ATVs and UTVs Are Useful Tools for Farmers and Landowners
It may not seem like it at times, but ATVs and UTVs have long been closely associated with farmers and landowners, and for good reason. While modern high-powered, sport-specific machines seem to dominate the headlines of most off-road publications, this industry can thank much of its growth to four wheelers that help get the work done.
Sure, it’s cool to see the Moore Brothers flinging their sport quads 30 feet into the air or a sport-tuned UTV tearing up the dunes, but to ignore the utility of these machines is to miss half the picture.
2013 Yamaha Rhino 700 SE Tactical Black Review
When Yamaha engineers first envisioned the Rhino side-by-side we wonder if they had any idea how much it would transform the industry. Just like the General Lee is to the Dukes of Hazzard, the Yamaha Rhino is to the side-by-side industry.
Over the past couple of years the Rhino has been updated with fuel injection and the engine displacement was tuned up just a few numbers and this year Yamaha offers a new look befitting the wild muscle of the Rhino.
For 2013 Yamaha has gone tactical. Tactical Black that is! The 2013 Yamaha Rhino SE Tactical Black should get the service-oriented military men and women excited as well as local law enforcement. Although this is merely a beautiful flat black color, it represents a bit more than just that. It helps show that the Rhino is not just a farm vehicle or a wild weekend racer; it’s also a machine that can also be used to protect and serve our soldiers and law-enforcement officers.
2013 Polaris Ranger XP 900 Review – Video
2013 Polaris ATV and UTV Lineup Unveiled
Few things are certain in this world, but death, taxes and Polaris unveiling new models every year are pretty much guaranteed.
For 2013 Polaris has built a brand new Scrambler XP 850, made a midsize Ranger 800 EFI, and put the awesome ProStar 900 engine into the Ranger XP line, creating the Ranger XP 900 and Ranger XP 900 EPS.
Of course, Polaris may not be done yet. We wouldn’t be surprised if Polaris had another machine or two hidden up its sleeve for 2013 (not counting its many Limited Edition models), but for now this is what’s new.
While we welcome the opportunity to test out the new machines, it should be noted that the Ranger HD 800 and the longstanding Scrambler 500 4×4 are not in the 2013 Polaris lineup. However, you should still be able to find 2012 and prior models in dealerships across the country if you’ve been saving your pennies.
Ranger XP 900
2013 John Deere Gator RSX850i Sport Review
2013 Kymco UXV 500i SP Review
2013 John Deere Gator RSX850i Unveiled
2013 Polaris Early Release Limited Edition Models
Polaris has just unveiled 18 2013 Limited Edition ATVs and UTVs. While that would account for several years worth of offerings from most manufacturers, Polaris says it is only a partial list of its 2013 Limited Edition models.
We don’t see anything radically new in this list, but we don’t imagine a brand new model would appear first in limited edition trim. Though Polaris hasn’t told us if anything brand new is in the works for 2013, history tells us that Polaris most certainly has something new and exciting up its sleeve.
2013 Polaris Sportsman XP 850 H.O. EPS Stealth Black LE ($10,599)
2013 Can-Am ATV and UTV Lineup Preview – Video
If you can count on anything on the world of ATVs and UTVs it’s that the minds at BRP are never at rest. The Can-Am family of off-road vehicles is a dynamic one as BRP continues to make advancements in innovation and design. The 2013 model year is no different.
When the off-road press traveled to Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast many of us expected to find a brand new Commander UTV with four seats, but the pause button had been pressed to get this segment of the Can-Am line dialed in. Nevertheless the 2013 model year offered many big changes and great improvements
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To get the week started Can-Am put more than 40 journalists on a tour bus and then off into the belly of a Ferry to cross the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. After a two-hour ride we headed into the port at Duke Point just outside of Nanaimo, BC. There is nothing like the experience of driving out of a ferry in a huge bus. Heading north past Nanoose Bay and Dolphin Beach we found our home base in the town of Parksville at the Tigh-Na-Mara seaside Spa resort. Our actual ride location would be the Nanaimo Motocross Association Wastelands MX Park where we could explore the lush green woods of the island.
2012 Kubota RTV400Ci Preview
2011 Can-Am Commander 1000 XT Review
2012 Polaris Ranger RZR XP 4 900 Review [Video]
As the model year 2011 wrapped up there had been several indications that Polaris still had a trick or two up its engineering sleeves. This would be evident when a well-planned leak gave thoughts of a high flying, well suspended and powerful off-road adventure machine built for four to many Internet search engines. We had the evidence in hand when we arrived in Parker, Ariz. early in January.
Polaris chose Parker not only as the location for the press introduction of the new RZR XP 4 900, but also the site for the Best in the Desert Parker 250. This racecourse would be our testing ground for another amazing machine built by Polaris. We had an entire day to ride and test the newest RZR, but before we get into the ride lets look at the details.
