Trail Happy

What’s better than a little jaunt down a scenic trail with a friend by your side and a cooler of snacks in the back? UTVs are used in numerous capacities, of which trail riding is included. We asked representatives from four manufacturers what UTV they’d want to trail ride, and we got these suggestions.


Arctic Cat Prowler 700I HDX


While many eyes are on the Arctic Cat Wildcat, the more hardcore Prowler 700I HDX pulls its own weight as a trail-worthy, tough UTV. The latest additions to this machine include EFI (hence the “I” designation); 14-inch aluminum heavy-duty wheels; Roll Over Protection System (ROPS)-certified, Baja-inspired round tube canopy; and three graphic packages. It’s powered by a 695cc liquid-cooled engine. The front and rear suspensions have 10 inches of travel and use Fox Float coil-over shocks. The wheel base is 85 inches, overall width is 60 inches and dry weight is 1,363 pounds. This machine is really made to haul, with 1,000-pound capacity in the tilting box and side storage compartments.


Kymco UXV 500i IRS 4×4


This base model is one of three UXV 500i trail UTVs in Kymco’s stable. It uses a 499cc, 36 hp liquid-cooled EFI engine with push-button start as a powerplant. It also features automatic CVT transmission with low, high, neutral and reverse gears, a maintenance-free sealed shaft final drive, and shift-on-the-fly 2WD/4WD. Both the front and rear suspension has 7.5 inches of travel and five-position adjustable shocks. As for its dimensions, it has a 75.2-inch wheelbase; is 59 inches wide and weighs 1,157 dry. The base model comes with a winch mounting plate, tilting cargo bed and dual beverage holder. The SE version ($9,329) and the LE version ($10,199) differ in styling and standard accessories.


Polaris Ranger RZR 570


This is the second trail-ready UTV in Polaris’ lineup, and is considered a “value” model in comparison to its bigger brother, the RZR 800. The 570 is an all-new single-cylinder ProStar fuel-injected engine. The unit features an all-new Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with specifically designed geometry that provides 9.5-inches of travel in the rear. The front suspension features Dual A-Arms with 9-inches of suspension travel. Coupling the front and rear suspension with a 77-inch long wheelbase, pre-load adjustable ZF Sachs Shocks on all four corners. It’s 50 inches wide. Other features include tilt steering; adjustable hand rails and seats; a Certified Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS); side nets designed; and a 300-pound capacity, flat cargo box. 


Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Auto Sport Edition


This 2012 model is the sportier of Yamaha’s two Rhino side-by-sides. What makes it sporty are the fully adjustable piggyback shocks (with 7.3 inches of travel), one-piece cast aluminum wheels, injection-molded sun top, over fenders, and Baja-inspired front carry bar. Still, it offers versatility with a bed capacity of 400 pounds and the ability to two 1,212 pounds. The engine is a 686cc liquid/oil-cooled, four-stroke engine with Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission and push-button 2WD/4WD options. The machine brags a high power-to-weight ratio, with a wet weight of 1,199 pounds. The machine width is 56.5 inches with ground clearance of 12.1 inches. This machine also comes with a six-month limited factory warranty. The standard model starts at $11,499.


Can Am CommanderCan Am Commander 1000 XT


Some say “UTV,” Can-Am says “SSV,” or side-by-side vehicle, to designate its Commander series. The Commander 1000 XT has an 85 hp engine. The front suspension uses an A-arm design and the rear is a torsional trailing arm, both with 10 inches of travels and adjustable shocks. The ignition uses a digitally encoded security system (DESS) to twart theft, the XT package includes a WARN winch, cast-aluminum wheels, Maxxis Bighorn tries and a heavy-duty front bumper. The machine width is 58.6 inches with a dry weight of 1,295. Other Commander 1000 iterations include the luxury LT model ($19,999) or the standard 1000 model ($12,999).


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