TMS Blog

Choosing a High Performance Off-Road Vehicle

Written by David Glassman

If you’re looking for an off-road vehicle to enjoy an exhilarating off-road adventure, a high-performance ATV or UTV may be the type of machine for you. Off-roading is rugged and exciting, and high-performance vehicles are built for high speed and handling any hills, whoops, or other obstacles you may encounter. With an increased demand for horsepower, smooth ride quality, and advanced suspension, high-performance ATVs and UTVs are on the rise.

As you consider your options for your next high-performance off-road vehicle, the first decision is between an ATV or a UTV. There are some features that you may want but are not provided by one or the other vehicle type, which will help you narrow down your search. It is important to ask yourself the following questions when choosing between an ATV or UTV:

Who will you be riding with?

The answer to this question may make your choice clearer as ATVs are typically made for a maximum of two riders. You will have a seating experience similar to that of a motorbike with seating for the driver and with some models providing room for a passenger behind the driver. If you have children that you want to ride with, or plan on having off-road outings with friends, bear in mind that you may need several vehicles in order to accommodate everyone.

A UTV will typically offer side-by-side seating that is great riding with a significant other or for parents with children or groups that enjoy riding together. There are also UTVs available that provide seating for four, or even six, depending on the manufacturer. Consider who you’ll be most frequently riding with, if anyone, before making a decision to make sure your vehicle can accommodate your passengers.

Where will you be riding?

If you are planning on navigating narrow trails or having to make some quick turns, an ATV might be the right fit for you. ATVs are often built more narrow than a side-by-side, giving you access to more trails and riding destinations than many side-by-sides.

On the other hand, if you are cruising through wider, more open spaces with no restrictions on vehicle width, you may opt for a UTV. UTVs are typically built with more advanced suspension to handle the toughest terrain and often have turbocharged options to provide more horsepower to reach higher speeds.

Which features and functionality options are important to you?

Prioritize the most important features to you before making a decision. If you’re searching for an off-road vehicle with the most horsepower, a turbocharged UTV might be the best option for you. UTVs also have more options for personalization with accessories if you want to deck your ride out with LED light bars, speaker kits, etc. If you’re planning on going on long trips that require extra equipment or gear, UTVs typically offer more storage space through cargo beds, larger glove boxes, or sometimes even under-the-seat storage.

If you’re interested in customizing your vehicle, visit the Tousley Motorsports parts center to deck out your machine to visit your riding style.

Top high-performance models in both categories

Now that you’ve decided between an ATV or UTV, it’s time to consider which model you’ll purchase. Take a look at some top performers in both categories:



2019 Polaris Scramber® 850

One of the industry’s leading high-performance ATVs is the Polaris Scrambler 850. This machine is the ultimate pure performance ATV, built with power and race-proven sport performance. Reach high speeds in comfort while conquering the off-road on this machine.

Key features:

  • 33% wider floorboards and narrow vehicle width at the knees and ankles, providing a more comfortable ride
  • 11.5" of obstacle-dominating ground clearance
  • Premium sport-style plastic, lime squeeze brush guard and performance-built rack PXTs

Key specs:

  • Front and rear racks for a 75lb total capacity
  • Sport-tuned rolled Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)
  • 26" aggressive CST tires with 14" steel rims

2019 Can-Am Renegade® X® xc 1000R

The Can-Am Renegade X xc 1000R is built to ride with 91 horsepower to ride fast and over any terrain with a next generation level suspension. If you’re looking for an ATV built to take you wherever you point it with its high horsepower and leading traction and power transfer, Renegade is for you.

