How bad do you feel once you stuck in the mud or water with your jeep or UTV?
It’s a nightmare, right?
You feel you’re banging your head against a wall if you can’t make your winch working at the right time.
No doubt you need a winch for the rescue but finding the perfect winch is not an easy task by any means.
Particularly, when you have a lot of options to choose from, it is very easy to either get confused or become overwhelmed with the information available here and there.
So, to make your life easier, in this Viper winch review I am going to shortlist some of the top-notch Viper winches of different capacities.
Not to mention, I will be discussing both the pros and cons of each product along with different factors that you need to consider before purchasing one.
Before diving into the winch reviews let’s first know a little about the maker of Viper winches.
A Brief About MotoAlliance
Ok, I know that you are thinking about who makes Viper winch?
MotoAlliance is the maker of the Viper winches.
MotoAlliance is a Powersports company having the headquarters just outside Minneapolis. This particular company has been in partnership with several other companies of different parts of the world including the USA.
MotoAlliance mainly designs the products and their partners do the manufacturing works for them.
I must say, they maintain the quality no matter who does the manufacturing for them. I think MotoAlliance, as a company knows how to serve the powersports industry with their cutting edge products and customer support.
Beside winches, they also develop other products like plows, cab heaters, and some other items LED light, hydraulic lift system, etc.
So, enough talking, now let’s cut to the chase.
Viper Winch Review 2019
1. Viper Recovery 13000 lb Winch Review
- Easy to install.
- Heavy duty vinyl construction waterproof winch cover with adjustable drawstring is included with the kit for a secure fit.
- Heavy duty damper blanket having velcro closures is also included with the kit.
- Non – integrated solenoid comes with the package as well.
- Powerful winch having a capacity of 13000 lb.
- 3 stage planetary gear, automatic in-drum braking, and sliding ring gear clutch help to control the towing impeccably.
- Both wireless and cabled remote control are available with this winch.
- 85’ x ⅜” steel cable going through a roller fairlead makes the recovery process even smoother.
- You can use the synthetic rope in place of the steel cable and the converting process is easy.
- 2” receiver cradle is available for this model of Viper recovery winch, you have to buy it separately though.
- Worth the money.
- I think a bit more orderly instruction manual would have made my life easier while installing the winch. But it’s ok. As I said, installing this winch is not a big deal.
You may find this winch a tad heavy to lift.
You can see this is a 13000lb winch meaning it can tow your truck/SUV/jeep if the loaded weight of your vehicle is below 13000lb.
As per the basic principle your winch capacity has got to be 1.5 times more than the loaded weight of your vehicle.
*Loaded vehicle weight = weight of vehicle + weight of the baggage and others if you have any.
So, to get the best performance, better you use this winch to recover your vehicle if the loaded weight is anything equal or below 8666lb.
This winch comes with 85’x⅜” steel cable.
But do you want to know the best part?
You can easily replace this steel cable with synthetic rope if you want, and the whole process of converting from steel cable to synthetic rope is fairly easy.
You must use a hawse fairlead with synthetic cable in place of the roller fairlead.
To me, steel cable is ok because of its enormous strength.
I don’t hate synthetic rope either as I don’t have to worry about serious injuries if the synthetic rope brakes under load.
Dangerous recoiling and breaking under load can cause a serious injury. To safeguard you from all these a damper blanket is essential.
The good part of this winch is it will come with the blanket so you don’t have to buy it separately.
How cool is that?
I expect this kind of heavy-duty winches come with the receiver cradle included in the package. But unfortunately, this winch does not come with that (you can buy it separately though).
Having a non-integrated solenoid or integrated solenoid is a moot point.
Whether you are going to like a non-integrated solenoid or not depends on your setup.
This winch comes with non-integrated solenoid and I don’t mind, neither should you.
Because sometimes you may have to relocate the solenoid/contactor and if it is an integrated solenoid you won’t able to do it.
The wireless remote works flawlessly within 50’ range. The winch comes with a cabled remote control too and the length of the cable is 11’.
Despite having one or two downsides, I still believe this Viper Recovery 13000lb is something where you can rely on if you are a serious off-roader.
2. VIPER Recovery 12000 lb Winch Review
- Both wireless remote (50 ft range) and wired (11’ cable) remote come with this winch kit.
- This is a 12000lb single line pull winch, that recovers any vehicle that is weighing under
- 12000 lb but as per the golden rule, your vehicle’s gross weight needs to equal or less than 8000lb.
