What's going to grow this sport? (UTV)

JoeyD23

#utvunderground
Jan 9, 2009
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Like the title says, what do you think is going to grow this sport? Time? More industry media coverage? Mainstream media coverage? Racing? Celebrity endorsement? Continuous new model releases? All of the above? lol

I'm curious what you guys, the core, think. Do you even want it to grow? The pure UTV enthusiast in me, the guy who fell in love with the sport in 2004/05, kinda wants it to still be small and niche. The now UTV industry biz guy, wants it to blow up, and being a leader in industry media it's my duty to help blow it up.

I like to think I have a good pulse, and I do, I live this sport, I don't just talk about it, but I also know I see things from so many angles that I don't want to lose sight of what the core truly thinks. The KOH thread to me has me thinking about this. Guys are worried about losing the race, and trying to get more than 20 UTVs to enter the event, a fun and very influential race albeit. But I'm trying to figure out how to get a MILLION people to buy UTVs and read our site!!!

Thoughts?
 

SKEETER9

Oh 8 7 Hundy - UVUnderground Approved
Feb 12, 2009
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El Cajon
Just have to really touch the middle of the road guys.... Not enough to build a jeep or sand car so show him the benefits of building a sxs or buying one that's ready to roll.... Gotta bad taste in peoples mouths cause the arsewipes who sue and are intelligent enough to even buy a sxs to begin with show him the true sxs world from the duners to the crawlers to the family outing wagons... Defeat the bad looks buy showing that we are good people just trying to have a little fun...

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID 8)
 

choptop0130

Member
Jul 5, 2011
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All the above joey! Bridging the gap across the country would help gain acceptance thru the masses for the validity of the sport.
Coming from a intricate role in a racing series back to a racer I to share your concerns. Unity in the sport will help carry it a lot further down the road as well. The east coast is growing by the day so there is more there than most know hence growing the sport!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

98GP

Member
Apr 25, 2012
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SXS should be street legal on all road surfaces except maybe a free-way. If the Smart Car, Fiat 500, and VW rail buggies (w/VW VINs) all can be street legal, why not sxs. I am a middle of the road kind of guy that needs a work car, but wants to have a fun machine on the weekend too. It is hard to justify the cost for both to be in my driveway.
 

BiggJim

I Hate Rules - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 15, 2009
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Bakersfield
I am assuming you are talking about the racing aspect of the UTV sport. IMHO its going to be the small series races that grow the sport...The cheap to get into series. Look at the WORC's layout. You dont have to have a full TILT race car to enter, You dont have to have a full TILT race car to win, the rules are simple, its inexpensive, there 8 races in the series, and it has good exposure. I bet at Taft there will be 70+ utv's. The PURE series of racing is working great as well. These type of series work good for growth, but for the blue collar guy this is as far as its going to go. Just to run BITD for the season your entry fees will be over 6K, not to mention broken parts, maintence or the build. Offroad racing is not a working mans sport....at least not the current premier series'.

The addition of the 850 Pro class in this years BITD may just help some growth. There are ALOT of used up race cars that can no longer compete with the bigger badder polaris, can am, and wild cat machines. This class may just be a good stepping stone for a guy thats on the fence. Get himself racing, get himself some exposure, and he maybe able to step up to the bigger class.

Lets be honnest....what does it cost to build a race car thats going to compete in BITD or SCORE? 50-70K? << this is the price if you are doing most the build yourself. Whats it cost to maintain per race? 2-10K per race? I would bet that almost every car that races BITD has figures in these ranges.

Someone else made a comment in the SCORE thread....If the OEM's offered a rolling chassis for a good price this might also motivate people. I bet on our XP1000 we throw away 5-7k worth of parts. If a person could buy factory dirrect rolling chassis without the 22k retail price of a new stock unit....this could help.
 

onerich

The Carpenter - UTVUnderground's La familia
Jan 29, 2011
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I think of the site as a SoCal. race site and a ''good one at that'' , I'm just being honest . The site run smooth and little drama which is nice . But I think there are more weekend family warriors then there are race family just saying not blasting anyone and I would think it's the WW family's one would like to focus on the race part the site has down . just saying

 
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ROTAX

CannedHam - La Familia
Feb 21, 2011
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1. UTV recreating tends to be a transition sport (People from bikes and quads who are ready for something with more seats and a cage) **This will help the UTV industry keep growing for sure

2. I think the industry and this site is doing a good job appealing to consumers with better machines and great information.

