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Side Step Questions .. Manik or OEM??

1751 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ghost
After lusting awhile for side steps, I have decided
I am ready to install them on my 'X'.

I have spent quite a bit of time searching all the threads concerning
side steps, but still have not really been able to answer the questions I have.
In giving me your help, I would like to keep
the price difference of the Manik and OEM side steps out of the

I have seen ONLY the running boards in person. I did check out the pictures
of both the side steps and running boards on the threads, but sometimes
a picture does not do complete justice.

I am interested in the real difference of how much the Manik steps stick out,
versus the OEM. Is there really a big difference or is the real appearance difference due to the different shape
and diameter of the two brands of side steps. Has anyone been able to do a side-by-side comparison of the Maniks vs OEM side steps?

My other question is how well do the black painted side steps hold up?
Do they show scuffs from usage? A year from now, am I going
to have a real nice shinny Granite Green MDX, with dull, scuffed
black steps?

I would like to hear about your long term experiences with the steps.

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I've had my OEM sidesteps for 9 months now. Have driven the X on medium-duty off-roads in the Canadian bush, and have gone through half a winter with sand, rocks, etc. on some icy roads. These things are meant to handle the punishment. Not one scratch or blemish on the finish! I have no difficulty recommending them.

I think the Manik vs. OEM decision is based purely on personal taste, i.e., how much chrome/SS do you want? I rather liked the black sidesteps because they added a hint of aggressive styling without yelling out: "Look at me, I'm an SUV!". (I had already decided that I wouldn't want the minivanish running boards, although there's nothing wrong with that...). I think they marry well with the other black/dark grey accessories I have on my Nighthawk Pearl X.

Saw a Nighthawk X with Maniks just the other day as we were driving along the highway; my wife was first to remark that the sidesteps really stuck out. Again, personal taste. Yours will be as good as anyone else's.
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Hey Hokie, I had an opportunity to see a black 'X last night that was in the process of being picked up by its new owner at a dealership. The salesman was showing the new owner how to use some of the accessories in the cargo area so I stopped to listen in and chat with the new owner. Anyway, I didn't even notice at first, but it also had OEM side steps. They are definitely very subtle in comparison to my Maniks, both due to the color matching this particular black 'X and also cuz they didn't stick out as much. After seeing them, I was still happy I got the Maniks instead. They are probably a little easier to step on, and they add more pizazz IMO. They also will protect you from being dinged by SOME cars. I think you will be pleased by either one, so I wouldn't sweat this decision too much. As an aside, in addition to the side steps I noticed that this new base 'X (no nav) had also been outfitted with roof rack, rear wind deflector, moonroof visor, separation net, cargo net, cargo cover, and the cargo liner (which I really liked), and maybe other stuff too. I got the impression from the new owner that these were all forced accessories :(
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My brother has an OEM on his Mahogany. It looks nice, however, I find it too close to the side of the car, that it's kind of hard to use. I rarely use it, but when I do I can only step on it with 2/5 of my foot. I would imagine as GatorGreg stated, the Maniks will give a bit more room to step on.
I myself also sent a similar thread on this subject matter. After much debate and much feedback on this...Thank you Gator Greg for your pictures. It was his pics that assisted me in going with the MANIKS instead of the OEM.

Go for the MANIKS if you are looking for utility, looks...I think MANIKS will suite both for you.

I like one of the member is "Too close" to the vehicle making stepping onto it difficult.

Thanks for sharing your experiences/opinions about side steps.
I hope to make my decision this week. Today, I am calling the
local dealer to see if their demo might have side steps on it....
OEM-Manik differences

Notes from a PM to VA that I thought I'd post here...

I only saw the OEM's once at the dealer - they were on a GG. The OEM's are straight, whereas the Maniks toe in at the front and rear. Also, they are oval in cross section, whereas the Maniks are circular - I actually liked that oval shape quite a bit. I can't say for sure, but I think the Maniks are larger in x-sec than the OEMs

But one thing that struck me about OEMs was that they were pretty much invisible - black against that black running panel and the dark body make them hard to see. So I knew that if I got the OEM's, I'd probably take on the added expense of powdercoating (which I think look great on Rail & Worm's rigs). Just about then DMor discovered the Maniks, and I decided those would do quite nicely.

I don't think the Manik's stick out conspicuously farther than the OEMs, (And hey, if you're going to have side steps, you might as well have side steps! :D) but they are our far enough that they are easier to use than the OEMs. . I climbed in and out of that demo model a bunch of times, it's definitely a smaller target.

So there's my admittedly biased opinion - I'm really happy with the look and utility of the Maniks, I'd do it again. (cracked pad stuff aside, I assume you've seen those threads; at least they're good about replacing them, and may have reworked them by the time you get yours.
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