Here’s the unquestionable truth about Side By Sides, also known as UTVs: they are bloody fun! and while you probably know that already, I’m only relatively new to them. ATVs have always been my preferred ride, but I have been obsessing and curious about several things related to Side By Sides. and one of the things that I have been curious about include: how fast can they go? the model that I’m riding right now (RZR) is pretty nimble and agile, but I haven’t been able to ride very fast on it because of terrain issues. so I decided to do some research to know how fast can the average Side By Side can accelerate.
And what I found is that with some decent tires and on flat ground, the average sport side by side is going to do 0-60 MPH in about 8-9 seconds, almost as fast as a car. the average Utility UTV is going to be a little bit slower than that, doing 0-60 on about 9 to 10 seconds, if it can get to that speed in the first place. these are just the numbers for the average side by side that most people have thought. there are special edition models that will feature bigger engines with turbochargers. these UTVs are much more expensive and much faster too. for example, a 2019 Polaris RZR XP Turbo has been clocked in as fast as 6.5 seconds 0-60.
Now, even though UTVs these days are getting closer to normal cars when it comes to speed, things weren’t always that way. the first UTVs were very slow because they were made strictly for utility use. because the UTV was supposed to be a mini-truck used to haul stuff from a farm, a powerful engine simply wasn’t needed. anyways, below I talk a little bit more about the top speed and acceleration rates of several UTV classes and I also mention which are the fastest UTVs in the market today. I also give you some tips on how to make your side by side as fast as possible.
So How Fast Can A Side By Side Go?
Just like I said above, the average UTV is going to do 0-60 MPH in 8.5 seconds more or less, depending on the type of ride being used. something like an RZR is going to do 0-60 in 7 seconds, which when compared to a Yamaha Rhino is super fast. Acceleration rates are going to depend on the UTV type being used. as you probably know already, there are different UTV types available, which cater to the needs of a specific audience. for example, there are sport UTVs, like for example the Polaris RZR, the Honda Talon, or the Yamaha YXZ, which are going to be the fastest Side-By-Sides available. there are also your Utility UTVs, like the Kawasaki Mule, which are going to be much slower and bulkier. so to guesstimate an UTVs speed, the first thing to know is which UTV type it is. Below I discuss a little bit more about the average UTV speed of the different Side by Side types available.
- Sport UTVs: Sport UTVs, as the name says, are going to be the sportier and more athletic UTV available. this is the kind of UTV that you want if you are going to use the machine strictly for recreation and driving around with your friends. they are also the type of machine that you want if speed and a high acceleration rate is what you are looking for. Anyways, Most sport UTVs are going to do about 6 to 8 seconds more or less. the fastest UTVs on this class might even be able to accelerate faster than that with some grippier tires and a flat piece of land. in short, if you are a speed demon, then these are the type of UTVs that you should be looking for. examples of sport UTVs include the Polaris RZR And Can-Am Maverick Sport.
- Utility UTVs: Even though UTVs are mostly used for recreation these days, UTVs have a long history of being used by farmers and other laborers for numerous kinds of stuff, like for example hauling and quick riding over vast pieces of land. These UTVs might not be as fast or as cool looking as sport models, but they more than make up for it with more space plus better towing and hauling capacity. Most Utility UTVs are going to be making 0-60 MPH in about 8-9 seconds. many UTVs aren’t even going to be able to get to 60 MPH in the first place. Examples of Utility UTVs are the Kawasaki Mule and the Polaris Ranger.
Fastest Side By Sides Available Today
Now there are some special UTVs available in the market as of 2019. these Side By Sides have the most powerful engines, and are the fastest available currently. Not only are these machines very fast, but they are quite pricey too. anyways, here’s the list of the fastest UTVs available today.
- Polaris RZR Turbo XP S: This RZR is a hot commodity in today’s market. The Polaris RZR Turbo XP S is the performance version of a performance version of a performance version of the normal RZR :3. this hardcore machine can do 0-60 in 6 seconds with some decent tires on the pavement. these numbers can only be achieved on 4WD mode. it may be a little bit slower depending on the type of gas that you are using on it.
- Can-Am Maverick X3 X RS Turbo R: Another good alternative is the Maverick, especially the turbocharged models. This models sales have skyrocketed, just like most side by side models in the last few years. anyways, this performance version of the Maverick has been clocked as fast as 6 seconds 0-60, on a light dirt surface. The only con about this model is that its so expensive. we are talking over 25 grand, more expensive than a base F150.
- Yamaha YXZ1000R SE: This is the fastest model Yamaha has available for you. this UTV has similar acceleration numbers to the other 2 models above, but it’s significantly cheaper though. The YXZ sales haven’t been as good as the other 2 models, but I think that is because the model is newer than the other 2.
How To Make Your Side By Side Faster.
Now, if you are reading this article, chances are that you aren’t very satisfied with your quad’s performance. thankfully, there are ways to make your ride significantly faster, as long as you are willing to change some stuff. I recently wrote a complete article on how to make an ATV faster, but while there are some tips that can be applied to UTVs, not all the things that I wrote there will work on a bigger side by side. Anyways, in the future, I will write a comprehensive article on how to make a UTV faster, but in the meantime, follow these quick tips to make your UTV accelerate faster.
- Check if your Side By Side Roof Can Be Disattached: there are some UTV brands that will allow you to take off the roof and the safety bars with ease, just like in a Jeep Wrangler. if this is the case with your UTV, then taking it off is a great way to make your quad more nimble and accelerate faster. there are some stock roll cages that can weight over 100lbs, and taking that off will definitely make your UTV lighter and so much faster and athletic. the roll cages and roofs are there for a reason though: to protect you in case of something happening, so that is a compromise that you are going to have if you want to reduce the weight of your machine.
- Remove Plastics If Possible: this might be a little bit hardcore, but it can be a good way to make your UTV faster. when I say plastic, I’m specifically talking about things like skid plates, which may or may not be screwed onto the chassis itself, just like the roll cage. try to get under the UTV and check out for screws holding the skid plates in place, or just check the manual to see if you can take them off. other things that you could take off include some parts of the fender.
- Use Racing Fuel/Octane Booster: there are some ATV enthusiasts that like to use octane boosters for a little extra oomph. I talked about octane boosters and other fuel additives in this article. In short, let’s just say that octane boosters are a type of fuel additive that improves your UTVs gasoline, increasing its octane rating, and helping the engine produce more torque. They are an easy way to improve performance if you aren’t willing to cut weight off your Side By Side or aren’t willing to do performance mods to it. The only problem is that obviously the speed boost is temporary which means that you are going to have to be buying bottles often as long as you want the speed boost.
- Mod Your Machine: This is the best way to make your Side By Side faster, but it can also be the most expensive way. the most common performance mods people do is related to suspension, especially if dealing with a utility UTV. Installing a new performance suspension will not only improve cornering and handling on corners, but it also stabilizes your UTV, improving its traction in the process. and that equals a better 0-60 time. the only bad thing about it is that your suspension will have less give in it, which means worse ride quality.