Top 10 ATVs and UTVs of 2013

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee

Off-road enthusiasts have had a lot to be excited about in 2013. The industry has benefitted from incredible innovations and more new and updated models than we’ve seen in years.

If this year is any indication of growth in the ATV and Side-by-Side community, we will be celebrating many more engineering marvels in the near future. We have compiled a list, in no particular order, of our favorite 10 new machines as well as the innovations within them that make them stand out.

2014 Kawasaki Teryx and Teryx4

The greatest opportunity an avid off road enthusiast can have is to take a family member or friend along to enjoy the experience. Kawasaki made a leap into the four-seat UTV arena with the Teryx4 two model years ago and it has become a family favorite. This machine is not only affordable but keeps the comfort and looks in check as well. High back wrap around seating and big V-Twin power keep this machine moving through the trails. With the announcement that every 2014 Teryx4 would have power steering and a bigger 783cc engine, Kawasaki made the highlight reel once more.

At the 2013 Kawasaki dealer show, Team Green engineers brought forth another new model in the revised Teryx two-seat machine. Brilliant metallic green and orange coordinated paint schemes make the limited editions of these models even more attractive. With FOX shocks on board the suspension was tuned to perfection. Kawasaki also boasts best-in-class storage capacity (48 gallons!) and a 600-pound capacity rear cargo bed with a gas-assist tilt feature. To top it all off, Kawasaki protects Teryx owners with an industry-leading three-year warranty.

For adventure sport riding, the Kawasaki Teryx lineup has you covered.

Related Reading

2014 Kawasaki Teryx4 LE Review

2014 Kawasaki Teryx: First Impressions

2014 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail

Introduced late in the year, the Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700 has taken on all of the wild looks held by the long travel version of the same name but has become more trail friendly with its 50-inch width. Getting into the narrow market with stiff competition (we’re looking at you, Polaris RZR 800) means our industry is growing and everyone is looking for their piece of the pie. The Wildcat Trail has a new fuel injected 700cc mill, which was specifically built for this machine’s chassis that produces 60 horsepower for trail fun. The belt-driven transmission also tucks in tight to the engine and gives the compactness needed to tighten the width as well as length. This 50-inch model also stretches its arms a little more with over 10 inches of travel both front and rear. The new Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail will brings some much needed competition to the more affordable 50-inch segment and the aftermarket companies should go wild with this one.

Related Reading

2014 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail Review

2014 Honda Rancher

Building a better machine is not easy when you already have great equipment, but with several developments in the 2014 Honda Rancher 420 we expected a renewed spirit. The 2014 Honda Fourtrax Rancher brings a totally new frame design with Honda’s dual cradle engineering to create a better handling Utility ATV. Staying with the 420cc single cylinder engine, Honda utilizes its version of fuel injection and added O2 sensors to keep the air-fuel ratio optimized. Perfecting the shifting of a machine has long been a focus for Honda and with the automotive style shift systems you can choose to manually select gears or just place the machine in Auto and allow the ride to do it all for you. Gear changes are very smooth and linear, which brings a smile to our face! The new Honda Rancher 420 also had a facelift with a more squared off edgy design to get attention on the trail.

Related Reading

2014 Honda Rancher Review

2014 Honda Pioneer 700-4

Taking an idea and developing it in a way that brings every functional option to the table is something that Honda does well and in model year 2013 we had a good look at this kind of innovation up close. As we talked about in an earlier feature, getting everyone out and riding off-road is the fun part but also can be a bit of a hassle if you use your machine for work and recreation. Honda’s Pioneer 700-4 has the option of a fully functioning bed, but if more passenger room is what you desire just clean out the cargo box and lift the extra two seats out of the bed. It’s that simple yet no one had done it quite this way until Honda. A 686cc single cylinder fuel injected engine brings the machine to the trailhead and beyond without forgetting economical fuel mileage. Figure in the automotive-style transmission for simple intuitive driveability and you have a winner.

Related Reading

2014 Honda Pioneer 700-4 Review

2014 Yamaha Viking

So you need to get some work done? Take a close look at this purpose built workhorse by Yamaha. The Viking was introduced in 2013 as the Rhino was retired from production. This true three-seat machine has many things a ranch hand, labor-intensive job site or recreational trail rider can use. A spacious cab allows riders to sit side-by-side with the center passenger sitting just a bit behind the driver and far right passenger. A pass-through floorboard design allows passengers to slip out of the left or right side without any problem. Users can carry up to 600 pounds in the cargo bed and the unit can tow 1,500 more. The Viking is sure to get your job moving in the right direction. If you’re thinking of getting in tough off-road conditions, just shift the Viking into 4WD and let the power steering keep the stress off of your arms and shoulders while carrying you around your land.