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When you look at the RZR XP 4 900 you will immediately see many key features we came to know on the two-seat version of this machine. The stance of the new RZR is very close to the original XP 900 from the front, but as you step just off to the right or left you will notice the 107.4-inch wheelbase that makes this chariot perfect for an additional two seats. This wheelbase not only lends itself well to the seating, but it adds additional stability to the high-powered chassis. You will also notice that the rear seats are just a bit higher than the front, which gives the passengers a better perspective on what they are in for. Climbing into the rear of the machine you will find very comfortable Cut & Sew seats with the same anti-cinch seatbelts found up front to keep the shoulders of your rear passengers happy as well.
Polaris Unveils More 2012 Limited Edition ATVs and Side-by-Sides
Though 2012 is just days old, Polaris has jumped out of the gate running. We’ve already seen the new Ranger RZR XP 4 900 (expect a review and video in the coming days) and now Polaris has introduced a new batch of 2012 limited edition ATVs and UTVs.
In August Polaris unveiled a whopping 24 limited edition models, so we logically thought we wouldn’t see anything else until the 2013 LE vehicles rolled off the assembly line. Of course, Polaris always likes to surprise us and this was no exception. With 17 additional LE models, Polaris is now offering more than 40 variations to its already vast ATV and UTV lineup.
All the new units will be available in dealerships in February, so you won’t have long to wait if you see something you like.
Additional features on the limited edition model include:
* Blue Fire automotive-style paint with Blue Fire painted front fang
2012 Polaris Ranger RZR XP 4 900 Preview
It was just about a year ago that Polaris took the class of sport side-by-sides to a new level with the introduction of the Ranger RZR XP 900. Polaris has decided to expand its new platform by making room for two more passengers with its new Ranger RZR XP 4 900.
We absolutely loved the RZR XP 900 and consumers seemed to agree as Polaris says it was the fastest selling vehicle in the company’s history. We expect the new RZR XP 4 900 will easily be the most capable, highest powered, multi-passenger side-by-side in the industry.
Polaris has included has many of the same attributes found in the RZR XP 900; the 88 horsepower, ProStar 900 Twin engine, 3-Link Trailing Arm Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with 12.5 in. of ground clearance and 14 in. of travel, On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive and low center of gravity. To top it all off, the RZR XP 4 900 has a class-leading 107 in. of wheelbase to not only accommodate two more passengers, but also to provide the smoothest ride possible.
2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4×4 Review [Video]
2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i Review [Video]
When we think of a cat, several distinct things come to mind. A cat always lands on its feet running and a cat has an innate ability to nimbly and strategically move across obstacles in its path with precision and grace. A wildcat is a form of the same feline family yet this beast has a streak of insanity and an untamed demeanor that makes it stand out from its domesticated siblings. That could be the reason Arctic Cat named its newest offering the Wildcat 1000i – a machine that may be wildest in the entire UTV industry.
In the Stoddard Wells ORV riding area, tucked quietly close to Barstow, Calif., we finally met the Wildcat face to face. With the thoughts of its massive suspension and powerful engine swirling in our heads we were beyond excited to see if Arctic Cat could live up to its boastful projections once and for all. Afterall, the Wildcat 1000i has been the talk of the off-road industry for months.
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Arctic Cat’s project engineers researched the dynamics of suspension during many hours of testing in places like Barstow. This is a Mecca for testing and endurance challenges that bring proof to many engineers that they have succeeded or failed. While building the Wildcat, one question must have stood out on the drawing board: How can we make a suspension built for a trophy truck and put it into our Wildcat chassis? Whatever the plan was, it’s pretty clear to us that Arctic Cat has succeeded.
2012 Polaris Ranger RZR 570 Review [Video]
Driving around in the tight trails with a friend or family member right beside you might be something you are interested in. If so there is a self proclaimed trail capable side-by-side manufacturer to get this done in quick fashion. Polaris has taken the RZR line just a step further and we got a chance to inspect its newest addition in the beautiful state of Michigan. We traveled into the Lac La Belle part of the Keweenaw Peninsula for a day on the RZR’s edge.
When the Polaris’ 50-inch wide RZR 800 came out it revolutionized our industry in the market of side-by-side machines. This was a first of its kind for the world of off-road powersports and it has been simulated but never duplicated. The newest addition to the Polaris dominance is the mild-mannered 2012 RZR 570! This machine features much of the original RZR 800’s form, but with a new engine design and displacement for a bit more controlled trail dominance.
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2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4×4 Preview
Kawasaki has been churning out its popular Teryx Side-x-Side for about four years now. We’ve spent many hours behind the wheel of the Teryx, including a memorable two-day trip from Big Bear, Calif. to Las Vegas, Nev. For 2012 Kawasaki is looking to take the Teryx to another level by adding two more seats and a host of changes to create the Teryx4 750.
Consumers will get to choose between four different versions of the Teryx4 – Teryx4 750 4×4, Teryx4 750 4×4 EPS, Teryx4 750 4×4 EPS Camo, and Teryx4 750 4×4 EPS LE. We’ll look at the differences between these four models later, but first let us tackle the similarities.
