These Are The Best Ways To Quiet Down A Side By Side!

In ATV Setups by Kevin

Just like ATVs, Side by sides have developed a reputation of being quite loud and noisy. the first UTVs introduced to the market decades ago were paired with small engines that didn’t produce much noise or vibration. and sure, they definitely were underpowered, but that was a compromise many a farmer was willing to accept in order to avoid risk hearing loss because of the constant drowning of the engine. but nowadays, things have changed. many UTVs are now equipped with torquey 800cc engines which are very loud and obnoxious, and because of that, many people are now looking to mod their UTVs to avoid wearing earmuffs every time they hop in them.

And if you are one of the many riders that are looking to quiet down their side by side, then this article is for you. there are many ways to make your UTV quieter, including installing a silencer exhaust system, soundproofing some parts of the machine, changing the tires,  and more. the ideal method for you is going to depend on a few factors, including if you are willing to do some work on your UTV, how much money you are willing to spend, and how quiet you want it. anyways, to get an idea on how to quiet down your side by side, check my recommendations below.

Reasons Why You Should Make Your UTV Quieter

There are many reasons you should quiet down your machine. in my case, I decided to silence one of my rides because I really like riding casually along a light trail with my younger son, and the harsh noise was impeding me from talking to him. other reasons why you should silence your UTV include:

  • You Don’t Want To Risk Damage To Your Hearing: this is a pretty common one. the constant drown of the typical side by side engine will definitely affect your hearing over the long term. many farmers have reported suffering from tinnitus after using UTVs on a daily basis over a period of months. from what I have heard, noises over 85DV can be damaging for the human ear, so if you are a frequent side-by-side user, then gradually losing hearing is a possibility. to avoid this, it is a good idea to quiet down your ride.
  • You Use Your UTV For Hunting And The Noise Scares Nearby Game: One of the communities that have most embraced the new UTV craze is the hunting community. many hunting enthusiasts need something to follow and eventually bring their kill back home, and the UTVs dimensions and utility makes them the best choice for doing that. however, many hunters are complaining about something: the engine noise is scaring away their prey. if you are a hunter and have a UTV, then you definitely need to silence down your ride so that you can improve your chances of catching your game of choice.
  • You Live In Places With Noise Pollution Laws: There are some states and counties that have enacted noise pollution laws in the last few years, like for example San Francisco and Seattle. if you like in a place that has those laws in place, then using a UTV that surpasses decibel limits might be illegal. from what I have heard, these noise pollution laws are not always enforced, but even then it might be wise to avoid breaking any laws. if you know that your side by side is breaking those laws, then you are going to have to quiet it down.
  • It Is Annoying, Period: Maybe this has nothing to do with hunting or noise pollution laws or whatever. maybe it’s just that you just can’t stand the loudness of the engine anymore. many folks who start using ATVs and side by sides initially like the engine growl, but after a while, they grow tired of it. if this is your case, then check the rest of the article because it’s actually quite easy to quiet down the machine.

Exhaust Silencers Are The Most Effective Way To Quiet Down Your UTV

Overall, a new exhaust silencer is the best and easiest way to quiet down your side by side. one of the main advantages of installing a silencer is that it’s a very easy installation. you don’t need to tinker around with the engine or other UTV parts, you just take out the stock muffler that came with the UTV when you bought it and then screw the muffler. there are some mufflers available that don’t even need to be screwed on, just slipped in on the pipe. overall, installing a silencer is a very easy process that anybody can do.

Another great advantage that they have is the decibel reduction. of all the methods that I talk about, this is the one that will lower the decibel levels the most. the typical exhaust silencer will reduce decibel levels by over 25% percent, which is very significant. so a side by side that produces 70 Db when idle will produce 55 with the silencer. this decibel level difference might be enough to save the hearing of some over the long term.

Now sadly, there are obviously some cons with getting a silencer, and one of these include the pricing of most exhausts. if you are interested in one, expect to pay at the very least a hundred bucks for a decent one. now there are several brands on the market, but the good ones are typically going to charge you between $150 and $200 dollars. they are really worth it though in my opinion, so if you don’t have the money now, I would advise just waiting a few weeks or months while you save up and then buying it, over using your money on some other method.

When It comes to the silencer, the one that I installed on my ride is from a company called Kemimoto. this is a company that focuses on exhaust silencer products or mufflers in general. depending on your particular UTV, they might have a bolt-on or a slip-on muffler available. ideally, you are going to want the slip-on because it’s much easier to install and you don’t need to deal with bolts, but they may or may not have it available depending on your side-by-side model. anyways, I strongly recommend this company if you are tired of the noise levels of your UTV. I personally bought mine from Amazon, which is what I recommend you do too. Amazon has a way to make sure your UTV can use the silencer that you are looking at so that you don’t buy the incorrect one by mistake. You can check out Kemimoto exhaust silencers on Amazon by clicking here

Changing The Tires Might Quiet Down Road Noise

If the noise levels being produced by your machine aren’t coming from the engine, then maybe they might be a product of using improper or underinflated tires. if you didn’t know, the thinner the tire being used, the more noise it is going to produce, especially if you are riding on paved roads. and when it comes to underinflated tires, that is also something that can produce more road noise than usual. in short, if your UTV is noisy but its not the engine, then its probably the tires that need to be checked.

