2019 has been yet another year of innovation from both OEM UTV manufacturers and from the many aftermarket companies that support them. Kawasaki, Honda and Polaris all launched brand new models, while companies like Assault Industries, RT Pro, Raceline Wheels, BF Goodrich, KB3 UTV and a host of others continued to raise the bar with their product offerings.
UTV of the Year: Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000
This was a tough one. Polaris released the Pro XP with improved handling, suspension, wheelbase and more horsepower. Can-Am released the X3 RR with even more horsepower and several refinements to the already mature X3 lineup. However, we just couldn’t ignore the value, refinement, features and pure strength of the all new KRX 1000 naturally aspirated UTV in a market being dominated by turbo powered SXSs.
Most everything about the KRX is pure beef straight off the dealer showroom floor. Bigger CV axles, stronger prop shafts, massive clutches and belts in its CVT system are waiting to pull the machine through the toughest terrain. Strong trailing arms, bigger high clearance a-arms and radius rods give the extra room needed to tackle the rocks. Instant traction from its 4WD system and perfect gearing for technical trails makes for a machine that is ready to take on the biggest challenges. The fit, finish and quality of the build of the KRX makes this our favorite UTV of 2019.
UTV Exhaust of the Year: Trinity Racing Stinger
Trinity Racing has been one of the top manufacturers of UTV exhausts for years and their exhausts paired with Trinity custom tunes has been the go-to choice for many competing in UTV racing, along with many hobbyists as well. The newly designed single exit with a 2.5″ baffle delivers a nice combination of a low exhaust note with improved engine performance. Fully tig welded with billet aluminum muffler clamps, we love both the looks and power it adds to machines.
UTV Chassis Product of the Year: RT Pro Front Control Arm Brace System
The front end of the Polaris XP 1000 and XP Turbo is known to be a weak point on an otherwise fairly solid platform. Years back, RT Pro created a front chassis reinforcement system for the 2014-2016 XP 1000. By popular demand, it has been redesigned to fit 2016 and up Turbo and XP1K models as well. The system reinforces the a-arm mounts, steering rack and front frame, all while giving you a mounting option for a hidden winch. This solution finally gives a bolt on design that requires no cutting or welding to stiffen up the front of your RZR.
UTV Driveline Product of the Year: KB3 1210 Series Driveshaft
KB3 UTV Products has changed the game when it comes to the UTV prop shaft, just as they have in years past with 300m output shafts and the strongest ball joints on the market. KB3 uses larger and stronger 1210 genuine Spicer u-joints in the driveshaft, which each mated to CNC machined billet 4140 chromoly yokes. Each shaft comes properly phased and balanced for a smooth ride. The new offering from KB3 is the absolute strongest prop shaft on the market today.
UTV Wheel of the Year: Raceline Ripper 333 Double Beadlock
OK, so technically this wheel was released in 2018, but it wasn’t technically available to the mass market until 2019. The forged double beadlock from Raceline Wheels features adjustable backspacing options, deep centers for easier tire mounting, all grade 8 hardware protected by recessed billet rock rings. We consider the Raceline Ripper 333 beadlock to be the best looking, strongest, most reliable and innovative beadlock wheel on the market today.
UTV CVT Belt of the Year: Trinity Racing World’s Best Belt
Trinity Racing managed to make our best of 2019 list twice with the introduction of their World’s Best Belt line. The belt is built to withstand high horsepower applications up to 400 HP, run cooler and be much less susceptible to breakage than any other belt on the market.
The belt uses third generation high twist Arimid fiber cord to increase its tensile load strength and offers the highest shock load rating of any belt on the market. It features a high modulous rubber compound for better heat resistance with cog spacing purpose designed to dissipate heat efficiently. The bottom cog is also impregnated with Arimid fibers for better belt to sheave adhesion, which reduces heat build up and lessens the chance of the belt slipping.