2011 Polaris Ranger Diesel Review
The sound of an ATV engine can convey many things with its tinny, throaty, whiny, or deep grumble. So, you can imagine that when we fired up the new Polaris Ranger Diesel for the first time we were greeted by a sound typically associated with large trucks. In our heads we equated this to mean that the machine will be slow, lumbering, and maybe even boring to ride – we were dead wrong.
The powerplant making that familiar diesel rumble is an ISO-mounted Yanmar diesel engine. This motor puts out 24hp, which means the Diesel Ranger is ready to work hard or play hard.
We got to experience this machine in both a work and sport capacity. Summertime at the cottage means construction projects galore and the old expression “many hands make light work” is really an understatement when the Ranger Diesel is one of those hands.
Why We're Excited About the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000
Editor’s Note: Since originally publishing this feature on the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i, we’ve had a chance to spend a day riding it. You can check out our full review and video by clicking here.
Rolling halfway into the year 2011 there is yet another two-passenger off-road ride to choose from that seems to speak to an almost exact demographic – the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000. The designers at Arctic Cat obviously had an “all out desert racing” mindset for engineering a plan to get in the game of massive displacement and industry-leading suspension travel.
When looking at the Wildcat 1000 what stands out the most are the crazy trophy truck or desert racing type suspension components that hang from the seemingly thin and nimble looking passenger compartment. As well, the 951cc liquid cooled V-Twin will deliver power for the thrashing and with fuel injection this should be a responsive trail feline.
2012 Polaris Limited Edition ATVs and Side-by-Sides
Polaris always seems to be pretty busy this time of year. It was just a short time ago that the Minnesota-based manufacturer released its 2012 ATV and Ranger Lineup. We attended the 2012 model introduction in Northern Ontario, Canada and had an opportunity to inspect the latest and greatest Polaris models.
Two brand new vehicles have already been released for 2012 – the Ranger Diesel Crew and Ranger RZR 570 – and many of the remaining machines saw performance or storage updates as well. It seems that Polaris is always trying to improve its product.
Of course, some consumers want to take things to next level with unique ATV accessories and parts and Polaris is a willing partner as its 2012 Limited Edition ATVs and Rangers attest. The 2012 Limited Edition Lineup includes a whopping 24 machines – six ATV models, nine Ranger models and nine RZR models.
Additional features on the limited edition model include:
* Photo-realistic Polaris Pursuit Camo
2012 Polaris Ranger RZR 570 Preview
We were fortunate enough to be invited to see what we thought was Polaris’ entire 2012 lineup a few weeks back at a press event in Northern Ontario, Canada. We saw a brand new Ranger Crew Diesel, a more powerful Sportsman XP 850 and a host of minor tweaks to much of the remaining Polaris off-road family. You can read all about it here.
What we didn’t know was that Polaris was holding back. In fact, the off-road media was kept completely in the dark about a very interesting new machine – the Ranger RZR 570.
In hindsight, perhaps we should have known better. We say this because Polaris has introduced a new Ranger RZR model every year since the original RZR was unveiled for the 2008 model year. Why should 2012 be any different?
2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i H.O. Preview
Editor’s Note: Since originally publishing this preview article on the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i, we’ve had a chance to spend a day riding it. You can check out our full review and video by clicking here.
After first catching sight of a wicked-looking sport side-by-side from Arctic Cat in March, we finally have some concrete details to provide you. The Wildcat is real and it’s coming soon!
According to Arctic Cat the new 2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i H.O. was inspired by the unforgiving terrain of the Baja 1000 and engineered to attack the gnarliest obstacles with precision and control.
Arctic Cat boasts that the all-new Arctic Cat Wildcat V-Twin 1000 H.O. is the most potent pure-sport recreational off-road vehicle ever built and features industry-leading suspension travel, 13 inches of ground clearance, a full-perimeter frame and the largest displacement engine in its class.
2012 Polaris ATV and Ranger Lineup Preview [Video]
Only Polaris could unveil an off-road lineup with one new machine and 19 updated models and leave you thinking it was a fairly quiet year, but that’s exactly what happened with its 2012 ATV and Ranger lineup.
Polaris has been so active in recent years building completely new machines and giving others almost total overhauls that its 2012 lineup seems to lack the punch we’ve come to expect. But if you sit back and think about it, that’s pretty much the definition of being spoiled. It’s like Polaris is our parents and we’re a bunch of whiny kids unhappy that all we got for our birthday was a brand new bike when last year we got a pony, an X-box and a trip to the Super Bowl. Quick, somebody call the authorities and report this appalling case of neglect!
Editor’s Note: Mere moments after publishing this article, Polaris threw us a curveball by unveiled yet another new machine – the trail-capable Ranger RZR 570. You can read all about it here.
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Ranger Crew Diesel
For 2012 the only completely new machine is the Ranger Crew Diesel – the second diesel model and third multi-passenger model in the Polaris family.