Related Reading

2014 Yamaha Viking 700 EPS Review

2014 Yamaha YFZ450R

We don’t see a lot of Sport ATV innovation these days, but the Yamaha YFZ450R has lasted the test of time and received many updates throughout the years. This ATV reinvented competitive racing in many forums and has earned many championships along the way. For 2014 the advancements just keep coming. The newest engineering marvel in Yamaha’s arsenal is the slipper clutch that gives an advantage to those who drop a leg over the blue bullet. The reduction of lever pull by a claimed 25 percent not only gives the newer rider less stress on the digits but also helps seasoned riders grow even more comfortable with the machine. This new slipper clutch was a first for any factory-installed advancement and with the reduction of lever action the clutch system also reduces engine breaking over whoops and braking bumps in the corners.

Related Reading

2014 Yamaha YFZ450R Review

2014 Polaris Sportsman 570

Getting into off-road has not been easy on the wallet lately as the price of everything has skyrocketed, but Polaris hasn’t forgotten those who may be a little light in the wallet. Polaris replaced its Sportsman 500 with the new Sportsman 570. Stunninly, the fuel injected Sportsman 570 shares the same $6,499 retail price as the Sportsman 500 had – in 1996! The new 570 engine (originally seen in the RZR 570) should provide plenty of punch for any enthusiast and with a simple gear selection of High, Low, Reverse, Neutral as well as a true park gear the belt driven transmission gives the new rider less to think about. Polaris engineers developed a durable steel frame and added Lock & Ride attachment points to the front and rear racks on the 570. This should be a great seller and looks like the best bargain in our industry.

Related Reading

2014 Polaris Sportsman 570 Preview

2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000

Finding a niche in the UTV industry is an understatement when it comes to Polaris Industries. With the development of the RZR XP 900 it was in the air that Polaris could and possibly would amp the engine up even more and in 2013 they did just that. The new ProStar engine platform used in both the 900 and 1000cc versions of this marvel builds extreme amounts of usable power with the CVT-style transmission getting that firepower to the ground. The 107-horsepower Polaris RZR XP 1000 brought even more serious competition to the desert adventure and racing world in 2013. The suspension on this beast swings at 18 inches in the rear and 16 in the front so getting across the roughest terrain is as easy as pressing the go pedal. With LED headlights even the nighttime rides become even more fun!

Related Reading

2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 Review

2014 Can-Am Maverick MAX

When you look at the world of long travel, high horsepower UTVs these days you cannot miss the advancements made with Can-Am’s Maverick. Add two more comfy seats to the mix and you have a machine built to thrill each rider for hours on end. The Maverick utilizes big travel in the suspension, but the talk of the town is the power that this machine lays down on the trail. Getting 101 hp out of the Rotax powerplant seems like a difficult task, but if you look at the V-Twin closely and learn its long history you will understand it is capable of much more. With standout features like adjustable driver’s seat, long wheel travel, Fox Podium shocks and three more seats for friends makes the Maverick MAX 1000 a great new off-road ride. Turning the wheel on the Maverick is made easy and controllable with Can-Am’s Dynamic Power Steering as well. The most important feature included on all Can-Am machines that often gets overlooked is the digitally encoded security system that keeps strangers from making off with your ride.

Related Reading

2014 Can-Am Maverick MAX X rs Review

2014 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X xc

Living on the east coast is a gift from above and the wooded hills, tight trails and mountain mornings prove it. However, we have longed for a machine similar to the wider long travel brethren out on the west coast that could handle the tighter east coast woods. In 2013 BRP answered the call with its Can-Am Maverick 1000R X xc. This incredible machine brings the ability to not only haul the mail up the tight wood line but gives the thrill seeker plenty of adventure. The X xc version of the Maverick narrows itself up a bit to 60 inches and still retains the inside-the-machine feel as you slip into the driver seat. High back custom stitched seats offer plenty of body support and with the cockpit similar to a jet fighter just sitting in the machine brings loads of excitement.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

More by Rick Sosebee