While western desert and dune riders rejoice as cooler weather creates prime riding conditions, the rest of the country prepares for Mother Nature’s worst as winter bites down. That doesn’t mean riding season is over for everyone outside the southwest though. There are still jobs to be done, wood to be hauled, hunting season is still open, and a trail ride through a white, wintery landscape reveals a quiet beauty all its own.
The great thing about ATVs and Side x Sides is their versatility. Whether you ride across endless miles of barren desert, snow, shifting sand, or slimy mud, your ATV is uniquely suited for whatever type of terrain you come across. There are parts you can add, though, that definitely increase your ATV or Side x Side’s versatility, and bigger tires and wheels, accessory storage, and a winch are at the top of the list.
Liquid Image Torque HD Goggles and Ego Xtreme Sports Camera
By expert shooter, Pete Bengel
Sports cameras are like dandelions these days. There are a ton of them on the market, and new ones seem to pop up overnight. A small, mobile camera is a great tool for recording your off-road adventures. For the average consumer, though, it can be pretty tough to decide based on specs alone, as most of the cameras are quite similar in design and features.
We Test a Dalton Clutch Kit on the Polaris RZR 570
With all the high horsepower machines in the garage, you would think our diminutive Polaris RZR 570 would be feeling a little ignored and lonely, hardly ever getting out to the trail. Almost the complete opposite is true. On nearly every ride and adventure, regardless of how long or short the trip, the RZR 570 is at the top of our list and we sometimes force ourselves to leave it in the garage and take another machine instead. The RZR 570 is that much fun.
Cell phones have burrowed their way into almost every type of activity these days. They’re handy tools that can be a map, a gps system, a source of information, and even a rescue lifeline. Thanks to countless apps, placing actual calls has almost become a secondary function, but other than a few techno-geeks who camp out overnight in front of the Apple store, most of us also feel a little too connected at times. Nevertheless, if you’ve got a problem far from camp, you’ll happily grab your phone for help or directions.
Yamaha was onto something when they introduced electronic power steering with their 2007 Grizzly ATV. Since then more and more models either come equipped with EPS, or it’s at least an option right from the factory. The advantages of power steering – less steering effort, reduced kickback, less arm fatigue – are hard to ignore, but not every machine has it. Wicked Bilt can cure that!
Anyone who has ever tried a Polaris Ranger 800 can tell you it’s a fantastic machine. We’ve even named it Side x Side of the year in its class several times. Accessories can make an already great vehicle even better, however, and to complement the working capabilities of our trusty Ranger 800, we decided it was time to add a front winch.
Whether you ride an ATV, a sporty Side x Side, or a hard working UTV, if you’re going to haul it, you’re also going to need ramps. Most ATV ramps easily handle the weight of the ATV and rider, but are dangerously overloaded with a Side x Side that is often more than double the quad’s weight. Crashing to the ground as an undersized ramp collapses, and in the process screwing up your machine, your truck, and possibly you, is not the way to start a great weekend of riding.
Your front and rear drive shafts are some of the most vital and most vulnerable parts on your machine. Whether you drive a Can-Am, Arctic Cat, Yamaha, or any brand though, once you tear the boot covering the articulating CV joint and a little water or grit enters the joint, it’s sayonara for the joint; it’s truly amazing how fast it happens.
Part of the fun in ATVs and Side x Sides is spinning wrenches from time to time and installing modifications. We’ve seen all manner of modifications over the years, from highly modified mud runners, to powerful motocross racers designed to soak up the biggest jumps with ease, to rock crawlers that can climb crab-like over boulders we can’t even walk up. The owners always love their ride, and they also love to talk about it, but we’ve never heard anybody brag about their oil filter.