Hello, my name is Mark, and I decided to create this blog to share my experience with dune buggies. I have been working with buggies for around 20 years now, and I honestly doubt that there is a buggy or go kart, that I haven’t tried. So take some coffee, sit back and I hope that you will enjoy my website and find some useful information here.
Since the 60s when the first dune buggy was created, the evolution of these All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) has been remarkable. Also known as a beach buggy or sand rail, dune buggy acts as an entertaining car with wide tires and large wheels engineered for driving primarily in sand dunes of deserts or beaches. The modern models come with an improved power-to-weight ratio to ensure better grip on the slippery dunes apart from being significantly sporty.
Dune buggies are fun and are ready for an adventure on the sand, asphalt, gravel and even on mud. On the casual side, you can take your kids in a buggy to a grocery store or enjoy a slow cruise on any terrain.
But let’s cut to the chase. Below you can find the comparison table. These 3 buggies are the best in their cubature. I had tried them all and for the price, they are a steal. Below the table, you can find detailed reviews of these 3 buggies and below the reviews, there are the most frequently asked questions regarding this kind of vehicle. Enjoy!
|Product Image||Brand||Cubature||Max RPM||Top Speed||Max Load||Price|
|Trail Master||300 cc||6500||50 mph||500 lbs||$$$|
|Spider||150 cc||7000||38 mph||353 lbs||$$|
|TaoTao||125 cc||7000||30 mph||242 lbs||$|
Top 3 Dune Buggies
Trail Master’s New XRX 300cc Dune Buggy Go Kart
This one is a middle-sized dune buggy, which is exceptionally powerful at the top speed of 50 mph to leave others in the dust! It has all features you need for years of fun. XRX model also looks good and is made of high-quality construction materials. It comes with a robust 4-stroke engine, rack and pinion steering, upgraded suspension, engine kill switch, and big disc brake for quicker stopping. This buggy can handle the overall weight of up to 500 pounds. It has a reverse gear and is capable of ascending an 18-degree incline easily.
This buggy has safety features that also add to the comfort of its passengers. It comes with bucket seating with safety belts, side railing, side mirrors, overhead brush protector (padded), head lights, tail lights, and a convenient speedometer. The head lights and tail lights are essential for early morning or late night driving. And that’s not all. This dune buggy is approved by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and conforms to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) by having genuine factory number. It is also legal for sale in all states, except California.
- 4-stroke, Water-cooled Engine: Is smooth enough to deliver high power (6500 rpm) and torque (5000 rpm) for recreational or utility purposes.
- Fully Automatic Transmission: Is meant to eliminate the need to shift gears while moving forward and ensures a smooth ride.
- Large Disc Brake: Is a safety feature offering swift but steady halt of the moving vehicle.
- Electric Start: Replaces the traditional pull start, which used to make it a bit hard at times to start the ride, but now it’s easy and quick.
- Spacious Padded Seating: Increases comfort while driving.
- Off-Road Performing, High-Quality Durable Tires: Allow going smoothly even on the trickiest terrain.
- Clear Instrument Panel: Shows the speedometer and displays the headlight beam, all of which adds to the ride efficiency and comfort.
- Rear Rack: Offers an additional space for storing small luggage.
- High-Performance Exhaust Pipe: Upgrades the power and gives a finishing touch to this great buggy.
- Headlight, Brakelight, and Taillight: Offer improved visibility at night from front to rear.
Other features include polished aluminum wheels, front dual A-arm suspension, 4-point harness seatbelt, 4-wheel independent swing-arm suspension, high-performance shock absorbers, adjustable leather seat, fenders, steel mufflers, 2.25 gallons of gas tank, and shaft driven engine.
- Easy to steer and ride
- Off-road performance
- Lasting frame
Spider K28A High-End 150cc Go Kart, Automatic with Reverse
This one is lighter in weight, and slightly slower (at 38 mph) than the Trail Master’s buggy but is similar regarding handling as well as off-road performance in snow, mud, and sand. This buggy is ideal for two people whose total weight is not more than 500 pounds. Talking about the features, it has almost everything that the Trail Master’s buggy has, such as 4-stroke engine, automatic transmission, reverse mode, rear-wheel chain drive, electric start, and hydraulic brakes.
However, the gas tank is a bit smaller in size – 1.6 gallons. Power is 7000 rpm, and torque is 5500 rpm. Other features include two bucket style seats, rear view mirror, roll bar with foam padding, headlights on the grill, and easy grip steering wheel. Out of all these, the most commendable features are listed below.
- Hydraulic Disc Brakes: These do not overheat or heat up as much as drum brakes do, which means that they need less maintenance. Further, they do not collect dirt and mud, unlike the drum brakes.
