Help me buy a 4 seat UTV

SDTom

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Oct 11, 2017
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Hi, I'm looking into buying a new or slightly used 4 seat UTV that I could take to So Cal deserts (Ocotillo Wells and Imperial SD) or up to Mammoth for mountain trails. It doesn't have to be super powerful but enough to have some fun in. This will be my first UTV. The two most important criteria for me are 1) reliability 2) fun! So far, my top choices seem to be Teryx4 and RZR XP4 900...with the T4 seemingly winning the reliability factor and the RZR winning the fun factor. Any others I should be considering?
 

G.T.

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Jan 15, 2010
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I'm selling my long travel T4 and recently purchased a Can-Am maverick X3 max xrs turbo. The T4 has been an awesome rig for sure to pack my family around in. I installed a rear bench and a set of 3 harnesses. With seating for 5 it accommodated my wife, kids, and I with ease. I was after a higher HP rig and was torn between between Polaris' and Can-Am's turbo offerings. After seeing the Can-Ams in person at the Sand Show recently I chose to move that direction. So depending on what your criteria are the Can-Am could be thrown into the decision mix.
 

sand shark

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Mar 30, 2009
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West Hills, CA
How about a 4 seat XP1000? There are good deals on them used and new. Has plenty of power for sand, desert and trails.

T4 is a great machine but the fun factor will not be there.

If you were only doing slow trail riding the T4 is awesome. Once you hit sand and desert you will be disappointed with the lack of power in the T4 and limits on suspension.




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SDTom

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Oct 11, 2017
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Thanks, yes, that's what I'm wrestling with, reliability vs fun. It sounds like RZRs have issues with belts especially...is that something a novice can fix? Also saw something about loose bolts/build quality. Any other issues to be concerned about?
 

Rynomx785

Active Member
Jun 21, 2015
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Thanks, yes, that's what I'm wrestling with, reliability vs fun. It sounds like RZRs have issues with belts especially...is that something a novice can fix? Also saw something about loose bolts/build quality. Any other issues to be concerned about?
I put 5600 miles on my 15 XP 4 1000 in 2 years and I blew 2 belts at the dunes running paddles. I was on the stock clutching which is not right for running paddles in the dunes. I never had belt issues in the desert. I had almost 3000 miles on the last belt I changed and I only changed it for peace of mind.

RZRs seem to get a bad rap on reliability but in my 5600 miles, other than 2 belts previously mentioned, the only thing I had to do to was wheel bearings at right around the 5000 mile mark. I think it mainly from people that run them into ground and don't take care of them. Everything breaks....if you take care of it, it will take care of you.

I regularly ride with a buddy that has a Teryx 4. It is painfully under powered, rides poorly, and I have had to help him change a belt in the desert which is a tremendous pain in the ass compared to a RZR.
 

RWTDCT

Its an RZR Thing - La Familia
Jun 13, 2013
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Central Coast, Ca. (Paso)
My vote for an all around machine (dunes, desert, sierra's) is a XP4 1000. XP 900 is also another good SxS

If you have never owned a SxS any one you first jump in will have the fun factor. After a little time you will realize other SxS's you will have more fun in. Do it right the first time.

Also, all SxS have there own issues. You have to keep up on maintenance for reliability.
 

///Airdam Clutches

Active Member
Nov 14, 2014
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yeah when you push a teryx hard to try to keep up with the pack of modern machines you will blow a belt. and you try and change the belt in one of them and you will wanna sell it. you dam near gotta cut braces and brackets out. its a solid hour job no matter how skilled you are. it freaking sucks. if you are a sight-seeing kinda guy a teryx is nice, and has a solid 4wd system. but if you wanna have a spirited pace you may as well mark it off the list. 10mph is as fast as they go comfortably. the Polaris is the most popular because its easy, works, and is fun. yes they do have some pretty shoddy build quality, yes they break, yes you can blow belts if you treat it like an asshole, but for the most part they work exceptionally well in almost any riding scenario.

used 4 seaters, the 900 is shorter, doesnt have a ton of back seat room for larger people so if your kids are teenage years they may be a bit cramped. 4-8yr olds will fit easily. the 1000 is bigger and works great. if you are going to get a used 4 seat 1000 be sure to get a 2015+ otherwise if you get a 2014 you will need to go into the trans and do a gear reduction to pull any kinda loads or you're gonna blow belts.

the can-am drives nicer than the polaris in most cases. it feels smoother and more plush in the slower speed stuff but its a bit more expensive and needs a new clutch system right off the bat or its gonna blow belts.

used, and desert, the polaris is a smarter option just dont pay a premium for it cause its probably gonna need wheel bearings and a carrier bearing pretty much day 1. and if it has over 1500 miles you may as well go on and add a few hundred bucks for a clutch rebuild and a new belt too. the polaris clutch starts wearing significantly around 1000 miles and around 1500 miles the primary is usually in dire need for a rebuild. the motors are pretty dam tough, trans are somewhat dependable, axles are tough as long as you dont start landing jumps with your foot to the floor.
 

sand shark

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2009
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West Hills, CA
The clutches going a 1000-1500 miles really depends on how well you take care of them and where you ride.

