The side-by-side, often written as SxS, is a small 2- to 6-person four-wheel drive off-road vehicle, also called UTV (utility vehicle or utility task vehicle), a ROV (recreational off-highway vehicle), or a MOHUV (multipurpose off-highway utility vehicle). UTV’s are growing in popularity as they’re very practical and fun when modding them and taking them to off-roading parks. It is important to know what your UTV needs before being able to take it off the unbeaten path.
UTV’s can be completely capable of dunes, desert and mountain trails. But are they capable of some of the extreme trails that Jeeps, and custom-built four-wheel-drive rock crawlers attack with finesse?
In order to do so these mods will help tremendously. If you are thinking of upgrading your seats, it’s also wise to upgrade from the OEM three-point shoulder harness to a four-point harness. First, save your back and your body by upgrading your seats to full-suspension seats made by either PRP Seats, Dragon Fire, Simpson or MasterCraft Safety. Suspension seats absorb the terrain bumps that your suspension does not and hug the contours of your body for a more enjoyable ride. Plus, they are an easy bolt-on upgrade, and most fit into the OEM brackets of your factory seats.
All Hustle Motorsports creates custom fabricated Tree Kickers/Rock Sliders for any ATV/UTV. Powder Coating is available in virtually any color.
A roll cage is also a must have when taking your UTV on any rocky terrain when you might not know what’s on the other side of that hill. A 50 mph impact is different from a roll off a cliff edge into rocky terrain. Excellent roll cage upgrades are CageWRX and TMW.
Skid plates protect the key components on the under-body of your UTV. They are durable, can take a rock bash, and protect the arms and rocker panels.
Having High-Clearance Lower A-Arms installed will help you be able to not bend you lower A-Arms when off-roading on rocky terrain. There are amazing high-clearance, beefed-up solutions that will take a beating and keep going. HCR and SuperATV both offer great solutions for extra clearance on A-arms.
If you’re going to be tackling any type of trails having a winch mounted on your UTV is crucial. WARN and SuperATV have several options available that will fit in some factory locations behind the grille, or you can get an aftermarket bumper from RTPro to add to the trailworthiness of your UTV. Save weight by getting a winch with synthetic rope. Wireless is another great option, or have the winch wired to the dash with a three-position momentary toggle switch or Carling switch.
Duct tape and JB Weld will not fix a broken CV shaft. CV Axle Shafts are necessary if you’re going to be riding through the toughest of trails. Summer Brothers Racing, Rhino 2.0 and RCV Axles are your best options for axle upgrades.
Upgrade your shocks, wheels, and tires for a better off-roading experience. depending on the type of riding you do you will want to find a set of tires specifically designed for that terrain. If you primarily ride sand dunes, a lightweight spun aluminum wheel and paddle tire combination is a must. If you tend to ride more trails or rocks, we recommend a beadlock wheel and at a minimum, a six-ply tire.