2011 Arctic Cat Prowler HDX 700 Review
Our greatest goal today seems to be work related. Many will wake up and head off to the office but for the ones whose office involves livestock, produce or hunting the day begins before the sun comes up and ends as the sun sets. Getting the day’s chores finished can also be very hard or very easy depending on the tools of the perspective trades.
For many years now the people who work their land have depended on the side-by side-for light jobs around the land they keep. For 2011 there is yet another choice for the pennywise labor minded. Arctic Cat revealed its Prowler HDX 700 to the media just a few months back and we had a chance to get in sit down and ride like the wind.
Working class UTVs have been on or around farms and jobsites for years but now they are getting more and more work specific. The Prowler HDX 700 is no different. Building the rugged strength into a UTV means it can take what a hard working professional can dish out. Traveling the small hills of east Texas we found out just what this machine was all about so now we can share the facts with you.
2012 Arctic Cat ATV and UTV Early Release Models Unveiled
Arctic Cat has begun the unveiling process for its 2012 family of ATVs and side-by-sides by revealing two new models and more than a dozen machines returning to the fleet unchanged from 2011.
The key for Arctic Cat in 2012 seems to be option packages – namely the GT and LTD packages. Any ATV or side-by-side with the GT option package comes with painted bodywork, aluminum wheels and electronic power steering. The LTD package features all of that plus heavy-duty front and rear bumpers and a 3,000-pound winch.
These option packages are all about creating choices for consumers. A good example of this is the new for 2012 Arctic Cat 700i MudPro LTD. Now consumers can choose between the base 700i MudPro (returning from 2011) and the LTD version (the bumpers, winch and power steering should be a huge help for the mud riders out there). This seems like a great way to update your lineup without having to do a major redesign or eliminate an existing machine from the fleet. The 700i MudPro LTD is available in Green or Orange painted bodywork and features massive 28-inch Zilla tires mounted to 14-inch aluminum wheels.
2011 Polaris Ranger EV Review
Wouldn’t it be great if you could ride your side-by-side with other friends on their machines and carry on a conversation? We can dream – No? Wait, you can already do this! The 2011 Polaris Ranger EV runs virtually silent on the trails.
During our test ride of the all-electric Ranger in Minnesota we were shocked to be able to have a conversation with the passenger beside us or the guys in front of us without needing to yell. Who cares about the noise level, you ask? We’re sure Hunters tracking in to their favourite deer spot would like to do so without being noticed by that big Buck.
This silent running is possible thanks to a couple of neat noise reduction design features and the unit’s electric motor. This power plant is a Single 48-Volt high-efficiency AC (Alternating Current) induction motor. Wow, that was a mouthful. What does that translate into for those of us who’re used to engine stats in cc’s and cylinder displacement? It all means you’ve got 30HP to run you down the trails.
2011 John Deere Gator XUV 825i 4×4 Utility Review
2011 Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900 Review
2011 John Deere Gator XUV 855D 4×4 Review
2011 Honda Big Red MUV Review
Honda’s new 2011 Big Red doesn’t appear to be changed until you take a closer look at the unit’s updated features. We were given this opportunity during the press introduction in Irvine Lake, Calif.
Cosmetically the first thing we noticed as we approached the new unit was the updated single bench seat rather than the former dual bucket seats. Despite the single seat the passenger capacity for the Big Red has not been changed despite commonly associating the wider seat with the ability to seat three people. This seat is made from durable black rubber and dense cushion foam and has an adjustable back rest for additional passenger comfort.
In order to accommodate the new seat Honda’s engineers had to move the location of the parking brake handle. It was formerly located between the two bucket seats and is now on the panel directly below the centre of the bench seat. This parking brake system has been designed to hold the unit in any off-road situation with or without a load on.
2011 Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900 Unveiled
Though 2011 is still in its infancy, we can say with some confidence that it won’t be easy for any manufacturer to top what Polaris did on the opening day of the year. On January 1, 2011 Polaris unveiled the latest and greatest member of the RZR family – the Ranger RZR XP 900.
Polaris had been hinting at a significant new machine for a couple of weeks, but when it was finally revealed our jaws dropped and little pools of drool formed at our feet. Simply put, no major manufacturer has ever come up with a side-by-side like this. It’s got a huge amount of power and more suspension travel than anything else on the market. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Super ATV Polaris Ranger RZR Project
If pure performance is what you are looking for in a side-by-side, chances are you will become a Polaris Ranger RZR owner. The original RZR, 60-inch wide RZR S and four-seater RZR 4 set the standard for today’s sport side-by-side machines. Due to their enemies’ popularity, these machines have a real following in the aftermarket performance world.
This summer we were contacted by Super ATV out of Madison, Ind., a company that specializes in building performance parts for UTVs and ATVs. Super ATV had recently completed an over-the-top R&D machine to test many of its new product designs on a Polaris RZR. The topper was that this beast was powered by a Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine! Even better, we were asked if we wanted to put the machine to the test. We packed up and hurried off to Madison before the offer was rescinded.
