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side x side UTV
#277815 01/15/12 07:51 AM
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Guys I'm planning on getting a UTV this spring and have been researching what's available for 3 years, I would appreciate any and all info good or bad on any brands that you own or have experience with, the main use will be utility but also recreation, thanks.



Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277818 01/15/12 08:45 AM
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I work on quite a few different brands, so I've seen just about every end of the spectrum. There are some light duty "offshore" versions available at big box home stores, parts availability can be an issue with those, and I have seen some drivetrain problems, probably caused by folks overloading them, as they are not as robust as the name brand models.

Hands down, the best built one I have dealt with personally would have to be the Kubotas. Three cylinder diesels, integrated automatic transaxles, (vs. the belt drive used on a lot of models),a host of options and accessories, and just plain built to last. Very rugged.

Personally, I own an older Kawasaki Mule, and I love it. 2 cylinder liquid cooled,4WD, high/low range, and locking differentials... it is as surefooted as a mountain goat, and works hard for me whenever I need it. I have a 6' snow blade for the front for winter chores, and a winch for warm weather activities. (cutting firewood, pulling logs) I use it to remove and install my floating dock, and I built a custom boat trailer to haul my 2-man plastic boat back and forth to my ponds. Is it as heavy as the Kubota? No.

I would recommend sticking with a known brand, whatever you decide.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: side x side UTV
sprkplug #277822 01/15/12 09:25 AM
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Buddies got a Polaris ranger 800 loves it


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

Re: side x side UTV
Bluegillerkiller #277825 01/15/12 09:29 AM
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I have a 4-seater Mule that can go to two seats and get an expanded bed.

No problems or dissatisfactions with it, but it's not fast.

Some of those other UTVs can really haul a$$.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

Re: side x side UTV
sprkplug #277826 01/15/12 09:31 AM
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Thanks for your input sprkplug, I know someone with a kubota and yeah it's built like a tank but out of my price range, the mule is great but I need more ground clearance, very rocky and uneven ground here.
Here's some of the things I would like to have, min. 10" GC, dump bed, 4x4 with Locking diff., FI nice but Carb. ok, doors, windshield, and roof.
Do you have any experience with the ODES utv, they appear to make a strong reliable machine, especially the ODES Dominator.



Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277827 01/15/12 09:33 AM
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I agree with sprkplug "I would recommend sticking with a known brand, whatever you decide".
I own two Polaris Rangers, both are daily drivers and used for 90% utility and 10% pleasure. Very pleased with both.


Don't Analyze Your Pleasures!!!
Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277828 01/15/12 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: adirondack pond
Thanks for your input sprkplug, I know someone with a kubota and yeah it's built like a tank but out of my price range, the mule is great but I need more ground clearance, very rocky and uneven ground here.
Here's some of the things I would like to have, min. 10" GC, dump bed, 4x4 with Locking diff., FI nice but Carb. ok, doors, windshield, and roof.
Do you have any experience with the ODES utv, they appear to make a strong reliable machine, especially the ODES Dominator.


My Mule meets all those criteria except the doors. I put a lift kit and custom wheels and tires on mine. Serious ground clearance and pretty much unstoppable if you avoid the real idiot moves.

I thought about trading for one of the fast ones, but after looking around I decided that the utility was more important (to me) than the speed.


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Re: side x side UTV
Buffs Pond #277830 01/15/12 10:17 AM
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We went through the same decision process several years ago. It is like the big LMB or big BG decision. Do you want utility or sport or something in between. The Kubotas, John Deeres, Rangers, and Hondas are pretty far towards the utility. The Razors and couple others are pretty far toward the sport. We went with the Rhino as a compromise. I'm not a big fan of the speed delimiter and it is definitely a compromise; but it was probably the best one at the time for us. Considering the same thing today, we'd probably go with the Cam Am Commander.

http://www.utvguide.net/can_am_commander_1000.htm


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Re: side x side UTV
Rangersedge #277833 01/15/12 10:35 AM
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Yeah I'm not looking for a hot rod, a tough, reliable machine is the main thing, of course keeping the price down is always a plus.

Keep the suggestions and experiences coming, thanx.



Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277834 01/15/12 10:48 AM
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Friz bought a side by side in 2011, I know he did a LOT of research before buying. I hope he sees this thread. He blames me for having to buy one. grin

AP, what will be your intended uses for it? Fun, utility? What do you expect the machine to do for you?

I also agree with sticking with a known brand. I don't know if you are the type of person who buys a vehicle/piece of equipment and keeps it until it's useful life is gone, or upgrade/change every few years. The known brand will probably save you $$ in the long run re: parts availability and longevity.

Last edited by esshup; 01/15/12 10:54 AM.

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Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277835 01/15/12 10:50 AM
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In my case, a compact utilty tractor offered greater utility with all of the carrying capacity of an UTV. No cab though.

Re: side x side UTV
RAH #277840 01/15/12 11:11 AM
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I sold my compact tractor so I could buy a UTV, my acreage is mostly too steep to safely use the tractor, especially to get to the back of the property.

My needs are mostly for utility but also for some fun on the trails, can't do much with my old Suzuki ATV.

From the info I've seen even the name brands have issues, it's a matter of finding the most bullit proof machine, with the most bang for the buck. wink



Re: side x side UTV
RAH #277841 01/15/12 11:11 AM
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I've had a Yamaha Rhino for about 4 years now and love it (a 660 I think). I didn't do much research. I also beat the snot out of it skidding logs. I run chains on the rear tires year round. Bought a plow for it last year. That being said, I can see a back hoe / front end loader in my future :-) I've got 72 acres (plus the renovated pond) and the Rhino won't cut it when it comes to moving dirt.

Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277846 01/15/12 11:55 AM
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I own the following two side-by-sides:

Kubota 1100 & Polaris RZR 800 EPS

Both are great machines in their own right.

If I need to work or if the weather is extreme, the Kubota 1100 is, hands down, the side-by-side of choice. (Factory-installed cabin, heat/AC …) As others have said before, it is the closest thing to a tank you can get as a side-by-side.

If I want to have fun or just cruise around, the Polaris RZR 800 EPS is, hands down, the side-by-side of choice. (Factory-installed power steering, 55 hp eager engine, just 50 inches wide …) It has fast & fun written all over it.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
FRIZ
P.S.: And as a rule, it is always ESSHUP’s fault.

Re: side x side UTV
rt014 #277847 01/15/12 12:01 PM
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The fuel injection is VERY nice, especially on a belt drive, or variable displacement torque converter, if you prefer. The carb models are extremely cold-natured. When you couple that with a very low idle speed, necessary for complete disengagement of a belt drive, then you can get a severe off idle stumble as the carb transitions off the idle circuit into the main. Increasing the idle speed will help, but then the belt drive doesn't want to disengage enough for smooth shifting, and there is a tendency to pull through the brakes.

Having fuel injection really makes for a better cold weather experience. I guess it comes down to spending more money for FI, or spending more time letting a carb equipped engine warm up.

AP, I haven't yet put a wrench to anything by ODES, although I looked at some at a trade show last fall. I believe they are a Chinese company, not saying that's good or bad, only restating my primary concern... parts and service availability. Make sure and put those two things right up at the top of your list of requirements.

The best machine out there will eventually require repair, and having a dealer, or at least a parts source close at hand, will make paying a little more now well worth it when that time comes.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: side x side UTV
FRIZ #277849 01/15/12 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: FRIZ
P.S.: And as a rule, it is always ESSHUP’s fault.


laugh

Just wait and see what you have to do after I take you and the family to the Sporting Clays range! wink grin


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Re: side x side UTV
Dwight #277850 01/15/12 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dwight
[quote=adirondack pond]Thanks for your input sprk quote]

My Mule meets all those criteria except the doors. I put a lift kit and custom wheels and tires on mine. Serious ground clearance and pretty much unstoppable if you avoid the real idiot moves.

I thought about trading for one of the fast ones, but after looking around I decided that the utility was more important (to me) than the speed.

