Best UTV Upgrades For New Owners

Eli Madero
by Eli Madero

If you're new to owning a UTV, these are the best upgrades you need to make first.

Whether you’re buying a new unit from the dealer or a used UTV from Craigslist, we’re sure you’ll want to make some of these best UTV upgrades before your first trip.

When picking up a new UTV, you can’t leave it in stock form for too long. If you’re like us, you’ve most likely been searching for aftermarket parts to make it suit your needs and desires. While many of these upgrades increase the looks of your new machine, they can also provide the following:

  • Increased driver/passenger safety
  • Rider Comfort
  • Machine protection
  • Increased fun factor

With so many aftermarket items available, it’s easy to customize your new UTV with upgrades and add-ons such as mirrors, stereos, doors, seats, and harnesses just to name a few. Doing these upgrades not only changes the appearance of the machine but can also increase its safety features. We’ve done most of the homework for you by compiling a great list of the best UTV upgrades you can make as a new UTV owner.

Lead photo courtesy: Yamaha Motor Corp.

Table of Contents

1. Editors Choice: 4-Point Safety Harnesses

When making any upgrades to your UTV, we like to focus on safety first, and replacing the stock 3-point seat belts with a good set of 4 or 5-point safety harnesses is a great start. Upgrading to a safety harness-style belt will keep you more secure in the event of an accident. The 2-inch safety harness kit from Aces Racing feature EZ-Buckle technology for ease of getting in and out and padded shoulders offer benefits in not only safety but comfort as well. The padded shoulders also prevent the harness from digging into your neck. Installation is easy and universal to accommodate many mounting locations. These harnesses can be used on stock seats but will require the harness pass-through bezel.

2. Best Rider Comfort / Safety Combo Item: Pro Armor G2 UTV Seats

When you’re sitting for hours on a trail ride, you’ll want to be comfortable. Now there are many different manufacturers of seats for you to choose from in our buyer's guide of Best UTV Seats that vary in color and style to match your ride, and the Pro Armor G2 is one of our favorites. Pro Armor has a great seat at a good price, with many features such as pass-through slots for harnesses, marine-grade vinyl to repel water on those wet rides, and a sand drain to help keep them clean and prevent puddling on rainy days. Additional benefits to upgrading from the stock seats are you will feel more secure in place giving you a much more enjoyable driving adventure.

3. Best Driver Visibility Upgrade: Kemimoto UTV Mirror Kit

The easiest modification we can do is add mirrors to our new ride. For some reason, the manufacturers don't install a set of mirrors but luckily there are many options available. When purchasing a set, you will want to determine the style and fitment you want and need from having a rear view, side, or both sets of mirrors. We prefer to have the set as it makes driving safer and helps you see if other machines are approaching from the rear. These Kemimoto mirrors help with the added visibility along with the creature comforts of our daily driven vehicle. For even more mirror options, be sure to check out our buyer's guide on the Best UTV Mirrors.

4. Best Suspension Component Upgrade: Heavy Duty Radius Rods

When traveling off-road you encounter many objects and obstacles to traverse over and around to keep your trail ride moving. Of course, there are many things that can happen to bring your ride to a halt, but we can try to prevent some of those with the Super ATV High Clearance Radius Rods. These new radius rods have an arched design to provide additional ground clearance without lifting the machine. The added clearance prevents getting hung up on rocks and stumps, unlike the OEM set that can bend when made in contact with obstacles. All the necessary instructions and hardware are included to provide a simple and fast installation. With many brands competing for their piece of the pie, you have plenty of options to choose from that feature different materials and designs that suit your style best.

5. Best Impact Protection Upgrade: SuperATV Front and Rear UTV Bumpers

When we are out on trails we may encounter more technical areas with rocks, trees, and tight areas to maneuver through, which can cause damage to the bodywork of your machine. Protecting your new machine from branches, rocks, and trees can be a simple solution as installing bumpers. SuperATV has designed a set of bumpers to enhance the style and protection of your machine while offering them in different color options to customize your ride. These bumpers are constructed out of 1.75” steel DOM, CNC machined end caps, and UV-resistant powder coating for years of durability. Installation is a breeze with instructions and all the necessary hardware included to ensure a secure fit.

