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Thread: Side by Side vs 4 wheeler ?

  1. #1

    Default Side by Side vs 4 wheeler ?

    Hey,

    How do side by sides like the Polairs RZR, Yamaha Rhino, etc., compare to an equally equipped (same tires and similar engine size) 4 wheeler when it comes to going through mud holes and typical terrain in AK? I've heard people make comments suggesting that the larger side by sides outperform 4 wheelers. That seems odd to me given that a 4 wheeler is smaller, lighter, has the same clearance, etc., which should allow it to perform better, i.e., get stuck less. I'm sure some of you guys have seen the two vehicle types side by side so what have you observed? The side by sides look like a blast! I have seen side by sides loaded to the nuts and pulling a big meat wagon on trails that were full of big mud holes so they must do pretty well.

    If you know what make/model side by sides work better than others chime in - thanks.

  2. #2
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Side by sides will high center easier than a wheeler. There are some places that my Rhino just will not go (swamps mostly) that my Rancher makes it through no problem.
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    Thanks - that's kind of what I thought.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've had both...a wheeler will go more places than a SxS with less hassle. The big flat bottom of a SxS can stick you pretty hard in mucky terrain.

    I tend to stick to well defined trails and walk from there, so a SxS is more comfortable and hauls more cargo...a trade off based on what you want to do and where you ride.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member junkak's Avatar
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    Had a ranger xp 4x4 but went back to wheeler after 3 years. Tired of high centering, wet feet and being limited to destination.
    If you get stuck in a bog with a load you may be screwed depending on the situation.

    Heavy load and need 4x4 to reverse at a sharp turn? You may hear a popping sound. Lots of stress happening underneath which leads to the point of upgrades.

    A stock ranger or similar is not ready. Tires IMHO are the minimum. Re-enforced tie rods and a-arm guards are a must. 2" lift kit with stiffer drive axles is recommended for hauling the gear and moose on most of our off trail terrain.

    Also they are slower than a wheeler. If you race a wheeler and sxs up a mountain trail the wheeler always wins.

    The pros were cab/ windshield, heater, dump bed (held 1.5 moose minus horns), 4500lb winch, mp3 player, everything but the kitchen sink..etc.

    Overall I missed the open air feeling, riding while standing, kneeing up on the seat to cross a stream or mud, the ability to jump off when needed, the warm feeling of leaning back on fresh moose quarters strapped to the rack.

    I'm first to admit that last season I missed the heated cab of the ranger. Wind and rain was unbelievable.

    Opinions and anuses. Everybody has one


    edit: forgot about the lack of engine braking on the 2009 ranger xp. What a pain going down hills with a load using only brakes and feathering the throttle to engage the belt. Relying on the parking brake to park is equally annoying and dangerous.

  6. #6
    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkak View Post
    edit: forgot about the lack of engine braking on the 2009 ranger xp. What a pain going down hills with a load using only brakes and feathering the throttle to engage the belt. Relying on the parking brake to park is equally annoying and dangerous.
    Okay, so heres my thoughts. I couldn't agree more with junkak about the engine breaking. I have had allot of different rigs over the years because I like to develop my own opinion on things so I have played with a few SxS's and multiple wheelers. I currently have a Polaris RZR-S 800 and I am in love. One of my only complaints with it is that it has no downhill engine breaks unless you are on the throttle, which just doesn't feel right to be hitting the throttle going down a hill. It has great brakes though so don't let that completely deter you from it.

    Wheelers are great and I have owned Polaris and Yamahas. If you go with a wheeler I would recommend a 2 seater. They have a bit longer of a wheel base but you have more storage area and you can comfortably take a friend. No more butt to crotch action while sitting on the same tiny seat. I had a Polaris Sportsman X2 and I loved it. It had a bed for all of my gear and it went everywhere I wanted. I liked that it had a full bed but when I needed to haul a second passenger I could just flip down the seat and I couldn't even tell they were back there However, last summer I was ashamed a few times when I got stuck in 2 different mud holes and my buddies on the sidexsides cruised right through. So wheelers don't always go further than the wheelers. It really depend on mud type and other conditions.