2011 Polaris RZR S 800 Review
The Polaris Ranger RZR S 800 debuted in 2009 as a wide-stance SxS with a premium suspension system and proven aftermarket parts as standard equipment. Two short years later, Polaris decided it was time for a redesign and, more importantly, time for a price-point model or a base RZR S. For 2011, this model comes in a standard package that retails $1,500 less than the two Limited Edition models. We put the base RZR 800 S through the wringer at a private OHV area in Montana.
New For 2011
The entire RZR family went under the knife for 2011. The 800 S came away with new ergonomics, added convenience, more durability and a boost in performance. The new-look front end and cage configuration is the most recognizable change. A closer look reveals new front shocks and one drive unveils the new power and performance.
2010 Honda Big Red MUV Review
You’ve read about Honda’s Big Red and how it performs before, but we’ve taken it a step further. In most ATV and side-by-side reviews you get details about how a machine performs on trails or on the track. We did a story very much like that when the Big Red was first introduced, which you can read here. However, when we recently had a chance to spend some time with the Big Red we took a different tact and focussed on how well the machine helps you (the rider) work.
One of the most useful features on the Big Red in regards to putting in a full day of work is the load and tilt rear box. This box is useful for transporting anything from gear to groceries or moving raw materials such as sand, gravel, stone, or firewood around. This is made easy thanks to the unit’s impressive carrying capacity of 500lbs.
During our time with the unit we put this bed to work. A cottage can burn through piles upon piles of wood throughout the winter and ours is no exception. With the Big Red on site we set about the task of splitting enough logs to fill our wood shed for another bitter Canadian winter.
2011 John Deere Gator XUV 825i 4×4 Review
2010 Bobcat 3400 4×4 Review
2011 Honda Big Red Unveiled
Originally released as a 2009 model, Honda has made considerable changes to its Big Red Multipurpose Utility Vehicle (MUV) for the 2011 model year.
While many of its competitors focused on sporty performance with their side-by-side offerings, Honda designed the Big Red to be a comfortable and capable trail cruiser that can get the work done like few others. Those attributes should only be enhanced with the new changes.
“Now Big Red sports changes that allow this great MUV to work even harder while delivering more comfort,” Honda says in a release.
New for 2011
Honda boosted the capacity of the cargo bed to an impressive 1,000 pounds – a whopping 500-pound increase. In addition to being able to haul more cargo, the Big Red’s towing capacity has also been increased to 1,500 pounds – a 300 pound improvement over the previous model.
2010 Kawasaki Mule 610 4X4 XC Review
The Kawasaki brand has long proved its integrity and reliability that loyal customers are looking for. The products from this manufacturer seemingly always improve their intended market and the engineers come up with fresh ideas to keep the good times rolling on. At a reclaimed coal mining property turned ride destination in Knott County, Ky., we had a chance to test out the newest Mule in Kawasaki’s corral – the Mule 610 4×4 XC.
This new Mule has changed from a Plain Jane to a sporty worker that is ready for playtime when the bills are paid. While not a racehorse, the 610 XC has a very adventurous look and feel that allows the rider to experience a fun day’s work.
As the name suggests, this Mule is a beefed up version of the 610 4×4. While the names are almost identical, the changes to the visual appeal of the new XC model are very evident. The Super Black paint and sporty 12-inch wheels wrapped in Maxxis 26 inch tires make this ride a classy steed
2011 John Deere Gator XUV 625i 4×4 Review
2011 Polaris Limited Edition ATVs and Side-by-Sides
Polaris has been pretty busy in recent weeks, having released its 2011 ATV and Ranger lineup on July 27. We attended the 2011 model introduction and had a chance to check out a handful of new vehicles and a mountain of updated existing models.
A new Ranger Diesel was the most surprising addition for 2011, but Polaris also unveiled a redesigned Ranger 500 in a mid-size chassis, as well as a mid-size multi-passenger Ranger Crew 500. A host of changes were also much of the Ranger and Sportsman families.
With all that out of the way, Polaris now sees fit to show off its 2011 Limited Edition ATVs and Rangers. The Limited Edition lineup includes a whopping 11 Ranger models and four Sportsman ATV models.
Additional features on the limited edition model include:
* Orange Madness automotive-style paint
2011 Arctic Cat ATV and Prowler Lineup Preview
Back in May Arctic Cat gave us a little teaser of what was to come from the Minnesota-based manufacturer in 2011 when it revealed its early release model ATVs and Prowlers. Highlights include the brand new Prowler HDX 700, as well as an updated Prowler 550 XT. On the ATV side, we saw updates to the 450, 550, 700, TRV 550 GT, and TRV 700 GT.
After devouring the appetizer, we now get to enjoy the main course as Arctic Cat has unveiled the rest of its 2011 models. As expected, electronic power steering continues to make its way through the Arctic Lineup, but Cat also offers a host of other changes as it attempts to fill any holes in the lineup and gain market share.
