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Author: Subject: Questions about UTVs and where should I buy?
tmtuttle
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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 02:56 PM
Questions about UTVs and where should I buy?


We're in the Pescadero/Todos Santos area near the beach and I'd like a side-by-side UTV to haul myself, my wife, surfboards, and beach gear to the beaches in the surrounding areas. I'm not an off-road guy, so I know scratch about the vehicles. I'm thinking about something that is more utility than sport, like a Polaris Ranger, Kawi Mule, or Honda Pioneer. I don't want something that destroys our hearing, I just want something to get us back and forth to the beach.

So, my question, can I buy something like this in Baja (we have permanent residency, so buying and registering vehicles isn't a problem) or should I buy one in the States and haul it down?

Like I said, I'm not an off-road guy or a motorhead, so the extent of my mechanical abilities would be oil and filter changes. Would I run into problems with a US vehicle down here if it needed service?

If I should buy in Baja, any recommended models that fit the specs I listed above.

Thanks for any help


[Edited on 11-25-2021 by tmtuttle]
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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 03:18 PM


What is your budget? How many seats.

Generally, better to buy something in the US that wasn't beat to sh!t.





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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 04:24 PM


There are Polaris, Can-Am, Arctic Cat, Yamaha, and probably Honda dealers in Los Cabos.
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tmtuttle
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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 06:44 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
What is your budget? How many seats.

Generally, better to buy something in the US that wasn't beat to sh!t.



Two seats - my wife and I and some gear, surfboards on top and chairs and shade in the back. Nothing special.
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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 08:09 PM


I've had two Polaris and have been very happy. One of the rangers with the bed more of the utility models sounds like the one for you. A 1000 would still be my choice because its fast enough to run safely down the road.
Not sure price wise where its better to buy but I'm guessing the US? With 2K hard miles on our current 1000 and no repairs only maintenance I wouldn't worry about service work or warranty to much.
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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 09:13 PM


they are noisy as hell
no windshield
no protection
prone to theft

best would be to buy in the US - cheaper than in Baja
no registration needed (yet)

I personally would buy an older 4x4
1990's Grand Cherokee can be had for $1,000 US
windshield
AC
very capable 4x4 system
theft proof (nobody wants it)
but is had no "cool factor"





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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 09:28 PM


My RZR has a windshield Harald.

Two of them actually, One pony version (used the most) and a fully enclosed one. They snap on and off pretty easy.

Lots and lots of after market stuff for UTVs.





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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 09:44 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
My RZR has a windshield Harald.

Two of them actually, One pony version (used the most) and a fully enclosed one. They snap on and off pretty easy.

Lots and lots of after market stuff for UTVs.



Good to know
none of the locals driving around have them
but helmets a full race outfit




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[*] posted on 11-25-2021 at 09:58 PM


Quote: Originally posted by tmtuttle  
We're in the Pescadero/Todos Santos area near the beach and I'd like a side-by-side UTV to haul myself, my wife, surfboards, and beach gear to the beaches in the surrounding areas.


Get a jeep, something that can be locked, and has AC.
Open-air UTVs are noisy and dusty, and lack creature comforts like AC, doors and windshields.




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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 06:32 AM


Quote: Originally posted by 4x4abc  
they are noisy as hell
no windshield
no protection
prone to theft

best would be to buy in the US - cheaper than in Baja
no registration needed (yet)

I personally would buy an older 4x4
1990's Grand Cherokee can be had for $1,000 US
windshield
AC
very capable 4x4 system
theft proof (nobody wants it)
but is had no "cool factor"



My thoughts exactly. I'll add the additional benefits of not choking on dust and every mechanic in Mexico is familiar with them.

[Edited on 11-26-2021 by pacificobob]
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11-26-2021 at 08:13 AM
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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 08:14 AM


Quote: Originally posted by 4x4abc  

I personally would buy an older 4x4
1990's Grand Cherokee can be had for $1,000 US
windshield
AC
very capable 4x4 system
theft proof (nobody wants it)
but is had no "cool factor"



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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 08:29 AM


I think TMTUTTLE is looking for something small and nimble, but that will be reliable and not need mechanical knowledge to keep running.
From my point of view, that eliminates Jeep and any old POS clunkers that "nobody wants".

Side by sides (UTVs) are not all noisy... Hunters use them, after all. They are also available fully enclosed (no dust). Plus, I think TM will not be racing the thing and stir up dust any more than a Jeep would.

