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Side by Side ATV's (Read 8642 times)
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Side by Side ATV's
03/26/08 at 11:16:44
 
I recently purchased the new Polaris RZR side by side.  I purchased it because it will fit in any ATV trail.  Its 50" overall width is basically the same as my Grizzly.  However, I am hearing that some trails will not allow the side by side OHV's even if it is 50" wide.  Can anyone tell me if that is true and if it is law or just some overzelous trail nazi's
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #1 - 03/26/08 at 13:04:33
 
Quote from Rob Jeffery on 03/26/08 at 11:16:44:
I recently purchased the new Polaris RZR side by side.  I purchased it because it will fit in any ATV trail.  Its 50" overall width is basically the same as my Grizzly.  However, I am hearing that some trails will not allow the side by side OHV's even if it is 50" wide.  Can anyone tell me if that is true and if it is law or just some overzelous trail nazi's

Well from what we have been told here on this forum by some of the land managers of the US Forest Service, 50" width is the major restriction for 2 track "Trails".
 
Over 50" you ride the jeep routes and roads, 50" and under can use the 2 track trails. they specifically said in one thread the RZR is welcome on the Paiute Trails. Smiley and I have read no one saying they cant use other 50" width restricted  trails in Utah. I did read on another form that some forest in other states had restricted height as well to below that of the RZR roll cage. But I've seen no "official" rules to that effect.  
 
Perhaps Ole Ranger or ATVManager can enlighten us if there are??
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #2 - 03/26/08 at 13:07:55
 
From what I have been told, it isn't by definition a ATV as defined by the statutes.  As I understand it a ATV must be straddled, and controlled with handlebars.  This definition was probably put in place to restrict such things as dune buggy's, jeeps, exc. from going on ATV trails and such vehicles as the RZR were not even being contemplated or exist at that time.  This restriction only applies to trails that are 50" limited trails, and there are lots of trails that aren't affected by this.  Lets hope as more people purchase the RZR or other similar sub 50" vehicles that economic pressure will come to bear on the powers to be (PTBs) to change the definition because as it stands today it's another shinning example of bureaucratic stupidity.
 
I need to stand corrected on this, I just re read ole rangers post on this topic and it looks like the Fishlake NF is open to the RZR on all its trails.  Some times we think we know a lot more than we really do Wink
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #3 - 03/26/08 at 13:20:03
 
As to the definitions of ATV's in Utah, there are basically 2.  They are defined as type 1 and type 2.  A type 1 is defined by law as less than 52" width weighing less than 800 lbs and with a seat that is meant to be stradled.  A type 2 ATV is any motor vehicle other than a type 1 designed for or capable of travel over unimproved terrain.   However, I have found out that this really does not have anything to do with what is considered legall througout Utah.  In Utah it is up to the individual land managing body, ie the forrest service, BLM etc. that manages the land that the trail is on that determines rather a vehicle like the RZR is allowed on its trails.  Many trails are labeled with signs indicating that no side by side ATV's are allowed, however, those signs are being changed in many cases. For example the Fishlake Nat'l Forrest Service welcomes RZR vehicle on their trail systems, specifically the Piaute Trail.  Many others are following.  What I would like to know is if there are any that are NOT allowing the RZR even though it is within the 50" width designation and if they are not could anyone explain why?
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #4 - 03/26/08 at 13:46:35
 
Ok we have hashed this ATV definition to death. There are a few hundred posts about it here on the forum.
 
The Forest Service Land managers have explained here in our forums that the "Utah" 52" & 800 LB definition does not apply to Forest Service 2 track trails nor does it to BLM according to their posts. It has to do mostly with Utah's registration and licensing issues. We were even told some time back there was going to be a push to modify the Utah definition to make it match that of the Federal definitions but so far I have not seen it happen.  
 
The ATV definition in the Forest service rule book is just that a definition and is not used to set trail restrictions as has been posted in the past. I'm as guilty as anyone for not understanding it and spreading that misinformation Sad
 
The Forest Service does not restrict by class or the Utah ATV definition as ATVManager explained it to me. They have setup rules that define a route by it's width. Over 50" and Under 50". They can also on a trail by trail basis restrict a motorized route to any vehicle they decide is appropriate.  
 
I suspect the NO UTV trail signs were designed and began getting put up before the RZR was introduced and now the Land Managers are trying to figure out what is appropriate for each trail and come up with a way to sign it properly. As I said earlier they have said the RZR is welcome on the Paiute but then the Paiute has "NO Side-by-Side" signs on some trails which adds to the confusion.
 
As suggested before lets get the Land Managers to reply here before we all jump in guessing and making assumptions as to what the rules really are. They will drop in soon.
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #5 - 03/28/08 at 10:19:58
 
Guess I need to chime in on this one again.
 
The new Forest Service Travel Rule does define an ATV as a vehicle that operates on three or more low pressure tires is 50 inches or less in width, straddle ridden and handlebar steered.  As ATVUTAH said, that is just the definition of an ATV.  The rule allows for designation of two types of trails on a Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map:  Trails for vehicles 50 inches and less and Trails open to all motorized vehicles.  No where in the two seperate trail designations does it use the word ATV or indicate the 50 inch or less trails are for ATV only.
 
The designation of a trail as a 50 inch width restricted trail is open to all motorized vehicles that are 50 inches or less in width.  
 
A Forest does have the option under the Travel Rule to make special designations on a trail by trail basis:  such as, single-track only, ATV only or even 60 inches or less in width to allow side-by-side use but restrict full size vehicles.
 
I know there are some land managers that are still in the planning process and may be a little bit confused about the Rule themselves because I have heard of trails being signed as NO Side-by-Sides.  Unless they have specifically done a special designation on that trail to restrict side-by-sides, the trail would be open to all motorized less than 50 inches wide.
 
I really doubt many Forests will want to designate a trail as ATV only by using the ATV definition.  My reasoning is because this would actually eliminate motorcycles from the trail as well as side-by-sides.  Motorcycles do not run on three or more low pressure tires.
 
My recommendation is to get in touch with the land managers of the area you plan to visit and find out what their regulations are.  
 
On the Fishlake National Forest, which includes most of the Paiute Trail System, the Great Western Trail and the Gooseberry Trail System, most of the trails are restricted to 50 inches or less and a few are open to all motorized vehicles.  The 50 inch or less trails are open to the RZR as long as it not altered.  Many people are adding oversized tires, side bars, heavy duty suspensions and other after market parts that actually widen the RZR and make it illegal on the trails.  This goes for quads as well.  If an ATV is altered with after market parts that cause the vehicle to be wider than 50 inches, it becomes illegal on the trails marked 50 inches or less!
 
I hope this helps clear things up a bit.
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #6 - 03/28/08 at 10:30:14
 
Thank you ATVManager.  You have given me some great insight and helped to clear up this issue a great deal.  I think the major confussion is from the definition and the signs that are posted on some the the ATV trails throughout the state.  I have seen the signs with the picture of the side by side with a line through it indicating no side by sides.  I was actually told by a forrest service employee while riding on the Arapeen OHV trail that the RZR was legal to drive on that trail even though there were pictured signs indicating otherwise.  He indicated the signs were made before the RZR was developed and that they will likely be changing the signs.  
 
Thanks again for your comments
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Re: Side by Side ATV's
Reply #7 - 02/16/12 at 11:23:01
 
Have there been any changes to the trail laws recently? It has been a while since I went out in Utah and this thread reminded me that the environmentalist people are always trying to cut down on our fun time...
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