Home UTVs Best UTV for Desert Racing: Our Top 3 Side-by-Side Picks

Best UTV for Desert Racing: Our Top 3 Side-by-Side Picks

Best UTV for Desert Racing: Our Top 3 Side-by-Side Picks

Purchasing a UTV is a good investment if you want to have fun. With a UTV, you’ll be able to hit the desert and spend the entire day having a blast. Nevertheless, you’ll find that some UTVs work better on sand than others. If you intend to purchase a UTV for desert racing, you’ll want to find the best performer. Which UTV is best in the desert? You’ll find tips for purchasing a UTV for desert racing below.

Best UTV for Desert Racing


What to Look for When Choosing a UTV for Desert Racing

When attempting to pinpoint the best UTV for desert racing, you’ll need to study a few characteristics. These factors can make or break your decision. Choose the wrong engine and your UTV won’t be fast enough to keep up with the competition. Choose one with a poor design and you won’t be protected to the fullest.

Below, you’ll find out more about the most important factors to consider when looking for the best UTV for desert racing.


First, you’ll want to choose a UTV that is equipped with a powerful engine. If you’re going to be racing, you’ll need to choose a UTV with a 900 to 1,000cc engine. For those who want to power through the sand dunes, a 900cc engine is pertinent. For farmers or casual explorers, you’ll likely be okay with an 800cc engine or something smaller.


Do you intent to go explore the desert alone? Or, do you want to have fun with a friend or two by your side? When it comes to UTVs, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless. If you want to ride along with friends, you should choose a UTV with multiple seats. Otherwise, a 1-seat UTV will be okay for you.

Consider the UTV Brand

When you begin looking for a UTV, you’ll find that there are numerous brands to choose from. Should you stick with a popular brand such as Yamaha or Polaris? Should you choose a lesser-known company like CFMoto? Ultimately, most brands make reliable UTVs. The brand is important when it comes to warranty and customer service. However, you’ll want to focus more on the UTV, its performance, and its longevity.


Finally, you should consider the transmission system provided with the UTV. There are three options including continuously variable transmission, dual clutch transmission, and a sequential transmission. CTV transmissions are the most popular but this type might not be a good choice for you. If you like shifting gears more often, you’ll want to choose something else. Study these transmissions system so you can find out which one is going to work best for you.

Our Top 3 UTV Picks for Desert Racing

Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE

The Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE might be the best for UTV racing in the desert. It features a sleek design that most racers will love. Plus, you’ll appreciate the power it delivers thanks to the 998cc liquid-cooled engine. With this UTV, you can rest assured knowing you’re not going to get left behind. This UTV is assembled in the United States. This guarantees that you’ll get the best craftsmanship so your UTV is going to provide you with many years of fun.

Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE

This vehicle uses dual hydraulic discs to ensure you’ll be able to stop fully when you hit the breaks. While the engine is impressive, the chassis is what seals the deal. The chassis features one of the most agile and adjustable design ever seen in the UTV industry. The vehicle focuses heavily on ergonomics to guarantee a comfortable ride from start to finish.

The cabin is spacious and the seats offer endless adjustability. Furthermore, you can rest assured knowing you’ll be comfortable while bouncing over even dune.

Polaris RZR XP Turbo

The Polaris RXR XP Turbo is designed to provide you with an impressive off-road performance. You’ll feel this vehicle’s power thanks to the instantaneous acceleration of 168 horsepower. This turbocharged UTV can compete with any competitor in terms of speed and power. In addition to this, this year’s model features a greatly improved clutch system. The clutch alignment has been improved and airflow increased. This guarantees a longer belt life so you can keep going longer.

Polaris RZR XP Turbo

You’ll be able to take advantage o Polaris bumpers and guards so you can protect yourself from the harshest elements. You also have the option of adding light bars to this UTV so you can continue enjoying your ride at night.

The Polaris RZR XP Turbo offers everything you need to enjoy a ride in the desert with your best friend or significant other. The bolstered bucket seats will keep you comfortable all the while.

Honda Talon 1000R Fox Live Valve

The Honda Talon 1000R Fox Live Valve is designed to provide the user with tons of fun in wide-open spaces. This UTV will be easy on the driver thanks to its quick-acting Automatic DCT Transmission. This vehicle features an unbelievable launch mode that will give you a major boost. Your competitors will be left stunned when you shoot across the line at lightning-fast speeds. With the Honda Talon, you’ll be able to take advantage of a powerful 999cc twin-cylinder engine.

Honda Talon 1000R Fox Live Valve

As for the chassis, it features the unique Fox Live Valve suspension system and 4+ link rear suspension. This UTV is designed to transport two people safely. It offers plenty of protection to the driver and passenger so you can maintain peace of mind while having fun. The driver’s seat is completely adjustable and you’ll love the beautifully painted body.


Conclusion and Recommendations

Choosing the right UTV for desert racing is not going to be easy. However, you can narrow your options by focusing more on the three products mentioned above. These UTVs offer everything you could ask for but they’re not equal. You’ll likely be satisfied with either but the Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE is the best of the bunch. It offers superiority in every aspects. It is the most well-rounded UTV of the three making it the best option for the majority of UTV racing enthusiasts.

If you want the best UTV for desert racing, you cannot ignore the Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE.


More information

For further information on UTVs, check out our buying guides for the best UTV for plowing snow, the best UTV for families and the best UTV for jumping.