UTVs: Product breadth = market strength

Publish Date: 
Mar 20, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

YOU ONLY HAVE to look at what’s happening in the aftermarket to get a good idea of what types of units are selling. At Dealer Expo, the large number of companies offering up products for the UTV, side-by-side and ATV segments points to brisk business in the four-wheeled world. The range covered everything from recreation to agriculture, with a touch of hunting and mudding thrown in for good measure.

As a longtime player in this area, Kolpin had a number of goodies designed for hard use and the occasional good time, but the big push this year was the company’s line of side-by-side cabs, said Tony Petersen, director of sales. Kolpin has cabs that fit vehicles from Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha. The cabs are reportedly easy to install with quick clamps that attach the roof and rear glass panel, and the windshield attaches with four bolts. The doors are made to lift off with no tools.

The company uses automotive-type gaskets on all contact surfaces for a weather-tight seal, while the sliding driver and passenger employ tempered glass and a hard-coated polycarbonate to keep dust out when closed. The front panels open slightly for airflow or all the way for hunting.

Another manufacturer of side-by-side cabs is DFK, a company from the Czech Republic that now has a U.S. distributor in Downers Grove, Ill., just outside of Chicago. The company has cabs for just about every side-by-side out there, including one for the Can-Am Commander. The cab features a tempered safety glass front panel that tilts out and comes equipped with a wiper and washer assembly. The window locks in four different positions. Doors are built from UV-protected and hard-coated 5mm polycarbonate with metal piping reinforcement. Each door is lockable. Other features include a three-speed heater, a sheet metal roof, noise-reducing insulation and a rear panel made from the same materials as the doors.

For Kolpin’s Cycle Country lineup, the Poly XT plow blades are big sellers, Petersen said. The plastic blades are lighter and quieter than steel, they don’t rust, and they’re a little more forgiving on the surfaces over which they’re plowing, he added. The blades come in 60, 66 and 72 inches.

WES, out of Quebec, has been making ATV trunks for many years and reportedly was one of the first in Canada to do so. The Touring model is designed for two-seater ATVs and comes in two different trim levels, standard and deluxe. The basic model adds storage space, armrests and handgrips for passengers, while the premium setup comes with heated grips.

Tire-wise, GBC Motorsports had its new Kanati Mongrel rubber for UTVs and side-by-sides — a tire that ran on several vehicles in this year’s King of the Hammers race. The Mongrel is DOT-approved for street use but is reportedly smooth on any hard-packed surface. It features an eight-ply radial construction and available in three sizes. (Continued)