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Maui Off-Road Adventures

This tour is definitely for the off-road ATV enthusiast. Explore the 3,600 acre Hana Ranch and take in some beautiful views, livestock and wildlife, bamboo forest runs, mud, hill climbs, river crossing, jungle canopy, tight turns and decent straight shot road to open the UTV up a bit. Drive or simply be a passenger in, one of today's most advanced off-road vehicles, the Polaris RZR 1000 4 seater that can handle anything nature can throw its way.


Tom Barefoot: Good morning. Welcome to another edition of Tom Barefoot's Tours Live. Read Full Transcript

Video Transcript

Tom Barefoot: Good morning. Welcome to another edition of Tom Barefoot's Tours Live. I'm Tom, and today we're going to be doing an interview with Mike Lipp. He's the owner and operator of a company called Maui Offroad Adventures. It's an ATV type company that operates out of Hana, Maui, one of the most beautiful, beautiful spots that you could find to do ATV rides anywhere on the planet.
Mike, are you there? Can you hear me?
Michael Lipp: I am. Good morning, Tom. How are you?
Tom Barefoot: Good. I can see you really good there.
Michael Lipp: Excellent.
Tom Barefoot: Is it a nice morning in Hana?
Michael Lipp: It is gorgeous, nothing but sunshine and blue skies.
Tom Barefoot: Great. Listen, I know you're in one of these incredible places. It's hard for people sometimes I think to even understand where you are. Is it possible to get out of your vehicle? You're in the vehicle now, and maybe just maybe pan a 360 and take a look at the terrain that you're kind of in, in that area?
Michael Lipp: Most definitely. Yeah, let me get on top of the rig here. Be a nice little ocean view.
Tom Barefoot: Oh yeah. [crosstalk 00:01:08]
Michael Lipp: This is some of the scenery that you'll see here on the tour that we stop at.
Tom Barefoot: Right. That's looking down towards Hana Bay, right?
Michael Lipp: That's right. Hana Bay's right in front of us down there. It's a little windy up here. I hope you can hear me.
Tom Barefoot: I can hear you fine.
Michael Lipp: Here's a little bamboo forest and part of the track that we roll through back here.
Tom Barefoot: It's like 2,500 acres, yeah?
Michael Lipp: 3,600
Tom Barefoot: Okay. [inaudible 00:01:41] Beautiful. That's great. We got a good look at it. You can get back in the seat of the car. This is actually the property that is owned by the Hana Ranch. My understanding is that you've got pretty much of free rein of going all through there and taking people where you want them to go.
Michael Lipp: Yes, that's correct. We have full use of almost all 3,600 acres here. We go all the way through pastures, open pastures, cows going through them. We progress down into a ... We go through the jungle, through bamboo forests. There's all kinds of stuff.
Tom Barefoot: I know when I went out you with guys maybe, three weeks ago, my wife and myself, and I remember on the trip, I was amazed by it, by the way. But we saw pigs. Really, you're out there in the jungle. It's really, really, really cool.
Here I had you sit back in the vehicle, but the one thing I really wanted to ask you first was to talk about the Polaris. Maybe you can describe it from outside, and people can understand it, because it is different. I know there's ATV rides that we have all through the state of Hawaii, but I don't think any of them operate the Polaris RZR 1000. Is that correct?
Mike, I lost your video. Mike, Mike, can you hear me? I've lost your video. Is your video muted?
Michael Lipp: Hello now, can you hear me?
Tom Barefoot: I hear you now. I know we missed about 15 seconds of it. I don't know what happened. Was it muted by mistake?
Michael Lipp: It was. Somehow it got tapped.
Tom Barefoot: Okay, let's just go back to the original question.
Michael Lipp: Can you still see me?
Tom Barefoot: Let's just go back to the question so we can hear it. The Polaris RZR 1000 is what you operate, and I think you're the only one of all the ATV companies in the state that actually operates it. Is that right?
