5 Accessories Worth Adding to Your ATV or SxS
If there is one thing that is very true about ATV and Side-by-Side (SxS) owners, it is that we all like to personalize our machines to some extent. There are just so many cool accessories out there to choose from, and most of them are as functional as they are fun, making adding them to your machines something worth doing.
If you own an ATV or SxS, it is highly likely that you have at least one accessory on it, and you likely have multiple. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are five accessories worth adding to your ATV or SxS that we are certain you’d like.
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If you don’t have a winch on your ATV or SxS, add one. While it is a very handy tool for getting you unstuck, a winch is much more. Think of it as an extra pair of hands that can pull a LOT more than you can. While there are a lot of different winches out there, we suggest going with a Warn winch. These are the industry standard and most every manufacturer offers a Warn winch as either standard equipment on select models, or as an official accessory. If you plow snow, and use a winch to operate the plow, a Warn is especially necessary.
ATV and SxS winches come in three basic weight classes, set by pulling strength - 2,500lb, 3,500lb and 4,500lb. There are some variations, of course, but for the most part, this is what you will find. For weights, we suggest a 2,500lb winch for a sport ATV, or smaller utility ATV. Yes, you can add a winch to a sport ATV and we actually recommend them. When dealing with larger-bore ATVs such as the Yamaha Grizzly, a 3,500lb winch stands as an excellent choice. This selection provides the additional capability that can prove invaluable for managing heavier tasks and workloads. For SxS models, go for a 4,500lb Warn winch to have the proper capacity.
Your car or truck comes equipped with a mirror on either side of the vehicle and a center rearview mirror on the windshield. This gives you a quick way to check for traffic without having to take your eyes off the road ahead for long. A SxS is very much like a car or truck, so it makes sense to add mirrors to give you the same aid. And like your car, you should still check with a quick peek over your shoulders, but a mirror helps a lot, especially when you are wearing a helmet…and you are wearing a helmet, right?
While you may not want to add three mirrors to your SxS, adding at least a center-mounted rear view mirror makes a lot of sense and is definitely a worthy accessory to add.
Windshields and Roofs
We will lump windshields and sun protection (roofs) into one suggestion, since many of us add them together. When you’re driving your SxS, there is something to be said for stopping the wind from blowing in. It can protect you from dust and trail debris - like bugs - and that is a major comfort factor. The same can be said for blocking the sun from cooking you as you ride. One of our favorite combinations is a sun protector on the top, and a half windshield to block out the bulk of the air. It still allows some wind to blow in, so you get that feeling as you scoot down the trails. It does a pretty good job of blocking that really cold air, but when it gets really cold, that’s when we want a full windshield.
It is worth nothing that if you add a front windshield to your SxS, you need a rear one, too. Otherwise the act of driving your machine along creates a vacuum effect as the air pressure changes behind the windshield. It will pull dust and mud from behind you into the cab, and that is no fun what-so-ever. A half windshield does it some, but usually not enough to be really noticeable.
Wheels and Tires
Swapping out the wheels and tires can be a major boost to your vehicle’s performance. Stock tires are designed for working in a wide range of terrain types. While this isn’t a bad thing, one thing is quite true - anything designed to work in a wide range of situations will not work the best in each of those situations. A mud tire is going to work better in mud than a knobby tire will. This means that if you ride in a certain type of terrain, it may be in your best interests to switch to a tire that works best in that type of terrain. Plus, adding new tires and wheels can help personalize your machine.
There is one thing that is very true about getting lost on the trail - you can never get lost to the same place twice. Don’t ask us how we know that! One surefire way to help yourself avoid the stress of getting lost is by adding a GPS navigation system to your machine. There are several options, and one of the cooler ones is the Yamaha Adventure Pro System. What trail GPS systems do is help you navigate your way to a location and back again. Trail-specific units often have trail maps that let you take a specific route, and most are updated by users and the manufacturers along the way. A trail GPS system also lets you find new trails that you never knew about - that is something we really like to do.
Check out the New Riders Hub for more articles geared towards new off-road enthusiasts.
Derrek's love for all things ATV started when he was a mere 11 years old, growing up on his family farm. His mom gave him and his sister a choice - get a horse, or a three-wheeler. The sister wanted the horse, and Derrek wanted the ATV. Luckily he won out, and was soon burning up the trails on a Yamaha Tri-Moto 200. By the time he was 14, he had saved enough of his own money by working on the farm and in his folks restaurant to buy a new 4-wheeler. That happened the day he and his mom were driving past the dealership and saw 1987 Banshee. His mom had no idea what he was buying, and he never looked back. He's been riding ever since, and been writing professionally for many years. He has ridden all over North America and been behind the controls of just about every machine out there. And yes, he still has his 1987 Yamaha Banshee.
More by Derrek Sigler