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EVENT: RALLY ON THE ROCKS

October 11, 2017
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— Southeastern Utah is a worldwide destination for tourists, and Moab is located in one of the most scenic areas in the country, between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and the Manti-La Sal National Forest. If you’ve ever watched any western, from My Darling Clementine to The Lone Ranger, you’ve seen the stunning red-rock buttes, part of the Colorado Plateau, surrounding Moab. It was also featured in Thelma and Louise, Con Air and the opening scene of Star Trek with Chris Pine. Simply put, not even the big screen can do Moab justice, so it’s important to experience it yourself, and the best way is in a UTV. There are several year-round UTV and Jeep touring companies and OHV rentals—from mountain bikes and dirt bikes to street-legal UTVs—in Moab.

Wildcat Willy’s/D&P Performance had their own version of the new Wildcat XX based on a 700 Sport but with the 211-plus horsepower, turbocharged Yamaha triple snowmobile motor, Elka Stage 5 shocks and Trophy Truck-like rear torsion bar. D&P also had a Wildcat Sport with a 800cc two-stroke Speedwerx/Suzuki snowmobile engine with 170-plus horsepower.

 

As a worldwide vacation destination, Moab has a full calendar of events with plenty to do for OHV enthusiasts, like the Easter Jeep Safari and mid-May’s UTV Rally On the Rocks (ROTR). The ROTR has five days of guided rides on trails with scary names like Poison Spider, Steel Bender, Cliffhanger, Strike Ravine, Hook-n-Ladder and Metal Masher, and there are 16–17 daily trail choices for the 1000 or so participants. So, a first-timer could start Tuesday with moderately easy trails like Kane Creek and Chicken Corners and advance to harder and more technical trails like Behind the Rocks, Cliffhanger and Moab Rim. And most trail rides leave from the Old Spanish Trail Arena, ROTR’s headquarters, guided by local police to trailheads and back. How cool is a UTV parade through town?

 

Rally-goers choose between 16–17 daily guided rides, from the easy Kane Creek (shown) or Picture Frame Rock to much more difficult trails like Cliffhanger or Poison Spider. All have spectacular views, and some vendor-sponsored rides had on-trail swag giveaways.

 

Rides are also great ways to meet new people and check out their rigs. This YXZ1000R has a solar panel powering a Dometic RV refrigerator. Utah allows street licensing of UTVs that have side-view mirrors and turn signals (see the Ryco Moto kit in “Shopping Club”), and they can use all roads except interstates.

 

MORE FUN OFF THE TRAIL

Vendor and sponsor participation grow every year with manufacturer demos and/or displays by Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Cub Cadet, Hisun and Yamaha. After the daily rides, attendees check out the jamboree specials from vendors including Discount Tires, HCR Racing, GBC, STI, ITP, EFX, CST, Warn, PRP, Rugged Radios, Camp Chef, Audio Formz, Rockford Fosgate, SSV Works, MB Quart, Hifonics, Cage Wrx, Axia Alloys, MSA, Raceline, Arisun, Method, Walker Evans Racing, Z Broz Racing, Fox, XTC Power Products, Factor 55, SB Filters, SLP, Pro Armor, Trail Armor, Dynojet, SuperATV, IMMI, Titan Tires, Assault Industries, Isota Off-Road, KFI Products, Kombustion Motorsports and Ruthless Motorsports.

 

Dynojet was a top new vendor with a trailer-mounted dynometer and Power Vision CX Performance Tuner for Polaris UTVs. This flash tuner alters fuel metering, timing, torque-limiting function, throttle maps and other ECU functions for higher rev and speed limits, maximum power and torque, and lower fan-activation temperatures. Dynojet also has a Power Commander V EFI module for most UTVs for custom dyno tuning. Lumpy has one for his 96-horsepower S&S Harley.

 

Chuck and Tammy Gardner of West Jordon, Utah, won the tricked-out RZR XP 4 900 raffle grand prize, with the $20,000 raised going to fund the Beacon Weekend Food for school kids program. A whole tractor-trailer full of swag was also raffled off to lucky participants. Rally swag was also thrown into the stands.

 

There was also a Wednesday night ice-cream social and catered Friday dinner and grand raffle, where a tricked-out RZR XP 4 900 was won by Chuck and Tammy Gardner of West Jordon, Utah. A mountain of swag was donated by the many vendors for jamboree participants, including two dozen sets of tires and even cash prizes from HCR Racing. The RZR XP 4 900 was tricked out by HCR, Warn, Factor 55, Fox, Raceline, XTC, Rockford Fosgate audio, Heretic LED Lights and Arisun, and the proceeds from the 200 $100 tickets sold went to the Beacon Weekend Food for school kids project.

Rides don’t get much more organized than this; riders line up behind trail-ride flags (Kane Creek, Moab Rim, JH and Cliffhanger shown) and get police escorts through town to and from trailheads each day. More extreme trails require long-travel UTVs, harnesses, helmets, winches, spares and more, and a few trails
require trailering to the site.

 

Vendors had the latest and greatest UTV gadgets; Isota specializes in RZR/General storage boxes, Krazy Beaver shovels and this cool multi-tool for Rotopax jugs. When used for fuel, Rotopax jugs can swell and become hard to remove. This tool gives extra leverage on mounts, Isota billet Rotopax mounts ($32.95–$59.95) and gas caps for $9.95 (see www.isotallc.com).

 

To get in on all the UTV fun next year, mark your calendars for May 15–19, 2018.

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