Chances are you can relate with more than one of these categories and probably use your machine in ways that I haven’t even listed, making it a multipurpose beast! While we all use them in different ways, the beauty of Yamaha’s ATV and Side-by-Sides is their versatility and ability to meet the needs of all of these users, they are well equipped, well made and capable of handling virtually anything a driver can throw at them. The addition of accessories allow users to really customize their machines, adapting them to the lifestyle they lead.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite accessories that add function and protection to your ATV or Side-by-Side. Let’s get to it:
A full cab enclosure for your Yamaha Side-by-Side gives you the ultimate amount of protection from the elements. A cab system is applicable for any user, but I think it’s especially valuable to those users who are no strangers to cold, snowy, rainy and otherwise inclement climates. The presence of a full cab doesn’t limit the effectiveness of your Yamaha Side-by-Side in any way, but rather works to keep the occupants more comfortable as it battles the elements outside. The ability to stay warm and dry is the difference between packing it up and going home or staying on the trail or in the field all day. Yamaha offers both hard and soft sided full cab enclosures that will seal off the rain, snow, dirt and debris.
There are a number of other features that make your Yamaha Side-by-Side more cold weather friendly as well, in particular warming elements like a cabin heater, heated seat covers, heated hand grips, and more. In addition, if the terrain and weather demand it, you can get track systems to maximize your performance in the snow. Another highly useful accessory for snow prone areas are plow kits for your ATV or Side-by-Side to make clearing snow a whole lot easier and quicker than your shovel or snow blower can.
Personally, I like having the wind in my face, most of the time. The caveat is that in the right conditions the wind can turn the smallest bug, rock or other debris into speeding missiles and your face is often the unfortunate bullseye where those things find a home. If you’ve ever picked bugs out of your teeth or pulled them off your face, you know what I’m talking about. To this day, my wife still swears that the grasshopper that pelted her on the chin while we were out on a summer ride, without a windshield, was actually a bird. My point? Windshields really do have their benefits, namely comfort and protection. They’ll shield you and your passengers from wind, bugs, debris and other weather.
If you’re like me and like to feel the wind in your face, but also appreciate the occasional protection that a windshield provides, the great thing about the windshield on my Yamaha Wolverine X4 is that it’s not permanent. Using the clamps on each side of the windshield, you can put it on or take it off in less than a minute. That means if I want to, I can put it in the back of my X4 and if we need it, I can stop and put it on. Otherwise, we can enjoy the wind and fresh air. Windshields aren’t just for Side-by-Sides by the way, they are also available for ATVs!
When it comes to Side-by-Sides, a roof may not seem like a big deal to some people, but if you spent a day riding in the intense sun and heat or in the pouring rain you’d quickly come to the realization that a roof is a prized accessory. It keeps you cooler in the summer and helps you avoid those wicked sunburns, plus it acts as an appreciated break between you and a downpour or other weather events. Putting a roof over your head is something you won’t regret. I have the Hard Sun Top Kit (roof) on both my Yamaha Wolverine X2 and Wolverine X4, they are worth it!
Winches are touted as the #1 aftermarket accessory for ATVs and Side-by-Sides and I can understand why. They add another layer of capability to your machine helping you out of sticky situations, for operating snow plows or other accessories or allowing you to use the brute force to accomplish other tasks. My Wolverine X4 is outfitted with a Vantage 3000 Winch by WARN, installed using the Front Winch Mount Kit also by WARN.
There really isn’t a one size fits all approach to choosing a winch, you have to evaluate what you will be asking it to do and what kind of riding you do. Because of weight differences, the winch you use on an ATV will most likely be different than the winch you put on a Side-by-Side. Finding the right weight rating is important so that you aren’t left underpowered. A lighter winch that is sufficient to run a snow plow through the winter probably won’t help a whole lot if you’re stuck in the mud. You should also consider the type of cable you want - wire or synthetic - each with their own sets of pros and cons. Steel cable is more abrasion and heat resistant then synthetic. However, synthetic cable has a higher breaking strength than its steel counterpart of an equivalent diameter. When it comes to safety, synthetic cable is generally safer in the event it breaks. Steel cable can dangerously whip back, whereas synthetic doesn’t tend to store the same amount of energy that steel does so it doesn’t snap back. Steel cable is cheaper and synthetic is more expensive. Again, the kind of riding and tasks you’ll be demanding of your winch will help you determine what kind of cable to use. The installation can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with wiring, in that case Yamaha’s network of dealers specialize in this kind of thing. Let them do the installation for you!
Mirrors may not be as essential as a winch, however don’t discount their value or usefulness. Being able to take a quick glance to check your six, rather than physically turning around and looking over your shoulder is handy, especially when cruising trails that are heavily used. My Yamaha Wolverine X2 and X4 each have Assault Industries rear view and side mirrors that install in a matter of minutes. They are easily and highly adjustable which works in the favor of Side-by-Side operators traveling through areas where tree branches and other trail debris could snag or hit them on the way by. They have a breakaway design that allows them to fold away on impact so they won’t crush, crack or get ripped off as you drive by.