    I've had rhinos and they were great but since I bought the RZR I will never go back to a rhino. The RZR handles so much better. It is so light in the front end it feels like it has power steering. It ways 200 pounds less than the rhino and I have been amazed in the ride comfort. It eats up the bumps. My only true issue with the RZR is the storage area could be bigger. I am planning on doing some customization this year to the bars around the back. Although when I catch myself complaining about the storage capacity I just remember what it's like to haul a moose out on a wheeler. Even with it's smaller than average storage I can still load up just as much or more than any wheeler.

    Go with a RZR. I have a full soft cab, mudlite tires, good winch and a heater. You can't beat the combo. My wife hasn't complained yet.

    I hope nobody takes this as bashing on wheelers. I love wheelers too, I just currently prefer a sidexside. I'm posting a photo of the X2 and RZR
    IMG_2346.jpgP1250022.jpg

  7. #7

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    Thanks - that's just the kind of info. I was looking for. I figured the rzr s would be the side by side to get if I was going to get one at all. From the Youtube videos I've watched the Ranger XP 900 is an even better performer, but it has very limited storage and no receiver hitch to pull a wagon. Good stuff - keep it coming.

    My current wheeler is a grizzly 700 with a clutch kit, K&N filter, exhaust tip, and 26" mudders. I really like it and have been impressed with it's ride and abilities. Just curious about these side by sides.

  8. #8
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    To expand on my previous post, I love my rhino. I use it 99% of the time. It is very comfortable, hauls a heck of a load, and keeps me warm (I generally make trips from the cabin in shoes), but I recognize it's limitations.

    On a recent moose hunt I drove the rhino while my partner rode the wheeler. I hauled the whole camp, while my parter had no cargo. Once we got to the point that the rhino was not going any further, we used the wheeler to haul us and the camp to the hunting area with multiple trips. My partner was wearing head to toe rain gear, while I wore street clothes and was listening to an audiobook.

    On the way out, the wheeler made trips with the camping gear, and our moose, and loaded it all into the rhino for one single trip back to the cabin. IMO, having one of each is the way to go.
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    Member AK375HH's Avatar
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    ill chime in here. I have a grizzly 700 and a polaris ranger 800 xp. As far has clearance...my ranger with a 2" lift and 27's has 16" of clearance. While my grizzly with 26's only has 12" So the opinion earlier of the atv's having more clearance isn't always the case. On atv trails the ranger does very well. The width helps it straddle the ruts created by everything else. The weight lets it get to the bottom and dig which gives it great traction, and since it sits taller than most atv's it will get to the bottom of the hole the wheelers created and pull its way out. When I hunt I used to take my grizzly with a trailer all the time....now ask yourself is a wheeler whit a tandem axle trailer behind it or a ranger with a load in the bed going to get stuck more? the only drawback I can come up with on the ranger is it would be limited by width of obstacles I guess but I bought a chainsaw carrier that brings my saw with me everywhere. If It does happen to get stuck once or twice on a long hunting trip, 30 minutes spent getting it out are way worth the comfort and hauling capability and the roof that keeps the rain off...not to mention standing in the bed and glassing to get a little higher up... I love my grizzly too, the ranger is just real comfortable.
    It's not skybusting if you fold em'.

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    Go with the smaller, lighter, and narrower rig. Just take less stuff. Rough it a little bit. The Honda Rancher is about the right size and weight. You don't have to drag the Taj Mahal out there just to shoot a moose?

  11. #11
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Go with the smaller, lighter, and narrower rig. Just take less stuff. Rough it a little bit. The Honda Rancher is about the right size and weight. You don't have to drag the Taj Mahal out there just to shoot a moose?
    In my case, we really didn't take a lot, just a tent, some sleeping bags, and food and water for 5 days. It was just really convenient to throw it all in the rhino. Two wheelers could have done it, but especially on the haul out, the rhino really earned its keep.
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    I honestly think the one that is better is the one that suits your needs...
    I have a ranger 4x4 and it is my goto rig when I am out with the family or hunting with a big camp. This year I will be using it with my elderly dad and will have him a lookout platform on the roof where he can get a birds eye view. It's great in bad weather since you can add heat and a water proof enclosure which is also nice to take a chill off.

