1600 vs UTV trade offs

bajafox

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Also depends where you want to race. Baja? You'd have fun at any CODE or RECORD race with a 1600 or lower end UTV and probably be competitive. The 6 figure UTVs mostly show up at SCORE

Stateside? SNORE has the most amount of 1600 entries and probably the hardest org to win a race in for that class
 

AaronMacomber

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One of the upsides of a UTV (one that may get a fair share of insults even for saying it) is the finance aspect. You can walk in and finance the chassis, then pay for the upgrades out of pocket to be race ready without the full price tag up front.

I honestly feel that is what keeps the UTV classes numbers high compared to some of the other classes these days.
 
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B.HAGLE

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One of the upsides of a UTV (one that may get a fair share of insults even for saying it) is the finance aspect. You can walk in and finance the chassis, then pay for the upgrades out of pocket to be race ready without the full price tag up front.

I honestly feel that is what keeps the UTV classes numbers high compared to some of the other classes these days.

OH MY LANTA YOU SAID F******
 

offroadracer516

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If you wanna be the best. You go through 1600 to do it.
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JerryB

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I would say go with 1600, and this is coming from a guy who raced UTV the last 3 years. Yes it will be way harder on the body physically, but car counts are big, competition is fierce and when you win you know it was more the driver than how much money and/or factory support you had (IMO). Other problem which has started to show itself with UTV's is they are a manufacturer class, so to keep up with the Jones', you better be prepared to be buying a new car every couple years..... the newest, latest greatest model to hit the showroom, otherwise you'll find yourself to be a back marker. Speed (someday), the new Polaris and you can be sure Can-Am has a new ride in the works, are making all the cars which were competitive in the last couple years obsolete in short fashion.
 

B.HAGLE

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offroadracer516

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All of that is so bad ass.

Heard a story about Rob Mac beating all the class 10's in a 1600 at the mint??? or was I high on eco96 when I read that.
"Class 1/2-1600 driver Rob MacCachren won his class but shocked the assembled fans and racers by finishing 8th overall on the treacherous course. Long considered one of the best of the best in the world of off-road racing, MacCachren continues to amaze the industry with his talents, even at 44 years old."
 
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Troy_3

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I would say go with 1600, and this is coming from a guy who raced UTV the last 3 years. Yes it will be way harder on the body physically, but car counts are big, competition is fierce and when you win you know it was more the driver than how much money and/or factory support you had (IMO). Other problem which has started to show itself with UTV's is they are a manufacturer class, so to keep up with the Jones', you better be prepared to be buying a new car every couple years..... the newest, latest greatest model to hit the showroom, otherwise you'll find yourself to be a back marker. Speed (someday), the new Polaris and you can be sure Can-Am has a new ride in the works, are making all the cars which were competitive in the last couple years obsolete in short fashion.
So 1600 is way more of a driver class than UTV. Ya I don’t think I could buy a new car every couple years at the moment. Especially if it’s just me supporting my endeavors. Should have married a sugar momma…
 

JerryB

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Don't get me wrong I loved racing my utv, quick, nimble, comfortable ride, just all around fun to drive. But I've taken a break for the moment for various reasons.

1600 rules and cars have remained consistent over the years, meaning anyone who wants to put in the work ensuring they're prepping the car right, learn how to drive their car to get everything out of it and is willing to sacrifice a kidney can be competitive.
 

NIKAL

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Both are great classes, and have there advantages. Getting sponsors, either product or finances will be easier in a UTV. If your good and can win or are consistent you could even get manufacture support. There are 4 classes of UTV to choose from. The Stock class which is going to be the most affordable is growing. Do people spend 6 figures in a UTV? Some do, but most don’t and I don’t believe you need to. Guys like Brandon Sims, Brandon Schuller both race in Pro Turbo. Both can win and are both in top equipment with Polaris backing and their cars are not 6 figure cars. Sims raced using a off the shelf Lone Star suspension kit that anyone could buy. Schuller still runs a factory muffler. But like others have said as the UTV models change, or as the race series change the rules to support those new cars, it can make racing a competitive UTV harder. But what is nice is the amount of series that offer UTV classes. D38 which is a local series that races in Plaster City is great for guys who want to race, but can’t afford or compete in the top tear series. Entry fees are $150, no tracker fees and no prerunning to control costs.

