I recently was a bit overwhelmed by the misunderstanding on my take on wanting more 50” trails on the Paiute Trail system. Most people took that to mean I was some kind of an anti UTV nazi – or in this day an age, maybe a worse name to be called than nazi is a Christian! But I’m getting away from the point here. How some folks got from me wanting more 50’ trails to that I’m anti UTV is still perplexing.
Equally amazing to me was the way many 'haters' referred to the great number of UTV tests we’ve done as ‘simply pandering to the market for money.’ Wow! The extent some people go to try to justify their hate is incredible…
Of course, being anti UTV is anything but the case. All you have to look at are the machines I’ve had around me for that last couple of years - almost all UTVs! In fact, if the secret would be known, if I could only have one machine sitting in my shop it would be, wait for it now, a RZR!
The RZR is fun! It hauls, it works (some), and it’s fun! Oh, I already said that. And it's the best way I have to haul my special daughter Katy out into the great backcountry. Oh, and did I mention that it also fits on those 50” trails that I think we should have more of? It’s like the best of all worlds, the safety of a UTV, and the ability to ride on those incredible 50” scenic trails!
The real point here is why are there no competitors to the RZR from the other manufacturers? The RZR, by the way, is the best selling of all (any, anywhere by anybody) UTVs (Or side by side, or RUV, whatever you want to call them). I personally don’t even have a problem calling them ATVs – after all that does stand for All Terrain Vehicle – which I believe they are!
Trust me I’ve asked all the manufacturers the ‘question.’ Several times even. Oddly enough, most of the manufacturer’s are all-to-quick to give me an answer, “Never. They’re dangerous. We don’t believe in them! They’re not what the market wants.” And this is where I say ‘again’ that the 50” RZR is the number one selling UTV. Period.
So why? Here’s my take. We live in a litigious society where the fear of liability in this day and age is a big issue, after all nowadays who wants to be responsible for their own behavior ;-) And to be honest, a 50” machine will roll over easier than a 60” machine. But then again a 60” machine will roll over easier than a 100” machine. It all comes back to us. Imagine that.
Take a look at the hit Yamaha took with all the lawsuits against them. People were amazed when they discovered that a Rhino could actually turn over and possibly harm the occupants when operated by an inexperienced person while driving too fast on the blacktop and then turned sharply. Can you believe it ;-)
To quote Pogo, “I have met the enemy and he is us!” Remember that as I will use it again!
Here’s the sad and amazing part, Yamaha had plans to be the first out with an incredible, short, nice, 4-seat, higher-powered UTV, but when they realized we, as a group were idiots they decide otherwise. The bigger lose was that they also had plans for a killer, Grizzly-based 50” Rhino – or so I was told by a whisper in my ear.
And Suzuki – and you know how much I love the King Quad, also ‘supposedly’ had a super 50” machine in the works only to put it on hold after the Rhino lawsuits and the downturn in the economy.
So, there you have it. We could have but we don’t have. And what we do have is what we now have.
Why? “I have met the enemy and he is us!”
But, we do have Polaris, a company that somehow seems to continue to prosper in spite of everything that shouldn’t be. They build high-powered UTVs capable of shooting the dunes and winning Dakar, and they build electric powered UTVs for stealthly silent farm work. But more importantly (to me) is that they build the only UTV that is capable of going on my absolute favorite trails – those 50” two tracks!
And what was the point of all this?
I love UTVs. Especially 50” UTVs that can I can take my daughter on to explore those incredible 50” trails.
I just wonder why no other manufacturer has had the courage to stand up, tell us we’re idiots, and then build the UTV we want.
Oh yeah, we’re lawsuit happy idiots.
I even had plans for building 50” UTV kits to convert Suzuki King Quads and Yamaha Grizzlies into cool 50” buggies, but guess what, I was afraid of the liability.
When will we ever grow up and accept responsibility for our own actions? It sure would make life a lot better for those of us that do!