    Then I have my wheeler and I can take that places that my ranger wouldn't dare fit or maneuver. With one wheeler I can't take the family including my dogs out for a ride. You get wet and muddy and cold, your thumb hurts. Lots of pros and cons of each. But couldn't say one is better then the other just different...

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I would tend to agree with Bear. They are simply different and fit various needs accordingly. There is no one perfect rig that will do it all just as there is no one boat that will do it all.

    Having said that, I prefer taking the Ranger 6x6 most of the time. If I want to play a little more, I take the Ranger XP. It's faster and more agile. Neither are like a wheeler but at this time the Rangers fit my needs the best. I did drive a Rhino a while back, not sure what year it was. I would never trade a Ranger for a Rhino as I felt like I was in a slightly modified, noise golf cart. It just didn't impress me nor could it seat 3 or haul as much gear.

    jpost, you said "I figured the rzr s would be the side by side to get if I was going to get one at all. From the Youtube videos I've watched the Ranger XP 900 is an even better performer, but it has very limited storage and no receiver hitch to pull a wagon."

    Not sure why you would choose a RZR, it has way less storage space than an XP and the XP does have a reciever hitch. Maybe it didn't come out right? I would agree the RZR has more fun factor though.

  14. #14

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    "Not sure why you would choose a RZR, it has way less storage space than an XP and the XP does have a reciever hitch. Maybe it didn't come out right? I would agree the RZR has more fun factor though."

    You're right, the Ranger model would be much more practicable for hunting trips. The fun factor of the rzr models seems to have a spell on me!

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    jpost, you said "I figured the rzr s would be the side by side to get if I was going to get one at all. From the Youtube videos I've watched the Ranger XP 900 is an even better performer, but it has very limited storage and no receiver hitch to pull a wagon."

    Not sure why you would choose a RZR, it has way less storage space than an XP and the XP does have a reciever hitch. Maybe it didn't come out right? I would agree the RZR has more fun factor though.
    I think he meant the new RZR 900. Either way, I have had a rhino, ranger, and RZR, and I wouldn't trade the RZR for a XP ranger even if you paid me to switch back. They are lighter, faster, smaller, and much more nimble. The rangers are nice but if you haven't driven a RZR you would be impressed. Like I said, I've owned all 3 and I have been most impressed with the RZR.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    I think he meant the new RZR 900. Either way, I have had a rhino, ranger, and RZR, and I wouldn't trade the RZR for a XP ranger even if you paid me to switch back. They are lighter, faster, smaller, and much more nimble. The rangers are nice but if you haven't driven a RZR you would be impressed. Like I said, I've owned all 3 and I have been most impressed with the RZR.
    I haven't driven a RZR and I'm sure I would be impressed. Already owning a 6x I was faced with a choice for a second machine, the RZR or XP. The practical side of me went with the XP knowing that it fit my needs better for our family. The kid in me still wishes he had a RZR but its not in the budget.

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    I haven't driven a RZR and I'm sure I would be impressed. Already owning a 6x I was faced with a choice for a second machine, the RZR or XP. The practical side of me went with the XP knowing that it fit my needs better for our family. The kid in me still wishes he had a RZR but its not in the budget.
    Those 6x6 rangers have impressed me allot. Thats a great rig. I have seen those go through some stuff that was deep and gnarly while I was getting out my winch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    Those 6x6 rangers have impressed me allot. Thats a great rig. I have seen those go through some stuff that was deep and gnarly while I was getting out my winch.
    yeah I hear the same and almost bought one and may down the road but the wife liked the 4x version better.. I have heard there are several places with weight restrictions that leave out the 6x but you can still use the 4x's but honestly cant remember

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    There are two trails that I am aware of that restrict use of the 6x due to its weight. I never go there and don't plan to so it isn't an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    There are two trails that I am aware of that restrict use of the 6x due to its weight. I never go there and don't plan to so it isn't an issue.

    yeah i dont think it would keep me from lookin at a 6x... this thread makes me want to go buy a 6x an a razor...lol heck maybe even a wildcat..lol

    lots of choices out there ...

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