Whether you plan on taking out your UTV on the track once a month or every other weekend, investing in a winch is a great idea. A winch is the kind of device it’s better to have mounted on your side by side than to regret that you don’t have one. It can get you or your friends out of sticky situations. The tricky part is knowing what size winch you should get for your UTV. Here is where I come in.
The golden rule of selecting winches for UTVs is to get one that has 1.5x more pulling power than the four-wheeler’s weight. You can follow the guide below:
- 1,200 lbs UTV = 1,800 winch pulling power;
- 1,500 lbs UTV = 2,250 winch pulling power;
- 1,800 lbs UTV = 2,700 winch pulling power;
- 2,000 lbs UTV = 3,000 winch pulling power.
While following the 1.5x rule of thumb, you should be able to pick the right winch for your side by side. However, you should try and get a winch with a bit more pulling power because you might need more power when pulling a side by side in an incline or out of the mud.
So, you are ready to invest in a winch? This is a great investment that all offroad riders should make. I know that investing in important gadgets like UTV winches is scary because you want to make the right choice and this is why I will present the best winch power capacity for the top 31 most popular UTV models. Let’s jump into it.
How to Pick the Right Winch Size for UTVs
In general, the most popular side by sides weigh in at 1,500 lbs. If this is the case for your UTV, you should invest in a winch with a minimum of 2,250 pulling power. You can find out the weight of your UTV by checking the owner’s manual. The information will be available under the “Specifications” section.
If you bought a used UTV and don’t have access to the manual, you can find the weight by Googling the quad’s make and model. Or you can check out the list I prepared below. Here are the top 31 most popular side by sides and what type of winch is recommended for them.
|UTV Model||Weight||Recommended Winch Power|
|Can-Am Maverick Turbo||1,399 lbs||2,000 lbs pulling power|
|Polaris RZR S 900||1,204 lbs||1,800 lbs pulling power|
|Polaris RZR XP Turbo||1,500 lbs||2,250 lbs pulling power|
|Can-Am Commander Limited||1,291 lbs||2,000 lbs pulling power|
|Arctic Cat Havoc||1,755 lbs||2,600 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha YXZ100R SE||1,561 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS||1,538 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Kawasaki Mule Pro||1,595 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Kawasaki Teryx||1,543 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Can-Am Maverick Max||1,585 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Polaris General 4 1000||1,857 lbs||2,800 lbs pulling power|
|Textron Wildcat 4x LTD||1,536 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Can-Am Defender Max||1,287 lbs||1,900 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha Wolverine||1,311 lbs||2,000 lbs pulling power|
|CF Moto ZForce 1000||1,230 lbs||1,800 lbs pulling power|
|CFMoto UForce 1000||1,520 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|John Deere Gator RSX860M||1,443 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha Viking EPS||1,431 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Polaris Ranger 500||1,065 lbs||1,600 lbs pulling power|
|Polaris Ranger 570||1,073 lbs||1,600 lbs pulling power|
|Kawasaki Mule 4000 Trans||1,514 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Honda Talon 1000X||1,490 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Honda 1000X-4||1,735 lbs||2,600 lbs pulling power|
|Can-Am Maverick Trail 1000||1,349 lbs||2,100 lbs pulling power|
|Can-Am Maveric Sport Max DPS||1,697 lbs||2,500 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha YXZ1000R||1,521 lbs||2,200 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha YXZ1000RSE||1,555 lbs||2,400 lbs pulling power|
|Yamaha X2 XT-R 850||1,609 lbs||2,400 lbs pulling power|
|Arctic Cat Prowler Pro||1,585 lbs||2,300 lbs pulling power|
|Arctic Cat Prowler 500||1,095 lbs||1,600 lbs pulling power|
|Kubota RTV500||1,358 lbs||2,000 lbs pulling power|
There you have it. These are the top 31 most popular side by sides and the UTV winch pulling power they need. You can use the search function by pressing on “CTR/Command + F” to find your model. If the model is not listed here, you can find one that has the same weight to determine what is the best winch for you.
Sidenote: The trick to selecting the best winch for your UTV is to get one that is a bit more powerful than what is recommended. The reason behind this is that you need to take into consideration that pulling will get harder when you do it in an incline or from mud, for example.
A piece of advice that I wish someone had told me before buying my first winch is to also consider what type of ATVs or UTVs my friends are riding. Because more than often, I will be the one who has to pull their vehicle out of sticky situations.
Are you looking to modify your UTV for the winter season? If yes, you might be interested in this article where I show if ATV tracks fit on side by sides.
My Favorite UTV/ATV Winch
I’ve been riding offroad for a while, and I know from personal experience that mounting a high-quality winch on your vehicle is essential to get out of bad situations, especially if you ride with friends who don’t have a winch. My favorite winch is the one made by the folks at Champion Power Equipment. What’s cool about this winch is the fact that it can be mounted both on ATVs and side by sides. It is available with multiple pulling power options that start at 2,000 lbs and go up to 12,000 lbs. While this might seem like an overkill, it’s always better to have more pulling power than required. For example, you will be able to pull a regular vehicle or a UTV that is stuck in mud up to the footrest.
The winch is easy to use. It comes with a wireless remote that works by pressing a single button. To make things even better, you don’t have to go to a mechanic’s shop to have the winch mounted. This is thanks to the fact that it comes with all the tools needed to mount it yourself. Nonetheless, here is a quick breakdown of the main features that the Champion Power Equipment ATV/UTV winch offers:
- Multiple pulling power options: 2,000 lbs, 3,000 lbs, 3,500 lbs, 4,000 lbs, 4,500 lbs, 10,000 lbs, 12,000 lbs;
- It’s easy to mount;
- It offers a wireless remote;
- It comes with a 38-foot galvanized super-duty aircraft cable;
- It uses a 12-volt EC motor.
Check the Latest Price
Investing in a heavy-duty UTV winch is always a good idea. You never know when you need it, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to offroad activities. From the looks of it, the average weight of a side by side is 1,500 lbs. Therefore, you should make sure that the winch you select has a pulling power of at least 2,300 lbs.