Off-road vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, but what exactly is an off-road vehicle, and why would we use them? The answer to this question is as varied as they can come, so it’s essential to address it by looking at eight of the best types of off-road vehicles available. By looking at these varying classes of vehicles, you will see that no two are the same or even have the same use. We will see that some vehicles have a narrow singular use, while others have various uses across different terrains and sectors.
Mountain biking is now a long-established leisure activity in any area with hill trails or similar. Actually, calling these bikes “mountain bikes” is a little disingenuous, as they are used in any off-road trail setting. Mountain biking has seen a recent spike in interest due to being one of the new sports which debuted at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. Be prepared to see a quick rise in mountain bike sales and use following the games this summer; a legacy bounce is what a new Olympic sport hopes for, so watch this space for more bikes on the hills.
Dirt bikes are the noisy, dirty motorized cousin of the mountain bike. A dirt bike is a lightweight version of a motorcycle designed for use on rough, muddy, rocky, and just generally off-road use instead of a general motorcycle, as much of the build of a dirt bike is made of fiber or plastics in place of heavier metals. Dirt bikes have a higher profile and more established history as a racing form than mountain biking but have a substantial recreational market.
ATV or Quads
Quads, or ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles), are four-wheel off-road vehicles used for various purposes, basically anywhere where it is difficult to get to by conventional roads. For this reason, it is a standard mode of transport in farming. The combination of power and size makes it perfect for agricultural work; you can tow small trailers and farm machinery. Quad bikes are also used for recreational purposes; we can see them being used in racing or even just for experience days of tearing around an off-road track.
We must be careful when choosing what type of vehicle will actually fit your needs. Sometimes we want all the functionality and space of a regular car or truck but need to venture off the beaten track. We say this as many cars look as if they are 4x4s, but in reality, they are no more than tall cars with little in the way of maneuverability over rough terrain. To find the best possible 4×4, we recommend going to a professional dealer, such as Heber UT car dealerships, who could give you all the advice you might need.
Not all off-road vehicles are on two or four wheels; if we happen to live a little more remotely and in a cold area, then perhaps a snowmobile would be the perfect option. For the first-time buyer, it can be daunting to purchase your first one. You may be better advised to buy a less powerful model for your first one to limit the possibility of any accidents or incidents. These can be expensive items, and buying second-hand might be a more budget-friendly. When purchasing an older vehicle, it is vital to keep on top of the maintenance.
We never said that all of the off-road vehicles we would cover here would even be based inland, as the next couple of items will show you. Firstly, we could consider boats as one of the ultimate in off-road vehicles; it’s almost as far from the road as you can get. But there are so many types of boats, how do we decide which is right for us? It can be as simple as a small inflatable dinghy; such a craft can be taken anywhere in as small a vehicle as the family car. Once we get to much bigger boats, such as sailboats or yachts, we must either have a sizeable trailer or pay for docking fees at a marina.
If we want to get any further away from the road, and the land in general, then we could consider small aircraft the ultimate in off-road vehicles. The thing about flying is that traditionally you would need to be extremely wealthy to be able to fly a plane. Even a private pilot’s license for relatively small aircraft requires dozens of hours of extremely expensive tuition to achieve. There are other options for getting in the sky though; there has been a surge in the number of microlight aircraft in the skies. Considering a microlight comes in at a fraction of the cost of even the smallest traditional plane, it could be a great investment.
Now military vehicles are not ordinarily ones we are able to get our hands upon. But, as with most things, once their original owners (the government) are done with things, they sell them. When we consider the types of places that the military needs to get to, and with large amounts of gear, it is no wonder they have some of the best off-road vehicles. Now, many of the military vehicles, such as tanks etc. are not going to be legal to own without major modifications, but others, such as Jeeps and Hummers are more accessible.
We’ve touched on some vehicles that could be used in a farming setting, such as quad bikes, but there are many more that are almost exclusively the domain of the farmer. You don’t often see someone driving along in a tractor if they do not work as a farmer. But as with so many things, there are exceptions to this rule. You can see tractor racing becoming a sport in its own right, even far beyond the farming community.