I had ATV’s for about 10 years but then my wife and I got the urge for a side by side. I got the Yamaha Wolverine r-spec and we used it last summer (riding season here is pretty much late spring to very early fall) and for the most part we have been happy with it, although it is a little light on power sometimes. But we miss some of the 50” trails in our area and I have been instructed to get a 50” SxS by my co-pilot. This is apparently non-negotiable.
We primarily ride mountain and forest trails, between about 7500 and 12,000 feet. Mostly the trails are rocky, sometimes very rocky, and ground clearance matters. But we also have plenty of soft dirt, some sand, some mud and water crossings. I have had to winch myself or others out of or over mud, water and obstacles several times, mostly steep rock ledges and mud holes. Sometimes we have to get through snow when up really high. The thin air, sometimes steep trails and frequent obstacles do make power beneficial at times. Some areas out here require driving on forest roads or even paved county roads to get to trails. I no longer have any interest in tackling particularly challenging trails, although we do ride on what are often described as extreme or advanced (but usually aren’t). I don’t care about speed capabilities. I don’t race anyone and I rarely go over 45 in any situation and that is on the forest access roads or county roads heading to the trails. I would like to run in a higher gear when possible for the reduced engine noise. Obviously that only works on the flatter/easier stretches. I get no joy from listening to an engine when I am out on trails. We prefer a more pleasant ride quality, but in a 50” I think that is a pretty much a laughable concept.
I have neither the time nor inclination to work on these things myself. There was a time when I did basic maintenance on my cars, but that was a long time ago. That means service will be done by a shop (except maybe the oil change or something similarly quick and easy). Where we ride we are often the only people around and 15-20 or miles from a road. I need something that is as unlikely as possible to crap out on me, because that means a heck of a hike out. I read so much on here about the Rzrs breaking down that frankly, I am pretty leery of getting one, but I know little about the reliability of the Wildcat. I don’t mind carrying an easily replaced spare part but I am not going to carry a bunch of parts and the tools to install them.
In either case I would probably go one size larger on tires (we need to fit the 50” trails and I can’t go much wider than stock. I might see about lifting the thing an inch, but probably not more due to stability in the mountains. I would also consider upgrading the suspension slightly. Beyond that, I am not really interested in doing any more modifications unless really necessary.
So, given the above, I would like some honest input. Is a Rzr a good choice for us? Any other input? Thanks and again, sorry for the massive post.