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Side-by-side (vehicle)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Yamaha YXZ1000R side-by-side.
A Yamaha YXZ1000R side-by-side.

A side-by-side vehicle (SxS or SSV), is an off-road vehicle with a minimum of two seats positioned side-by-side and enclosed within a roll cage structure. They have a minimum of four wheels (or continuous tracks) and are operated by foot controls and a steering wheel. Depending on use and application they can also be called a utility task vehicle, utility terrain vehicle (UTV), recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV), or multipurpose off-highway utility vehicle (MOHUV).[1][2][3][4][5]

Side-by-sides may be included in the category of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs),[6] but do not include vehicles with saddle-seats that are operated using handlebar-type controls that are the conventional meaning of that term.

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Definition and standards

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes two standards for side-by-sides. ANSI/OPEI B71.9-2016 sets standards for multipurpose off-highway utility vehicles (MOHUV) specifically intended for utility use which are intended to transport persons and cargo, have a non-straddle seat, are designed to travel on four or more wheels, use a steering wheel and pedals for controls, have a top speed of at least 25 mph (40.2 km/h), are 2030 mm (80 in) or less in overall width, have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of no more than 1814 kg (4000 lb), and with a minimum cargo capacity of 159 kg (350 lb).[7] ANSI/ROHVA 1-2016 sets standards for recreational off-highway vehicles as having speed capability greater than 30 MPH (48 km/h), GVWR no greater than 1700 kg (3750 lbs), and engine displacement equal to or less than 1,000cc (61 cubic inches) for gasoline fueled engines.[8]


Side-by-sides come factory-equipped with a rollover protection structure. Many of the vehicles also come equipped with hard tops, windshields, and even cab enclosures. Many follow safety standards including "visual seat belt usage reminders; leg/foot barriers; shoulder/hip barriers; and arm/hand barriers to restrict occupant egress and excursion from the vehicle during a rollover event." These are voluntary standards under American National Standard for recreational off-highway vehicles, ANSI/ROHVA 1-2016, though the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has proposed making them mandatory.[citation needed]

In 2009, CPSC warned: "The vehicles may exhibit inadequate lateral stability, undesirable steering characteristics, and inadequate occupant protection during a rollover crash." According to the CPSC, between 2003 and August 2009, 116 deaths occurred in ROV/UTV accidents.[9]

Use and application


Since the 2017 Dakar Rally, the SSV category vehicles have competed in a separate class, which is defined as four-wheel side-by-side vehicles with 1000 cc maximum displacement.[10] Previously, they were classified in the Cars T3.3 subclass. In 2021 Dakar Rally organizers and the FIA introduced common categories - Group T3 for light prototypes and Group T4 for production based side by side vehicles. The trucks were reclassified to Group T5.

Other off-road racing series include side-by-side classes, such as the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, TORC: The Off-Road Championship, SCORE International, Best in the Desert, and Grand National Cross Country.

In combat

Ukrainian forces have used UTVs during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, using a crew of two, fitted with Stugna-P missiles, some with machine guns, to destroy Russian tanks and positions. They have been referred to as "Mad Max" buggies.[11] The US Marines are amongst other military forces to utilise forms of side-by-sides such as Polaris RZR.[12]


  1. ^ Stewart, Alistair. "What is SXS Racing?". SXS Racing. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  2. ^ "ATV vs SxS UTV". Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  3. ^ Polaris (2022). "Explore Types of Off-Road Vehicles". Retrieved 2022-08-22.
  4. ^ "Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ "What is a Side-by-Side Vehicle? A beginner's guide • Axiom Side by Side". Axiom Side by Side. 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  6. ^ "All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Quad bikes and side-by-side utility vehicles - Agriculture - HSE". Retrieved 2022-08-24.
  7. ^ "American National Standard for Multipurpose Off-Highway Utility Vehicles" (PDF). ANSI. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  8. ^ "ANSI/ROHVA 1-2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-01-20.
  9. ^ Trottman, Melanie (2009-10-09). "CPSC Staff Calls for Mandatory ROV Standards". Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "2017 Stage 1 Live Feed". The Dakar. Archived from the original on 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2017-01-07.
  11. ^ Davis, Katie (2022-05-02). "Russia-Ukraine conflict: Ukraine's Mad Max style buggies used to destroy Russian tanks and planes". The Sun. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  12. ^ "Marine Corps Utility Task Vehicles receiving multiple upgrades". United States Marine Corps Flagship. Retrieved 2022-08-24.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 March 2023, at 15:43
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