Michael Lipp: Yes, that is correct. We decided to go with this machine. It's pretty much top of the line in its industry. It can handle all kinds of terrain. It can go through about anything you'd put up to it. There's a machine here that you can see.
We started off operating with the four doors, so we can fit a family of four, and the whole family can go all in one. We put a lot of aftermarket stuff in here, especially like the seat belts. They come with normal seat belts. We took those out. We put in harness seat belts to keep you locked in. We put on full doors on here, helps keep you clean a little bit, with debris flying in. We put in aftermarket stage four spring kits. High-rise super ATV bars give you higher clearance. More aggressive tires for off road. The machine's superior.
Tom Barefoot: Yeah, and these were extensive, as I can recall, for an ATV, especially all the additional stuff that you do.
Michael Lipp: Yeah, they're right around $25K per rig.
Tom Barefoot: Wow.
Michael Lipp: And then additional aftermarket stuff that's on them.
Tom Barefoot: Wow.
Michael Lipp: The reason why we went with these, the terrain ... Go ahead.
Tom Barefoot: No, that's the one. I can see why you went ... because the terrain is insane out there. I know it's rocks, and river beds, and mud. Mud is like two feet deep. There's lots of cornering. You bought the very best that you could get.
Michael Lipp: That's why we decided to go with the RZR 1000.
Tom Barefoot: Explain while we're looking at it here. You can fit four passengers in there, but how does it work? A guy could come and take it for himself, couldn't he? Or he and his wife, or a friend, or you can take as many as four people? Is that the way it works?
Michael Lipp: Right, you need at least two people in the machine. If you want to ride solo, the cost is a little bit more, because you're taking a machine off the line where other people can get into it. But majority of the time, it's two to three people. Sometimes we do have family of four. They can also ride with the guide if they would like. We just started getting in ... we have one of them came in last week. We're going to start offering the two-seaters, as well.
Tom Barefoot: Okay, so it's the same Polaris RZR 1000, but a two-seater instead of a four?
Michael Lipp: Exactly, yes.
Tom Barefoot: Okay. If you've got a couple people that are driving, is it possible to switch drivers during the middle of it, if somebody wanted to do that?
Michael Lipp: There is. There are three different stops along the tour that we give the drivers a chance to switch, so they can both drive the vehicle. In the beginning of the ride, we have the less experienced driver operate the machine. It gets a little bit more aggressive towards the end of the ride. These vehicles, if you can drive a car, you can drive this. This RZR drives itself pretty much. If you can operate, press down on the gas, press down on the brake, and steer the vehicle, the machine will do the rest of the work for you.
Tom Barefoot: I can speak from experience, having done it, that it was an amazing thing. I don't generally go out and do motorized vehicles in the off road or anything, but it was so much power and so much fun, in terms of the curves. It was amazing the amount of ... You just went over rocks, over river bed, though ... I'm not exaggerating when I say there was two feet of mud, right?
Michael Lipp: [crosstalk 00:07:49]
Tom Barefoot: [crosstalk 00:07:49]. It just went right through it. In fact, my wife, who I ask her if she'd like to go along on these things, and she's pretty much a trooper. She does a lot of this stuff, but she's not compelled to do this type of thing at all. She probably normally wouldn't like it. When we were done ... She has trouble with her neck sometimes and things, but she said she had absolutely no problem. She totally loved it. I was glad to hear that.
Michael Lipp: The reason for that is that the independent suspension that these machines have, it soaks up everything. It's almost like you're driving in a Cadillac, Mercedes. Suspension on here is so flush.
Tom Barefoot: Yeah. That was honestly the first thing I noticed, even when it wasn't incredibly bumpy yet is that it was like wow, you just glide over these areas. But then, when it gets really, really rugged, you got the same sensation, the same feeling. It was really, really neat. I think people should understand that, because it's a little bit different kind of a deal.
Michael Lipp: Tom, as we're speaking, it sounds like one of our tours is about to come drive by us.
Tom Barefoot: Cool.
