You Want Power Steering
Yes, power steering on an ATV or UTV is very much worth it!
Power steering will…
- Help resale value.
- Lower rider’s fatigue.
- Be more new-rider friendly.
- Make it easier to steer when loaded down with gear.
- Make your ride more predictable and more effortless.
- Fight kickback when going over rocks or other rough terrains.
- Allow you to adjust power steering strength for certain models.
All the points above will also go for UTVs and not just ATVs, if not more so.
A UTV is heavier and longer, and with that comes bigger tires and more mass to deal with when steering. So getting power steering on a UTV makes the most sense; you could get by on ATVs but trust me, you want it.
ATVs are smaller than UTVs, and you can get away with not having power steering but trust me, once you have it, you’ll find it’s hard to go back.
Smaller ones under 500cc can get away with no power steering, especially if you don’t run it hard.
But if you do any real work or any long rides, you’re going to want to get power steering.
If you put bigger tires on your ATV, you’ll for sure want power steering.
EPS vs. DPS
EPS = Electronic Power Steering
DPS = Dynamic Power Steering
Both EPS and DPS use an electric motor for power steering.
Can-Am uses the word “DPS” when describing their power steering as they allow you to select different power steering settings.
DPS is found on both Can-Am ATVs and UTVs with many models allowing you to adjust a Max or Min power setting for steering.
How Power Steering Works
Power steering is super simple in how it works.
An electric motor is placed in line with the steering column, and when it detects movement, the motor assists in that direction.
The computer in the electric motor can adjust and detect kickback when your tire goes over an object and help fight or lessen the blow.
You Can Add Power Steering Later
Yes, most manufacturers even give you the option to install it at the dealership.
There is a ton of aftermarket power steering options too.
Here is a great video to give you an idea of how to install an aftermarket power steering unit.
If you’re on the fence about getting power steering and looking at getting a new ATV, always spend a few extra bucks and get the power steering from the factory. It’s always worth the additional cost, and you won’t regret it.
Power Steering Costs
The prices for ATV and UTV power steering can vary from $400 up to $1,000.
The average price for power steering is $700.
This price doesn’t include labor, so if you get it done at a dealership, expect to pay 2 to 5 hours of labor depending on how hard it is to install. With many dealers charging over $100 an hour, this can get expensive.
This is why I say get the power steering from the factory now and pay a little more when buying new as to get it done later is costly if you don’t do it yourself.
Electric vs. Hydraulic
You’re only going to find electric power steering on ATVs and UTVs.
I’m not sure where people are getting the idea that ATVs have hydraulic power steering as hydraulics are more complicated, more expensive, and more trouble than using a simple electric motor. Even car manufacturers are seeing this and moving away from hydraulics.
Electric power steering is…
- Fewer moving parts, so fewer things to break.
- Easier to install.
- Gives you power settings, min or max.
Let’s not forget that electric power steering can give you multiple power steering modes, like on Can-Ams. You can select a MAX, MED, or MIN power for the steering to better suit your needs or ride.
With being able to pick power settings, even the people against power steering end up loving it. Of course, they can choose the low power setting, but if the spouse or friend wants to drive, you can give them the more power DPS settings.
Why The Power Steering Hate?
People hated power steering when it came out in the late ’00s.
It was new, and something else to break was how many were thinking. You got to understand; you have old school guys who have been riding ATVs for 20+ years and never needed it before, so why get it now?
They were not completely wrong; a few of the early power steering motors did have some issues.
Nowadays, power steering is so good that it is silly not to get it. Even the diehard riders have come around after using it for a bit.
It wasn’t so much hate towards power steering but a push back on change. Of course, it’s only natural as power steering was a massive change to the ATV world, but now most agree it’s worth having.
Losing Power Steering Does Not Mean You Lose Steering
If you lose power steering while riding, you can still steer your ATV or UTV, but there won’t be any assistance.
The power steering motor is connected in line with the steering column, so if it goes out, you still have steering, but it’s just harder – it’s about as hard as not having power steering.
This is why manufacturers love electronic power steering because if the electric motor goes out, you can still steer.