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Trail Riding with a bench seat? 3 seater?

Discussion in 'General Side X Side Discussions' started by nsbohn, Dec 6, 2018.

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  1. nsbohn

    nsbohn Nicholas SXS Nation Rookie

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    Shopping for a SXS, Currently have Yamaha Kodiak 700 and Sunseeker C-Class RV

    I'm shopping for my first true SXS. I have had plenty of ATV's and used lots of utility carts and Gators and such through the years, but not sure what to get for me and the kids. I'd love to have one that is more "utility oriented" for the towing capacity, but I hear that the pure-sport models tow just as well. I want to be able to move my trailer around our property, etc. etc.

    The primary motivation for buying the SXS is to take the kids with me on trail rides. My oldest will be big enough to ride his own machine soon, so I've got the smaller two with me. I'd rather skip the 4 seater, and get something with a bench seat, but that's usually the more utility style ones, and I wonder how they do riding off road.

    We live in Florida, have some property in River Ranch, and ride various places around, in sand, mud, swamp, etc. etc.

    Any thoughts on a good fit for our needs?
     
  2. airshot

    airshot Ken SXS Nation Team Leader

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    Kymco 450i UXV

    Was in your situation 3 yrs back. Wanted a SxS but not bucket seats as I use it more for utility than for sport. Also an older guy so not into high speed riding, much more of a casual look at the scenery type of rider. I have no issues with my bench seat even riding all day long. If I were riding at high speed then I would prefer a bucket seat to keep my butt planted, but that aint gonna happen. Nice part about the bench is I can squeeze in a third person if needed, especially younger kids, where the bucket seats wont allow that. Went up north this past summer and rode for 75 miles in one day and the butt was fine. Needed to stretch the legs a few times but no issues on the butt!
     
  3. Curt

    Curt Administrator

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    I’d seriously consider getting a Polaris General four seater. Great ride, comfortable seats, lots of power, and still has a dump bed.
     
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  4. Rhoda Mule

    Rhoda Mule Gary SXS Nation Rookie

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    Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT ESP My first Side X Side was a 551 Sheridan

    You might want to consider a Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT. Mine does everything you want and does it well.
     
  5. nsbohn

    nsbohn Nicholas SXS Nation Rookie

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    Shopping for a SXS, Currently have Yamaha Kodiak 700 and Sunseeker C-Class RV

    Yeah, looked at that option, but it seems like a compromise in all areas, and doesn't meet my needs in ANY category. Mule's get stuck ALL THE TIME where we ride. They're not trail machines, they're farm machines. And as far as farm use goes, they're probably fine for light duty tasks, but they can't haul any weight. To me, Kawasaki is stagnant and falling behind big time in the SXS game.
     
  6. nsbohn

    nsbohn Nicholas SXS Nation Rookie

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    Shopping for a SXS, Currently have Yamaha Kodiak 700 and Sunseeker C-Class RV

    Yeah, trying to avoid the 2 row machine... and the pricetag is tough to swallow on those. I mean, I'm sure they're awesome machines, but the 4 seater Yamaha's are a solid $5k cheaper, and I'd rather have a Yamaha personally. Would love to see the new Wolverine fitted with a bench seat, or something like that. Was hoping one of the lesser-known brands would have something like that.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I should go look at the new Wolverine and see if I could customize it with a bench seat instead of the 2 buckets. It's probably not doable, depending on the shape of the frame, but you never know.
     
  7. nsbohn

    nsbohn Nicholas SXS Nation Rookie

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    Shopping for a SXS, Currently have Yamaha Kodiak 700 and Sunseeker C-Class RV

    How does your Kymco do on the trails? Is the suspension travel enough to get over some steep ruts from heavily used trails? I would worry that it wouldn't do so well in tougher riding conditions.
     
  8. Seastacker

    Seastacker Carl Moderator

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    2019 Polaris General 4

    The FXT is a very capable trail machine. They still offer the farm only mules, but the FXT is capable of both.
    I rode on a bench seat ranger for 5 years. I rode it hard. It was not terrible, but a hard 100 plus mile day was hard on the butt. Sounds like a full size ranger may fit your needs of seating 3 and staying out of the 4 seat. Not any sportier machines with a bench seat set up that I am aware of.
     
