Sport UTV of the Year: Awards

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
The new kid on the block earned our respect

Choosing the Sport UTV of the year award is complicated. Just trying to select a high-performance Side-by-Side in today’s market might leave you spinning in circles. The choices are endless, and the technology built in to each one is even more insane. The big items people tend to gravitate to are suspension travel and the main topic of horsepower. Although these features are important, some overlook the real value in a machine just because of a spec sheet.

For me, what attracts attention when selecting a good all-around Sport UTV is just how universal in any terrain that it is. In 2020 you have some models that haven’t changed a bit and some brand-new entries into the market segment. If you are being honest with yourself, you really need something that goes fast well and also travels across rough terrain well at speed. You want something that is comfortable in the rough rocky sections where you rarely see 10mph and a comfortable cab that makes you feel safe in any situation. You also would want it to demand respect just by a simple look from a distance. Taking all of these things into consideration, the 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 earned the 2020 Sport UTV of the year award.

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 Climb

The aggressive stance and bright green plastics just seem capture your attention immediately. Peering over into the cab will help you imagine wild rides in the outer most parts of the off-road. This new KRX1000 is built solid and durability should not be an issue. The custom seats are bolstered to offer comfort and to provide protection on the roughest trails. These same seats also slide forward or backward up to six inches. This does give larger riders a very comfortable and spacious cab. Sitting side by side, you and any willing passenger will immediately notice the shoulder room between you.

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2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 Down Hill

The Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 handles the rough trail with pride using 18.6 inches of suspension travel out front and just over 21 inches in the rear. The large 31-inch Maxxis Carnivore tires provide plenty of grip for straight line drags and also provide ample grip for those slick rock sections. The suspension seems to be very controlled and body roll is managed well by the sway bars. Long steep climbs up flat rock faces are incredible and the security of KRX1000 cab helps you feel safe on the trail. The KRX1000 is very confidence inspiring to say the least. When looking out the front of the machine, the sight line is good from about halfway across the hood on the driver side. Leaning out and placing eyes on the rocks just in front of the left wheel is a cinch and also helps the driver feel better about the crazy climbs and descents. To say the 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 is a very universal, multi-terrain UTV, for the sportiest driver might just be a bit of an understatement.

Honorable Mention

Honda Talon 1000X

Honda Talon 1000X

The Honda Talon 1000X is also a very versatile Sport UTV with plenty of fun packed under its wings. The impressive looks and well-balanced features give this machine a solid platform for our list. Using proven Honda features like the DCT transmission and i-4WD, this machine allows drivers to conquer the trails. Powering the Honda Talon 1000X is a fuel injected 999cc twin cylinder mill that pushes the sport machine into the trails with a low powerful growl. The narrow 64-inch width allows the Talon to thrive on a variety of trails without sacrificing any handling. Keeping the hardest hits at bay, the FOX Podium 2.0 shocks have the popular QS3 adjusters for those who need to fine tune their ride. Suspension travel is 15.1 out back with a 3-link trailing arm and 14.6 up front combined with over 13 inches of ground clearance under the belly of this bird. The 2020 Honda Talon 1000X is easy to love and just by looking this machine in the eye we were hooked from the start.

2020 Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo

Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo

The Can-Am Maverick DNA is built with brutal power potential. The Rotax ACE 900cc triple power platform gives this Maverick X3 its push down the trail utilizing the Turbo boosted fuel injection. Also a 64-inch wide trail rig, this Maverick X3 will allow owners all over the country to ride a wild variety of terrain. From the deep and spacious cab to the adjustable seating the cockpit of the X3 fits nearly anyone who sits in the bolstered high back saddle. Feeling like a champion is easy in the cab of the Maverick X3 with instant power delivery and the Visco-Lok Auto Locking front differential engaging the front wheels should the trail ahead become treacherous. At this point, the 28-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires will take over the duty of traction and with a reputation of reliability this tire will give up years of great service. Utilizing FOX 2.5 Podium suspension as well the QS3 adjusters this machine can easily be tailored to your comfort as well. One often overlooked yet very appealing feature has to be the Digitally Encoded Security System on the Can-Am Maverick X3 which is also on every other Can-Am product for that matter.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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