I get the dislike for this type of vehicle because of how tourists abuse the land with them, playing Ricky Racer, etc. I just think from TM's opening post, he doesn't fit the bill of a noisy, dust-making kind of guy...?

That said, my only suggestion is do the homework... check out the manufacture's options. I hear Polaris is a very well-made brand... but I have no personal opinions of the most reliable, quiet, dust-free models.




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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 08:59 AM


There are at least 2 extremely quiet electric UTV's out there. Polaris E Ranger and the imported Hisun sold out of Texas. Both run around 15000 new, so are not cheap, but they can be very utilitarian if you have a place to recharge them.
Have to agree with Harald on the dust and discomfort thing and we did find the 2000 Cherokee we "borrowed" down there to be very durable and capable running back and forth almost daily on very rough terrain. My only issue was the cost of fuel.




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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 09:12 AM


Thanks for the replies. All good food for thought. I think DavidK got the gist of my post, something to get us back and forth to the beach, maybe some rides to off the beaten path beaches, and just a general get around the rutted, washed out dirt roads in the area so I don't beat the living s**t out of our car. Not going to be racing and the utility rigs are much quieter, like he said hunters use them.

As far as the dust factor, there isn't much traffic here so I won't be sucking too much dust. Besides, I used to ride my bicycle two miles back and forth with my board attached and got dusted out by many vehicles so this will be a nice upgrade.

As far as the theft issue, I see others with much more expensive rigs in the area - high performance four-seaters that probably run around $30k. I'm interested in something in the $15k range, so hopefully I won't be "the target". Besides, I haven't heard of vehicle theft being an issue here...yet.

I did look on google and there are plenty of UTV/ATV dealers in Cabo - I'll drop in next time I have to go to "Disneyland".

Again, thanks for the info.

[Edited on 11-26-2021 by tmtuttle]
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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 09:49 AM


The only "utility" type SXS I have any real experience with is a Honda Pioneer. Did 2000 miles in a used rental one in 2017 helping a friend pre-run for a Class 1 Baja 1000 run (yes, the dealer knew what he was going to do with it). Ran flawless, no issues whatsoever, even though he drove it more like a "sport" model the whole time. Am sure Kawasaki, Yamaha, Polaris, etc. make similar quality units.

I also have experience with a couple of the sport models. My comments:

Dust: you will get more dust with a windshield than without. The windshield seems to pull everything into the cab rather than to let it pass through. I think it is similar to driving a dirt road with the windows down or the way dust collects on the back of an SUV. Windshields also hold heat in the things as the radiator is in the front and the firewalls are typically not very sealed off.

Noise: yes, loud, especially over 30 MPH, and especially if no windshield. Even wearing a helmet does not really fix it. We wear earplugs and a helmet.

Climate control: I do not know of a company that makes AC for them, which could be an issue in temps over 85 and again, especially if you run a windshield. Are several companies that make affordable heaters for them.

Off road capability: Very good. Would think they are as capable as a Jeep (not experienced with Jeeps so is an assumption), certainly as capable as the 4X4's I have/do own. One of the benefits of a SXS is you do not have to go as slow in the rough as they handle it quite a bit better than most/all 4X4's.

Protection: They have pretty significant roll cages and are well protected. That said, those who think they are an instant expert off road driver can get into trouble and can get seriously hurt or killed in them. They are lighter than a car and you do not want to be involved in a collision with a car or truck in them. At night, because their headlights are set inward, cars on the highway do not always know how close you are to the center line. Run reflectors!

They are a great option!




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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 10:09 AM


Honda makes a nice one with a quiet muffler, a real transmission and no belt drive.



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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 11:12 AM


All good points by 100x. One thing that help with the dust and a front windshield is a rear snap on window or sun screen, seems to knock the dust down pretty good.
I have a really nice rock crawler that will eat up a SXS in the big rocks but that is about the only place, my scrambler rides on 37's, so not apples to apples comparison. It sits in the garage more now and the SXS get used to explore the Sierras and Nevada desert, much better tool.
There are several easy fixes to help detour theft or make it less appealing! You are right there on the $ you want to spend on one. You could probably save some money buying a used one in Southern Cal?
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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 11:51 AM


Might try asking the rental shops where they get theirs or if they have one to sale and get a service contract if you get a used one.




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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 02:28 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Russ  
Might try asking the rental shops where they get theirs or if they have one to sale and get a service contract if you get a used one.


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[*] posted on 11-26-2021 at 05:13 PM


Mostly good ;)



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