You've finally managed to save enough money for a new off-road vehicle. However, you're still not sure whether you want to purchase a side by side ATV or a 2-up ATV. Although 2-up ATV's are a bit smaller and more easily transported than a side by side ATV, they aren't able to offer these four benefits:
More Interaction With Your Passengers
If you're exploring new off-road trails with your significant other, children, or your friends, chances are that you want to see their excitement while speeding over riverbeds, dunes, and muddy trenches. However, with a 2-up ATV, you aren't able to see—or even interact—with your rear passenger.
With a side by side ATV, you can share in the excitement of off-road driving with your passengers as you experience new (or old) trails together. Although, this isn't the only benefit of having your passenger sit shotgun.
Off-road driving is inherently dangerous. The rough terrain and small roads you drive through are surrounded with hazardous objects such as low-hanging tree branches and rocks. Should your passenger sustain an injury from these hazards while riding a 2-up ATV, they may not be able to notify you of the injury until it's too late—since they're too busy hanging onto you for dear life as you speed through yet another sharp curve.
However, in a side by side ATV, a simple glance to your right will allow you to monitor the condition of your passengers while you drive through hazardous terrain.
All ATVs are designed with shocks or struts that minimize the shock you feel while driving over rough terrain. However, due to their design, 2-up ATVs are not as comfortable to ride for extended amounts of time when compared to side by side ATVs. While riding a 2-up ATV, both you and your passenger must assume a forward-leaning position to stay on the vehicle.
If you're going to use your new ATV for long-distance driving (such as endurance racing), then you'll be significantly more comfortable in a side by side ATV than a 2-up ATV. Side by side ATV seats are similar to those in regular passenger vehicles—which allow you and your passengers to lean against backrests while you drive. This is an especially useful advantage if you or your passengers have back problems that limit your riding capabilities.
Extra Cargo Space
As you well know, ATVs aren't just for recreational use. In some cases, they're the only vehicles capable of providing transportation to lesser-traveled areas of your county. So, whether you're tasked with felling trees or digging firebreaks, you'll be glad to know that the bed of a side by side ATV offers significantly more cargo space than even the largest 2-up ATVs.
However, if you only use your side by side ATV for recreational purposes, then the additional cargo space will still come in handy for transporting camping gear, food, medical supplies, and fuel.
Additional Safety Features
There's no shortage of ATV-related accidents. In 2011, there were 327 ATV-related deaths in the United States alone—along with an estimated 107,500 visits to emergency rooms. Although these numbers are on the decline, they're still significant enough to warrant caution.
By design, side by side ATVs offer greater safety to you and your passengers than 2-up ATVs. Side by side ATVs have both roll cages and built-in seatbelts that will reduce your chances of injury should you rollover or crash while driving them.
Not all side by side ATVs are the same. Although they all offer these benefits, the cargo space, seat cushioning, and other features will vary from one side by side ATV to the next. If these features are advantageous enough for you to purchase a side by side ATV, maybe even a Honda side x side ATV, head to your local off-road vehicle warehouse to give several ATVs a test drive.