- 3 stage planetary gear, sliding ring gear clutch, and automatic in-drum brake help you to control the winching process perfectly.
- This winch comes with 85′ x 5/16″ synthetic rope and a hawse fairlead to make the winching smooth.
- Integrated solenoid.
- Very easy to install.
- Powerful but quiet.
- Not too heavy to carry.
- 2” receiver cradle is available for this winch. You have to buy it separately or go to this link to buy this winch and receiver cradle together.
- Since this winch doesn’t have IP67 rating, so we can’t tell it waterproof. But the winch is sealed nicely against the elements with military grade materials.
- Poor instruction manual. But as the overall installation of this winch is an easy process, you shouldn’t feel your life stuck because of the poor instruction manual.
- As this winch comes with integrated solenoid, it can’t be relocated. So if you need to relocate the solenoid you better go for the 13000 lb that I reviewed earlier. It has got a non-integrated solenoid.
This particular winch comes with an 85′ x 5/16″ synthetic rope going through the high-quality hawse fairlead.
You can easily replace this synthetic rope with steel cable and the whole conversion process will not give you any pain whatsoever.
Remember, you must replace the hawse fairlead with the roller fairlead if you want to use steel cable in place of a synthetic rope.
Personally, I’m a bit inclined toward synthetic rope though, that’s why I don’t about changing the synthetic rope.
Because I get the same performance without worrying about falling into serious injuries if the rope breaks under load. Just check if the rope is frayed or not before using it.
A winch cover and a receiver cradle with the winch would have been a useful addition to this package. Nonetheless, this winch serves its purpose perfectly.
3. VIPER Midnight 8500 lb Winch Review
- Integrated solenoid/contactor.
- Not a heavyweight winch but a heavy duty one.
- Easy to install.
- Free spooling clutch, 3 stage planetary gear, and automatic load holding brake keep thetowing under your control.
- 8500lb of capacity with the 85′ x 5/16″ synthetic rope going through a sliver hawse fairleadmakes the towing process smooth and safe.
- This winch comes with both 15’ cabled remote control and a wireless remote that works flawlessly within the 50’ range.
- A weatherproof circuit breaker is included with the kit.
- 2” receiver cradle is available that fits with this winch. You have to buy that separately though.
- Won’t break your bank for buying this winch.
- A winch cover could have been a useful addition to this kit. But you can buy it separately.
- Integrated contactor/solenoid doesn’t allow you to relocate the solenoid/contactor.
Receiver cradle could have been included with the package.
This winch falls under the “midnight” family of Viper winches.
If you are not sure what the heck the “midnight” family is, simply consider it as another group of Viper winches like the recovery, max, and elite that are developed by MotoAlliance.
Anyways, let’s jump right into the different performance factors of this particular Viper winch.
Well, this has got the capacity of towing 8500lb of weight.
However, you should use this winch to recover your vehicle if the loaded weight of your vehicle is anything equal or less than 5666lb.
Why is this so?
Because, to get the best performance without breaking the rope, ideally your winch got to have 1.5 times more weight capacity than the weight of your loaded vehicle.
Again, integrated contactor/solenoid or non-integrated contactor/solenoid is a point of debate. It depends on the whole setup particularly if you need to relocate it or not.
However, I don’t consider this as some issue that may restrict myself from using this winch.
Altogether, I vote for this Viper midnight winch if you are looking for something having a capacity of 8500lb.
4. VIPER Max 6000 lb ATV/UTV Winch Review
- IP67 rated waterproof winch.
- Easy wiring and installing process.
- A perfect winch for snow plowing and mudding.
- Non-integrated Contactor/Solenoid comes with the kit.
- 3 stage planetary gear, automatic load holding braking system, free spooling clutch help you to control the recovery process efficiently.
- 52’ steel cable going through a roller fairlead keeps the towing process smooth.
- The 9’ cabled remote control that works flawlessly.
- A rocker handlebar mounting switch is also included to use with your UTV/ATV handlebar.
- A wireless remote with the kit would have made this winch handier. You can buy a wireless remote control separately though.
- The length of the cable of the remote control should have been a bit longer. 15’ would have been a perfect length instead of 9’.
- The wiring of the handlebar mounted rocker switch is a tad confusing.
The Viper “Max” 6000lb winch is particularly made to be used with our ATV/UTVs.
