5 UTV Tips for Beginners to Enjoy the Ride in Safety

UTV riding and adventuring became some of the most popular OHV activities as of late. Side-by-side enthusiasts enter competitions or test their driving skills on the most difficult of terrains. The bigger the challenge, the greater the reward! Whether you are into rock crawling, mud sliding, dune riding, and so on, you can count on your UTV to satisfy even the most sophisticated thrill needs. Beginners, however, need to pause and take stock of the most common UTV mistakes and the dangers they imply. If you plan to ride on the Moab or the Imperial Dunes, read on to learn how to avoid rookie UTV mistakes and enjoy a memorable UTV ride! And if you are planning to purchase a UTV, make sure to consult a utv dealer for a unit that will best suit you. You may also consider investing in agm deep cycle battery technologies for these vehicles, which can make them much more economically viable. 

1. Pack the Right Safety Gear & Equipment

As we all know, some sports and outdoor adventures are more enjoyable overall when we take our time and prepare for safety above all. Just as you pack the proper gear for skiing, so you should draft a protection equipment list for UTV riding. Here are some things that you don’t want to forget at home, even if you don’t consider the riding grounds “too challenging”:

  • Professional UTV helmet to protect your head and face entirely; find one featuring a SNELL or SFI certification, to be sure. For more eye protection, a pair of goggles can make a world of difference in a messy situation.
  • Gloves and boots. It is true that, by comparison, skiing is a sport requiring gloves and boots more imperatively, but you should not underestimate UTV riding either. The proper gear protects your extremities from the elements and other dangers, including rocks, branches, dirt, sand, and so on;
  • Jacket and pants. Think about the armored equipment for bike riding, and you will get a good idea regarding your next investments.

California requires helmet use by law. In the states where helmets are not mandatory, do yourself a favor and wear at least goggles. Over-ankle boots, long-sleeved jackets, gloves, and eye protection can save you from dire situations.

2. Carry All the Tools Necessary to Return Home

UTV enthusiasts can confirm that many other side-by-side riding buffs get stuck on the trails without a single spare part or toolkit to help them out of such a situation. When you follow your OHV adventuring passion, one of the most important aspects is to bring along a handful of UTV accessories & parts together with a first-aid kit. It would help if you always were prepared to change a tire or fix a flat, repair your light bar, change the CVT belt, and so on. We recommend wholeheartedly storing ratchet tie-downs in your vehicle for emergencies and even towing.

3. Follow UTV Trailing Etiquette

We wish more drivers followed traffic protocol, but we are proud to have encountered cyclists, extreme sports enthusiasts, pro skiers, and veritable outdoor athletes who are role models in this regard. Just because you have a UTV and a trail, it doesn’t mean you are free from respecting others. Learn and follow trail etiquette at all times:

  • Stay on your side of the trail even if it seems you are alone;
  • Do not tackle blind corners at high speeds;
  • If the trails/riding areas also host camping grounds (and most do), slow down around them;
  • Only ride the marked trails to avoid accidents;
  • Hold all your riding area’s paperwork, stickers, flags, etc., in the vehicle and be ready to use them whenever necessary.

If you want to have an enjoyable and memorable ride, do your homework on trailing etiquette and hand signals for both ATV and UTV riders. You don’t want to become the “problematic figure” while you embark on an adventure together with your family or friends.

4. Always Ride Your UTV in a Group

By group, we don’t mean passengers necessarily. If you are into serious thrill-seeking UTV rides, it is best to leave the family back at the hotel to enjoy some relaxation, sightseeing, etc. Riding in a group means having at least another companion UTV if not more. If your vehicle experiences an electrical shortage, you get stuck on the unbeaten path, or – God forbid – you roll over, you need all hands on deck.

Popular UTV riding areas teem with activity, so it should not be too hard to find some companions along the way, even if you went alone for the ride.

It would be best if you and your riding friends had all performing communication systems like radios, GPS, and other devices to help you out when somebody gets stuck or lost on the trail.

One idea to “borrow” from seasoned UTV riders is to have a friend act as a “spotter” to watch out for difficult sections and help you cross extremely difficult areas without any danger.

5. Invest in Performance and Comfort, Not in Bling

Most factory UTVs indeed need some upgrades and investments. You will find many side-by-side riders focusing on a wide range of mods and accessories – and, sometimes, for all the right reasons.

  • For instance, one of the first things UTV thrill-seekers buy is new seats and harnesses, as the factory ones can sometimes be the stuff of nightmares.

However, when you browse or visit UTV aftermarket shops for parts, pay attention to those accessories that improve your safety, vehicle performance, and comfort levels. By “UTV bling,” professional riders understand expensive stereo systems, cool-looking (but useless) tires, exhausts that do not boost engine performance but sound fierce, and so on.

  • Instead, it would help if you got your hands on competition-level harnesses (four or five-point seat belts), proper tires for the trail you ride on, a roll cage, hard rooftop, doors, mirrors, winch, etc.

Bottom Line

UTV rides and adventures should be fun and memorable. However, safety is primordial for this type of outdoor sport. When it comes to entering races, things get even more complex regarding gear, regulations, laws, and safety measures.

Other than that, we hope you enjoy your future UTV vacation! Speaking of, are you a fan of OHV escapades? What are your favorite destinations? Where do you want to go next?