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  • Advice Side by Side

    I just recently had a stroke and my doctors said I will be able to hunt, but my days of walking may miles are probably over, He told me this is a good time for me to get a side by side. I am totally novice on ATV/ UTV. Looking for people's opinions on a good side by side for me and my girlfriend.
    Thank you
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  • #2
    Look for a good utility rig. If you have the money anything CanAm are great reliable machines. I have an old RZR 800 and its nothing but problems. Though I'm sour on Polaris, my friend has a Ranger 6x6 with dump bed and he loves it. I'm thinking about getting a Honda Pioneer and the Yamaha machines are good too.<br/><br/>First consider how you are going to haul it. Most side by sides don't fit in a 8 foot box pickup. If you have a cargo trailer or toy hauler, be sure the opening is tall enough to fit what you are considering. <br/><br/>
    Last edited by TR; 08-02-2020, 19:41.
    -Tim

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    • #3
      Make sure you include a winch. If you can't walk far it may save the day. A few accessories too: Tree strap, snatch block....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Daveinthebush View Post
        Make sure you include a winch. If you can't walk far it may save the day. A few accessories too: Tree strap, snatch block....
        Right now I can't walk far at all. I would want a winch and if I can get it to be a removable one. So I can move it to the front or back when I need it.
        I am looking at the Honda 700 Pioneer
        Living the Alaskan Dream
        Gary Keller
        Anchorage, AK

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        • #5
          The Pioneer is a great machine and I doubt you will run into anyone saying differently. Most brands make good utility rigs and if buying used- consider how they were ridden. You see many more thrashed Razors than Rangers for example. A good winch up front and a smaller, portable/detachable winch to use in the back or sides is a great set up such as Warn 1700 with snatch block. Consider situations you may need the winch like being up to your azz in mud! Carry some folding traction mats from Pinto mfg- they work in mud and snow. Plan and prepare for the worst and make sure to do preventive maintenance.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AKBEE View Post
            The Pioneer is a great machine and I doubt you will run into anyone saying differently. Most brands make good utility rigs and if buying used- consider how they were ridden. You see many more thrashed Razors than Rangers for example. A good winch up front and a smaller, portable/detachable winch to use in the back or sides is a great set up such as Warn 1700 with snatch block. Consider situations you may need the winch like being up to your azz in mud! Carry some folding traction mats from Pinto mfg- they work in mud and snow. Plan and prepare for the worst and make sure to do preventive maintenance.
            Thanks. I will plan like I am going on my ocean boat.
            Living the Alaskan Dream
            Gary Keller
            Anchorage, AK

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            • #7
              Gary:
              I hope you never need any emergency supplies on the water or trail, but better to be prepared than sorry. A breakdown on a ‘short ride’ can become a serious issue quickly. Realizing physical limitations is important in order to work smarter- not harder. Please pay attention to the condition of your ride and don’t overlook things because it is inconvenient. I get teased for washing rigs after rides, but you can’t see problems if they are covered in mud. Post stroke you are most likely on blood thinners which can cause more issues if you get a simple cut, so plan accordingly- try not to go alone and have a form of communication. Most importantly- enjoy your outings as if they are the last one you will be on. We take things for granted which can change in an instant! Stay safe and please let us know what machine you decide on!

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              • #8
                I have an Arctic Cat 2015 Prowler that works great for my needs. I'm not a hardcore zealot for any particular manufacturer but you will find plenty of folks that are. I'm not knocking them in the least, because personal experience is the strongest foundation for our beliefs. If you have a machine that's a lemon you're probably going to sour on that brand forever. What I do want you to be aware of is the amount of after-market products that are available for whichever brand and model you choose. Polaris Ranger is hands down the king of the hill when it comes to the breadth of after-market products. If you'll be equipping your machine with an enclosed cab, heater, wipers, what have you, then take a look at what's available for your target model or models. That's my only regret for the Prowler, since it has very few options available without resorting to custom fabrication.

