How competitors tricked out their UTVs
to survive KOH
Driving skills, picking correct lines, navigation and babying your UTV are only parts of the equation
when tackling the most grueling one-day race on the planet. Preparation,
arming the vehicle for battle and making it as bulletproof as possible are also
huge parts of the plan that usually start
the day after the last race, because the
Hammers do just that to the machine:
they hammer it mercilessly for all 120
miles. They also hammer driver, co-pilot, navigator, spotter, rock stacker
and winch-line runner into making a
race-ending mistake. Here are the
innovations the KOH competitors used
to tackle, survive and hopefully finish
America’s toughest UTV race. Many will
be sold to the UTVing public through
“Tonka” Todd Romano armed his Wildcat 1000 with Pro Armor doors, guards, beadlock rims; ITP
Ultracross R-spec tires; King Racing shocks; and Supertrapp spare tire strap, auxiliary fuel cell, oversized
radiator with dual fans and plastic EMT backboards with traction spikes to use as ramps up ledges.
Second UTV Pro Dean Bulloch designed this wheelie bar receiver to help his
Wildcat Sport 700 slide down rock faces and roll over obstacles when backing up rather than having a sharp-edge stop progress. Buy it through Wildcat
Willy’s for $120.
Bulloch also made custom UHMW skid plates and A-arm guards that wrap
around the parts and act as rock sliders. They’re also lighter than aluminum
and don’t dent like metal. Dean pre-ran his Sport Cat at the Arctic Cat XR
ATV introduction at Moab, Utah.
Besides two fire extinguishers, many KOH racers also had CO2 or compressed-air bottles to re-inflate tires, and several depended on fixing flats rather than
carrying a heavy spare tire, jack and related tools.
Most UTVs were equipped with GPS navigation with downloaded course maps
and waypoints, and BC Vaught’s co-driver had the winch rope routed inside the
cab and anchored with a carabiner for quick deployment.