Capability vs versatility

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CurtisO

SXS Nation Rookie
Jan 30, 2021
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85140
We are stuck in our decision making here. Maybe you can help...

We are eager to buy a SxS and get out there (we are literally SURROUNDED by cool places to ride!!) but we want to make the most of the $$$ we spend. I think we have our choices down to two very different machines. I welcome your input.

First, about us...we are a family of three, 2 adults and a 10 year old, so 4 seats in a hard minimum. We like the idea of rock crawling and slow, technical riding over blasting across the desert at warp speed.

So, our picks so far? We own 2 Honda vehicles already and my 1st and 3rd motorcycles were Hondas, so the Honda Talon is an obvious pick. Love the styling, looks very capable, and Honda reliability is a definite plus.

On the other hand, 4 seats means some of my daughter's friends might get left behind, so we also like the idea of the Kawasaki Mule Pro FXT. Maybe less capable (?), but probably just as reliable and more flexible with seats for 6.

Not really in the market for a $40k machine (never spent more than $25k on a car/truck, so...), so the latest turbo/magic suspension/hyper speed machine is not really necessary...just looking for a solid, reliable machine for the AZ desert and UT slickrock.
 
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airshot

SXS Nation Expert
Dec 20, 2016
730
341
Perrysburg, Ohio
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Kymco 450i UXV

Cant picture a 6 seater doing much rock crawling, in fact even a 4 seat with that long wheelbase. I see how difficult it has been with my 2 seat utv. The longer wheel base could cause issues in my opinion.
I never worry about friends going along, they can ride there own machine!!
 

Seastacker

Moderator
Feb 1, 2016
2,887
1,849
SE Michigan
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2019 Polaris General 4

Don't let a more utility looking machine fool ya. Most are very capable. I suggest driving all you are considering. I wouldn't say I "rock crawl", but I have been to Royal Blue as well as a part of Wind Rock in Tennessee and never felt like the 4 seater held me back. Clearly there are limitations to the longer wheel base, but I guess that depends what you mean by rock crawl. I have seen some 4 seaters out west with the right tires so some downright crazy stuff!
 
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rocksalot

Team SXS Nation
Feb 25, 2016
211
103
Looking at my skid plate
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RZR RS1
Ranger 900
Ace 570

The long wheelbase is mostly a disadvantage on tight trails.
With large tires and good ground clearance the longer wheelbase will usually go places easier than the shorter ones and larger is more stable on steep inclines.
The Mule Pro FXT doesn't have a front locker so it would not be a choice for me for rock crawling. For that you will be much happier with a sport with its much better suspension and design more suited for that type of terrain.
The Talon... . They have about as many problems as everyone else, some of them serious. Not telling you to dismiss them but research is in order just so you know up front. Low range problems, differential seals, bad air intake location, harsh ride, etc.
If you want a shorter four seat you might consider the Yamaha Wolverine RMax 1000 or Kawasaki Teryx.
The RMax is new this year and is very capable and a good all around rig and is suited very well for the type of riding you want to do. The Wolverine X4 850 is the same length and is a good vehicle but the suspension is not as good as the RMax.
The Teryx is very capable but an older design and not as refined as some of the newer vehicles.
The Can Am Sport max is a nice capable rig and seems to be very reliable. The Maverick X3 models might be what you are looking for also.
The RZR vehicles are very capable and more reliable than you might think.
Like Seastacker said, a comparison ride in as many different vehicles as you can will help you in the long run.
 
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JOE YOUNT

SXS Nation Regular
Jul 21, 2020
42
3
74
TUCSON
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2015 POLARIS RANGER XP 900

Might also want to consider repair potential in the field. If the buggy breaks down will you be able to mend it enough to get back to your staging area or back home.