1600 cars are a true drivers class. The racing is close on the shorter courses. You better be brave to hold it wide open, learn how to keep momentum in the corners, if you want to win races. Mechanically I think there is less to break and are more simple to work on, which makes it cheaper to maintain. But don’t expect to find as much product or financial sponsorship support as a UTV. A 1600 car is going to be more durable then a UTV hands down. The front can take a beating like not other. The limited travel suspension will beat you up way more then a UTV will. But one of the best parts about a 1600 car is a 1 year old car or 10 year old car are still going to be legal, and competitive. Sure little things change, but it’s only bolt on parts. Offroadracer516 is a perfect example of racing an older car and being very competitive. Sure he’s upgraded the shocks, engine etc. to todays standards, but his 20 year old chassis is still competitive today. Also let’s say you race for a couple years and then stop for a few years due to life. You can start back up with that same car and race anywhere that has a 1600 class and your car will be legal and can be competitive. (Let’s hope they keep smart shocks out of the class)

One other thing to consider is what series you are wanting to race, and where. You don’t see as many 1600 cars racing the top series like Score & BITD anymore. So if those are the races you want to race with larger entries, maybe the UTV is your vehicle. If you want to race a more budget friendly series in the local deserts like MORE or SNORE, then a 1600 would be the better choice.
 

nimrod

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I know plenty of guys (winners) who pee red urine for a couple days after a 1600 race. Beating your organs so badly that you pee blood doesnt sound like a ton of fun to me. UTV is growing and has big fields with races everywhere From super cheap district 38 to the Baja 1000 and Dakar, there’s something for every budget. Shoot you can even race the real 4400 class at KOH in one if you’re crazy enough.
 

offroadracer516

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I know plenty of guys (winners) who pee red urine for a couple days after a 1600 race. Beating your organs so badly that you pee blood doesnt sound like a ton of fun to me. UTV is growing and has big fields with races everywhere From super cheap district 38 to the Baja 1000 and Dakar, there’s something for every budget. Shoot you can even race the real 4400 class at KOH in one if you’re crazy enough.
Not sure who you are talking to but that's simply false. lol Its rough but not that rough. Ray Griffin just co rode the entire more race in a 1600. And he's a trophy truck guy.
 

E.Hagle

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I pissed blood twice after San Felipe a few weeks ago. My brother @B.HAGLE thought the shocks were too stiff the night before the race. He was wrong. Also threw up in my helmet around race mile 70. We had fun.

If you buy a UTV first you’ll probably never sell it and go to 1600. Affordable, bolt on parts, lots of support. EASY TO DRIVE.
 
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offroadracer516

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I pissed blood twice after San Felipe a few weeks ago. My brother @B.HAGLE thought the shocks were too stiff the night before the race. He was wrong. Also threw up in my helmet around race mile 70. We had fun.

If you buy a UTV first you’ll probably never sell it and go to 1600. Affordable, bolt on parts, lots of support. EASY TO DRIVE.
And cars that need to be replaced every few years to be competitive. Don't forget that part. What a great class lmfaooo
 

E.Hagle

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And cars that need to be replaced every few years to be competitive. Don't forget that part. What a great class lmfaooo
I’d love to have both cars at some point in my life. The UTV seems like more fun in Baja because there’s competition and a little more forgiving. That’s where my head is at. Plus you’ll never get stuck unless you’re driving like a dick.
 

BajaboundMoto

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IMO 1600 is the way you should go. $20k upfront and you've got a great car you'd be competitive at smaller events. Top guys could take that same 20k car and win in it. Don't plan to be competitive in bigger races because when the good drivers show up, and there's a lot of really good drivers, they are crazy fast.
Like has been said, a 1600 chassis and almost everything on it will last decades. Cartwheel it and it's usually not too much $ fixing.
I've seen some mid-level race UTVs wad up and it's a yard sale, and the lower main frames are crap that crack apart and junk in a couple years.
Is a 1600 hard on the body? If you have any back issues already try a different class lol. My wife mainly races our 1-1600, she's just a little better than mid-pack at the big races (she's gotten 1 paycheck, yay!). She finished one of the days at RAGE (as I recall) and absolutely had a concussion. Just racing, didn't roll it or anything. But when the repeated questions kept happening it was pretty obvious LOL
And like Dan200 said, you won't have to out yourself....
 

One-Eyed Peter

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IMO 1600 is the way you should go. $20k upfront and you've got a great car you'd be competitive at smaller events. Top guys could take that same 20k car and win in it. Don't plan to be competitive in bigger races because when the good drivers show up, and there's a lot of really good drivers, they are crazy fast.
Like has been said, a 1600 chassis and almost everything on it will last decades. Cartwheel it and it's usually not too much $ fixing.
I've seen some mid-level race UTVs wad up and it's a yard sale, and the lower main frames are crap that crack apart and junk in a couple years.
Is a 1600 hard on the body? If you have any back issues already try a different class lol. My wife mainly races our 1-1600, she's just a little better than mid-pack at the big races (she's gotten 1 paycheck, yay!). She finished one of the days at RAGE (as I recall) and absolutely had a concussion. Just racing, didn't roll it or anything. But when the repeated questions kept happening it was pretty obvious LOL
And like Dan200 said, you won't have to out yourself....
I'm gonna tell Jen you said she was just a little better than mid-pack. I bet she uses that as fuel to kick your butt at the 500. 😂
 

TrophyBurro

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I do like the gear box, makes me wonder how many belts you can go though in a longer race. Especially with how hard they are pushed.
Belts not really an issue on a proper set up these days. Unless something goes wrong then its nightmare..

Back to original topic . . I went UTV for the AWD and ease or ordering parts vs custom stuff. If you are planning on running a serious race program the UTV has
massive advantages when it comes to marketing partners.
 
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