- Rear Wheel Drive: This is an extra measure of traction, as your weight is over those wheels at the back. As a result, you can easily drive through the muddy and glossy terrain. Rear wheel drive also helps with the overall handling of the buggy.
- Air Cooled Four Stroke Engine: This engine does not need huge gas, radiator, or radiator coolant. It is also easier to maintain and lasts longer.
- Reverse: With reverse mode, there is no need to come out and push an off road buggy from within a tight spot by using all your muscle energy.
- Good engine quality
- Stronger than the Trail Master’s 300cc model
- Off-road performance
- Lower maximum speed than the Trail Master’s 300cc model
- No remote kill
- No speed limiter
TaoTao ATK 125A Go Kart 125cc Semi Auto with Reverse New Look
This one is a perfect jeep-style buggy for smaller kids as well as adults who wish to enjoy an on-road as well as off-road ride. It is a semi-automatic buggy due to which there is no clutch but only forward, neutral, and reverse. The vehicle operates at a great speed of 50 mph. However, it does not accept the overall weight of more than 220 lbs. Still, you will love this buggy for its price. Just like the Trail Master’s model, this one also conforms to FMVSS and EPA standards.
Talking about the features, this jeep-like model comes with the air-cooled, 4-stroke engine requiring no mix of oil and gas. It also has a speed control mechanism in a form of a bolt below the gas pedal. This control can be loosened or tightened to determine how far the pedal can go, which is essential for the safety of kids. The vehicle also has an electric start, bigger and longer lasting battery, headlights, tail lights, padded seats, rear rack for luggage, horns, shoulder seat belts, adjustable driver seat, front foot brake, hydraulic disc rear foot brake, and engine kill switch.
With the presence of dual front suspension, you can enjoy a smoother and more enjoyable ride. Further, the front bumper ensures better protection of both you and the buggy from any damage.
- Easy to assemble
- Very durable
- Very affordable
- No risk of rolling over at all
- Need to assemble (only 85% is assembled)
- Not that spacious
- Shorter wheelbase
Basic Questions/Factors to Consider Before Purchase
Well, there are many buggies available everywhere, but not all will fulfill your requirements. There are several things to consider when looking for the cheap dune buggy for sale. Not to mention you may have other questions as well. So let’s take a look at them together.
In order to understand the requirements, you have to understand a few factors first, such as places where you will drive and what you expect from the vehicle. Always think about where and how often you will use the buggy whether you will be driving most of the time on asphalt, grass, mud or sand. But let’s cut to the chase.
Can You Find a Street Legal Dune Buggy for Sale and What Do You Need for That?
This question is perhaps the most commonly asked one, as not all vehicles are considered legal in all states. If you wish to use your dune buggy on streets, it has to be street legal. This means you need to look for a street legal dune buggy for sale. It’s actually pretty easy to find street legal vehicles by looking at the manufacturer’s description or manual that should be in favor of street use. If it is legal, you will usually find a statement such as “Street legal except highways and freeways.”
What you also need to know is that the legality of the vehicle completely depends on the local and state laws. As of now, in several states, you can still not use licensed dune buggies on public streets legally. However, in other states, you can get them licensed if they meet certain criteria, such as taillights, license plates, windshields, mirrors, brake lights, horn, seat belts, headlights, turn signals, standard emission fulfillment and so on. These requirements can vary or be very specific from state to state. Usually, a dune buggy is not allowed on the highway or freeway due to the lower quality of tires and the lack of the consistent speed, windshield, gearing, safety parts, and other things.
In short, you need to understand, that the primary goal of DMV is to keep you and the other drivers safe, even though it may look a little bit strict, it’s for the best. Trust me; I know what I am talking about. All in all, it’s not that hard to find a street legal dune buggy for sale. The only thing to bear in mind is that every county in each state differs a bit in terms of licensing procedure. Once you have all required parts and components, you need to insure your buggy and do all the paperwork at your local DMV. And then you are all set.
Are Dune Buggies Dangerous?
A dune buggy, like other ATVs, is commonly associated with some inherent risks. According to statistics, thousands of injuries were reported in the past years, along with a death rate of 7% for adults. However, the main reasons behind these numbers are speedy driving and lack of proper safety measures, including carelessness. So unless you are driving like a psycho, you don’t really have to worry about getting hurt.
Yes, a dune buggy can be dangerous, but only if you remain careless. Driving it at full speed is dangerous, at least with the higher cubature. Thus, ensure that you do not go any faster than you can handle. At the same time, avoid trying to do anything too challenging or adventurous. For example, it is risky to drive a dune buggy over a 100 feet cliff or hit a rock in the middle, which is double the buggy’s size. This may sound ridiculous, but trust me, there were some experts who did exactly this.
