Come ride it now and let us know how 'not bad' it is. Also, I dont know about UTVs, but no amount of suspension work can make what has happened to our washes and trails 'not bad'. I was putting some miles on our 450x race bike for the 1000 yesterday. Fresh AHM suspension that was working AMAZING, and the rzr chop / chatter bumps still sucked.I have not ridden out in Havasu in a very long time. Get that suspension dialed in and the chatter bumps are not too bad.
Im not enough of an engineering expert to know why. But in 15 years of riding in Havasu, the advent of UTVs has changed the terrain more than any other time. Is it the CVT? Is it the wheel base? Is it the amount of traffic? Is it the 4wd of the UTVs? Is it the suspension? I dont know. But as a bike rider it sucks. A lot. The single track that is left un adulterated gets some braking and acceleration bumps, yes. But NOTHING like what is being done to the two track in the area. So good luck convincing me that UTVs are not causing new and additional decay / damage to our desert and trail systems. Add to that the lack of etiquette that seems to prevail (and has already been discussed) and the cons of recreational UTV use start stacking up.
Am I a bit ranty? Yes. Because this stuff isn't theory. Its real life here in Havasu. And our citizens and business owners that are fed up with UTVs for one reason or another lump us 2 wheel guys into the category and are pre-disposed to be pissed at us. Even though our Moto group are the ones going and maintaining trail heads, hauling away trash and illegal dumping, and doing what we can to preserve the desert while also enjoying it.
Also, I keep coming back to OEMs on this. Polaris has a testing site 100 yards from one of the most well used trail heads. They abuse the heck out of that area with their testing. To their credit, they do blade a good amount of the common stuff they use to try to help out. But there is nothing from them in terms of environmental responsibility. No sponsoring of desert cleanups from Polaris or the dealership around the corner from me that sells a crap ton of these things. No sponsored new rider/driver safety events. No talk on taking care of this stuff so its available for future generations. Just a whole lot of 'new sales event' 'financing available' and 'buy here' promos. Dont get me started on how said trailhead was just wiped clean and graded flat for the upcoming UTV race here.
Unfortunately someone else said it earlier. And until finances in the here and now are effected the oems won't give a crap about investing in safety and responsibility efforts, and Joe Funbody will keep going and financing a new RZR, X3, XX, etc and will be set loose with no knowledge, skills, experience, or etiquette. He'll then spend his weekend blasting around blind corners with tunes blaring and the GoPro filming so he can get his speed fix and IG likes.
As much as I sound like the old grump on the porch, I do actually think UTVs are cool. We are a family of 4 and a UTV would make a lot of sense as a family desert toy. They are low cost / performance ratio. They are small enough to be towed around by a 1/2 ton truck. They are very capable stock, and get even more so when modified. The oems stumbled upon a jackpot product here, as evidenced by their sales. But the culture that surrounds them has frustrated me so much that I personally will never buy one. Maybe recreational users elsewhere are better. who knows.