3. But, here is what the uphill battle is:
a) Losing land to ride on
b) Greenies demonizing the sport in "law" and the media
c) THE PRICES OF THESE MACHINES ARE GETTING RIDICULOUS
 
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JoeyD23

#utvunderground
Jan 9, 2009
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I posted this mainly as a question to see what all your thoughts were on growing the sport in general. Not really racing. I think we know what works to get the higher car counts and thats affordability and big reward. Certain types of racing like Desert racing or KOH is naturally just not going to have huge car counts at every race because of the sheer logistics and cost to race. However, now that machines look to level out at 1000cc, over the next couple of years I expect to see car counts grow in desert racing.

But back to the initial point of the post. I agree, we as a site need to do more recreational based events and national coverage. We did do quite a bit last year nationwide. I mean we have done Mud Nationals 2 times, we did Dune Fest in Oregon, Trail Fest in West Virginia, Camp RZR in Glamis 2 times, Rally On The Rocks in Moab, an event with Can-Am in Glamis for Thanksgiving, and of course the La Familia led OW Desert Rally. So we do quite a bit of enthusiast based events. Sometimes I wonder if people here are even into our national coverage and videos??? If not, its best to know it so we can point those budgets elsewhere.

We are the go to site for race coverage, people expect to see the coverage here and since there seems to be a race almost every weekend, naturally we are going to have a lot of race content. Still, we don't please everyone, and while thats impossible to do I think everyone can agree that NO OTHER SITE covers the UTV race scene like we do. We spend a lot of time and money doing that and we enjoy it. Racing is a big part of why we started this site anyway. Before UTVUnderground.com no other sites were dedicated to giving the racers coverage and support.

With that said, I have stressed on the importance of doing more UTVUnderground group rides, more member outreach type events. However, we need to pay the bills and our schedules are just PACKED with travel and events and races that its so hard for me to just plan a weekend ride. Heck, the times I am able to get out to just ride the last thing I want to do is work! lol Its a hard balance.

So what I am hoping for this year is to add a couple of people to the payroll. Maybe not as full time employees but I would love to kick a couple bucks to members who want to organize some group rides in there areas and then report back with a simple story and photos from the weekend. They don't have to be big elaborate events like the Desert Rally, but just simple weekend gatherings, rides that we can call OFFICIAL UTVUNDERGROUND MEMBER RIDES or something to that affect.

Anyone in to help here? We need to add to the UTVUnderground crew!!!
 

XPirate

Active Member
Sep 9, 2011
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Bakertucky
So far I think everyone's comments are spot on....A few highlights, "affordable" chassis for those that choose to race/customize.... Highlight the Weekend Warrior... Go to ride spots and showcase families and terrain...UTV/SxS can appeal to everyone, the low budget guys and the peeps that are selling their 100k sandrail offering to take partial trade on a SxS tells you that... I like that there has been a ton of improvements over the past couple years, but think it hurts the "blue collar" guy that wants to race. He doesn't know when to jump in a buy a machine that he feel will be competitive fearing the next new 1/2 year release... just 2 years ago an 800 S was pretty competitive in every series, not so much anymore.... I think the playing field is leveling with the 1000 cap it seem the manufactures are sticking to, so maybe now the "SPORT" side will grow as fast as the "Leisure" side... And we all know, there are way more WW than racers... Appeal to the masses without forgetting the badass race coverage.
 

XPirate

Active Member
Sep 9, 2011
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Bakertucky
So what I am hoping for this year is to add a couple of people to the payroll. Maybe not as full time employees but I would love to kick a couple bucks to members who want to organize some group rides in there areas and then report back with a simple story and photos from the weekend. They don't have to be big elaborate events like the Desert Rally, but just simple weekend gatherings, rides that we can call OFFICIAL UTVUNDERGROUND MEMBER RIDES or something to that affect.

Anyone in to help here? We need to add to the UTVUnderground crew!!!
Send me the PM with the info you would like submitted!!!! Most of us in La Familia are looking to explore more ride areas and this would be the perfect reason... We have a good solid group that want to help the cause.
 
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ROTAX

CannedHam - La Familia
Feb 21, 2011
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Local rides are the key! People want to ride with others who share the same sense of adventure and passion for the outdoors, and being responsible. I went to Miller canyon yesterday with SSV and for the first time, saw more UTV's on the trails than bikes and quads. It was very cool. Several new XP10004's and Mav's. You know LF puts on the best rides in SoCal!! That's your core market. THE FAMILIES.
 

