Category Archives: Useful Information

What is the best UTV on the market today?

The short answer: No UTV is “the best one” for all terrain types and rider preferences. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and it boils down to personal preference in most cases.

Deciding which UTV should be your first is a very tricky decision, and most people get it wrong. A common mistake is to buy an older, used model, or a knockoff brand that is less capable than the market leaders, to keep the initial cost down. Those people almost always end up wanting more within a year, and it ends up costing more than if they had bought what the really want to begin with.

In WA you have single track, ATV, 4×4 trails, and service roads. There are no trails designed for UTVs and probably won’t be anytime soon.

Even a 50″ UTV will have extreme difficulty on most ATV trails, and simply won’t fit on others (48″ bridges at Tahuya, for example). A 50″ UTV will be tippy and uncomfortable on most 4×4 trails in this state. Also they are not allowed on DNR trails that are designated for ATVs (50″ or less).

If you’re going to take it out of state a lot, you might still consider a 50″ trail model because there is a lot of stuff in Idaho and Utah where such a machine will do very well and anything wider will be very limited.

But if you plan to stay mostly in WA, then it really doesn’t matter much which UTV you get in terms of which trails you’ll fit on. Yes, an S model is more nimble with its shorter wheel base. But people go on those same trails with 4-seaters. It’s just harder, and they go slower.

My suggestion: Think about the kind of riding you want to do (dunes, mountain forest, rock crawling, open desert, etc), and think about what features you want your UTV to have, and find the machine that most closely fits that profile and you feel is badass. Then go sit in one.

See if you can find someone who will take you as passenger in a few different UTVs in a few different types of terrain. THEN spend your $20K or whatever.

How do I get my city/county to pass a WATV ordinance?

If your city and/or county does not have a WATV ordinance  which allows you to drive your ATV or SxS on the streets, here is one approach to making it happen:

Basically you need to propose the idea to the city or county council members where you want to ride, try and find at least one of them who likes the idea to help you sell it.

Start by emailing the council/mayor with your interest (their email addresses are published on their website) and that you’d like to be the point of contact. Then put the word out on social media and get as many people as you can to also email them and express their interest in adopting the ordinance.

Once they’ve agreed to discuss it, talk to the city engineer and administrator about drafting up an ordinance (you can copy from another county and another city).

Then go to meetings, push the idea to keep it on the agenda, get other people to go to the meetings with you.  Talk to people on social media who have done it in their area to get an idea what questions and concerns the council will have, and be ready at the meetings with those answers and examples from other counties and cities that have adopted ordinances. Try to keep momentum going until they either vote it down, or vote it into place.

Here is a list of counties and cities that have opted in, with links to the ordinances they drew up.
The document below was presented on a projector screen at a city council meeting to help the council understand visually what was being proposed. The word “DISCUSS” was later changed to ADOPT in a later presentation when it was getting close to the vote.
WATV proposal to council members

Tip for RZR Steering Wheel Removal and Reinstallation

Some advice I have seen people giving for removing the steering wheel is to loosen the nut a few turns but leave it on there, and whack it with a hammer.

This works. BUT, it has a problem; if you have EPS, and most UTVs do these days, it can slam the steering linkage down onto the input shaft at the top of the EPS motor. This could damage the EPS unit. Even if it does no damage, the clamp on the linkage holds it in the new position. Then when you put the steering wheel back on and tighten the nut, the steering is heavy because it is bound up.

So before you smack that nut with a hammer, loosen the clamp at the bottom of the upper steering shaft where it connects to the EPS motor.

That will do several things for you:
1. No heavy impact transmitted to the EPS unit.
2. Less hammering needed to knock  the steering wheel loose.
3. The linkage won’t get stuck and put your steering in a bind.
4. You’ll have the play you need to get the steering wheel back on right.

Once you’ve tightened up your steering wheel, then tighten the clamp at the bottom of the linkage again.

Caskey Lake / Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED

Important Update: The Darrington Power Lines area is CLOSED.

The Department of Natural Resources has announced that they are closing off access to the Darrington Power Lines area.

Signs have been posted.

A DNR crew who was onsite there spoke with some users and told them anyone caught on the property will face criminal trespass prosecution.

Gates will be installed soon.

The official response from Mark Arneson, District Manager for the Department of Natural Resources in the area in question is:

I would like to thank you for your, and your fellow rider’s efforts in policing the trash and dumping in the Caskey area.”

While I know that ORV riding is an underserved recreational activity in our area (and across the state), the activities going on in the Caskey area cannot continue. As I am coming to understand, the area has been used, loved, and cared for, for years by responsible users. However, this area was never properly permitted and developed to meet multiple environmental and development permits required for ORV areas at the local county, state,and federal levels on DNR-managed lands. And also unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence at this area that there has been increasing, significant environmental degradation caused because of irresponsible users riding and creating trails where none should be. That impact effects multiple landowners in the area, including private lands, and tribal lands. We are talking about damage to salmon habitat, damage to multiple fish bearing steams, damage to other sensitive habitats, damage to archaeological and cultural resources, unchecked erosion, and untold amounts of sediment delivered into these streams and rivers. This area has become a liability to the Department by this unsanctioned use violating multiple federal, state, and county regulations.

“As for public input on Caskey, there unfortunately was no way around it, the activities occurring are violating multiple federal, state and county regulations,and the department is required to stop those activities. As for outreach, I could have absolutely done better. If this was a sanctioned and permitted area like Walker Valley or Reiter, and we were forced to close or modify some portion, then absolutely there would have been more user engagement, input, and outreach.”