You just dropped $20K or more on a new side by side! Probably took a little time to decide you were ready to spend that much, but then you realize there’s no roof, windshield and maybe doors. Also, no spare tire, very little storage and the list goes on. After spending that kind of money, sometimes it’s hard to go spend a bunch more on accessories. I know it’s hard for me! So I wanted to discuss some discount UTV accessories for you today so those who are on a tighter budget can still get some of the necessary protection you need while out on a ride. Now, when I say discount, I mean inexpensive, not cheap quality. I’m sure there are super cheap products out there that will only last a few rides, but who really wants those?
In another article I covered my top 5 accessories for new UTVs which you can read here. Today I want to talk about some of the best inexpensive options in that top 5 list that you might consider.
As I’ve mentioned in several posts, windshields are one of the first things we recommend getting for your new UTV. I talk about the many windshield options in another post where I break down a few pros and cons of each type. Check that one out here.
One of the least expensive options is going to be a fabric windshield, or screen. I didn’t mention this in my other article, but there are some windshields made of fabric that are basically a tight mesh that will block most things from coming through while still allowing transparency. These windshields are obviously not the best for heavy impact such as big rocks or branches. This style can be found for as little as $50-60, while some more advanced screen type windshields can be several hundred dollars. These are great because they allow airflow while stopping most particles from hitting you. This prevents the negative air pressure in the cab that tends to suck the dust back into the cab.
Another good, less expensive option for a windshield is a half windshield. Half windshields are nice because they don’t cover your entire field of view, so if they get muddy or dirty you can still see just fine. They are meant to deflect the wind up and over the head of the riders taking the dust and debris with it. Most half windshields are made from hard coated poly carbonate material which is more resistant to scratching. Most range from about $100-150 depending on the manufacturer and the machine they are designed for.
Getting a roof on your ride is extremely important, unless you want to deal with a gnarly sunburn (I learned that the hard way!). Really the main purpose of a roof is to provide protection from the sun and/or rain. There are some really cool things you can do with more rigid roofs though, like mounting speakers in them and strapping stuff on top of them.
The most affordable option for roofs is again a fabric material roof. These materials are treated to withstand UV from the sun and also repel water when the weather decides to take a turn on you. (See manufacturer specs to verify water resistance.) Fabric roofs are great for providing the basics of protection, shade and protection from rain. Maybe you’re into night rides and don’t want the roof blocking your view of the stars! The fabric roofs are great because they’re quick and easy to remove and replace while you’re out and about, no tools needed for most. On the other hand, they lack the ability to add accessories like the above mentioned speakers. So, if all you’re looking for is the basics, this is a great option and can be found for under $100 for most UTVs.
There aren’t really a lot of inexpensive options for roofs. The next step up is a plastic (polyethylene) roof which bumps the price up a couple hundred dollars. These are still less expensive than the aluminum roofs (usually), but still give you a semi-rigid feel that allows for speakers and accessories. Normally you will need some tools to install and remove the plastic roofs, so changing while out on the trail may not be as easy as the fabric roof. Prices range from $200-400 and up.
I know we’re talking about discount parts, but this is one area where I would spend the money to get a good one. The discount version of a skid plate is what comes in the machine. The step up from that is the polyethylene, plastic type material or aluminum. I like both and the price is actually really similar, but I really like the polyethylene material because it doesn’t get caught on rocks like the aluminum. The plastic tends to slide and allows you to keep moving in those technical rocky sections. I know plastic seems like a less protective material, but manufacturers have designed these to be very strong and will hold up quite well! Good skid plates start around $350 and go up.
Spare Tires and/or Tires Repair Kit
As for a tire repair kit, get a kit that has tire plugs and don’t use slime or fix-a-flat if possible. Don’t forget an air compressor. They make small compressors that are easy to pack and will get the job done. You should be able to get a repair kit and compressor for just over $50.
A winch is another area I choose not to go too cheap on. You’ll want one rated for about 3000 lbs or more, especially if you have a 4-seater. Warn has always been one of the most trusted brands in winches, so naturally they’re not the cheapest. Another brand you may consider for a little better deal is Tusk. Tusk makes almost everything for UTVs and they tend to be really good quality for a slightly better price! A winch will still cost a minimum of $200.