We had the opportunity to chat with a recently retired couple – they were looking for a vehicle to help them enjoy the great outdoors. Their choices boiled down to a side-by-side for off-road trails, a new Harley with room on the back for a rider (they would ride on both paved & gravel roads), or a Vanderhall two-seater (they would ride on paved roads only). Since we own, ride, and love all three, we had the opportunity to provide our direct experiences with each.
First of all, the couple didn’t have a pickup and trailer, so they would need to invest in those to transport the side-by-side. That can be very expensive unless you have the budget (they did). Further, the trailering process can be somewhat of a hassle, and the pickup and trailer need to be parked (and insured) when not in use. So for this couple, they would actually need to buy three vehicles (pickup, trailer, and side-by-side) not one.
As a long-time biker, the heavy motorcycle can prove more difficult to handle as you lose a little joint flexibility with age. A recent collision with a deer had necessitated some expensive bike repairs and gotten me rethinking about biking in general. I know some day I will miss the biker experience when it is time to forego riding them ... we have a lot of great Sturgis memories.
When I first discovered the Vanderhall, it was immediately part of the family. It combines what I love about riding outdoors, the fresh air and views, with the exhilaration of acceleration, cornering, and turbo sounds. It makes driving and riding so simple, easy, and fun. We hop in, put the key in, shift into drive, and we are off. My wife can sit next to me and not behind me. She even has a playlist on her phone for blue-toothing in her favorite songs when she is tired of listening to me. Can you imagine?
Conclusion – the Vanderhall “gets it” for us – the best of all worlds, in our opinion. When the day comes when we reduce the count of vehicles in the shed – the Vanderhall will remain.
Here was the guy’s comparison chart (after his test drive he was already convinced of the Vanderhall route):
Vanderhall vs. Off-Road:
FEATURE Side-by-side Vanderhall
Smooth Ride Rock Crawler bounce Smooth
Road Quality Rugged Paved
Road Access Limited Local/State/US - Paved
Maps Some – use GPS Plentiful
Views Great Great – many options
Trailer Hauler Yes - trailer & pickup No
Break downs Happen Rare
Gasoline Spare can 40 mpg
Food Cooler Restaurant
Lodging Tent / Sleeping bag 2-5 star hotel
Mecha Hobby grade Auto grade
Drive Train Belt Integrated GM
Insurance Good luck Like motorcycle
Roof Option Option
Views Great Local, State, National Parks
Dust Eat It In the Distance
Special Permits Yes No
Vehicle Life Hopefully 20,000 miles 100,000+
Engine Noise Yes – like it When turbo kicks in – so cool
Price Equipped Equipped - 30k Equipped – 30k
Warranty So-so 2 year parts and labor