I got 5000 miles out of my clutches.

If you take care of the car, they will last a long time.


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///Airdam Clutches

Active Member
Nov 14, 2014
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yeah i see a few here and there talk about how well theirs held up, and how many miles, but clutches is all i do, 100 hours a week, from every walk of life all across the country, and you gotta understand the volume of clutches i do, i see no less than 30 polaris clutches per week for rebuilds or service or repair and the XP900 and 1000 clutches on average are significantly worn past most of their limits in the 1500 mile range. just becasue your clutch lasted 5000 doesnt mean the majority of them will. i see significant wear around 1000 miles, and the vast majority wont make 2000 miles. you made it 4000+ then consider yourself a lucky one cause thats definitely not the norm from what i see every day. blowing them out after a ride doesnt matter, sure it helps, but thats not what causes the wear i see, the rollers in the spyder wear the bushings out from the engine harmonics causing the weights to shift side to side during each engines pulse. this bushing wears out in the roller and the rollers then get slack in them, which causes the roller to quit rolling and in turn makes the weight drag back and forth which cuts flat spots in the roller and eventually chew the weights up.

i do happen to have a pristine 2012 Rzr 900 here at the shop just brought in for "clutch noise" that an old man rides down his driveway to check the mail and ride over to a bike riding trail to carry his 10speed bike down a gravel road, 3000 miles and the clutch actually looks perfect. better than i ever imagined. the noise was the carrier bearing, but in these 3000 miles i bet this 60+ yr old man has never put his foot to the floor, RPM low = less engine harmonics which allowed the clutch to last as long as it has without wearing itself out.

if you drive like gran-paw they can last 5000 miles.
if you drive like you wanna have fun, dont expect 2000 because they dont typically last that long.
 

sand shark

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2009
1,866
255
83
West Hills, CA
yeah i see a few here and there talk about how well theirs held up, and how many miles, but clutches is all i do, 100 hours a week, from every walk of life all across the country, and you gotta understand the volume of clutches i do, i see no less than 30 polaris clutches per week for rebuilds or service or repair and the XP900 and 1000 clutches on average are significantly worn past most of their limits in the 1500 mile range. just becasue your clutch lasted 5000 doesnt mean the majority of them will. i see significant wear around 1000 miles, and the vast majority wont make 2000 miles. you made it 4000+ then consider yourself a lucky one cause thats definitely not the norm from what i see every day. blowing them out after a ride doesnt matter, sure it helps, but thats not what causes the wear i see, the rollers in the spyder wear the bushings out from the engine harmonics causing the weights to shift side to side during each engines pulse. this bushing wears out in the roller and the rollers then get slack in them, which causes the roller to quit rolling and in turn makes the weight drag back and forth which cuts flat spots in the roller and eventually chew the weights up.

i do happen to have a pristine 2012 Rzr 900 here at the shop just brought in for "clutch noise" that an old man rides down his driveway to check the mail and ride over to a bike riding trail to carry his 10speed bike down a gravel road, 3000 miles and the clutch actually looks perfect. better than i ever imagined. the noise was the carrier bearing, but in these 3000 miles i bet this 60+ yr old man has never put his foot to the floor, RPM low = less engine harmonics which allowed the clutch to last as long as it has without wearing itself out.

if you drive like gran-paw they can last 5000 miles.
if you drive like you wanna have fun, dont expect 2000 because they dont typically last that long.
Well I don't drive like a grandpa, nor do most of the people I ride with. I have several friends with well over 3,000 miles on there stock clutches on XP900 and XP1000. I think where you ride will have an impact on how long the clutches last.

Was mine wearing well before the 5,000 mark,? most likely. Performance wise it was not until my last ride in the local desert that the performance was not longer there as the car would not go over 65mph. Nothing worse than being on a dry lake bed and having your friend in a XP900 walking away from you because you can't get top speed. LOL.

I took the clutches apart and sure enough the roller in the spider flat spotted and grooved the weight. This was a completely stock set up with no clutch kit. 1,000 of those miles were with 31" ITP Ultracrosses. The rest of the miles were mostly Glamis with paddle tires and desert rides with stock tires. In July the clutches worked perfectly for over 300 miles of fun medium to fast riding in Baja in the desert and beaches.

I do think it is a good idea to inspect the clutches at the 1,500 mile mark to see how things are wearing.
 

SDTom

New Member
Oct 11, 2017
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Lots of good discussion here. Thanks for everyone's input. I'm currently down to choosing between a 2015 RZR 4 900 with 300 miles and a 2012 Teryx with 1400 miles with tons of upgrades including long travel suspension. The RZR would probably cost about $2K more ($14K vs $16K).
 

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