UTV Tire of the Year: BFGoodrich KR2
The BFG KR2 was previously only available to race teams through the Jackson Motorsports Group, but finally released the KR2 for the general public in 2019. Engineered with race-proven CoreGard technology, the BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 UTV is the first UTV- specific radial tire produced by BFGoodrich. It is designed specifically for the performance demands of today’s UTV side-by-sides, offering superior performance and increased mobility in soft soils, enhanced traction in mud and improved braking in loose and rocky soil. While many consider this to be a desert tire, many race teams on the east coast have converted to this tire as well and have found it to provide superior performance in a variety of conditions.
UTV Winch of the Year: Warn Axon Powersport Winch
We may have fudged a bit considering that this winch was actually introduced in 2018. However, a full year and a half has passed and there still is no winch on the UTV market with as advanced features as the Warn Axon.
With the all-new Axon lineup, Warn has taken winching to the next level by combining a powerful motor and first-of-its-kind digital contactor into one unit called a Motactor. The Warn Motactor increases performance, cuts installation time in half and provides never-before-seen levels of performance and feedback to the user. Tech is nothing without durability, so Warn made the Axon the most durable powersports winch ever. All-metal construction, waterproof sealing, and increased structural rigidity are made for extreme environments. It’s smart, tough, and perfect for a wide range of powersports vehicles. Re-engineered from the ground up, Axon winches completely protect critical components from water and mud with critical electronics sealed inside the metal housing. With all this revolutionary new technology, AXON is the most advanced powersports winch ever.
UTV Axle of the Year: SuperATV Rhino X300
The Rhino X300 from SuperATV is about more than brute strength, it’s about flex. Most aftermarket axles are made of 4130 steel and factory axles are generally made of 1540. 4xxx series chromoly axles have a much higher tensile and breaking strength versus stock. 1540 is a hard steel, but somewhat brittle and is easier to snap. When X300 gets hit with a torque load that would break other axles, the 300M shaft twists until the load is gone then returns to its original position. This intentionally engineered shaft-flex relieves much of the stress that would be transferred to your CVs and differential with other axles. The x300 is backed by a three year minimal replacement fee warranty, which is the longest warranty of any axle on the UTV market.
UTV Lighting Product of the Year: Vision-X Shocker
The Shocker Dual Action LED Light Bar brings versatility and lighting power to the forefront by allowing you to adjust your lighting to the ever-changing driving conditions with the flick of a switch. Experience the all-new VRT (Vector Reflector Technology) at high speeds by shining a long distance, broad spot beam that fans across the trail.
When dust and fog tries to slow you down, engage the Amber PLC (Photon Light Core Technology) to pierce the night by reducing shadows and white-out through the proper Amber LED lighting spectrum and wide-elliptical shaped beam. New for 2019 is the race model, which offers even more brightness and distance to the amber beam. For added dust & fog penetration, the Shocker Race model utilizes a special LED Chip configuration which emits maximum Amber brightness while still offering an extremely wide elliptical driving pattern.
UTV Recovery Product of the Year: Factor 55 Rope Retention Pulley XTV
The Rope Retention Pulley XTV from Factor 55 is the next step in the evolution of the traditional snatch block. The pully comes with flexible cones on the inside that retains the rope during a pull. A lightweight alternative to traditional heavy snatch blocks/pulleys. The RRP can be used to increase pulling power or redirect the winch line. During momentary slack, patented rope retention rubber fingers prevent synthetic winch rope from escaping the pulley groove preventing premature rope failure. The oversized hole radius provides a smooth rubbing surface and keeps the legs of the soft shackle from rubbing on the edges of the RRP. The critical friction surface has also been teflon treated to increase slickness and heat dissipation.
UTV Race Product of the Year: S&B Filters Helmet Particle Separator
We had high hopes for the S&B Helmet Particle Separator when we first laid our eyes on it at SEMA in November of 2018, naming it our SEMA UTV Product of the Year. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the first production units in January right before our race at the 2019 King of the Hammers and we have been nothing but impressed with the unit. Regardless of race conditions, from dusty deserts to face shield fog inducing wet courses of the east cost, the 54 CFM that we start the race with is the same as what we end the race at with the filterless design of the device.