We think Ricky Bobby said it best: “I wanna go fast!”
If you want your UTV for more than just a little fun in the dunes or exploring the outdoors, you’re reading the right blog. If you’ve got the vehicle, the free time and a winning attitude, UTV racing can be more accessible than you think, and it’s probably the most fun you’ll ever have in your vehicle.
You actually don’t need to be a total gearhead (or backed by a major sponsor) to start racing. The Can-Am Maverick X3 or Polaris RZR you recently bought from the dealership could be your ticket to life in the fast lane.
While the stock models of those UTVs aren’t quite race-ready off the lot, they’re not too far off. Dynojet’s Power Packages make it simple to go from stock to race-ready, but there’s more you can do if you want to dip your toe into racing.
Decided that you’d like to try racing, but have no idea where to start? Here are some helpful hints.
Spend some time watching UTV races before you start making modifications to your vehicle. While many UTV races are clustered in the southwest — where desert land is plentiful — there are dirt courses all over the country where you can start to satisfy your need for speed.
One of the most popular race series usually takes place in Dynojet’s backyard: Best In The Desert. With races in Las Vegas, Laughlin, Pahrump, and other Nevada locations, you can spend a weekend immersed in racing before you take your first step. You can also seek out drivers who have the same kind of UTV you do and learn more about how they got started.
UTV racing is definitely a passionate community, and it would help to get to know its members before trying to join. If you’re dreaming of fame and riches, this may not be the right choice. If you want to have fun and get your competitive juices flowing, you’ve got the right mindset.
Once you’ve seen some racing in person and gotten to know your future fellow drivers, you can learn more about what modifications you need to make to your UTV in order to get it ready to race. Different racing series and organizations will have different qualifications for entry.
Upgrade Your Ride
While stock Can-Am X3s and Polaris RZRs are almost race-ready, there are a few key changes you need to make before you start getting dirty on the course.
To qualify for any race, you’ll have to pass a thorough safety inspection — stock safety configurations won’t cut it. Invest in a quality roll cage, helmet, window nets, seat belts and racing seats for your safety.
Once your vehicle is up to race safety standards, it’s time for the fun stuff. Especially if you plan to race in the desert, you’ll likely need a larger capacity fuel cell to keep up with the increased demands that come with racing.
You can also get a fuel tuner, for a jolt of added horsepower and an optimized air/fuel ratio, and other performance add-ons, like a clutch kit or charge tube to help your UTV hit max speed more efficiently.
While you’re at it, slap a coat of paint on your UTV to make it stand out. We may be biased, but black and red is always a good look!
Assemble Your Team
Racing might seem like an individual pursuit, but what you see is the culmination of plenty of teamwork.
Finding a good teammate who can help you fix up your UTV will be a huge help. If you’re handy enough, you don’t need to find someone with decades of experience or permanently-dirty fingers to help you out.
Some racers even just have a friend (sometimes even a significant other) and a couple of family members as their crew. You’ll find that UTV racing is a tight-knit community, with many teams comprised of family members and close friends. Don’t be afraid to ask those you know well if they’d be willing to help out.
Let It Fly & Find Your Race
Once you’ve got your vehicle set up for power — and a crew to help you out — test your vehicle on a local dirt course or desert landscape to get a better feel of what you’ll encounter. Once you’ve applied performance extras, you’ll really feel the power from your race-ready UTV. Practice harnessing it before you try to qualify for a race.
Next, search the schedules for a race near you, or better yet, take a racing vacation to the desert racing oasis of Las Vegas — and visit Dynojet to put your UTV to the test on a dynamometer.
Most importantly, have fun!