Minn Kota Ulterra and Riptide Ulterra: Pros and Cons
The new Minn Kota Ulterra and Riptide Ulterra have been extremely well-received by fishermen, but starting at two thousand dollars and up, a lot of customers are understandably nervous about making such a large investment. Now that these motors have been out on the water for more than a year, we can give you a good overview of the pros and cons. Thankfully, the pros far outweigh the cons.
First and foremost, the Ulterra line is the Rolls-Royce of trolling motors as far as features go. There isn’t a more advanced, more option-rich motor on the market anywhere. The core of the motor is Minn Kota’s proven i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link GPS control system, and given that most fishermen these days are opting for GPS motors, this makes the Ulterra a solid choice in line with current trends. But beyond that, the big hook is the automatic stow and deploy and power trim. Minn Kota tried this feature years ago in a motor called the Genesis, and it was a total failure, but years went by, technology improved, and their engineers went back to the drawing board. This time they have succeeded spectacularly. At the touch of a button on the remote, you can now easily stow, deploy, and trim your motor, never having to venture up to the bow and risk falling overboard or injuring your back. And they’ve have engineered these features in a very straightforward manner, using as few moving parts as possible, and also using extremely durable components such as a Kevlar belt and brass bearings. TrollingMotors.net has been selling a lot of them, and the feedback has been really positive.
So what are the cons? Thankfully, there really aren't any significant cons, but there is one theme that comes up fairly frequently: How long will these motors last, how reliable are they and are there too many moving parts? Let’s address each one of these issues.
How long will these motors last: Unfortunately, no one yet knows the answer to this question – only time will tell. But Minn Kota has staked their reputation on the success of this motor, and from an engineering perspective, the motor is extremely solid. That being said, we always advise customers that in buying one, they are at the leading edge of a new technology. Thankfully, so far so good – there have been no notable complaints and no ongoing systemic issues – by all measure they appear to as reliable as anything Minn Kota has ever built. And if the stow/deploy mechanism ever fails while you’re out on the water, there is a manual override so your day won’t be ruined.
As for moving parts, any motor that does what the Ulterra and Riptide Ulterra do are going to have more moving parts than your average motor. But thankfully Minn Kota engineered this in a really smart manner, limiting the failure points. In our conversations with their engineers, they pointed out time and again how they were able to implement complex functionality in a simple design.
So should you buy one? We say if you’ve got the money, have a bad back, or just like the new-new thing, then there is no reason not to go for it!
"After BassPro couldn't answer my question, I called TrollingMotors.net. The representative was really knowledgeable and answered my question right away! These guys definitely know their stuff and I'd recommend them for any major motor investment to ensure you get the right equipment."
- Anthony Gentile, Carlstadt
"TrollingMotors.net was the most informative trolling motor site I found online! When I had questions the site didn't cover, their knowledgeable staff was friendly and helpful. If you're looking to buy a motor - especially a larger one - I would recommend these guys as they will definitely take care of you."
- J. Bermudez, Yuma, Arizona
"I called due to the free shipping and no sales tax, but ended up impressed with the service! I'll definitely keep you guys in mind for my next purchase!"
- Jim James Follon, Burnsville, MN
"I'm so happy I bought from TrollingMotors.net. Not only did they have the motor I was looking for, but I also saved a lot of money."
- David Sharp, Okeechobee, FL.
"My $1,500 Terrova 80 i-Pilot purchase was a big investment so I was a little nervous ordering my motor online, but I'm sure glad I chose TrollingMotors.net! When an address error delayed delivery, TrollingMotors.net ended up overnighting another motor to me so I'd have it in time for my weekend."
- Rusty Hines, East Sparta, OH
"TrollingMotors.net was extremely helpful when UPS damaged my Minn Kota Riptide trolling motor. They arranged for replacement parts to be sent out to me immediately - at no cost - and were very prompt with and follow-up calls and emails. I've been recommending TrollingMotors.net."