Darryl89

Killer Kitty - UTVUnderground Approved
Oct 8, 2009
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Several have hit good ideas.
Me as a dealer, participant, fabricator and racer, I get to see it from many different angles.
As a dealer, the manufacturers need to realize that they need to support their dealers more now than ever before. As mentioned by others, this is partially a transition sport. Many that are crossing over, are used to either bikes that stand up to much more abuse, or 4X4s that are more user friendly. Dealers are having to absorb more and more to keep their customers happy. Profit margins are no where near as high as many think. And everytime a manufacturer comes out with a new model, suddenly all the previous models are obsolete and dealer are stuck with selling them at losses or near losses. Can't stay in business that way. (Aggressive dealers are becoming the norm now, if you want to survive, you better be ready to make great deals and take losses in areas).

As a participant, more friendly events are key to exposing people to what UTVs can do. I had been involved with UTVs for fun and trail rides, but until I attended my first Rally On The Rocks, I never knew what they were capable of. Dean Bulloch taught me to rock crawl like I had never thought possible. Kudos to those that put on these events, you are a life-blood to the rest. And each time UTV Off Road Magazine, or UTVGuide orthe biggest of them, UTVUnderground, covers one of these events, I see more and more people want to be involved. I always have sales spikes right after ROTRs.

As a racer, more local and regional events that are affordable. Dirt Riot puts on one of the best "Bang for the buck" races out there. For $100, and with a reasonably safe UTV, you can have a race that will test you and be tons of fun. I would like to see ths same concept expanded to short-course, perhaps at local levels at 1/4 mile sprint car race tracks. Many can be built up to accommodate this without much trouble.
National level racing is always great to watch or read about in the forums and mags, but for the average Joe, means nothing. Unless you have lots of money and great logistical support, you chances of doing great get whittled down fast. That's why I give huge props to guys like Cory Sappington when they do good. In the old days, we referred to these guys as privateers (no true big name sponsors, they did it all in house).

As for fabricators, that is a dog-eat-dog world. There are some big names out there that build awesome rigs. Magnum, SDR, UTVInc, TMW and more. But it's an emerging art that inspires many to customize or buildup their machines. Now if only some of the manufacturers would take more notice and build machines that are strong bases for buildups. Often, this is the best way to get a customer and his machine matched and capable of their driving conditions and style.

Joey, you, Troy Merrifield, Jon Crowley and a few others are in positions to drive this industry ahead. Remember that it's awesome to see RJ launch a RZR XP1K thru insane stunts, but the average guy wants to know how to build a trail capable rig. The guy that can only afford the used Rhino needs to know how to make that machine perform as a decent trail rig. They all need to know how to drive, how to make their machines survive and thrive. They need a "Popular Mechanics" of the UTV World. How to's are always great. The big name fab outfits are reserved for those with 20-40G to throw at a machine. But most guys, would rather build or buy a used 4400 car for bashing the rocks or a used Sandrail for jump the dunes, than spend 40G on a UTV (or as some would say, a Golf Cart).

Point is, it will take many things to make the industry thrive and grow. And it will take all of us to pull together to keep our lands open and promote the industry in a positive light. Police ourselves and not put UTVing in a bad light. Keep a positive attitude about all manufactured brands and work together to promote events that highlight what these machines can do.
 

BiggJim

I Hate Rules - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 15, 2009
2,079
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Bakersfield
As an Industry/ SXS popularity....I think it is growing....Go to any offroad park and look around. SXS's dominate every other machine 10 fold. I think the aftermarket does a good job at keeping up but as fast as trends change old trends die. look at the rhino. In the last 6 months I have sold 1 long travel kit a mabye 3 sets of spindles....but for the XP900 I have sold probably 40sets of shocks and our other goods. And Our "cognitos" market for both those machines are very Niche. Basically suspension only.

I bet if polaris gave you UNIT sales data.....Id bet its close to 10% per year if not more in the last 3 years. Just on UTV's. I would have mentioned the other makers but they wouldnt have long term data.
 

BrianReno

Member
Aug 19, 2012
202
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Reno, NV
Joey,

The entire team at UTV UG deserves a huge amount of kudos for the amount of events and that you are able to cover and in turn write and do videos for. the UTV industry is growing very rapidly and UTV UG is a major reason why.

I think the manufacture backed events that have been put on are a huge factor in growing the sport. Having the ride days at the dunes all over the country is a great idea that needs to keep happening.

The Silver State Jamboree that is happening in July up here in Reno is another event that has all aspects needed (except for the manufacture backing) with getting the recreation/family activities in during the week and racing on the weekend. Props to Jeff Knoll for putting this together.