On a side note: If you live in a state where it’s possible to get your Side-by-Side registered as a street-legal vehicle then mirrors will be a necessity along with other accessories like headlights, taillights, turn signals, a horn, reflectors and more.
Maybe I am a music enthusiast, or maybe I just don’t like being alone with the voices in my head. Either way, I listen to music a lot and that includes the time I spend riding in my Wolverine X2 and X4. Integrating a sound system into your machine isn’t hard - there are subwoofers, speakers, in-dash radios and more available. However, I went the route of installing an all-in-one sound system in my Wolverine X4. The Stealth 6 Ultra HD Sound Bar is exactly that, a bar with 6 speakers running the length of it, pumping out rich sound. The Sound Bar is dust and water resistant and powder coated for durability so that it can withstand the environments you ride in. It has built-in Bluetooth capability so you can connect to your phone or device and stream your music library over the speaker, plus, a wireless remote mounts to your steering wheel so you can control volume easily as you drive. The installation is easy, quickly mounting onto the frame of your Side-by-Side and then running the wiring forward to connect to the battery under the hood. However, if installation isn’t your thing, Yamaha’s network of dealers are more than capable of hooking it up for you.
Luggage & Gear Solutions
Bungee or ratchet straps are always a viable solution for attaching just about anything to the front and rear cargo racks on your ATV. However, for outdoorsmen and women there are other options that better secure gear like firearms, bows and more. For instance, my Yamaha Kodiak 450’s are set-up with ATV TEK V-Grips. These V-Grips cradle a firearm, bow or even rakes, shovels, string trimmers, ice augers and more, securely. Once your gear is placed in the V, a supplied rubber washer stretches over the top to close off the opening and keep your gear in place, assuring that it doesn’t bounce or fall out when traveling bumpy or uneven terrain. It’s also worth noting that when it comes to firearms these V Grips secure them in a way that doesn’t affect your scope so you won’t have to worry about accuracy issues or re-sighting your firearm in when you get to a destination after a rough ride. Because these V-Grips attach to a single bar in your rack, they are also space saving and still allow plenty of room to haul other things on the same rack.
There are a lot of other luggage and gear storage options for both ATVs and Side-by-Sides that cover the vast needs of users. ATV Cargo Boxes offer an enclosed, weather resistant solution. Rack extensions, cooler mounts, cargo baskets and more make hauling anything on an ATV more convenient. For firearm hunters, a Gun Boot and mounting system for both ATVs and Side-by-Sides make it possible to transport your firearm in a heavy duty, impact resistant case for the ultimate protection possible.
Yet another “Must-Have” accessory for customizing your Side-by-Side is the addition of a light bar. While most ATVs and Side-by-Sides today are equipped with headlights, additional accessory lighting brings a whole new level of illumination to your machine. Lighting up the trail in front of you when you’re traveling in low light conditions is a matter of safety. A light bar helps you better identify what obstacles are ahead whether it’s rocky, sloppy, overgrown or rough terrain. Increased side and forward visibility help you avoid accidents. I have a Yamaha LED Light Bar I installed on my Wolverine 4 that is operated via a button on the dash in the cab. It has 12 - 5W Cree LEDs that put out a ridiculous amount of light. A solid and sealed housing means that weather won’t affect it nor will a run through the mud.
In addition to lighting up trails, a light bar is also great if you happen to be hunting in a state where nighttime spotlighting for coyotes is legal, field dressing game in low light conditions, lighting up your front end as you work with your winch and so much more.
Front and Rear Brush Guard
My everyday driver, a 2017 F-150 is outfitted from front to back with protective accessories - grille guard, steel back bumper and steel running steps from Ranch Hand. These parts serve an important purpose, they protect my vehicle against damage that may occur while driving. ATVs and Side-by-Sides can benefit from the same kind of protection. My Wolverine X2 and X4 are outfitted with Front Brush Guards made of powder coated steel tubing and plating and they deflect brush and other trail debris safeguarding the front end of the unit, protecting the lights and parts directly behind the grille. Installation is quick and easy and the end result blends in seamlessly with the design and looks as if it should have been there the whole time. Plus, the headlights and winch are compatible with the brush guard so I don’t lose any functional aspect of my machine by installing the brush guards. My Kodiak 450’s are also sporting Front Brush Guards that help to protect them from rocks, trees, branches, brush and other obstacles. You can’t forget the rear! My Wolverine X4 is reinforced with a Rear Brush Guard that protects the back end from other drivers that might ride too close or for instances where a driver encounters a tree, rock or other obstacle they didn’t anticipate while in reverse. Front and rear protection doesn't make your vehicle impervious to damage, but it sure can minimize it.
When it comes to accessorizing your ATV or Side-by-Side the options are really endless, in the end though, it all comes down to thinking about how you use your machine and where you ride, then selecting accessories that enhance that experience. Cruise through Yamaha’s ATV and Side-by-Side accessories here and check out all of the cool options to outfit your machine with.
Accessorize and Realize Your Adventure with Yamaha!