When you look at a selection of side-by-sides at a dealership in your area, one thing that may catch your attention is how the process of shifting gears can vary between models. While a lot of side-by-sides have standard shifter knobs positioned to the right of the driver, like many cars, others have paddle shifters. Paddle shifters are attached to the back side of the steering wheel, and a model that has this design won't have a standard shifter knob. There are several factors to think about as you choose the right model for you, but a model that has paddle shifters can be advantageous for these reasons.
Both Hands On The Wheel
When you drive a side-by-side, you'll often find yourself moving through challenging terrain. Paddle shifters give you the ability to change gears without having to take your hands away from the steering wheel. When it's time to change gears, you simply tap either paddle with the tips of your fingers. Being able to maintain a proper grip on the wheel is useful, whether you're in slippery conditions, navigating tight turns, or dealing with obstacles such as rocks. Without paddle shifters, you need to remove your right hand from the wheel entirely to use the shifter knob.
Faster Gear Changes
There's no question that paddle shifters also allow you to change gears faster than a traditional shifter knob. With the latter design, it takes time to move your hand to the knob each time you need to change gears. If you're enjoying a fast trail ride with several other side-by-side riders, you want to be able to keep up. You can easily tap your paddle shifters to change gears faster than the time it takes to reach for a shifter knob.
Lots of race cars, as well as high-performance street cars, use paddle shifters instead of shifter knobs. When you buy a side-by-side that has these shifters, you'll enjoy how this design offers a sportier feel than a traditional shifter knob. When you look at different side-by-side models, you'll often find that those that are designed for sporty applications, rather than for work on farms and other such properties, are equipped with paddle shifters. Keep paddle shifters in mind as you browse different side-by-side models, and don't hesitate to ask to take a test drive to try out this form of shifting.
Contact a side-by-side dealership to learn more.