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Need advice on 4x4 Side by Sides


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Looking to buy at a USED Side by Side.  Problem is I don't know that much about them but here is what I know.

I'm not a speed racer, it's low and slow for me but I need to get up and down some major hills.  We have used Yamaha Rhino's (450, 660 & 700) with good success on the ranch where we are hunting.  Kia. Mules need help getting up but The Honda Pioneer also needed help going up and are scary as hell coming down and dangerous in the mud coming down.  You are dead if you blow any of the corners.  The electric wouldn't go up the easy road, so the big hills are out of the question.  The Quads all do fine going up & down but I'm 70 yrs old and tired of muscling a Quad around.

I think what I need is a 4x4 with a high/low range shifter & locker (like the Yamaha Rhino has).  The Honda is so nice to drive but dangerous coming down hill with no low range, do the newer ones have it?  Trying to find info but hard to wade through it all.  So what am I looking for (besides a Rhino).

Lots of brands out there that I know nothing about: reliability?  prices?  HP, gearing, after market parts available, etc?  A few I never heard of before?

Thanks for any/all help/advise/thoughts/etc



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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a used 2014 Joyner Renegade R2 with the 1100cc engine, cable select 4wd, front and rear lockers.  In 2014, they went from the 800cc engine to the 1100cc engine.  It has a clutch and 5-speed transmission with reverse.  1st gear is a "granny gear" max  speed is 12 mph in 1st gear.  As long as you can maintain wheel traction, that 1st gear might get you up some steep grades.  Max speed in 5th is about 60 mph (I've never had it over 40). It has about the same wheelbase as a Smart car.  So narrow off road trails might be a challenge.  Sounds like most of your riding will be in the <25mph range.  The maintenance support network isn't as extensive as some other brands, but it is out there.

I'm not a fan of the CVT transmission.  That's why I went with my choice.  Too many videos of belts coming apart (probably due to some hard riding)..  The John Deere 825i (and many other SxS) has the same 800cc engine.  It is a Chinese made Chery automotive engine used in many cars in South America, Asia and parts of Africa.  If the SxS you're considering has a 3-cylinder 800cc or a 4-cylinder 1100cc engine, it's most likely the Chery engine.

I have to admit that the CVT transmission is much simpler and easier to manage than my clutch/transmission set up.  You don't have to worry about gear selection or stalling the engine because of that.  Also, CVT transmission do a better job at keeping the engine within the best power RPM range.  One thing about CVT is that engine braking isn't available unless the engine is above idle.  That may be an issue coming down steep grades.  The engine doesn't grab the belt with the drive pulley until a certain RPM above idle is reached.

Is there a perfect SxS?  No.  But there is one that comes closer to your needs than others.  For me, my choice fits my needs.  I'm also 70 yrs old.

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