Skid plates for ATV’s serve a very good purpose – they protect the belly of your four wheeler, UTV, or other type of quad. While they are a great addition for many riders, some people really probably don’t need them. In this article, I’d like to go over some facts about them, along with some information about whether or not they are right for you and your quad, which will depend on the type of riding you do. Cheap skid plates for ATV’s serve a useful purpose, but some people who use them might be better off without them.
What Are ATV Skid Plates?
Quite simply, it is ‘armor’ for the undercarriage of your UTV or four wheeler. Most of the quality one you’ll find, like those made by Dennis Kirk or Ricochet, are made of aluminum, but there are plenty of cheap steel models available, if cost is a major concern for you.
Some are made to protect the entire undercarriage, while others might only protect a certain area. For the most part, the entire undercarriage protection systems are the best value, and not that terribly expensive to purchase.
Do I Need Them?
Some people do, but for some, it really is overkill, unless you like the look. Like brush guards or A-arm guards, some people need them. If you blaze your own trail or ride in areas where rocks are a concern, you probably could use them. If you ride primarily on groomed trails, or just in fields which aren’t rocky or brushy, you probably don’t. Keep in mind that most four wheelers have less than 10 inches of clearance. Warn ATV Skid plates are available for those that need them, at surprisingly competitive prices, when compared to other makers.
This is relatively cheap ‘insurance’ from damage caused by rocks and debris. It will only take minimal damage caused by a running over a rock to offset the price you would have paid for them in the first place, so it might be a good idea to check them out.
How Much are Skid Plates for Four Wheelers?
Prices are all over the place. For full protection, you are going to spend $250 to $300, but some will be more and some will be less. It’s a good price range which generally holds true, whether you’re on a Honda, Suzuki, Can Am, Yamaha, Polaris or Arctic Cat. On off brands, it will be hard to find the ones that fit properly, but you might have some luck directly from the manufacturer. Those looking to save some money might want to check out durable plastic ATV skid plates, which are a lot tougher than they sound.
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(price as of Sep 8, 2016)
Pros and Cons of Skid Plates for Four Wheelers
As with any product, there are lots of pros and cons to buying and using them. In the section below, I’d like to share some of those pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not they are right for you. Not everyone needs them, but those who do will find them a good, cheap way to protect their investment.
Hard to Clean: The actual plate itself is easy to clean, but if you go out mudding, you will have a hard time cleaning between it and the actual undercarriage. Mud sounds like it’s not a big deal, but the truth is, it eats at seals and destroys rubber pieces. In addition, it hold moisture for longer periods of time, which can lead to rusting. Those who go out mudding often know how hard it is to PROPERLY clean off an ATV afterward. They will add substantial time to the cleaning effort, so they might not be for everyone.
Protection from Rocks, Brush, Debris: OEM protection level is sufficient for some riders, but for those that blaze their own trail, it generally won’t cut it. This is cheap protection, for the most part, which will protect you from rocks, debris, and brush. Those who ride in these conditions probably fully realize how much damage a rock can do.
Available for Virtually all Brands: If you have a Honda, Polaris, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Suzuki, Kawasaki, or even a Kymco, you can find them to fit. Best of all, UTV riders can find them readily available as well, but they are a little more expensive for UTV’s than traditional four wheelers, as there is a lot more material needed to accommodate the substantially wider width.
Multiple Price Points Available: If you want cheap four wheeler skid plates, you can find them. Some are under 100 dollars for full belly, while others, those better built and made with qualify material, like aluminum, are likely to run around 300 dollars.
Sweet Look: There’s something about a cool brush guard, A-arm guard, and aluminum ATV skid plate that looks awesome. Like with many mods, some are just plain visually appealing to add to the unit. This happens to be one of those things. Since they are not that terribly expensive, it’s a good way to make your wheeler look tough and rugged.
Added Expense: If you buy a new UTV or quad, this is just another expense to add to the bill. Most new quads run around $7,000 brand new, but add-ons, like winches, extended warranties, tire upgrades, and even skid plates, can push the price up over $10,000 in a hurry. Considering most are ‘worn out’ after 6 or 7,000 miles (about a buck per mile), you don’t get much use for the price. Cars, by contrast, get around 100,000 miles before major work is needed. Can you imagine paying a buck per mile for a car?
Could be Overkill: You might not even need these, depending on the type of riding you do. Take a look at the next section to decide if they are even a good idea for you. Not everyone will have a need for them, so it could be something you spend your money on, but not really need.