Prowler XTX 700 EPS
As the first side-by-side in history to complete and win the grueling Baja 1000, the Prowler XTX 700 holds a special place in Arctic Cat lineup. For 2011 the sport-inspired XTX receives a fairly major overhaul.
New for 2011 is a Baja racing-inspired ROPS certified round tube canopy, Electronic Power Steering (EPS), new steering wheel, digital gauge with seat best indicator light, and heavy-duty 14-in. aluminum wheels.
2011 Polaris Ranger and ATV Lineup Preview
2010 Bobcat 3200 2×4 Utility Vehicle Review
2010 Polaris Ranger RZR 4 Review
When Polaris introduced the RZR back in early 2007 it forever changed the benchmark for what we would expect from a side-by-side. Then in 2009 Polaris introduced the RZR S, a performance-oriented RZR that came right off of the dealer’s showroom floor with long travel A-arm suspension, Fox shocks, and 26” Maxxis Bighorn radials mounted on nice aluminum wheels. Now, for 2010 Polaris has lengthened the RZR S, making room for a second row of bucket seats to make the RZR 4, the first 4-seat performance side-by-side.
If you are familiar with the RZR S then most of the features and specifications will be easily recognizable. So let’s start with what’s different. The standard RZR frame has been lengthened a whopping 26 inches taking the wheelbase to 103 inches! The frame has also been strengthened in the process to handle the added stress that the added length creates.
2011 Can-Am Commander Preview
For model year 2011 BRP has come to market with a sporty new side-by-side that is sure to be the talk of the industry for quite some time – the Can-Am Commander.
BRP is clearly gunning to take over some of the lucrative side-by-side market currently dominated by Polaris, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Arctic Cat. To appeal to as many consumers as possible, the Can-Am Commander is available with two different V-Twin engines. The Commander 800 features a 71-horsepower Rotax 800 EFI, while an 83-horsepower Rotax 1000 EFI powers the Commander 1000. Prices start at $11,699.
If you want further proof that BRP has big expectations for its new side-by-side, the Commander 800 is available in two different packages, while consumers can choose between three different Commander 1000 models.
2011 Kawasaki ATV & UTV Lineup Unveiled
Kawasaki has unveiled its lineup of 2011 ATVs and UTVs. Outside of new colors and price changes it pretty much mirrors the 2010 lineup. However, it should be noted that in the past two years Kawasaki has introduced new or updated models later in the year (September/October) so Team Green may not be done with its 2011 lineup just yet.
We’ll tackle what we do know for sure first, but at the end of this article we’ll speculate a little on what we may see (or at least what we’d like to see) from Kawasaki in the near future.
2011 ATV Lineup
Anchoring Kawasaki’s ATV lineup is the always impressive Brute Force 750 4x4i ($8,849). We reviewed the 2010 version in January so we won’t go into too much detail, but this unit features one of our favorite ATV powerplants – Kawasaki’s liquid-cooled, 90-degree, fuel injected, 749cc V-Twin. Other highlights include dual A-arm front suspension, fully independent dual A-arm rear suspension, and an impressive 1,250 pounds of towing capacity. For 2011 the Brute Force 750 4x4i is available in Dark Royal Red, Woodsman Green, and painted Metallic Ruby Red.
2010 Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2 EFI Review
Something very powerful is lurking in the backwoods. Prowling through the forestland across the United States and Canada there is a creature that will set precedence over all in the same arena. The very existence of this machine will get the blood flowing for many off-road enthusiasts. Being avid Muscle car fans and loving the feel of horsepower under our control it was very exciting to get a shot at riding this beast. The 2010 Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 is the machine in question and just hearing the displacement gave way to thoughts of controlled chaos!
First released to public for the 2009 model year, the XTZ 1000 was hailed as the largest displacement side-by-side on the market. This Cat would beat its competitors’ bids by almost 200cc. However, we needed several questions answered before giving it our stamp of approval because the Prowler line had known handling issues and adding power to the chassis without building a better foundation was definitely a concern.
2011 Arctic Cat Early Release Models
To help whet our appetites for its full 2011 ATV and Prowler lineup, Arctic Cat has released a handful of early release models.
The brand new performance utility Prowler HDX 700 and revamped Prowler 550 XT highlight certainly piqued our interest, while the rest of the early release models offer mostly new colors and modest changes from 2010.
Prowler HDX 700
All new for 2010 is the Arctic Cat Prowler HDX 700 side-by-side.
Setting the HDX 700 apart from the performance utility side-by-side competition is a huge 85-inch wheelbase that provides a whopping 1,500 of payload capacity.
Other features include a new 2-in-1 cargo box with multiple tie-down spots that can hold 1,000 pounds. According to Arctic Cat, the box is wide enough to hold a wooden pallet. If you need to haul something a little wider, the sides of the box can be detached to create a flatbed.
