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UTVs: Another Insane Industry

I am at it again: questioning the sanity of a large industry. But this time, at least, I heard similar thoughts from other people.

I recently took a training course on handling a UTV (or ROHV) safely. (Those are the car-like "ATVs", typically with side-by-side seating.)

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would waste their money on something that just isn't that much fun. Fast motion is fun for a human being -- but for how long?

Because of accidents, regulators have now smothered the machines in safety equipment. I felt panic when I first put that damn full-face helmet on. In fairness, that went away pretty quickly, and it was not as hot as first thought.

But my prescription bifocal sunglasses could not sit on my head right, because of that bloody helmet. The bifocal line obscured my vision. (Only a government safety regulator could design something that ruins your vision, and then call it "safety" equipment.) 

Almost every aspect of this infernal machine was unlikeable to me. I would much rather go four-wheeling in a narrow 1995 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. And yet people put these silly UTVs on flat bed trailers, and drag them from Texas to Colorado, so they can do the Alpine Loop through the San Juan mountains.

Why? Why spend 15,000--25,000 dollars of your hard-earned money on something that isn't that much fun, at least after the novelty wears off? 

Sports like this are only fun because you ARE taking risks. Once they make you hermetically sealed in hot, uncomfortable body armor, it is no longer fun. So why waste the money?

But it is becoming a normal thing in modern America: government safety nazis raise the complexity and cost of machines, and the corporations rake in the extra revenue. The consumer dutifully takes out a loan to pay for the infernal machine, which helps the financial sector thrive.  The individual consumer's job is just to submit to advertisements, and not ask embarrassing questions about the entire racket.


I'm not 'with ya' on much but, this subject we see eye-to-eye. They are WAY overpriced for what they are. Then you have to buy the trailer and have a tow vehicle. Nope not me.

Curious, why didn't you pick up an electric mountain bike? Weight? That disappears soon as the power is applied. Range anxiety isn't an issue any longer. Price? Not considering what you paid. I'm really curious. I use the road going electrics. I find that I can just travel further.

Just because I am not 'with ya' on your viewpoints doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up.

Be well.
I think e-bikes have a great future and I'm 100% behind them. For the moment, they are still pricey. It has served me well to be a late-adopter during most of my life, and e-bikes are probably just one more example of that principle.

And as an RVer I am not really eager to add one more battery-operated gadget to my life.
Anonymous said…
Yes I could understand the appeal of a motorized two wheeler, but those overpriced monsters are for the easily amused.
Sooper Edd said…
I occasionally ride in a friends UTV and it kinda sucks; it isn't much fun to drive or ride in. They kind of annoy me anyway because we go to the mountains to get away from the noise and people for a while.

I test rode a few 3 wheel Tadpoles bikes a couple of months ago and one had an electric assist and I thought it was pretty cool. I was checking them out thinking I could ride in the snow when my mountain bike would just not work. They make some with 4" wide tires and would work great in the snow. The ICE Full Fat with the electric assist was like $6,000, but that was the most expensive one I rode and certainly the nicest.