With the summer heat coming to an end soon and the perfect UTV riding weather creeping onto the calendar, there’s no better time to plan your next trip to the dunes. But before you go, you should look to make sure your UTV is ready. In order to do that, here are some helpful pointers from R1 Industries on what to check and what gear to pick up before heading out to the sand.
Sand Gets Everywhere. How to Prepare
Don’t forget that racing around the sand dunes in your side-by-side is only part of the fun. The other fun part is preparing for all of the sand. Now, trying to stop the sand from getting everywhere is next to impossible (dealing with sand in sand dunes comes with the territory), but covering your essential UTV services before leaving can diminish chances for UTV damage.
Start the Season With a Fresh Oil Change
Riding around in sand can naturally lead to increased wheel slippage and higher RPMs. Even with high-performance UTV motors and technological improvements in the industry overall, it’s important to start every dune season (or trip) with a fresh UTV oil change. That way, you’re less likely to get stranded in the middle of nowhere with an underperforming SxS or possibly worse.
Check and Maintain Your Air Filter
Since sand is bound to get everywhere, it’s important to check and maintain your air filter before going out on the dunes. Let’s face it, sand getting in your motor is a quick way to end up cutting your trip short and eyeing costly repairs later on. If your Polaris or Can-Am UTV is compatible with a K&N air filter, you can reuse it after cleaning, drying, and oiling it properly.
The Right Tires Make All the Difference
Alright, it needs to be said that you can technically use whatever UTV tires you want when riding through the sand dunes, however, don’t expect to have as much fun with the wrong tires. UTV tires designed specifically for sand can help you go faster, climb higher, and maintain overall control as you’re riding around the desert. That’s why you should get some paddle tires.
What the Heck is a Paddle Tire Anyway?
Paddle tires (or sand tires) are specifically designed for propelling UTVs through sandy areas. They accomplish this (and get their name from) small paddle-like projections extending from the tire. Paddle tires go on the rear of the side-by-side, while buffed tires go on the front (giving you the maximum amount of control). In general, your UTV will perform better on sand dunes with the right paddle tire set, (and you’ll most likely have more fun because of it.)
Which UTV Sand Tire Works for My Horsepower?
What a fantastic question. Knowing your rear-wheel horsepower requirements (rwhp) before getting paddle tires can ensure you end up with what you need without overdoing it. Basically, the more horsepower you have, the more paddles you should have per tire. Be sure to check your machine’s owners’ manual or manufacturer’s specification before checking out the chart below. This chart is for Sandcraft paddle tires, including Sandcraft Talon paddles.
Do You Need Paddle Tires for Dunes?
Technically, no you don’t. We’ll try not to judge you too harshly for it. The thing is, we’ll be so far in front of you, we won’t have much time to think about your UTV anyway. (Seriously though, give our UTV shop a call so we can help you get a set of paddle tires.) If you’re already set on an upgrade for the dunes, order a set of our best Sandcraft paddles and call it a day. See you on the sand.
How Much Do Paddle Tires Cost?
Much like other UTV accessories and upgrades, there are budget-friendly paddle tires and enthusiast-level options. The Sandcraft tires mentioned above are top-tier, which is great if you are looking for the best. On the other hand, if you need some starter paddle tires that get the job done without blowing the budget out of the water, check out Sand Lites from Tusk.
Stay Safe During the Day and Night
Obviously, safety should always be a top priority when riding at the dunes. Abiding by specific geographic rules and regulations can be aided by proper UTV safety equipment. And, none of it needs to be boring. (We think lighted whips look pretty freaking cool while keeping riders safe.) Before reaching the dunes, double-check all of the safety accessories on your side-by-side.
Attach Day Flags and LED Light Whips
Different riding areas (Little Sahara Sand Dunes in Utah, for instance) have different safety regulations when it comes to flags and whips. Be sure to check out the rules for where you’re going so you can pick up the right mounts, whips, flags, and other UTV gear before arriving. These products help with rider visibility during the day and at night, keeping everyone safe.
Double-Check Your Fire Extinguisher
Wait, you do have a fire extinguisher mounted to your side-by-side, right? If not, you should strongly consider picking up a quick-release mount and proper-sized extinguisher. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. But, it can bring you peace of mind when out riding on the dunes to know you can help yourself and others out in the unfortunate incident of a UTV or ATV fire.
Buckle Up Before You Hit the Sand
Installing comfortable seats (not to mention these Easy-Cool door latches) can help you enjoy your dune ride. And, UTV seat harnesses can help make sure all riders remain safe, no matter what happens when you're out in the sand. Once again, a 4-point safety harness can provide you with even more peace of mind when you're focused on nothing but fun, sun, and sand.
Did Someone Say Sand?
Whether you’re heading out to tear up the dunes or taking a trip to do some rock crawling, R1 Industries has your UTV needs covered. We have a full-service UTV shop in Lindon, Utah, for maintenance, repairs, or upgrades; and a huge selection of side-by-side accessories, backed by our incredible warranties, free shipping options, and superior customer service. Shop now.