Also, a good way to reduce road noise is to buy yourself either tires that are specifically made to reduce road noise, or just using lower air pressure on your existing tires. when it comes to the first choice, some tire manufacturers sell special rubber which is made with different materials, which ensure that noise is minimized when contacting the road. also, those tires tend to be bigger than usual and bouncier too, and they also tend to be significantly more expensive than normal UTV tires. Another way to reduce road noise is by lowering the air pressure of your tires slightly. be aware though that this will obviously affect the handling and performance of your UTV

Electric UTVs Are A Great Choice For Those Who Are Willing To Pay For A New Side By Side

Another way you can avoid noisy UTVs is by just getting an electrically powered model. I’m not sure if you have ridden on an electric car like a Tesla or a Nissan Leaf before, but when those vehicles accelerate, they do not produce any engine noise, which tends to surprise the passengers. they also produce no noise when idle either. so, getting an electric UTV is the best way to ride without any loudness. also, you are also helping preserve the environment because these electric rides do not emit carbon monoxide and other gasses to the atmosphere.

Electric UTVs tend to be pretty similar to gas-powered side by sides, with similar steering wheels, toggles, switches and tires. they may or may not have the same horsepower and torque numbers though. the power delivery will generally be different though. just like electric cars, electric UTVs will have instant power delivery, which means that they will accelerate very quickly, almost instantaneously.

Now obviously, getting an electric UTV means that you are going to have to pay for a completely new model, which might not be a possibility for you. for some folks, the only way to get an electric UTV is by selling the old one that you have, which might be for the best if you really need something as hushed as possible because of hunting or other activities. as of 2019, electric UTVs do not really have the same level of popularity that gas models have, and because of that, there are some dealers that are trying to move stalled inventory via rebates, discounts, and deals. and so, you should try to check out nearby dealerships because it might be possible to actually get an EV side by side without breaking the bank.

Why Exactly Are UTVs So Loud?

Now that I have explained how to quiet down your UTV, many people, including myself, have wondered something.. why exactly are UTVs so loud. I mean, these machines tend to be louder than a car on idle. and when most models rev, they don’t really sound too pleasant. they kind of sound like the diesel engine on a truck. anyways I decided to really investigate on why side by sides are so loud, and one of the main reasons why is when compared to a car, UTVs have less soundproofing and the engine has less covering so it’s going to sound louder.

Quietest UTVs Available On The Market Today

There are folks that do not really wish to mod their UTVs, but rather they wish to buy a brand new model that is as quiet as possible. and when it comes to the current rides available on the market, there are some that are definitely quieter than others. The following list talks about the quietest and smoothest UTVs that you can buy today so that you can get yourself the one that will produce the least noise.

Polaris Ranger EV

When it comes to UTVs that are hushed and smooth, the Polaris Ranger EV is the first one of this list. and this mainly because this model is electrically powered. there are other UTVs powered by electricity here, but this is the best one. and one of the reasons why is because of the battery. this Ranger EV uses a lithium-ion battery which is superior to 99% of what’s on the market, providing significantly more power and battery life.

Also, one of the other reasons why this is the best EV side by side is because there are no real compromises when you buy this. with most electric UTVs, manufacturers tend to gut the quad making it a complete appliance with no features, but this is not the case with the Ranger. the electric motor provides a lot of power and the instant torque might catch you by surprise. anyways, I highly recommend this model if you are a hunter and are looking for something that is very hushed, smooth, and quiet.

Textron Prowler EV

The Textron Prowler EV is another great choice for somebody looking for something quiet and subdued. This Prowler is similar to the Ranger in that it’s also electrically powered, and while it might not feel as premium or well-made as the ranger, its 4 seating option, and low pricing makes it worth a look. One of the main advantages that this Prowler has over the Polaris Ranger is that it has more space than the ranger. this is a ride that can be had with 4 seats, something that your family will definitely appreciate. the cargo space will also provide a significant amount of space to store things like hunting accessories and what not.

Another pro this UTV has is its pricing. amazingly, this Prowler can be had under 10,000 dollars, which is very cheap when compared to mainstream side by sides like an RZR for example. this is a great choice for those who are on a budget or simply aren’t willing to spend over 20 grand on the Ranger.

Now let’s talk about the bad things that this UTV has and the first one is the ride quality. I’m sad to report that while this UTV almost doesn’t make any sound, the suspension is definitely going to beat you up. in my opinion, this is not a good machine for people with bad backs or people that are looking for something very comfortable in general. the Prowler is also a pretty “raw” kind of like a Honda. this UTV was made with work in mind, not recreation.

John Deere Gator TE

John Deere is a company that has developed a reputation of making very utilitarian and rugged products, and with the Gator TE, it’s no different. this is also an electric UTV that features a very body, back-to-backs look that some people will love. one of the main pros of the John Deere Gator is a big cargo box, great if you are thinking on putting an animal in there. because of that, this is a good choice for hunters and people who need to work on a farm. The pricing is a little bit steep for what you are getting for though.