Going on an off-road adventure to take in everything nature has to offer and get away from the madding crowd for a while is a privilege not many have. However, UTV, ATV, and OHV buffs enjoy this little perk of life to the fullest. The season of mud trails, desert dunes riding, and dirt off-road adventuring is upon us. All responsible SxS riders are dusting off their vehicles to service them. Meanwhile, they check out the latest news coming from the major trails, parks, reservations, and off-road areas to map out their destinations. But before you strap your metal beast onto the trailer and begin your much-sought off-road escapade, you need to upgrade your vehicle for the occasion. So let’s see the essential UTV parts and mods you need to consider for a successful, safe, and pleasurable adventure out in the wilderness!
1. Proper Tires (plus Spares)
No off-road buff would go on a difficult trail in the middle of nowhere without the proper UTV tires equipped on their vehicle, so don’t be the first!
The factory-issued tires are fine, but if you decided to spend some free time mud gliding, rock and gravel sliding, or dune riding, you need the proper tires for each such UTV adventure.
As is the case with prepping your car/truck for a road trip, so you should ensure you have at least a spare tire with you up there in the mountains or the desert. When it comes to riding your UTV on challenging terrains, a spare tire should also come in the company of a tire repair kit, an air compressor, and other accessories.
Mirrors may not be necessary with UTVs used for work, cargo hauling, agriculture, farming, or hunting. But when you decide to ride on an established trail or park together with other off-road enthusiasts such as yourself, you need a full kit of rear and side mirrors.
Luckily for you, these are aftermarket parts you can buy from any specialized UTV aftermarket parts store. Make sure you click here to get the right SxS accessories and parts for your vehicle because not all UTVs are alike; it is best to get branded upgrades, mods, and gear. “Universal” parts are not something you want to add to your vehicle, especially when it comes to your safety and other peoples’ lives.
You will need mirrors if you decide to enter an official UTV competition, so do your homework right, check makes and models with the manufacturers, make sure you buy authentic products, and good luck winning the race!
3. Roll Cage
If you are a UTV enthusiast for quite a while now, you know that taking a tumble with your vehicle is a given. If you also buy a seat belt bypass system to increase the speed on your rides, a roll cage capable of withstanding a minimum of 4,000 lbs. Look for a Tig-welded 1.75-inch DOM steel roll cage to replace the factory-issued one just to be on the safe side of things. If your destination is the Moab or the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia, a roll cage might come in handy to help you live to tell the story.
4. A UTV Tool Kit
During an off-road adventure, the last thing you want is for your vehicle to drop dead underneath you in the middle of nowhere with no tow truck capable of crossing those difficult terrains. So, as an SxS enthusiast, the sensible thing to do is have a tool kit within reach. At a minimum, this tool kit should contain:
- A belt changing tool
- Bolts and lug nuts
- Extension bars
- Ball-Peen Hammer
- Key sets
You can find reliable UTV toolboxes in specialized stores. For the sake of conversation (and safety), throw in a powerful flashlight, a small fire extinguisher, and your camping gear. In case you need to spend the night in the wilderness if your UTV breaks down beyond your power to repair.
5. LED Lights
See and be seen in the darkness, as LED lights are there for your comfort, safety, and – we admit – looking badass in your UTV. A work side-by-side you use on farms may not need light bars and systems, but your off-road one certainly does.
You can mount and install lights almost anywhere on your off-road vehicle: the roof, the front frame, under the vehicle and around the frames, etc.
Most riders also install brake lights or turn signals for safety. Some competitions may require you to have such mods on your UTV, so before you enter a race, do your homework thoroughly.
6. Radios and Other Communication Systems
The first rule of UTV off-roading and adventuring is never to go alone. If you are in a group of people, the easiest way to communicate with them and stay entertained is to use radio communication. Even if you are alone, keep a radio or some walkie-talkie within reach at all times. If you get lost, roll over, have to deal with a vehicle malfunction, etc., the first thing you do is contact the trail or park authorities and get first responders on the scene. A GPS and an extra battery for your cell phone are also great ideas!
7. Protective Gear
Did your helmet get a helluva beating last year with all that riding and racing? Change it! If you are new to this, one of the first responsibilities you have towards yourself is to invest in a certified helmet. Keep in mind that no legit competition will ever allow you to participate without one. Other than that, as safety gear goes, you should put some research and money in professional goggles, gloves, armored jackets and trousers, boots, and long-sleeved T-shirts to a minimum.
If you hear the desert calling you, sunscreen and sunglasses are mandatory. For thick verdant forests, waterproof gear and thermal garments are a must!
Did you ever go on an off-road adventure with your UTV? What are the best places you have trailed so far, and which ones would you recommend? If this year is your first experience of this kind, don’t forget about the advice we’ve given and make sure you stay safe while you have the fun of your life!