Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Four-Wheeler or Side-by-Side?
By Bob Humphrey
You’ve saved your pennies and you’re finally ready to get that ATV you’ve always wanted. But in the time it took you to save, something new came along making the choice much more difficult. What’s it gonna be?
You have two basic choices. The Four-Wheeler, sometimes alternately referred to as a Quad or ATV, is a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle with a single-rider, saddle style seat behind the gas tank and handle-bar steering, throttle and braking.
The Side-by-Side (SxS) is a dual-passenger ATV with conventional bucket or bench seats, steering wheel and foot pedal brakes and accelerator. Both are ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), but Yamaha prefers to assign the term “ATV” solely to four-wheelers like the Grizzly and Big Bear, and “Side-by-Side” to the Rhino.
Deciding which is best for you may depend largely on your specific needs or intended application. There are two major differences between the two. The SxS is a two-passenger ATV with a cargo bed. The Four-Wheeler is intended as a one-passenger vehicle and while it does have front and rear racks, they’re designed for carrying smaller amounts of gear.
If you’re looking for a vehicle to get just you out to those hard-to-reach places, carry enough gear for yourself and still be able to haul your deer back out, a Four-Wheeler is a great choice. If, however, you plan on riding “two-up,” you should consider the SxS. The latter is also a better choice if you’re going to be putting in food plots and need to haul lime, fertilizer and seed; or if you’ll be after bigger game like elk, moose and bear.
You may also want to consider secondary uses. The SxS is a bit more utilitarian, and a better choice if you’re going to be building food plots or doing a lot of ground work. You may opt for the Four-Wheeler if you do a lot of recreational riding. It should be noted however that the Rhino offers a comfortable ride for two, and you can haul everyone else’s picnic or camping gear.
The more you look the more you realize that both options are quite similar. It may ultimately boil down to personal preference. If, in the end, you’re still having trouble deciding, you can always get one of each.