In the cab you’ll find a 40/20/40 sculpted seat that can carry three adults. The dashboard houses a digital gauge package with an all-new dash-mounted shifter.
2010 Polaris Ranger 400 Review
Over the past few months we have had the opportunity to put over 30 hours on the 2010 Polaris Ranger 400. Available for the very reasonable price of $7,999, the 400 is Polaris’s entry level utility UTV that offers a lot more sporting performance then one might expect.
The first thing that caught our attention was the Ranger’s sporty appearance. The second thing was that it is a bit of a sleeper with the 400’s engine actually displacing 455cc. It’s not often that a manufacturer gives you over 50cc more then you pay for.
The water cooled engine features a four valve single overhead cam design. Air and fuel are fed to the engine by a 34mm Mikuni carburetor. Polaris claims the engine puts out 29hp and can push the machine to 40mph, a sufficient speed for its intended use.
2010 Bennche Spire 800 Review
2010 Polaris Ranger RZR Review
In November of 2003 the ATV world was turned upside down when Yamaha introduced a new model to its lineup. It was called the Rhino and it wasn’t an ATV, but it wasn’t really a utility vehicle either. Basically it was a combination of an ATV’s agility, a UTV’s capability, and the pure fun of a dune buggy. Yamaha used the term Side-by-Side to classify this new model. With the Rhino, Yamaha started a whole new class of off-roading and from that day on the off-road world would never be the same.
Then in February of 2007 it happened again! This time it was Polaris that was responsible for the upheaval when it introduced a new model that was a whole new Side-by-Side. Called the Ranger RZR, it seemed to fit better into the category of a 2-seat ATV rather than a Side-by-Side like the Rhino because the RZR fit on the 50 inch ATV-only trails.
Polaris did not sit idly by with its RZR. For 2009 the Minnesota-based manufacturer continued the RZR’s development by making a host of evolutionary improvements. First, to improve safety, the protective roll cage was strengthened by 30% and the side safety nets were revised for easier use. Also modified were the shoulder protectors.
2010 Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans4x4 Review
Kawasaki introduced the first Mule way back in 1988 to provide farmers and construction workers with a heavy duty and more capable alternative to an ATV for doing their serious chores. In 2010 the evolutionary changes continue with the new 4000 series Mules. The 4010 Trans4x4 features all new bodywork designed to look more rugged. There’s also a host of improvements to the cabin area. The dash has been redesigned to include cup holders for the driver and front passenger, dual glove boxes, and a larger front storage compartment. Most importantly however, the TransCab is now equipped with electric power steering and the V-Twin gas engine now has digital fuel injection.
Although the 4010 Mule is also available as a standard cab model with a single bench seat, the TransCab configuration like our test unit gives you the ability to quickly turn the Mule from a standard cab, longbed model capable of carrying 800 pounds in the 50-inch long bed, into a true crewcab, capable of carrying 4 people and still hauling as much as 400 pounds in the shorter 30-inch bed. Either way, the Mule can tow a trailer weighing a total of 1200 pounds. To make the Mule approved for job-site use, the full roll cage meets all of the government ROP (Roll Over Protection) requirements.
2011 Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Unveiled
Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has unveiled its lineup of 2011 Rhino 700 FI Side-by-Side vehicles, which will begin arriving at dealerships this summer.
“Yamaha’s leading Rhino continues to hold the top spot as the toughest, most off-road capable and versatile, as well as the all-time best selling, SxS vehicle,” Yamaha says in a release.
Originally launched in 2003, the Rhino helped bring about major interest in side-by-side vehicles. With nearly a decade of experience and updates, the Rhino continues to be among the class leaders and has received a bundle of best-in-class wards from the off-road, hunting, and farming communities.
For the 2011 model, Yamaha has given the Rhino a new steering wheel and adjustable seat belt, both designed to provide more rider comfort in off-road conditions. New to the Rhino line is a White Armor Sport Edition that features fully adjustable piggyback shocks, one-piece cast aluminum wheels, injection-molded sun top, over fenders, Baja-inspired front carry bar, and a special graphics treatment. The Sport model also comes with dealer-installed LED tail lights, custom shift knob and black bed rails.
2010 Polaris Limited Edition ATVs and Side-by-Sides
Polaris Industries has unveiled its new limited edition ATV and Side-by-Side offerings.
In the past, Polaris’ limited editions have been cosmetic upgrades such as paint (including the company’s first batch of 2010 LE models), but this offering also includes units with performance and technology upgrades. Included is the first Ranger Crew and Ranger RZR with electronic power steering, and a 50-inch Ranger RZR with a premium Walker Evans shock package.
Historically, Polaris is fairly aggressive with releasing new and updated vehicles. In fact, earlier in January the Minnesota-based manufacturer introduced the industry’s first four-seat Sport side-by-side – the Ranger RZR 4.
