One of the greatest things about
UTVs is, you don’t have to know a
thing about them to get a real sense
of the excitement and enjoyment they
can offer if you can get a ride as a passenger. With that in mind, I took Travis,
my curious guest, on a little test drive.
Fortunately, I can drive straight from my
place to some pretty great trails.
We buckled in and were on our way
in no time, buzzing towards the trails
on a short paved road. When we hit the
dirt, my guest turned to me and, in a
concerned tone, asked, “Shouldn’t we
stay on the road? Won’t the dirt and
bumps damage the vehicle?”
“Not really” I said, “it’s made for it.”
We hadn’t really hit any bumpy ter-
rain yet, and I knew a wide, smooth
turn was coming up. As we went
around it, I rolled on the 1000’s power,
and the RZR settled into a mild, well-
controlled drift. “It feels like we’re slid-
ing!” my mildly panicked passenger
“We were. I did that on purpose.
Don’t worry, it’s made for it. What did
you think? Was that fun?”
“That was fun!” he said.
The trail led to a small, fairly steep
hill—nothing at all challenging for a
1000cc UTV—but as it came into
view, I rolled to a stop and clicked the
machine into low and four-wheel drive.
There were trails around the hill, but I
headed for it.
“Are we going up that?” Travis asked.
“Oh yeah,” I said. The surface of the
hill was bone dry and traction-less, but
the Polaris climbed it easily. I’m sure
we could have made it in two-wheel
drive with a decent run at it.
“I would never have believed you
could just drive up something like that!
That was impressive, really,” Travis said.
“You know what, Travis?” I replied.
“This thing is made for it?”
I nodded and gave him a thumbs up.
We slalomed along a twisting trail
that led to a short straight with a
small jump on it. We hit it doing about
40, enough to get the wheels off the
I turned to Travis and told him, “We
got a little air there.”
Travis gave a surprised look and said,
“Really? I could hardly feel it! Let me
guess, it’s made for it?”
On the way back I let Travis drive,
and he thoroughly enjoyed himself,
even though our pace was more
relaxed. The jump was just a rise in the
trail at 30 mph; we went around the
hill, and there was no drifting around
the turn. Even so, I felt Travis had a real
sense of what a high-performance UTV
is and what they’re capable of.
After we parked the machine and
pulled off our helmets, I asked “Well,
what do you think?”
“The next time I golf, I’m going where
they have carts like this!” ❏
I;had a RZR XP 1000 in the backyard when some guests were visiting and the machine caught their attention. I
explained that the XP 1000 is one of
the higher-performance UTVs on the
market, and I briefed them on some
of its performance highlights. “It has
a fuel-injected, double-overhead-cam,
eight-valve, twin-cylinder engine with
110 horsepower and a fully automatic
dual-range transmission. That switch
operates the selectable two-wheel
drive/four-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive setting activates an automatic-locking front differential. It has fully independent front and rear suspension with
16 inches of front suspension travel and
18 inches of rear suspension travel.”
“Is it like a golf cart?” one of the
visitors asked. I remember being a
little disappointed that they weren’t
impressed before I took a second and
considered that I practically eat and
sleep UTVs, and some people have
never been lucky enough to be near
one. Many people just don’t pay attention to vehicles the way UTV enthusiasts do, either. People have different
areas of expertise. I just visited a friend
in the hospital and I walked past what
I’m sure is life-saving medical equipment—the product of the life’s work
of brilliant experts—and I really didn’t
know what I was looking at.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
MADE FOR IT