Key features:

  • Gauge: Multifunction digital speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip & hour meters, fuel, gear position, 4 x 4 indicators, diagnostics, clock
  • Protection: Front bumper, aluminum taper-profile handlebar with wind deflectors and square pad, aluminum skid plate
  • Lighting: 240 W from 4 fender-mounted projector beam headlamps (60 W) with tail light / brake light

Key specs:

  • 91HP Rotax 1000R liquid-cooled V-Twin engine
  • Tri-mode dynamic power steering (DPS)
  • FOX PODIUM 1.5 RC2 Shocks
  • 25” ITP Holeshot ATR tires on 12” cast aluminum deadlock wheels

2019 Yamaha Raptor 700R SE

If you’re looking for an ATV built for speed, the Yamaha Raptor 700R SE is for you. Engineered for racing with proven podium results, you’ll leave other riders in the dust. With Yamaha’s most potent big-bore engine, this unit has monstrous power to have a high quality riding experience.

Key features:

  • Aggressive SE styling with GYTR® front grab bar and heel guards to match its unique graphics package
  • Big-Bore power produces big torque right off idle
  • Rider-friendly features including thick comfortable seats, dual counterbalancers, electric starting, and easy reverse

Key specs:

  • Engine: 686cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 4 valves
  • Suspension: YZ-style piggyback shocks are fully adjustable with high- and low-speed compression adjustability for maximum sport versatility, along with pre-load and rebound adjustment (front wheel travel: 9.1 inches, rear wheel travel: 10.1 inches)
  • Aggressive Maxxis® Tires with high-performance front 22x10-9 and 20x10-9 rear Maxxis® tires



2019 Polaris RZR XP® Turbo

Performance never looked so good in a RZR XP Turbo. As an industry leader in Xtreme Performance, RZR has set the industry standards for off-road supremacy. With an optimally balanced chassis and turbocharged fury, spension, and agility, RZR will conquer any terrain in its path.

Key features:

  • Xtreme appearance: chiseled, muscular style, premium digital instruments, LED accents
  • Industry-leading Xtreme Performance turbocharged fury, 168 HP
  • Class-leading suspension

Key specs:

  • 168 HP ProStar Turbo 925
  • 20”/20" Usable Travel & *DYNAMIX Active Suspension™
  • 29” Maxxis® Big Horn 6-Ply Tires
  • 14’’ ground clearance

2019 Can-Am Maverick™ X3 Turbo

The Maverick X3 Turbo provides riders with responsive, refined performance and thrilling power. Maximize your power, efficiency, and performance with this side-by-side, equipped with advanced airflow dynamics, industry-leading suspension travel, and the sharpest handling features.

Key features:

  • TTX suspension with industry-leading travel (20” of travel)
  • The sharpest handling features in its class
  • Tri-mode high torque DPS system

Key specs:

  • 120HP turbocharged Rotax® ACE Engine
  • FOX® 2.5 PODIUM Piggyback shocks with QS3® compression adjustment
  • 14” aluminum wheels with 28” Maxxis Bighorn® 2.0 tires
  • Front and rear 20” suspension travel

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R

Unleash pure sport performance with a Yamaha YXZ1000R. Built to balance confidence with comfort, this side-by-side is built for high-performance off-road adventures. Backed by Yamaha’s reputation for precision-engineering and innovation, YXZ1000R delivers durability, reliability, and performance.

Key features:

  • Industry-first three-cylinder engine
  • Driver-focused ergonomics keep driver and passenger low in the chassis, with exceptional visibility and roomy high-back seats with plenty of adjustability
  • One of the most agile, adjustable and capable side-by-side chassis designs ever seen in a production side-by-side

Key specs:

  • Engine: 998cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline three-cylinder; 12 valves
  • Suspension: Fully Adjustable FOX® PODIUM® RC2 Shocks with 16.2 front travel, 17-inches of rear travel space
  • Tires: Maxxis® Tires - 29 x 9 Front, 29 x 11 rear

Whichever vehicle model you choose, getting outside with friends and family is always the best medicine! All of these high-performance off-road vehicles are great options for anyone looking for a reliable and dependable off-roader that performs at the top of its class. The team at Tousley Motorsports is here to answer any questions that you may have before, during, and after your purchase.

David Glassman

David Glassman

David Glassman is President of Tousley Motorsports.

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