Side-by-sides are off-road vehicles that can accommodate two to six persons. Traditionally used as a means of transportation for persons and heavy cargos, side-by-sides have evolved through the years and are now used for leisure and competitive racing.
A side-by-side can get you to your destination with ease, but unlike other types of vehicles, side-by-sides have powerful engines and heavy-duty structures that are designed for off-roading. Using your side-by-side in paved roads and smooth surfaces will only lessen the traction of its tires and can eventually lessen the efficiency of the vehicle.
Listed below are the best places to use your side-by-side:
1. Sand Dunes
One of the best ways for you to enjoy your side-by-side is to ride it in sand dunes. This place is usually empty, making it easy for first-timers and professional side-by-side drivers to maneuver their vehicles.
If you want to take your experience up a notch, schedule your trip to these dunes during summer as a lot of side-by-side enthusiasts will go out and play during this time of the year.
Aside from checking online resources such as compett.org, riding with people who share the same interests as you can help you gain tips so you can eventually master riding the dunes on a side-by-side.
Driving your side-by-side in sand dunes might seem easy as you won’t have to worry about any obstacles, but you should still be careful. One wrong move can cause your side-by-side to roll downhill, sideways, or sink in quicksand. To ensure that none of these happen, pay attention to these tips:
Invest in the right equipment: When riding in sand dunes, using a helmet, safety flag, and safety belts are always necessary. Your side-by-side should also have a good set of tires made specifically for sand dunes.
Avoid rapid accelerations and quick braking: Regardless of how excited you are to ride in sand dunes, see to it that you’re not making rapid accelerations or braking quickly. Rapid accelerations will only slow you down as your wheels will dig a hole on the surface. You should also avoid braking quickly as this can create a mound of sand to the vehicle in front of you.
Never ride alone: Riding with other side-by-side enthusiasts is always a good idea when traversing sand dunes. Having companions will make it easier for you to ask help whenever you experience accidents or any mechanical issue.
A lot of people would associate side-by-sides to mud. For many, this is the only vehicle powerful enough to traverse knee-deep mud – and they’re right. Side-by-side tires are great for driving through the mud because its tires have deeper lugs that provide better traction in slippery conditions.
Using your side-by-side in the deepest mud roles can be very thrilling, perfect for individuals who are often looking for adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities. Riding in different mud holes on earth allows you to gain a lot of experience and improve your skills as a side-by-side driver.
When going through muddy terrains with your side-by-side, don’t forget to remember the following:
Never ride at night: Driving outdoors can be fun, but doing it during night time can pose serious dangers. Driving at night will make it hard for you to see any obstacles along the way. Without the presence of natural light, driving your side-by-side in muddy terrains can often lead to accidents and injuries.
Use mud tires: Driving through muddy terrains can be a challenge to side-by-side drivers. Fortunately, buying the appropriate tires for your vehicle can help. Mud tires, for example, provide the best traction even when driven in the harshest and deepest mud holes.
Consider a snorkel kit: Aside from making sure that you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear, you should also protect your side-by-side when driving through mud. A snorkel kit can be used for this purpose as it protects your vehicle’s engine from any damage caused by water and mud from the trails.
3. Off Roads
Simply defined, off-roads are rough terrains. Whenever you’re off-roading using your side-by-side, expect to drive through uneven roads, tracks, and surfaces made from gravel, rocks, riverbeds, and other natural terrains.
To ensure maximum comfort and safety when off-roading with your side-by-side, implement the following tips:
Go slow on rough terrain: One of the most basic safety tips to remember when off-roading is to decrease your speed when traversing rough terrains. This can reduce the risks of being thrown from the vehicle.
Inspect your vehicle: Since off-roading can mean a variety of road conditions, inspecting your vehicle before taking it for a ride is a must. Pre-ride inspections can help you detect vehicle damages as soon as possible, making your ride safer.
Always Come Prepared
Side-by-sides are for off-roading, but keep in mind that driving it in different places will require different customizations. For one, the UTV tires you’ll use when racing will be different from the tires you’ll use when driving in the sand, mud, or snow.
For you to have the best driving experience using your side-by-side, determine where you’re heading next and identify how you can prepare your vehicle for it. Your next trip with your side-by-side will become more memorable if neither of your comfort or safety is compromised.