Michael Lipp: Let's see. They're coming around a corner. I can hear them, and I just caught visual of them. Here they come right here.
Tom Barefoot: Okay, let's take a peek when they get there.
Michael Lipp: Hold on one second. Here we go.
Tom Barefoot: Oh yeah.
Michael Lipp: You're live. We're doing that interview right now.
Jeff Yeoman: Nice.
Michael Lipp: Here's two of our guests right there. This is my business partner, owner and friend, Jeff, Jeff Yeoman.
Jeff Yeoman: [crosstalk 00:09:39]
Tom Barefoot: Hey, Jeff.
Jeff Yeoman: Good to see you. What a place to run into you.
Tom Barefoot: Pretty casual out on the ranch.
Why don't you explain ... I know we talked a little bit about it bit already, but give us the dynamics of what people can expect on the course itself. What are they going to see? What types of terrain?
Michael Lipp: As far as the terrain, in the beginning, it's a lot of open pastures, going through cows and horses. Again, occasionally, like you said, you saw boar, wild boar. There's lot of boar all over the property. We get up to just around 1,200 feet in elevation, and then halfway through the tour, it'll start getting ... that's where we enter into some bamboo through the jungle, more riverbank crossings, climbing up river rocks, boulders, not really massive. But the first half of the tour, it's pretty much for getting people used to the vehicle, getting them really comfortable with it. Then right after, they get to really experience what this machine is capable of.
Tom Barefoot: Cool. How long is the experience across Maui?
Michael Lipp: It's two hours. You get about an hour and 40 minutes of actual drive time with the machine.
Tom Barefoot: That's really a lot of time on one. That's great. [crosstalk 00:10:58]
Michael Lipp: Yeah, I designed it around ... Every time I go out and do a tour, I want to drive as much as possible.
Tom Barefoot: That was definitely the case when I was on it. I just felt like we were on it forever. It was fantastic.
What kind of speeds do you get up to, like on a straightaway?
Michael Lipp: On a straightaway, it's weather depending. If it's really wet out, we'll do about 20. On dry days, we'll get about 30. It doesn't sound that fast. When you're actually in this rig on this terrain, it's pretty fast.
Tom Barefoot: Wow. I must say that the majority of it is more really into tight turns, and [inaudible 00:11:37], and mud [inaudible 00:11:38], the speeding. It's really like Grand Prix, or something, more than anything else.
Michael Lipp: It is.
Tom Barefoot: Are there any physical restrictions we have for people, that they need to have to appreciate this, to be involved?
Michael Lipp: Not really. Basically, obviously, you can't be pregnant, underneath the influence, or back injuries, and stuff like that. We have taken a few people, and actually it was just last week, they just had back surgery a month ago. They got cleared by their doctor. They came out in this, and like how we were talking about earlier, they were just blown away on how plush the suspension is going over all the terrain that we are, and it didn't bother them at all, didn't feel anything.
Tom Barefoot: Wow, fantastic. Yeah. I know, and it certainly happened with us, I'm sure it happens with everybody else, there's a real solid likelihood you're going to get muddy on this. What should people wear?
Michael Lipp: Yes. We do provide jackets for people if they want to wear to cover up their clothing and stuff. As long as they're wearing close-toed shoes, they can wear shorts, pants. We do suggest wearing something. You do not mind getting dirty or possibly stained from the mud, the Maui red dirt out here. We found in the beginning that's actually everyone's favorite part is getting muddy, getting dirty, having that mud flying everywhere.
Tom Barefoot: Yeah, it's like a little kid getting dirty all over again, that kind of thing.
Michael Lipp: Exactly.
Tom Barefoot: Is there a best time to do this, or all the time's good?
Michael Lipp: Pretty much all the time, all year round. Early morning, sometimes it can get a little bit of rain, but it's normally clear by 10:00. We do four tours a day: 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, and 2:00. Pretty much, any time is good, all year round.
