Your SuperATV bumper is good for a lot of things. It protects your bodywork from heavy hits, gives you peace of mind while riding through tight trails, and makes your machine look extra sharp.
But here’s a selling point we don’t advertise often (though maybe we should): SuperATV bumpers are great for protecting you from wild bears.
Nobody knows this better than our buddy Jimmy from Susanville, CA. Jimmy recently had a literal run-in with a bear while riding his Teryx in the mountains near his home. Thankfully, everyone was OK (aside from some bumps and bruises). But Jimmy now believes the outcome would have been much worse if it weren’t for his SuperATV bumper.
It happened on May 23. Jimmy was riding with his wife and a buddy in the mountains, about an hour from his house. He was driving his 2019 Kawasaki Teryx4 LE with his buddy following behind in a Yamaha YXZ. It was their usual ride spot and easily accessible from home.
“I can take off from my driveway, head down to the next street, and be on service roads in the mountains in about ten minutes. You can ride for days on these roads,” Jimmy said. “On this day, it was my first time at this specific lake. But I’d been on the roads in this area plenty of times before.”
It should have been a pretty straightforward and relaxing ride. And it was—until it came time to head home.
“We started heading home around 8:30 or 9:00. The sun had just set. It should have been about an hour’s drive home.”
Shortly into their return trip, as Jimmy was doing about 40 MPH on dirt road, a full-grown California black bear ran out of the trees and smacked directly into his front passenger side.
“I knew right away that it was a bear,” Jimmy said. “What surprised me was the force. The impact sent a shockwave through our bodies that hurt like hell and took our breath away.”
He got out of the Teryx and did the usual walkaround that happens after a fender bender. There was a brief moment of confusion as his wife and buddy tried to register what happened, followed by a collective “Oh shit!” once they realized the cause of the collision.
Jimmy and his wife were pretty banged up as a result of the impact, but luckily they sustained no serious injuries. His knees hit the dash in front of him, and his wife sustained bad bruises from being grabbed by the seatbelt.
“We hit so hard that a piece of plastic actually broke off from her seatbelt and went through the rear windshield,” he said. “We were pretty sore for about a week after, but it could have been so much worse.”
The reason it wasn’t worse, according to Jimmy? His SuperATV bumper.
“That SuperATV bumper took it like a champ,” he said. “I truly believe that it saved my wife and I from serious injury, or worse. I know a stock bumper wouldn’t have held up nearly as well.”
As for the bear? Jimmy and his buddy checked their surroundings for any sign of the animal, but it was long gone. They could have looked a little harder, but like Jimmy said, “It was dark and there is no cell service in that area. We really didn’t feel like chasing a bear into the forest at night.”
(We don’t blame them one bit.)
How would your side-by-side hold up if it made contact with a bear while doing 40? It’s hard to say for sure. All we know is that proper machine protection is critical on the trails. Jimmy’s accident is proof.
The front end of his Teryx4 was smashed in, crushing the radiator and causing the UTV to leak coolant. It started right up but, due to the leak, couldn’t be driven for longer than a minute or two.
The bumper, though, was in “surprisingly good shape” after taking a hit from a bear. (For context, the average California black bear weighs about 300 pounds, but they can get as large as 500.)
“The bumper was twisted a little bit on the right side,” Jimmy said. “The top part, where the LED lights are located, was pushed in some.”
But otherwise, the bumper was fine—so fine, in fact, that one of Jimmy’s friends took it to straighten it out and use it on his own machine.
“All of those other SuperATV parts came out in perfect condition,” Jimmy said. “A small plastic piece from the latch on the windshield broke off and had to be replaced. But as far as the windshield itself, it was perfect.”
Since he was leaking coolant everywhere, Jimmy’s buddy had to tow him home that night. What should have been an hour-long trip took three and a half instead.
And unfortunately, his Teryx4 was totaled. The insurance company quoted it as sustaining around $12,000 worth of damage due to the crushed bodywork and destroyed radiator. But that’s a fair trade, considering the damage (to both the vehicle and its occupants) could have been much worse.
With the Teryx totaled, Jimmy had to set his sights on a new machine. He put in an order for a brand-new Teryx4 SLE, although he hasn’t picked it up yet due to supply chain shortages. He’s hoping to get a call any day now saying his new rig is ready. And when that happens, he’s got some installing to do.
“I have about $5,000 worth of aftermarket parts just waiting to be installed on this new machine,” Jimmy said.
Among those parts are his SuperATV Flip Windshield, a new tinted SuperATV Rear Windshield, and the replacement bumper we sent him when we heard about the bear incident. He also plans on adding the stereo from his old Teryx4, a new SuperATV Lift Kit, and some extra lighting for max visibility.
“I’ll be putting a big light bar on top of [the new Teryx4 SLE],” Jimmy said. “It already has four lights up front, plus the cube lights in my SuperATV bumper. But adding another light bar will make it even safer.”
And, of course, he’ll continue running that SuperATV bumper.
To protect your own machine (and yourself) from trees, rocks, and run-ins with bears, get your own SuperATV bumper today.