I'm with Dwight with the Mule - no doors needed in Texas... grin
Mules are for work - not for speed ,,,



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: side x side UTV
esshup #277851 01/15/12 12:24 PM
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My 2-up machine has a carb., and I've been on the F.I. machines. (I have a Bombardier Traxter Max) If I had my choices, I would NOT go with a carb. for the usage that I get from mine. Cold blooded is 110% correct. I can't fire it up and just putt around. When I stop, it dies unless I pull out on the choke. Then, because the idle is higher, I can't shift from N to D without pushing the choke off.

A friend has a machine that is belt driven. He has burned thru a couple of belts planting his food plots. Mine is shaft driven, and I haven't had any problems.

One thing that concerns me about mine, is that the engine oil also lubricates the transmission......... I've never seen that before. But, I guess that if I keep the oil changed, then there shouldn't be any problems. The other downside is that the closest dealer is in Mi., a good 45 miles one way. (for oil and filters)


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Re: side x side UTV
esshup #277852 01/15/12 12:42 PM
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Yeah FI is the best way to go but I can live with a carb, my big yamaha sled has 3 carbs and runs great, even my two 15 year old polaris's still run great, but FI would definitly be preferred in crispy weather, 18 below this morning with a high maybe of 3.

Last edited by adirondack pond; 01/15/12 12:54 PM.


Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277854 01/15/12 12:55 PM
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AP,

Have you thought about going with a small SUV like a Suzuki Samurai or something similar? My dad sold our Rhino and bought a Samurai.

The price of a used Samurai will be half the cost of a new UTV, street legal, and is only about a foot wider than a Kawasaki Mule.

Re: side x side UTV
Chris Steelman #277856 01/15/12 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Chris Steelman
AP,

Have you thought about going with a small SUV like a Suzuki Samurai or something similar? My dad sold our Rhino and bought a Samurai.


That would be an option but my trails are narrow and heavily wooded, and I really don't want to buy used. Thanks for the suggestion though, probably great for people with more open land like you guys in Texas.



Re: side x side UTV
adirondack pond #277863 01/15/12 01:41 PM
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I have researched these for the last three years [talking to mechanics, posting on forums, etc.]looking for a combination of utility/power and performance - here's the models I narrowed it down to:

Kuboda - workhorse most dependable

Kaw Mule - also workhorse

Honda MUV - blend of fun and work

I think Can Am makes the best ATVs and I'll bet their UTV is amazing, too. I was told to keep away from Polaris, as their ATVs routinely have issues, yet read reviews and most are very favorable on the Ranger series, so I don't know what to believe.


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Re: side x side UTV
teehjaeh57 #277868 01/15/12 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: teehjaeh57
I have researched these for the last three years [talking to mechanics, posting on forums, etc.]looking for a combination of utility/power and performance - here's the models I narrowed it down to:

Kuboda - workhorse most dependable

Kaw Mule - also workhorse

Honda MUV - blend of fun and work

I think Can Am makes the best ATVs and I'll bet their UTV is amazing, too. I was told to keep away from Polaris, as their ATVs routinely have issues, yet read reviews and most are very favorable on the Ranger series, so I don't know what to believe.

3 years is a long time looking. Money is for spending.


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Re: side x side UTV
Dwight #277874 01/15/12 02:41 PM
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I have a 2008 Ranger Xp. I bought it because of the bench seat. I can get in it from either side and it holds the wife and 2 kids(under 5 yrs old).

It also had the best clearance,pulling and load capacities of its time.

Only problem I had was a broken piece in the front differential.You can replace it yourself if you can change the oil in a car/truck and its $100. Its from getting stuck in deep snow in 4 way lockup and 1 wheel grabs. I have put it through alot and it has happened but don't really blame the machine.
They make an aluminium replacement to avoid this breaking.


I have never blown a belt and have done lots fo pulling work.


Very very happy with the ranger and it goes 50mph.

P.S
1 down side might be its 60 inches wide. Its very stable though and I have seen a arctic cat flip for no real good reason.


Last edited by blair5002; 01/15/12 02:45 PM.

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Re: side x side UTV
blair5002 #277883 01/15/12 04:03 PM
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TJ, with all the improvements they've been doing, you are going to have to start your research all over again after 3 years!


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