Tom Barefoot: There's a somewhat of a discounted price for the early one I know, because people do need to get from ... quite often, if they're not staying in Hana itself, on a property, they need to get from the other side over there. So they can expect a couple hour drive.
Michael Lipp: That's correct.
Tom Barefoot: [crosstalk 00:13:44]
Michael Lipp: We do, we offer an 8:00 a.m. early bird special, which is $125, versus $189, per person. We're running that all the way till the new year. After the new year, it's going to be ... The normal cost across the board is going to be $189.
Tom Barefoot: Okay, I expect that this video will be around for a while, and prices are changed, as we go through time. Who knows what the price will be currently.
If you just briefly touch on this, because I know you got a background in this stuff, you've been in motorcycle back road and all that sort of thing before you got into this, but it led you into this area, just a little bit briefly about that?
Michael Lipp: Yeah, when I came out here, I been on the island six years, I started a dirt bike touring company and motorcycle touring company. I've always wanted to do something like this. The hardest part was to find the proper and the right terrain to do this on. I designed this more towards for off road. Like I was saying before, I did a lot of the other tour companies on all the other islands here on Maui. All of them are great. I've had fun on every single one of them.
I just wanted a little bit more actual off road, more drive time, a machine that's superior compared to everything else out there. The Polaris RZR matches up with that. Again, like you saw on the tour, the terrain that you can be out here with, from roots, rocks, mud, going through the jungle, hill climbs, open pastures, just cruising, relaxing, so that's why I decided to go here with these RZRs. Came along Hana Ranch, and we worked out an amazing deal here. The property out here is just pristine. [inaudible 00:15:31] out here and it's got so much to offer between the views, again, like I said, the open pastures, the rugged terrain. It's pretty much [crosstalk 00:15:39]
Tom Barefoot: It's 100% beautiful, and I know you've had fantastic reviews. The people that we've sent out, we've got all five-star reviews, and people calling back and just loved it. I know on Trip Advisor, you start reading it, people really think it's great. For just being a short time that you've been out, at this point, operational, you've done a really good job, impressed virtually everybody. We're really, really glad you're in the scene, at this point.
Michael Lipp: Thank you. It's been a lot of hard work. It's paying off. Also, our guides out here, they're all local. A lot of the big part of this operation is our guides. They're really knowledgeable on everything. They work their butts off out here, and they're having a great time doing it, too, so we're pretty blessed to have them onboard with us.
Tom Barefoot: That's absolutely right. Your guides were fantastic, really, really kind people and knew what they were doing. I think I'd like to wrap this up at this point. What I was hoping would happen is, if you could start that thing up and maybe cruise off, and we can just see what it looks like inside the vehicle, from your viewpoint. We'll end things that way. How's that sound?
Michael Lipp: Yeah, most definitely. That sounds great. Give me a sec, and I'll start this up. Let me grab and put my helmet on, and I'll go rip right around over here in this little ... so you guys can get a little preview of what one of the areas are like here. Just give me one second.
Tom Barefoot: Yeah, good.
Michael Lipp: All right, Tom, can you see me?
Tom Barefoot: I can. You got your space helmet on.
Michael Lipp: Tom, you ready?
Tom Barefoot: You look like Darth Vader.
Michael Lipp: I do, I do. All right, I'm going to go ahead, and I'm going to flip this camera around, so you guys can get a view.
Tom Barefoot: Okay, we're ready.
Michael Lipp: All right, let me hit the button on here. [inaudible 00:17:58]
Tom Barefoot: Perfect.
[inaudible 00:18:40], some mud, some cows, [inaudible 00:18:45]. Might be getting into some turns down here. These things turn on a dime [inaudible 00:18:58]. The mud you see is like, it's [inaudible 00:19:05], believe me. Exact turns. [inaudible 00:19:14] really spin out, and have some really, really good time. Lots of fun.
That's it. We're going to let Mike go with his tour here. Anyway, Mike Lipp from Offroad Maui Adventures out in Hana, what a great tour. Thank you so much, Mike, appreciate it.

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