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Since they converted golf carts to hunting rigs nearly two decades ago, electric UTV’s have been the rage of southern hunters searching for stealth. The name brand selection of bikes continues to grow, and with parts and qualified dealers on the rise, electric UTV’s are becoming more mainstream. But the question is, are they for you? Keep this in mind that although a quiet drive train makes it pleasant to converse with a passenger, a sneaky approach can be greatly diminished if paired with an aggressive tire or when rolling to a deer stand from a gravel road. In addition to peace on the trail, there are no messy fuel fill-ups. Except for checking the batteries and greasing the suspensions, electric UTV’s can be nearly maintenance free. If electrics have a single negative, it’s how much distance they can cover on one charge. This estimated distance is greatly convoluted by battery condition, temperature, and hill grades. Although some manufacturers claim that you can travel a long distance, most practical applications come in at about half the number they estimate. Also consider that as your charge diminishes, your available torque can as well. Here’s the bottom line, if you can keep an electric side by side in a shed on a charger every time you park overnight, and you travel fewer than ten miles each day, then it may be the perfect solution to your deer hood. If not…go gas.
Bad Boy Buggies XT
Originally formulated from a golf cart platform, Bad Boy Buggies offers features and accessories specifically designed for the hunter. The machines have full-time four-wheel drive, plenty of storage and four-passenger bench seating. Powered by eight, six-volt lead-acid batteries, they connect in a series providing 48 volts for the drive motors. A 48-volt battery charger is provided with each Buggy sold, with a convenient charging port located under the driver’s side of the seat. The charger operates off of 120-volt AC power, and can be charged from any household 120-volt outlet. The Bad Boy uses regenerative braking powered by ‘separately excited’ DC motors. Whenever the throttle pedal is released, power from the motor is absorbed back into the batteries. Much like engine braking on a gas motor, this slows the vehicle down. A traditional brake pedal sporting 4-wheel disc adds strong downhill braking to the 1600-pound dry weight. The ground clearance is 8.25″ and the steering is easy to handle. Driving range varies depending on terrain. The company states a possible range of 16-23 miles with a recharge time of 8-10 hours. If the batteries are heavily discharged, it can take as long as eight hours to bring them back up again. A Buggy is heavy and will fit in a standard pickup box. However, depending on your truck you may want to use a trailer because of the possible stress on your tailgate. These machines are definitely a quiet day in the field. Motor configuration: Single 48 Volt, DC Separately Excited
Motor peak HP: 39.4 hp
Battery Pack: 48V DC; Eight 6-volt
Top speed: 25 MPH
Range: 23 miles. *Range is in ‘Max Range’ driving mode, flat ground and may vary depending on driving conditions
Charge Time: 8 hours (Dependent on depth of discharge)
Transmission: Direct Drive
Drive: 4WD Full Time
Front & Rear Suspension: Independent Macpherson Struts
Tires: 25 x 10-12 **
Auxiliary Power:** 12 volt accessory outlet**
Wheelbase (in.):** 68″
Turning Radius (in.): 173
Dry Weight (lb.): 1669 lbs.**
Ground Clearance (in.):** 8.5″
Length/Width/Height (in): 112 x51.5 x 84
Brakes: 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc
Payload Capacity (lb.): 1000 lbs.
Hitch Tow Capacity (lb.): 800 lbs.
Retail Price: $11,995.
Polaris Ranger EV
Polaris’s first entry into the electric side-by-side market makes this unit a practical solution to an electric UTV. The Ranger holds a charge longer than most, and is backed up by an impressive parts and service dealer network. Built on the same chassis as the Ranger 400, the EV features the largest battery pack in the industry (11.5 kilowatts) and has the longest estimated range of any electric. As you would expect from Polaris, the 4-wheel independent suspension is smooth and comfortable and is perfect for hunters and homeowners with acreage. The electric motor is rated at 30 hp and Polaris gives this bike a 35-45 mile range, with a 25 mph top speed. The UTV can be fast charged two hours. The unit has three operating modes; High for speed, Low for towing and hauling, and Max for maximum range. If you encounter muddy fields, rocks and stumps you’ll find the On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive transmission is effective. For less severe terrain with a better turning radius, there is a VersaTrac with one-wheel, rear-wheel drive that could be ideal when negotiating tight timber. This electric has the longest lasting range and is easy to drive. Also, the stock tires are quieter than most.
