Lifted vehicles always get people’s attention and they’re common in the off-road world. Jeeps are lifted, trucks are lifted and so are ATVs & Side x Sides. There are two big reasons for lifting your ride; a macho, ready for anything style, and trail function. Lifting a vehicle gets about as much attention as anything else you can do, and huge tires, bead lock wheels, and a custom paint job always draws a crowd, especially when combined with a throaty sounding exhaust. It’s performance that counts most though.
Regardless of how much dust is on your dash, how many tools are rattling away in the door pockets, or important papers sprouting from the center console of your truck, when riding in nasty weather, it doesn’t take long to appreciate the comfort of a windshield and roof. Side x Sides can be down-right miserable in cold or wet weather. Unlike an ATV where body movement helps to keep you warm, with a Side x Side, you simply sit there and suffer through the misery as best you can.
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.
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!
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.
Installing extra parts and vehicle customizing is nothing new for ATV and Side x Side riders. Almost everyone installs a few aftermarket goodies on their off-road toy, but some riders take that concept to the extreme. Bobby Meeks is one such rider and a few new parts weren’t going to do it for him.
There are tires for sand, snow, mud, and every other type of riding condition, but when the snow gets too deep or the bog too soft, nothing can get you through a tough spot like a good set of tracks. MATTRACKS has been building tracks for everything from tractors to ATVs since 1994 and we’ve tried their track systems on rough, rocky terrain, across a muddy swamp, up hills that would give our relatives cause to worry, and of course, on snow.
Whether riding on farm, forest, or flat out across the sweltering desert, sooner or later nearly every Side x Side owner appreciates the value of extra protection. Northern riders are exposed to harsh winter conditions, and while the snow covered woods appears beautiful, nobody likes a biting winter wind in their face. We needed to increase the comfort on our trusty trail and work buddy Polaris Ranger 800, and Seizmik Advanced Utility Systems had just what we were looking for.
Next to a roof and a windshield, snow blades are one of the most popular accessories for UTVs and ATVs. It’s a natural fit actually. An ATV or Side x Side can maneuver through tight areas much easier than a jeep, a pickup, or tractor, and unless you’ve got really deep snow, they do a great job of clearing the drive or walk. If you already own an ATV or Side x Side, it’s a no-brainer to use it as a winter tool.
Riding a familiar trail after the sun goes down is often a surreal experience. Features you recognize and know during the day blend into endless shadows and the trail takes on the characteristics of an entirely new area. Unless you’re very careful it’s even possible to become lost on a night ride, and more than once we’ve back tracked to a turn we should have made but blew by because we didn’t recognize it. Other dangers lurk in the shadows as well and creatures large and small often share the trail, oblivious to any danger.