As far as racing I think that the Grassroots series are bringing new blood into the sport for a relatively in-expensive cost as compared to the "Premier Series'". Some of these events need a little more exposure and I have a feeling they would grow exponentially.

I agree with the following statements that have been made as well...

1) Cost of units is getting to that point where people are hesitant to make that leap, and possibly driving them to the sand car or jeep realm.

2) There should be a "stripped race model" offered by the OEM's to racers that are committing to build and race a car where all the "throw away" stuff is not needed. I have heard all the comments about selling the stuff on E-bay etc. but most people would rather not deal with that aspect if they didn't have to, it becomes a pain.

3) The creation of events like Rally on the Rocks, Trailfest, Dunefest, and the new SS Jamboree. These are elite events that are far away for a lot of people and require time off from work. There needs to be more "weekend" type events that are spread all over so more people can attend them.
 

dkiewicz

Space Cadet - UTVUnderground's La Familia
Nov 28, 2009
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Hesperia Ca
Send me the PM with the info you would like submitted!!!! Most of us in La Familia are looking to explore more ride areas and this would be the perfect reason... We have a good solid group that want to help the cause.

Ditto... I think IMHO, we (La Familia and everyone else here who rides with us) could help out there, I'm in.

We (UTV enthusiasts) also need to grow the volunteer trail maintenance. Having a little more exposure for returning to the environment, that which we use and tread on, may just shut up some of the tree huggers that always say all we do it trash everything.

To grow this sport, we need to continue to be responsible and contribute to taking care of ourselves and the places we ride. We set the examples and show what is responsible and we exploit that.

We also publicly denounce those who do not follow these values and make sure WE police them. Otherwise the good ole government is going to help us out and we all know what that leads to.

Daryl aslo hit a note with me above. I think this site could benifit from a how to section. How to change shocks, how to rebuild them, how to add goodies to your ride, how to maintain your vehicle. I know that this is talked about in many threads here, but official videos from the fabricators and mechanics on the site on how the layman can work on and save some dough while keeping their rides safe. How to build up a basic race rig for the local tracks. This would be a big help to folks who have questions of just what's involved and would be contained and organized in one place. Just thinking out loud....
 

megadesertdiesel

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2009
1,838
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Mesa, AZ
I think the idea of local coverage by local Jr Underground represenatives is a great idea. Maybe pass around a banner and some stickers to a local rep and have them take some pictures and give a report.

I would be in for at least a couple events a year, i have been wanting to do a trip through Sedona, AZ this Febuary and could sumarize and post some pictures after. And of'course the X-mas light tour every december.


How about some coverage of the plants where these things are assembled? Or some tips from the professional racers and how they keep thier car together during the race and what maintenance goes on between races.
 

crazywatson

#13 - UTVUnderground Approved
Jul 30, 2009
1,272
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Redwood City
I think your already on the right track with everything your doing it just need to go even bigger. More sponsor money for more vids and promotion. I bet the XP1K vid probably sold a shit ton of rzr ' s. I have a couple family members that raced many years in the desert and they talk down the UTV'S so much they can't get it out of there head that they always break and never finish. Seeing a utv in action speaks for it self imo. People see how bad ass they are and how far they have come in 5 years.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
 

JoeyD23

#utvunderground
Jan 9, 2009
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XP1K sold a lot of RZRs there is no doubt about that! It also helped put RZRs into the mainstream, something we need more of.

Thank you to the guys who have emailed me about helping build a "street team". We really need to get more participation here in the forum and out to do that I think we need to do more outreach and to do that I really need the members here to step up and help with that!

I am going to work on a plan for that and I wil contact you guys who have reached out!
 

ROTAX

CannedHam - La Familia
Feb 21, 2011
4,566
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amateur video team for local so-cal rides.. ;)

We're in
 

Bart

UTVUnderground Approved
Dec 10, 2012
47
1
0
Canyon Lake, Ca.
If you are talking the general growth of the sport, and not necessarily the racing part of it, I think alot of people here have hit the nail on the head with:

1. Manufacturers need to focus on the median income family that dont have an expendable bank account. Seems like most of them are focusing on bigger, badder, and more $$$ as of late.

2. As for utv websites, i also believe more focus on everyday riding, weekend trips, day rides, things more people can relate to, rather than solely focusing on race type events.

3. I like the idea of having junior reporters from UTVUG doing reports, either paid or volunteered. I know there were forum members out and about these last big holiday weekend, it would be nice to read their storys and look at their pics.

Either way, good job to UTVUG for what theyve done and continue doing!
 

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