6. Increased Cabin Intrusion Safety: Kemimoto UTV lower Door Extensions

The factory doors help keep your body in the machine while driving over rough terrain, but most are only half doors that let debris and water enter the cab. Since the OEM doors have a nice style to them, why not just add a lower extension from KemiMoto. Installation of these lower door extensions is simple to accomplish, and all the needed hardware and instructions are included. The added rubber strip helps reduce noise and rattling while driving.

7. Best Entertainment Upgrade: Boss Audio Sound Bar

When driving on your favorite trail or out exploring new areas it’s difficult to hear music without the proper equipment. Boss Audio has you covered with their sound bar that mounts easily to your roll bar in any location. This sound bar has many features such as Bluetooth compatibility, USB charging, multi-function remote, and is waterproof for maximum durability. Installation is easy with any 12v power source and adjustable mounting clamps provided. BOSS Audio has many years of sound experience so you know this product will perform at its best for many years. You can also check out other UTV sound bars and roof speaker systems in our Best UTV Sound Bars buyers guide to find one that best suits your needs.

8. Best Recovery Equipment: Rhino USA Recovery Gear Combo

If you are going off-road you should always have some type of recovery rope. The guys over at Rhino USA have put together a simple kit that consists of their 20’ strap and D-Ring shackles. The heavy-duty strap features triple reinforced loop ends, and protective sleeves on each end provide superior strength and performance. The strap is 3in wide by 20ft in length to provide optimal recovery power. The D-Ring shackles have a rugged protective coating to prevent rusting or damage from harsh weather. This simple kit is compact allowing for simple storage until needed. While this is one of our favorite pieces of recovery gear, there are many other options that you have to choose from by checking out our buyer's guide of Best ATV Tow Straps.

9. Best Overhead Protection: Kemimoto Aluminum UTV Roof

Adding a roof to your new UTV provides many benefits when your machine is being used out on the trail or it is sitting in camp and even at home. A few of the advantages of installing a roof on your UTV is the added shade when you’re driving, in addition to keeping rain, mud, and snow from falling on your head and lap. When the vehicle is parked it helps deflect leaves, snow, rain, and bird droppings from falling and collecting on your seats. This aluminum roof from KemiMoto is easy to install, and durable, and the soft foam helps reduce noise and seal the roof to the roll cage. The roof is powder coated black to withstand years of abuse from the sun and harsh elements of mother nature. If you’re interested in even more options for a roof to put on your new UTV, be sure to check out our Best UTV Roof buyers guide.

10. Best Way To Increase Cab Storage: Kemimoto UTV Door Bags

While out on the trail we carry extra items such as keys, phones, sunglasses, snacks, and drinks, but have no place for them comfortably. KemiMoto has designed door bags to help organize these items while adding style to the inside of your machine while adding storage space to free your pockets of items for comfort. The added knee pad prevents your legs from any banging on the door that may occur on a ride and is removable for cleaning. These bags are constructed with high-quality zippers for smooth operation and 1680 D Oxford fabric for scratch resistance and long-term use.

Why do I need to make any of the above-mentioned upgrades?

You don't HAVE TO do anything you don't want to. Everything we've listed in this buyer's guide is meant to make the experience in your new UTV even better. By upgrading the seats and harnesses in your UTV, you'll feel more snug and secure while driving which can increase your comfort. For the same reason, these items also increase the safety factor of your UTV. Our staff has had plenty of opportunities to ride new UTV units from virtually every manufacturer, and we've yet to find one that doesn't benefit from the suggested upgrades.

What about tires? Do you have recommendations on tires for UTVs?

We do, but since this buyer's guide focuses on the best upgrades for new UTVs, tires don't rank high on the list. The tires that come stock on most production UTVs are quite good and don't necessarily need to be replaced unless you're going to be riding in a place that requires a special tire setup like the dunes or mud riding. If that's the case, you'll want to check out our buyer's guides for Best UTV Sand Tires or Best UTV Mud Tires.

Additional Resources

Best All-Terrain UTV Tires

Best UTV Winch Options

Best UTV Lighting Options

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Eli Madero
Eli Madero

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