Choose the Right ATV Type
April 11, 2018
ATV vs UTV. What’s the difference? We see this question a lot, and for good reason. Is UTV just a different name for an ATV? No. Is a Utility ATV a different name for a UTV? Nope! We're here to help you determine the right vehicle for your needs.
When looking for the right fit, you’ll want to consider a few things:
- Top speed
- Towing rating
- Power steering
- Winch options
- Manual vs automatic
- Engine size
Once you've answered these, you're ready for the next part: separating the Sports ATV from the Utility ATV, and the Utility ATV from the UTV.
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From a glance, you may not be able to tell the difference between an ATV designed for sport/recreation and one designed to help get work done, which is why we’re here!
Light-weight vehicles with an excellent maneuverability, these require the rider to straddle the seat and interact with the vehicle while in operation. They demand stamina, strength, and your full attention.
Designed for racing, these vehicles feature two-wheel drive with the rear wheels functioning as the axle and beefed up suspensions to withstand jumps and whoops. They may have a 2- or 4-stroke engine with either 5- or 6-speed transmissions, that is nimble, capable of quick turns, and allows for a single rider.
These models can be modified and enhanced with a variety of parts and accessories to make them more suited for different terrains: racing, desert riding, trail, rocky, or mud. Their long travel suspension and high output motor give them more zip than a utility ATV.
These types range from 250cc to 700cc. Have a need for speed or adventure? The Sport ATV is a good choice.
These are the more durable cousin of the Sport ATV. If this were the tortoise and the hare, these would be the tortoise (if it had nitro boosters on its shell).
Utility ATVs have either two or four-wheel drive. If you’re planning on doing varying levels of strenuous work with your Utility ATV, we recommend four-wheel to switch between high and low gear. Low-end power is great for pushing snow and towing heavy loads. Their large motor provides power, and they utilize a short travel suspension. These are great for light farm work, plowing, hunting, and more.
Note: If you’re planning to use your ATV for hunting, we recommend searching for an electric ATV. Their quieter operation allows you to move around quickly without disturbing your hunt.
Similar to the Sports ATV, you will have to straddle this model. It requires more stamina and strength to operate than a UTV. Utility ATVs have larger tires and are a bit easier to ride with fewer bells and whistles than a Sport ATV. If you need a vehicle that's more for work than play, but you still want to be able to ride for fun from time to time, the Utility ATV is a good choice.
So by now, we hope you’ve realized this is not the same as a Utility ATV. UTVs are meant for more serious work. A UTV may sometimes be called a Side-by-Side, a Gator, or a Rhino.
These vehicles look like a beefed-up golf cart or the puny cousin to a Jeep. They feature seat belts, a carriage bed, and often have roll cages. UTVs allow you to sit next to someone (thus the nickname Side by Side) and are great for heavy-duty work applications. The UTV features a Sport ATV suspension with a powerful engine and room for more passengers.
UTVs are better for hauling and traveling. Why? Their tires are bigger than a utility ATVs, and they provide more torque. If you’re doing farm work that requires hauling, you need to transport wood to a firepit or remove debris from your yard, the bed in the back makes for easy storage while you sit comfortably up front. For lots of miles, this is the style you’ll want to use.
Looking to take fun exploratory rides with friends and family? The UTV is great for travel and exploration. Make sure all are properly attired with safety gear.
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