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                • #9
                  Gary: We have a Ranger Crew with enclosed cab, heater, wipers and too many options to count. It is a great ride and carries lot’s of gear very smoothly. The folks I know who have Honda, Yamaha, can Am, and Kawasaki have all been pretty pleased and I agree with Chugiak about past experience and opinions. Most machines today are well made and I think you and your girlfriend will be happy with any choice you make. Just a warning- it is easy to run up the cost substantially when you start adding things.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AKBEE View Post
                    Gary: We have a Ranger Crew with enclosed cab, heater, wipers and too many options to count. It is a great ride and carries lot’s of gear very smoothly. The folks I know who have Honda, Yamaha, Can Am, and Kawasaki have all been pretty pleased and I agree with Chugiak about past experience and opinions. Most machines today are well made and I think you and your girlfriend will be happy with any choice you make. Just a warning- it is easy to run up the cost substantially when you start adding things.
                    I appreciate everyone's help. That is why I am hoping to find a good used one that has the little extras. Buying used is a gamble, but if it pays off. It's well worth it.
                    I know it hunting season so it's not the best time to find side by side for sale. After the season I am sure there will be a few put up for sale.
                    Living the Alaskan Dream
                    Gary Keller
                    Anchorage, AK

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                    • #11
                      I've had good luck with Polaris and Honda UTV's.....not bad luck with others, just haven't had others. My buddy has had a Can-Am forever and it's going strong.

                      Particularly as one ages and becomes less nimble (in my case, less competent), proximity to a servicing dealership should be a consideration as well.

                      As noted above, the "Race" models (vs. "Utility" models) from any manufacturer should be avoided on the used market...IMHO.

                      Mounted winch on front with a hitch mount winch on back is a good setup. Snatch blocks, tree straps, and extra rope / cable don't hurt.

                      For the UTV itself, if I were buying new today (and at today's prices, I won't ), I'd probably get the "crew cab" option as the days of hardcore sneaking through the twisties are long in the past for me.

                      I'd recommend a full cab, although depending on the model, if you can get softside/fabric doors ...meaning easily repairable / removable....they may make summer riding less prone to feeling hot.

                      Opinions vary, but I did a homemade plywood / unistrut roof for the box of my current UTV (Polaris). Proved to be worthwhile to help keep some of the water off the box as well as much of the leaf debris if traveling through the brush.

                      My experience would suggest getting the tallest and most aggressive wheels / tires possible but that depends significantly on the terrain / expected use.

                      How will it be hauled is a key consideration, particularly, as in my case, if you have a trailer behind the UTV. A good trailer triples the hauling capacity of the UTV without adding too many problems, although loading onto the hauling rig is a bit more PITA.

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                      • #12
                        I had a prowler 700 xtx and loved it but no power steering and only 2 seats got old, as did the lack of accessories you could buy for the square tube frames. I have a 900 ranger xp now and it has been a good rig and is more comfortable to drive with the enclosed cab etc. Most of the newer rigs are all pretty good. I really like the bed size on the can am defender. If you are not handy at fabricating I doubt you can find a rig that has more accessories available than the rangers.
                        On any of them, stock tires pretty much suck in the swampy mud. Spend the money to get good tires and a real winch. A 2K winch wont do you much good on these heavier rigs. If you riding solo a lot and good land anchor is worth the investment too!

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                        • #13
                          I forgot to mention something I feel is important. Make sure your passenger knows how to operate the vehicle as well as the emergency gear. If something were to happen to you, need to make sure the rider can take the reins.

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                          • #14
                            I had an Arctic Cat Prowler and my riding buddy had a Polaris Ranger, after having more issues than we cared to admit we both now own Honda Pioneer 1000's and the only regret we have is not doing it sooner. The overall quality is noticeable but the peace of mind knowing that we have the most reliable machine on the market is worth a lot. Not having a belt drive is a major issue for me, the majority of my use is in water/mud or climbing mountains, which are the two worst things for belt drives. If you're just trail riding it's not as big of an issue but for me I can't have it. I have the 5 seater which is a huge bonus. The size of the machine is the same as a regular 2/3 seater but if I need to haul more people I can pop up the two seats in the bed. Having the roll bar and roof to extend over the bed has been a huge help for me as well. Everything stays dry and I made a swing gate for the back that carries a spare tire, shovel, and cargo box.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bashley View Post
                              I had an Arctic Cat Prowler and my riding buddy had a Polaris Ranger, after having more issues than we cared to admit we both now own Honda Pioneer 1000's and the only regret we have is not doing it sooner. The overall quality is noticeable but the peace of mind knowing that we have the most reliable machine on the market is worth a lot. Not having a belt drive is a major issue for me, the majority of my use is in water/mud or climbing mountains, which are the two worst things for belt drives. If you're just trail riding it's not as big of an issue but for me I can't have it. I have the 5 seater which is a huge bonus. The size of the machine is the same as a regular 2/3 seater but if I need to haul more people I can pop up the two seats in the bed. Having the roll bar and roof to extend over the bed has been a huge help for me as well. Everything stays dry and I made a swing gate for the back that carries a spare tire, shovel, and cargo box.
                              Thanks. I am keeping an eye out for a used Honda to hit the market
                              Living the Alaskan Dream
                              Gary Keller
                              Anchorage, AK

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