Motor configuration:** Single 48 Volt, High Efficiency, AC Induction motor
Motor peak HP: 30hp
Battery Pack: 11.7kW battery pack at 48V DC; Eight 12-volt US12VXC batteries in series-parallel configuration
Top speed: 25 MPH
Range: 50 miles. *Range is in ‘Max Range’ driving mode, flat ground and may vary depending on driving conditions
Charge Time: 8 hours (Dependent on depth of discharge)
Transmission: Direct Drive motor
Drive: On Demand AWD, 2WD, Turf Mode
Front Suspension (in.): Independent Macpherson Struts with 8 Travel
Rear Suspension (in.): Dual A-Arm with 9 Travel
Tires: 25 x 9-12 Carlisle All Trail II
Auxiliary Power: 12 volt accessory outlet
Storage: Glove box
Wheelbase (in.): 72
Turning Radius (in.): 150
Dry Weight (lb.): 1700
Ground Clearance: 10
Length/Width/Height: 108 x 56.5 x 73
Brakes: 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc w/Dual Bore Front Calipers
Payload Capacity (lb.): 1000
Hitch Tow Capacity (lb.): 1250
Retail Price: $10,699.
GAS SIDE-BY-SIDES Bobcat 3400 Series 4×4
All gas units have fuel injection and the standard 32-hp, 492cc engine will run up to 30 mph. There is a smooth, independent 4-wheel suspension and a switch to select from one-wheel (Turf Mode), to two-wheel or four-wheel drive. When engaged in 4-wheel drive, all four wheels receive torque sensing the slightest slip. The transmission has two speeds, low and high. Shift-on-the-Fly Drive Mode helps maintain momentum in difficult trail conditions, After you stop to lock the differential, it will shift from two-wheel mode to four-wheel drive on the fly. There is plenty of undercover protection from plastic and metal covers at the CVT, along with a suspension guard and a center rock guard. The ride is all-smooth using four-wheel independent suspension. The rear shocks are adjustable allowing you dial in the best ride for the right load. The Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system, 32-hp gas engine with a snappy top traveling speed of 30 mph. The bucket or bench seating options and 3-point shoulder harnesses will keep you snugly seated where you belong. The instrument panel includes indicator lights, an hour meter, warning lights, and an optional programmable speedometer. Built with one-piece molded construction, this tilt box simplifies hauling with the single-latch tailgate and handy tie-downs. Bobcat offers an impressive array of farm attachments that can really put these units to work. Engine Fuel: Gasoline, liquid cooled, 498 cc’s
Horsepower: 32 HP
Operating Weight: 1440 lbs
Travel Speed – High: 30 mph
Travel Speed – Low: 15 mph
Travel Speed – Reverse: 15 mph
Fuel Tank (gal): 9
Cargo Box Length: 36.5
Cargo Box Width: 54
Cargo Box Bed Load Capacity: 1100 lbs
Cargo Box Height: 11.5
Cargo Box Bed Load Height: 31
Total Vehicle Rated Capacity: 1600 lbs
Length (in): 113
Width (in): 60
Height (in): 75
Ground Clearance: 9.5
Turning Radius: 122
Wheelbase (in): 76
Retail Price: $10,106.
Bobcat 3400 4×4 Diesel
Keeping it real with lots of torque and the ability to haul 1100 pounds. this diesel uses a 24.8-hp engine that sips fuel. Consistent in the Bobcat line, the bed dumps and the seats have comfortable 3-point harness seat belts. Automatic glow plugs in addition to fuel injection makes starting this engine when it’s freezing a snap. Engine Fuel: Diesel, liquid cooled, 903 cc’s
Emissions Tier (EPA): Final Tier 4
Engine Fuel: Diesel
Horsepower: 24.8 HP
Displacement: 903 cc
Operating Weight (Ib.): 1610
Retail Price: $12,109.