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  9. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    If you're looking for a machine that is more geared towards being capable of hard work, yet still be able to go trail riding, I guess I lean towards the Ranger, or maybe the Can-Am defender or Kawasaki Mule fxt. I left out the general because you said you weren't interested in a four-door unit. The Kawasaki Mule fxt isn't the old Kawasaki Mule that you are used to seeing, it is heavier than most but as also built quite well. Rangers will most likely have the highest performance potential if that's what matters to you, but I would suggest you go drive in them all. Sometimes one seat just feels better than another. Best of luck on your search and let us know what you decide

    Ps- if price is a concern go drive the Ranger 570 full size. Looks like the old Ranger 800 but has a waspy 44 horsepower 570 power plant. We run three of them and they have been solid machines so far, and we use them for work almost every day. Still has plenty of performance as they are as fast or faster than the old 800 they replaced, for far less money than a new 900 or 1000. I think you can still buy them for under ten thousand with the rebate. Go check them out
     
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  10. airshot

    airshot Ken SXS Nation Team Leader

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    It is not going to go thru the same areas that a RZR or a General will go but it is not designed for that either. At only 7 grand you cant beat them, fewest number of consumer complaints per 100 units mfgr of any brand! She has pulled thru areas I thought she would never make even with 2 of us on board. It has climbed hills that I thought it would not make, it has never let me down. Went to Perrywoods this summer for a poker run that turned out to be brutal. Hurricane remnants came thru the area 5 days before poker run, about 35% of trails were not usable at all. Mostly a rock climb and mud run as the soil was completely washed to lower ground from all elevated areas. 30% of the entries never completed the course....we did. Had lots of compliments on the little beast, many were quite impressed. I use mine primarily for utility work around my property, hauling and towing stuff, constantly getting in and out so the bench seat is a requirement. 3 yrs and 900 plus miles later, no issues and no complaints. It also plows my 300 plus ft drive every winter and the neighbors on occasion. Even used it to pull the neighbor ladies car from the ditch two winters back. I would recommend people at least give them a good look and see!
     
    Seastacker likes this.
  11. Piston Honda

    Piston Honda Seth Moderator

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    Honda Pioneer 500
    Yamaha Wolverine X2 R-Spec

    Since you're already familiar with the Yamaha, check out the Viking 3 seater. It should be getting the 850cc engine soon too.
     
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  12. DieselFume

    DieselFume Adam Moderator

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    2013 XP 800 Ranger, Three 2017 Polaris 570 Full Sizes. All subjected to hard ranch work, long hours and rough conditions. 5 years or bust!

    Are they still running the old single lung 700? Is this new engine going to be a V-Twin?
     
  13. Piston Honda

    Piston Honda Seth Moderator

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    Honda Pioneer 500
    Yamaha Wolverine X2 R-Spec

    Yep. It's the only machine still running the single 700. The 850 in the X2 and X4 is a parallel twin. It has a real nice power delivery too.
     
  14. FloridaAl

    FloridaAl Alec SXS Nation Rookie

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    2013 Polaris Ranger 900XP; (2011 Browning Ranger 800EPS, SOLD; 2005 Ranger 500, SOLD.)

    I'm in Northeast Florida and ride here and South Georgia. I've had 3 rangers and 1 Mahindra mPact 750. I can't say enough good about the Rangers. They'll go anywhere and the grandkids love them. The bench seat presents me no issues, and I'm 6', 280 and past 70 years and like you, no longer need to RACE thru the woods. I haul my trailer with my 2013 Ranger 900XP, haul and spread fertilizer and lime and pull a small disc. It doesn't have a power dump but once you experiment with loading the bed it's usually able to be lifted without issues. Plus, I'm mostly emptying bags right off the tailgate into spreaders.
     
  15. Rhoda Mule

    Rhoda Mule Gary SXS Nation Rookie

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    Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT ESP My first Side X Side was a 551 Sheridan

    I have never had my Mule Pro Fxt stuck and I have run the trails in the Black Hills, Michigan & Hatfield-McCoy to name a few. I do work with it and have a spoting hitch on the front which is used a lot. Mostly it is for fun with the family some time six of us. As for cost I have 15K in it. The machine does have a couple of faults, which I reported on in the Mule Nation. If you want to go fast this is not your SxS. The Mule PRO FXT can be converted to a 3 seater or six seater which was a
    big plus for me. As for the PRO FXT being for light duty work, I would not think that with a 2000 lbs towing cap. and a full size bed and carrying six adults and weighing 1800 lbs. as light duty unless you compare it to a Dodge 4x4 truck which I use to tow the Mule named Rhoda. My thought, yours my very. Gary
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018 at 4:32 AM
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