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Monday, February 6, 2012

50 Inch ATVs ? ! ?

Been sitting here writing some thoughts on why I think the Paiute ATV Trail system should be a system of 50” trails rather than open trails for all sorts of UTVs and Side by Sides.

I’ll save those thoughts for another time. What I want to mention is something oftentimes overlooked – the fact that an ATV can quickly become too wide to be legal on 50” trails with the simple addition of a set of aftermarket wheels and tires.

Yeap, you read that correctly. In the midst of our big, all-season tire test, we’ve become even less enthused about the prospect of riding with after market wheels than we usually are.

After market wheels ‘ALL’ have more offset than the stock wheels! Our complaint has been that sticking the tires farther out sticks them past the fenders. And fenders have a purpose – to fend off the mud and snow that the tires sling up. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that fond of going for a short half-hour or hour ride and having to change clothes upon return before I can sit at my desk.

But that complaint sits shallow compared to this one. What if the new wheels and tires you just put on made your ATV measure 52 inches wide and it therefore is no longer legal to ride on the 50” only ATV trails like we love?

In fact, not only is a 52” wide ATV not legal to ride on those ATV-only trails, but it won’t even squeeze through many of the gates set to keep those machines wider than 50” off!

Something to think about before you go out and buy some new wheels.

Of course while you’re thinking you might also want to include how the added offset affects the steering. And how dirty you’ll get while your friend with his stock wheels is sitting there all nice and clean.

And we won’t even talk about the added weight. . . .  


  1. Your comment...
    "After market wheels 'ALL' have more offset than the stock wheels!"
    ...has me wondering. I know you've been using the STI HD2 wheels with a few of the different tires you have been testing, so my question is this. STI claims that at a 6+1 offset configuration the HD2 has a FACTORY offset for Polaris vehicles, have you found that to be true?

    The reason I ask is because in looking for 2 more front wheels to run on the rear of my RZR, I found that I can get 4 of the STI HD2 6+1 offset wheels cheaper than I could buy 2 of the 4+2 offset(I believe) front wheels from polaris! Is it just me, or is that rediculous!

    1. No! Unfortunately... The STI wheels just have the 'least' offset of any of the aftermarket wheels for the Polaris.

      And it is ridiculous!!

  2. Did you know that the law allows up to a $5000.00 fine for operating a machine wider than 50" on a restricted trail? Is it worth the risk?

    Although you might "fit" through some of the gates you’re still not legal and the gates are not there as a measuring device. The 50” trails are restricted to 50" vehicles whether you fit through the gates or not.

    Please respect the Paiute Trail and the laws that protect it.

  3. This might be the worst and most idiotic blog post I have ever read!!! This guy is speaking for himself and himself only!!!! The minute I read the comment about UTV's being faster and tearing up the trails more disqualified the rest of the story. I will no longer read or watch this garbage!!! I recently switched from a Grizzly to a Teryx4, the biggest and heaviest UTV on the market and I can tell you hands down that I was faster and did more damage to trails on my Grizzly then the Teryx. He is also forgetting about sport quads and the can am 1000 then blew past me at 78 mph last week. What an ass!!! This is exactly the kind of crap that feeds into the legislation limiting our places to ride. Here in PA we have very few public riding spots and most of them are limited width. A trail is a trail wheter I take my 62" machine or a 50" machine. The driver can make as much or little damage as he wants. Again, we need to stick together as an OHV community and fight back against over protective governemnt banns etc and apparently now we have to fight against a jackass claiming to represent us while getting free handouts from the manufactures. I propose all manufactures that make UTV's stop sending any demos to this guy. He could not be more wrong. Class 1 and class 2 ATV's and UTVs stick together and lets get more trails opened to everyone!!!!!!!

  4. Oh and another thing. Is this guy 80 years old. Did he really dedicate a paragraph to justify his BS by saying you should be concerned about keeping clean??? You ride ATV's and you are concerned about keeping clean??? Seriously people, time to make sure this guy's word is squashed fast!!

  5. pick any trail system in the Piute and I guarantee you the damage from a 2wd sport quad will always be more than a utv in the long run. The quads not only ride faster but many are 2wd that have to go full throttle to make the climbs etc because there is no other way without 4wd. I think if this guy had any respect for his sponsors there is no way he would post this garbage. Polaris is doing well the past few years and you can attribute all of that to the RZR. Maybe Polaris should pull their sponship dollars from him and spend them on someone who truly supports the market. It was not all that long ago when it was the motorcross crowd that really bashed on the 3 wheelers coming into the market.
    If the same mindset had taken hold and been pushed through the legislation at places like the Piute there would be no ATV or any ATV trails anywhere in the west.

    Let's be open minded and work together as an offroad community. We have enough environmentalist and leftist fighting us already.
    And for the information I have ridden these trails plenty and also have both a couple ATV's as well as a UTV.
    Let's also remember a UTV is the only way many physically challanged people can get into our outdoors. Not everyone can hike or ride an ATV.
    A concerned advocate for the offroad community.

  6. Coming from a person that has grown up in Sevier County and has witnessed many great riding areas closed in the near vicinity over last couple decades, the great uproar that is caused from discussing restrictions usually originates from the misinformed, uneducated, or the guilty. Some trails have been closed due to some individuals that are completely against anything but foot traffic and end up winning by using the legal system to their advantage. Far too often, these trails are abused and deserve to be shut down. I applaud anyone who is an advocate for maintaing our rights to trails especially the trail systems in Utah. Some forget that these trails can be taken away over night just by a signature on a paper with no public input. Speaking of the Piute Trail system specifically, these trails need to be taken care of. In places there are so many trails it proves difficult for those unfamiliar with the area to ride on the correct one. This only makes the problem worse as it makes 3-5 trails in an area where there only needs to be one. I agree with the idea of posting more, especially the more technical trails, as 50" only trails. It has nothing to due with being "anti-UTV" there are plenty of trails that connect for use of the UTV's. I love riding in our Wildcat; however, if I wanted it to go everywhere we might as well make it a maintained road for cars. I don't know about you but I hate riding my 50" class bikes on graded roads... I would love to add some new trails to some sections that wouldnt take much effort to add but how can we ask for more when we clearly can't take care of what we have all ready. It is laughable at the negitive responses to Dougs view. Listen, I think if you are coming to the trails strictly to ride for an afternoon that it would be expected to get dirty. Even though Doug may word it as getting dirty is a downside to being over 50"+, it really should be taken as an insight to something you may not care for in the long run. I would consider likes and dislikes as a given constant for 1500 miles or more. Who really wants to get muddy everytime they go out? On the Piute trails, much of the year there isnt a lot of water but getting cow pies all over you is a real thing with aftermarket rims...