The default seating capacity of an ATV is ONE person.
You can buy ones that come built for two people, but a 1-seater is more common and often the recommended capacity even if you have a 2-seater.
There does not exist an option that can seat more than two people. To be able to sit more than 2 people, you’ll need a UTV. A UTV, also called a side by side, comes in a two-person capacity by default but can go up to 6, depending on the manufacturer.
1UP = 1 Seater
2UP = 2 Seater
Turn 1UP Into A 2UP
You cannot make a 1 seater into a 2 seater… or at least not legally.
I don’t recommend you convert your 1UP into a 2UP, no matter what accessory says you can.
A 2UP will have a longer frame to support the extra weight and distribute it more evenly.
You can, however, convert a 2UP into a 1UP, and a lot of people do. Because the 2UP is a longer frame, many riders who like to rock climb or ride steep hills will go with 2UP.
Trail Rules are the most strict around when it comes to the legal seat capacity of your ATV. They know the difference between a legit 2UP ATV and one that had an add-on accessory to make it a “2UP”.
Why Seat Capacity Matters
The reason you can’t make a 1UP into a 2UP is that the passenger doesn’t have the same protections as the driver.
On 2UP ATVs, the passenger gets their own grab handles and their own place to put their feet.
A 1UP does not have grab handles for the passenger, and the passenger’s feet will be where the driver’s feet will be. This is a huge issue as the driver has a foot brake that they need to be in control of, but if the passenger slips, they could knock the driver’s foot away and ultimately lose control. The passenger could also kick the driver’s footing or balance off and have them lose control that way.
When it comes to 2UP ATVs you’ll notice the passenger’s footrest are always higher than the drivers to help keep the driver’s foot in the right location and keep the passenger from messing with them.
You also need to pay attention to the age restrictions placed on the ATV and local laws about who can ride on the back of a 2UP ATV. There are laws and restrictions for a reason, please follow them!
The Way You Ride Is Different Than A Motorcycle
On a motorcycle, the driver and passenger must become one to be able to lean into turns.
You don’t lean on an ATV, and you’ll find the way the passenger seat is set up on an ATV that it keeps the passenger a good distance from the driver compared to a motorcycle.
The passenger is in their own spot with their own grab handles.
You’ll still need to work with the driver if you come across challenging hills, but overall, the passenger gets their own spot.
Riding With A Passenger Means You Go Slower!
An ATV is not like a motorcycle!
If you ride a passenger, you’ll need to go slower than you would ride by yourself.
All ATVs that are 2UP will have the passenger sit higher than the driver. This makes you more top-heavy and will handle hills and turns very differently.
You also need to be more aware of the weight placement with a passenger. When on a motorcycle, you and the passenger are one, but an ATV is set up differently, and it’s harder to get two brains to sync up on what to do. Add to this that often the passenger is a less skilled rider; you’ll need to be extra cautious on a 2UP.
Avoid the crazy or hard trails when riding a 2UP. A 2UP is perfect for the nice and easy trails and a passenger who doesn’t want their own ATV.
Both Driver and Passenger Need Helmets!
You always need to wear a helmet when riding or driving an ATV.
Remember that the passenger will sit higher, making them more susceptible to encountering branches and spider webs on the trails. Therefore, ensure they have the appropriate gear and be vigilant for these obstacles while driving.
Every 2UP and riding parks have age restrictions for passengers. Not only do you need to wear the proper gear, but you also must not ride someone on the back of your 2UP who is underage, height, or weight.
It’s critical you follow these rules and laws as it’s meant to save lives!
Yes, you can buy 1UP UTVs, but most often, they come in 2UPs.
It’s primarily kids UTVs that come in a 1 seater option, but there are a few adult-size UTVs that sit one person.
Seating Capacity Of UTVs
The most common seating capacity of a UTV is 2 seats, but you can find 4 and 6 seater options.
UTVs, or the ones you see today, are still kind of a new tech. Before UTVs, we had fancy golf carts, but now these things are the size of trucks and cost as much as one too.
4 seater UTVs have really taken off and have gotten a lot more popular with families.
The 6 seaters have come around but what’s most interesting is that they’re more of the “work” style UTVs. It’s often a bench-style seat that sits 3 people in the front and 3 people in the rear.
The 4 seater UTVs are more of the sport option and sit two in the front and two in the back. You’ll find this style to have the more racing-style seatbelts and a seat that helps to keep you locked in.
Unless I’m working at a job site or the farm, I rather have the 4 seater option for a UTV as the bench-style seats in the 6 seaters don’t inspire the confidence like the bucket seats in the 4 seaters.
Two 2UP VS. 4 Seater UTV
Should you get two 2up ATVs or one 4 seater UTV?
This will come down to who you ride with.
Having two ATVs will be more fun and allow each group to go at the pace they want and skill too. While the 4 seater UTV is the SUV of the off-roading world – it’s the family man’s machine.
You also got to keep in mind where you ride.
ATVs can go more places because they’re smaller. But riding trails have really opened up as side by sides have really taken off.