ATV Adventures: Bling versus accessories for your OHV
When ATVs came on the market in the early ’80s, they were pretty basic machines. They had safety features like headlights, taillights and brakes, but they were pretty basic and didn’t lend themselves to an extensive list of accessories.
There were some things you had to have to enjoy quads like a trailer and ramps to load your machine. A winch is also important.
Mirrors qualify as accessories on an ATV as do cargo boxes and rack bags. As a ride leader, it was important to have people follow you, and you don’t know that you still have followers without mirrors.
I found out the hard way that when you go into the backcountry you need to take a lot of stuff to be prepared for adventure. So in addition to the stuff I put in my cargo box, I added a GPS. If I am going to venture out, I wanted to be able to find my way back. With a GPS track, I could take other people to see what I saw.
Helmets were a necessity in riding single-seat ATVs. They are still offered in a wide variety of materials, colors and styles.
With the introduction of sport side-x-sides or UTVs, the accessory market began to explode. When the concept of a street-legal machine was created, people began to refer to them as cars. Cars need a lot of accessories.
The list seems endless and just when you think you have everything you want, you go to the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo or a jamboree and see something new that you didn’t know about that you had to have.
This is where bling enters stage left and comes to the center. Bling is not something that is required for the functionality of the machine. The headlights that come as standard equipment are adequate to get you out of the backcountry and safely home.
However, a mega-lumen light bar on top of your car with LED pod lights mounted at angles to light up the sides of the trail might give you reason to ride after dark. You don’t have to ride on city streets, but if you want to, you need a street-legal kit with turn signals, a horn, brake lights and an illuminated license plate.
Out on the trail and on the street, the colorful wraps that are showing up on UTVs are head turners. The first time I saw rock lights was at the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo. Machines were on display with LED rock light pods mounted under and in the wheel wells. They are programmable with a variety of options including syncing to music, monotone to match the color of your ride or just an explosion of color that dances underneath you — Bling! Bling! Bling!
Now, I have to admit that it was pure selfish pride that led me to get rock lights for my RZR and my Teryx. Being mechanically handicapped, I offered my talented grandson, Mark, all-he-could-drink Mountain Dew and lunch at Taco Bell to mount these rock lights. In the process, I passed him things he needed and said things like, “Can I get you another Mountain Dew?” I felt very helpful.
Now I have rock lights. Looking for an event that I might participate in that would show my bling, I read about an Electric Light Parade sponsored by Layton City. It started after dark and the parade route was to be on the street through Layton Park. I called Layton City to find out what I needed to do to sign up. They told me to just show up and get in line. Here was my chance to show my bling, I was so excited.
My wife and I got in the Teryx, turned on the lights and blinged our way to where the parade was lining up. We slowly drove the length of the parade route, turned around and got in line.
At that point, the parade marshal approached me and told me that no motorized entries were allowed. Phooey! We left and drove slowly back up the parade route blinging our way home, being our own single entry in our own light parade waving to the crowd.
I was just kidding about the selfish pride thing. Rock lights are fun to have, but they really only show up well at night. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and get your bling on!
Contact Lynn R. Blamires at firstname.lastname@example.org.