If you are an off-roading ninja and have used other winches before, you should know your winch got to have at least 1.5 times more capacity than the loaded weight of your vehicle.
*The loaded weight of your vehicle = the weight of your vehicle + the weight of anything your vehicle is carrying including the driver.
So, as this very winch has got the capacity of 6000lb, make sure you are using this winch to recover your vehicle if the loaded weight of your ATV/UTV is anything below or equal 4000lb.
I think the length of the steel cable (52’) is fair enough to get the job done smoothly.
Steel cable is something that gives you maximum strength during the recovery process. This particular cable with this winch won’t disappoint you with its strength either.
But there is a word of caution.
Don’t forget to use a damper blanket to avoid any severe injury if the cable breaks under load.
Does this winch come with both wireless and wired remote control?
None of the Viper “Max” family provides you wireless remote, unfortunately.
But managing the towing process is a cakewalk with the wired remote control and handlebar mounting switch as both of them work impeccably.
Finally, I think this is a handy winch to recover you from the tough situation you may encounter during off-roading.
Not only that, as I said earlier, this is a perfect winch for snow plowing as well.
5. VIPER Midnight 4500 lb ATV/UTV Winch Review
- Not too heavy to carry.
- Fairly easy to install.
- Non-integrated solenoid/contactor.
- The high quality 50’ black synthetic rope going through hawse fairlead makes the towing smooth.
- Automatic load holding brake, 3 stage planetary gear, free spooling clutch help you to control the towing without any trouble.
- Free spool works perfectly even under water or mud.
- This winch comes with a cabled remote control and a handlebar mounting rocker switch.
- Although this winch is not IP67 rated waterproof, it is sealed perfectly to make it resistant to the elements (water, mud, etc).A perfect winch for the money.
- The leads could have been a bit longer. But you can call the customer service anytime to get the longer wires.
- A wireless remote is always a plus for any winch. But this winch does not come with a wireless remote. You can buy it separately though.
Another Viper “midnight” edition having a capacity of winching anything below 4500lb, ideally 3000lb.
Don’t get confused.
You know the winch should have at least 1.5 times more weight capacity than the gross weight of your vehicle.
So, I recommend you to use this winch only to pull anything weighing equal or below 3000lb to get the best performance.
Although both the cabled remote control and handlebar rocker switch work perfectly I am a fan of wireless remote over the cabled remote.
So having a wireless remote would have been a great addition for me.
However, if you are also like me, you have the option to buy a wireless remote control separately.
Just make sure if you need to change any wiring to make things work properly. You can always call their customer care for this kind of issues.
Overall, I trust on this Viper “midnight” winch and strongly believe it won’t let your money go in vain.
6. VIPER Elite 4000 lb UTV Winch Review
- IP67 rated waterproof winch.
- This version of the Viper winch comes with a wireless remote control.
- A rocker handlebar switch is also included with the package.
- 3 stage planetary gear, free spooling clutch, automatic 100% load holding braking system help you to control the recovery process perfectly.
- A 65’ synthetic rope going through an aluminum hawse fairlead tackles the towing process smoothly.
- Easy to install.
- Wiring is also easy because of the clear color-coded wires and instruction.
- A non-integrated solenoid is included with the package.
- The price seems a bit high to me considering the capacity of the winch.
Viper Elite 4000lb winch performs well to recover any UTV/ATV if the gross weight of the vehicle is below or equal 2666lb.
Because it is a golden rule that the winch should have at least 1.5 times more capacity than the gross weight of the trailer.
So, what is the gross weight?
Gross weight is the total weight of the trailer itself + the weight of anything that you are keeping on the trailer including you. (Considering you are on the driving seat during the recovery process)
Overall, I haven’t found any issues with this winch as far as the performance is concerned.
Both the wireless remote control and handlebar rocker switch perform flawlessly and helps to control the towing process smoothly.
No issue with the synthetic rope as well.
All in all, this is a handy winch to rely on without thinking too much.
In this Viper winch reviews article, I have reviewed six winches having different capacities from 4000lb – 13000lb.
Of course, they have their benefits and some tradeoffs. I mentioned those accordingly to help you take the right decision.
Altogether, I believe Viper winches that I have picked and reviewed here are well capable of providing the best service during the recovery process.
The price point of these winches is also in a competitive range.
Now it’s your turn.
Share the love and comment below if you have got anything for asking.