s also a lot of room for improvement in naturally aspirated 700s, 900s and 1000s.
Myth #4: There’s not a UTV out yet for the kind of driving some drivers like to do. This myth exists because what people see most often in public are the two most extreme kinds of UTVs—pure sport models and pure utility models. The fact of the matter is, there are so many kinds of UTVs available now, it’s challenging to categorize them. The Polaris General joins sporty engine and suspension performance with utility like no previous machine. Yamaha’s Wolverine and Kawasaki’s Teryx have unreal capabilities in tough technical terrain and truly outstanding comfort. Honda’s Pioneer 1000, Can-Am’s Defenders and Kawasaki’s Pro-series Mules bring together massive hauling and towing ability with power, speed and refinement that was unheard of in machines with serious utility capabilities. Fortunately, we let you know about all the different kinds of UTVs in UTV Action. Keep reading and UTV myths won’t concern you.