Can-Am Commander 1000x
With a motor that any power hungry rider could love, Can-Am does what they do best with this first entry into the side-by-side market…it goes fast, handles well, and delivers stout off road capability. Starting with a newly developed Rotax 1000 V-Twin engine, this 80º V-twin is the most powerful side-by-side engine in the industry with 85 HP. The liquid-cooled, single overhead cam engine uses four valves per cylinder and feeds from two fuel injectors. Regardless of temperature or altitude, the electronic fuel injection computer automatically keeps the engine at peak performance. The throttle body accelerator keeps the engine smooth even when your foot is bouncing off and on the gas pedal. Utilizing Fox Racing aluminum shocks, the suspension is remarkably agile. With 10″ of travel, it is adjustable to meet the needs of high-speed performance with off-road practicality. With its Dual-Level Cargo Box, the Commander has an industry first. This double rear platform allows the user to have an upper and a lower bed with an independent tailgate. The box carrying capacity is a total of 600 pounds – 400 pounds on top, and 200 pounds below. Made from anti-rust and anti-dent composite, the upper and lower tailgate can be removed without tools. There are integrated vertical slots for plywood dividers along with an optional trunk lock. To help you stay out of trouble, there is 11″ of ground clearance as well as Can-Am’s well-tested Visco-lok 4 wheel drive system that engages all the wheels as needed instantly. Not your uncle’s side-by side, this beast is truly for the power hungry speed driven trail master and not for the inexperienced. This side-by-side offers serious performance.
Engine Type:** 976cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve (4-valve/cyl)
Fuel Delivery: iTC with EFI and 54mm Throttle Body, 2 injectors
Transmission: CVT, sub-transmission with high, low, park, neutral & reverse.
Drive Train: Selectable 2WD/4WD shaft driven with Visco-lok† front differential
Steering: Adjustable tilt steering
Front Suspension Type/Shocks: Double A-arm with dive-control geometry / Motion control shocks
Rear Suspension Type/Shocks: Torsional Trailing arm Independent (TTI) with sway bar/ Motion control shocks
Front Brakes: Dual 214mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin-piston calipers
Rear Brake: Single 214mm ventilated disc brake with hydraulic twin-piston caliper
Tires/Front & Rear: Carlisle Black Rock – 27 x 9 x 12
Wheels: Steel
Length/Width/Height (in): 118,3 x 58,6 x 72
Wheelbase (in): 75,8
Ground Clearance (in): 11
Dry Weight: 1287 lbs
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs
Cargo Box Capacity: Total: 600 lbs
Fuel Capacity (gal): 10
Color(s) Available: Red, Yellow, Camo
Retail Price: $14,299. Camo $14,899.
Polaris Ranger 400
A step down in power from the Ranger 500, this machine is all about performance for the dollar. Many dealers report they can’t keep them in stock. Using a carburetor, this UTV uses 450cc and delivers a highly practical smooth ride with all-wheel drive instead of a locker based 4wheel drive system. You can carry 500 pounds of gear in the back, and the bike will easily get you out of all but the very worst mud. It has a snappy 40mph top speed with a bench seat that allows for a little extra space for a robustly framed guy.
Engine Type:** 455cc liquid-cooled twin cylinder
Drive System: Four-wheel shaft drive
Colors: Red/Green /Blue
Retail Price: $7,999.
Polaris RZR 4
This agile machine has a top speed 61 mph and is simply a ton of fun. Now you can stick four guys in a RZR and hit the trail hard like you were running the Baja. The four-bucket seats are comfortable, the suspension features sweet fully adjustable Fox Racing shocks, and the box has capacity of 300 pounds (just enough for a mule deer). Not a classic farm UTV, but highly capable just the same. Engine Type: 760cc liquid-cooled twin cylinder
Drive System: Four-wheel shaft drive
Colors Boardwalk: Blue/Pearl White/Black
Dry Weight: 1,255 lbs.
Retail Price: $7,999.
UTILITY ATV Yamaha Grizzly 450 EPS 4×4
Using plenty of DNA from its larger Grizzly cousin, this unit delivers high-end features into a mid level platform. The bike includes electric power steering, four-wheel independent suspension, a powerful, fuel-efficient, liquid-cooled engine, and Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission. Stopping has been upgraded with an all all-new rear sealed disc system inside the gear housing making them impervious to outside elements. A great is great that’s capable and easy on you’re shoulders during a long day of hard riding. Engine Type: 421cc SOHC four-stroke with liquid cooling
Drive System: 2WD/4WD and three-way differential lock
Colors: Hunter Green/ Steel Blue/ Camo
Retail Price: $6,899. Realtree AP HD $7,499. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ATV REVIEWS >>