Mud boggin. Adrenaline-junkie. Fast graded roads to gnarly rocks, whoops, and silt. For decades, UTV racing has mainly been considered a man's venture — sweat, grease, dirt, and horsepower. But not anymore. More and more women are making the move to UTV racing.
If you are a beginner driving a side-by-side, also known as a UTV — mistakes can be inevitable. For some, this can be the sheer result of inadequate gear. For others, it can simply be due to over-confidence.
UTVs are quick, agile, and designed to handle all but the toughest ground conditions. Driving a UTV can be the adventure full of thrills and frills — an experience of a lifetime. Go Fast Girls wants all riders, specifically beginners, to stay safe and avoid these common five mistakes.
5 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid
Not Wearing Proper Safety Gear
When you first start driving a side by side UTV, there is nothing — NOTHING — more important than having the proper safety gear. Law or not, anyone and everyone who drives a UTV needs to wear a helmet and eye protection. Drivers operating utility terrain vehicles should also invest in long sleeves, gloves, and boots. Safety also includes a UTV that is maintained and working correctly. Don’t skip on protection. Always wear your seatbelt — and never hold onto the roll cage. If you need to secure yourself, use the manufacturer-specified grab bars.
Thinking it’s an Easy Drive
Driving a side-by-side UTV is more complex than any other vehicle. From rough terrain to steep slopes and low traction — it’s important to learn and follow proper steering control. What does this mean? Do you know how to control the steering wheel in any kind of environment? A UTV does not handle like a car. UTVs have aggressive off-road tires, high ground clearance, and a narrow wheelbase. The general rule to follow when driving through this rough terrain is to have one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. As you climb the vehicle, you must exercise more control over the side-by-side, to prevent sliding backward. It’s also imperative that you keep your thumbs outside of the steering wheel. As a UTV beginner, start slow, get a feel for the suspension, and understand what your vehicle is doing beneath you.
Being Overconfident in Your Abilities
While it may seem silly that beginners can be over-confident, it happens. UTV driving requires ability and skill — but beginners should become familiar with the rules. While you may already know how to maneuver your side-by-side, you may not be well versed in the terrain that you’re going on. Beginners should keep speed to a minimum — as it gives time to react to new terrains. Many UTV beginners end up driving too fast and do not have time to correct mistakes before they lose control.
Driving Alone Without a Riding Partner
When you first start riding your UTV, it’s always best to have a riding partner. Should you get into an accident or get stuck, you’ve got someone to help you out to troubleshoot. Having a travel companion keeps you at a higher degree of safety. If you know a UTV vet, ask them to take a ride with you. They can help you maneuver through tough terrain, show you what to do and what not to do, and give you valuable advice that you only get with experience.
Beginners are known for taking these fun and powerful side by side UTVs and wanting to try donuts. However, UTVs are tall, and with a high center of gravity and long-travel suspensions, doing donuts can tip you right on your side. Don’t rush into stunts just yet. Become familiar with the UTV and stay grounded.Interested in taking the next step, learn how to buy the perfect side by side UTV.