2010 Special Edition Models
Additional features on the limited edition model include:
* Crimson Red automotive-style paint
2010 Polaris Ranger RZR 4 Preview
After announcing its relationship with racing legend Robby Gordon nine months ago, Polaris has a brand new vehicle to show for it – the Ranger RZR 4.
According to Polaris, Sport side-by-side enthusiasts looking to carry multiple passengers had no options. That is no longer the case as the Ranger RZR 4 is the industry’s first four-seat Sport side-by-side.
“Polaris saw a market for a multi-passenger Sport vehicle at a significantly lower price than an expensive Sand Car or Rail,” says Eric Nault, product manager for Ranger RZR 4. “The Ranger RZR 4 fills that need for a Sport side-by-side experience for multiple passengers.”
Much about the RZR 4 has been taken from the Ranger RZR family. It’s powered by an 800cc high output Twin EFI engine and Polaris claims it has a class-leading power-to-weight ratio and strong acceleration. It features a 60-inch width coupled with the Ranger RZR’s patented design that places the engine behind the back seat for the lowest center of gravity. According to Polaris, this makes the RZR 4 more agile than most competitive two-seat side-by-sides. At 1,255 lbs, it’s also lighter than many two-passenger vehicles.
2010 Kymco UXV 500 4×4 Review
Whether you are riding the back forty or crawling up a rocky creek bed the world of UTV machines has you covered. For the last few years many companies have focused on side-by-sides or utility vehicles as just a small part of their offerings to the off-road public. As the cost of these machines continue to skyrocket, before long we will be able to purchase a nice car for the price of our UTV fun machine!
One company that is keeping costs down and continuing to drive forward in this market is Kymco. Having American offices in South Carolina, this Taiwanese company has hit the ground rolling with many budget-minded vehicles. The model year 2010 for Kymco keeps the prices down and the value at an all time high. During the press introduction in Ashville, NC we had the chance to jump aboard the UXV 500 4×4 to give it a run down to see if the rubber really meets the road in price and durability.
2010 Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4×4 Review
The still young world of side-by-sides seems to be in a constant state of change and progression. Kawasaki, which only joined the segment with its Teryx in 2008, is a perfect example of that. Less than a year after first introducing the Teryx, Kawasaki made big changes in 2009 and with the release of its 2010 lineup the progression continues.
During a trip with Kawasaki to the Badlands Off-Road Park in mid-western Indiana we had a chance to see exactly what the minds at Team Green were up to.
The engineering of the Teryx has brought a great competitor to the side-by-side market, but will it be able to sustain the consistent onslaught of recreational utility vehicles that are being dropped in by boat daily? I think so, but let’s take a look at the 2010 Teryx and you be the judge.
With the word change comes a hint of expectation, but for the model year 2010 the change to the looks of the Teryx for me can be distracting. The biggest physical change for 2010 is a less rounded and more angular hood. Also, the roll cage is now black on all models, where it used it used to match the color of the body. I cannot say wholeheartedly that I will not grow into the new looks but I definitely need time to think about it. The now “old school” Teryx appeal had set itself apart in its stance and overall aggressive styling and I guess – at least for now – I really like that look better.
2010 Kymco ATV/UTV Lineup Intro
In recent years Kymco has been developing a strong reputation for low- and mid-displacement ATVs and UTVs. The Taiwan-based manufacturer continues its progression in 2010 with the release of two new ATVs and three limited edition models.
We had a chance to take Kymco’s new vehicles for a spin on a Land Rover Experience course at the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. We’ll have full reviews of these vehicles in the coming weeks.
Maxxer 375 IRS 4×4 ($5,999)
The Maxxer is the vehicle that has the folks at Kymco the most excited and it marks the company’s entry into the sport/utility segment.
Take a quick look at the Maxxer and you’d be hard pressed to compare it to anything else in the Kymco lineup (though it does strike a similar pose as the Yamaha Wolverine 450). A look at the specs data, however, shows that the Maxxer is built off the same platform as the MXU 375 IRS 4×4 released last year.
2010 Kawasaki Mule and Teryx Lineup Unveiled
After leaving its 2010 ATV lineup largely unchanged, Kawasaki took a different approach with its side-by-sides by introducing a sporty new Mule (yes, you read that correctly) and giving the already impressive Teryx a few tweaks.
2010 Mule 610 4×4 XC
When it comes to working vehicles, Kawasaki’s Mule is one of the first names that spring to mind. The Mule name has been around for more than 20 years and the entire lineup received some key cosmetic and performance upgrades in 2009. For 2010, Kawasaki decided to add a little fun to its side-by-side workhorse.
New for this year, the Mule 610 4×4 XC has borrowed a little of the fun factor from the Kawasaki Teryx RUV to create a sort of crossover side-by-side. Highlighting the new mule are a set of aggressive 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn radial tires (same as you’ll find on the Polaris Range RZR S) mounted on 12-inch wheels to provide much improved off-road ability. A host of other upgrades were also added to complement the Mule 4×4 XC’s more trail-ready nature.