The key here is to drive with care and respect. As long as you are within your limits, no buggy is dangerous on any terrain. And yes, do adhere to all safety standards such as wearing a helmet and seat belts. By the way, DMV these days is very strict about seat belts.
How Fast Can a Dune Buggy Go?
A single seater vehicle with 250cc or 150cc engine can go up to 50 miles per hour. Some buggies, such as the Razor dune buggy can go up 8 to 12 miles per hour with zero chance of rolling over, but they are boring and unreliable. Similarly, a 1968 VW dune buggy model with a 1600cc engine can go up to 75 – 90 miles per hour, but these buggies are old and can fall apart at that speed anytime.
Usually, the speed depends on the type of the vehicle, its weight, engine capacity, distribution of weight, style of driving, terrain, and transmission. These are the factors that affect the speed of every dune buggy. The speed varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. It also varies in between the models.
How Many People Can a Dune Buggy Carry?
This is an important factor to consider, as dune buggies are not big enough to carry 10 people at once. You need to decide how many people will the buggy carry most of the time. More often than not, you will be deciding between 1-seater and 2-seaters, since finding 4-seater buggy is not only rare but also expensive.
What is the Ideal Size of a Dune Buggy?
Well, this depends on what size you feel comfortable with. This once again depends on many factors. The most important one is what you expect from the buggy and how you are going to use it. For example, if your dune buggy isn’t street legal, you will have to move it from place to place on the trailer, so that’s another thing to consider. There is no need to be megalomaniac in this case.
What Should I Check Before Buying a Buggy?
Yes, there are a few things to check when buying a dune buggy. Even though you will be buying a new model, it’s always a good idea to check it thoroughly. Whether before the purchase or after the package arrives, if you ordered your buggy online. It is wise to check out both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the model that seems promising to you. Here are some of the most important things to check out:
- Tires: Checking out the tires is essential, as they are among the vehicle’s most used as well as most often replaced parts. If you find any kind of patches on them, understand that the replacement, servicing, or repairing of suspensions or wheel arches might be your responsibility in the near future. As a tip, consider lifting the buggy into the air with the help of a jack and look for any damage signs on the wheel arches.
- Frame: This is also another important part to check before the purchase. Inspect it closely for any damage and large cracks. There shouldn’t be anything like that present, as they can allow moisture to penetrate inside the vehicle and negatively impact its overall stability. Moisture consequently leads to rust, which makes the frame of the buggy quite fragile. And frail frame can be quite dangerous because it’s the strong frame which is responsible for protecting you in a case of an accident. This means that a damaged frame imposes a safety risk if you happen to lose control of your buggy.
- The Gas Tank: Checking the gas tank may sound a bit absurd, but it is as important as checking the tires and frame. However, the fact is that gas tank is usually ignored when it comes to inspecting the buggy. Just take a flashlight to light the entire tank from within and look for spots that seem to rust or crack. A rusting gas tank indicates that the engine may require repair or replacement. The reason is that the rust flakes penetrate into the engine, which can lead to a huge damage.
Driving Performance: Well, it is best to take the test drive yourself and see how the buggy performs. Get inside and drive it on a couple of different surfaces and terrains. While driving, try to use different controls to check whether they are running correctly and to make sure everything is in order. Sure, this cannot be done when you are ordering from the Internet. However, test the buggy immediately after you receive it, to make sure it’s without any faults. Otherwise, ask for a refund.
Also, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion by taking a friend or an expert along with you Someone who has some experience with this type of vehicles. Such a person can immediately tell you if there is something wrong with your buggy or not. He/she, can also take a look at possibly sensitive areas, look for any signs of damage, rust, and cracks quite quickly.
Is It a Good Idea to Look for a Used Buggy?
For most of us, looking for a cheap dune buggy for sale is the way to go. However, used dune buggy for sale is also the option for those who are on the tight budget. However, finding a good used buggy is close to impossible
Because of the price factor, the second-hand market can be more appealing. However, from my experience, I would advise you to avoid it. The price difference between the new models and used ones is not as big as you would expect.
Furthermore, these used dune buggies for sale are in 90% of the cases an utter crap. They are damaged, close to being out of commission and you will soon have to replace pretty much everything, which requires a further investment. So are used buggies worth the trouble? In my experience, no they are not.
A dune buggy is certainly an exciting escape from daily stress as well as boring driving. There are many people looking for the dune buggies for sale, and I really hope that this little article has helped them to decide. Thank you for reading and good luck!