Suzuki's King Quad 500AXi Power Steering has earned a reputation for being one of the leading mid-size utility machines on the market. The 30th anniversary edition is essentially the same machine; with a Metallic Matte-Royal Red color scheme that fetches a $500 premium. Price aside, I was impressed when I tackled the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Central California with the King Quad 500AXi 30th Anniversary Edition.
The 500AXi is powered by a fuel-injected 493cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine that is a clone of the larger 750cc motor—with the exception of using a smaller top end that lowers displacement. Thanks to Suzuki's electronic fuel injection, power delivery is very smooth and the King Quad performed flawlessly, even on a cold morning startup at nearly 10,000 feet. [ Read Full Post ]
Polaris introduced the RZR 570, a fun little, punchy addition to the RZR line. It is nearly as potent and equally capable to the RZR 800, but costs $1,500 less.
From the moment I first mashed the RZR 570’s throttle, I could tell immediately tell the little engine was more than just a re-commissioned ATV power plant. This engine is new and has fantastic power capabilities. The Pro Star 570 is paired to an ultra-efficient transmission and an aggressive clutching system. During my testing, whenever I stabbed the throttle, the RZR 570’s clutching kept the engine in the sweet spot—high in the RPM range. [ Read Full Post ]
2012 Polaris Sportsman Touring 550
Final Thoughts + Polaris Sportsman 550 At a Glance
I recently logged approximately 150 miles aboard the Polaris Sportsman 550. I tested the unit by towing a landscape trailer around my property, meandering down tight, high-speed trails, giving it the occasional mud bath, and using the machine in the same way most owners would. The Sportsman 550, in my opinion, is a comfortable ride that delivers like the larger Sportsman 850. And it won’t hurt your wallet as much.
To the untrained eye, the Sportsman 850 and 550 look nearly identical. It’s only when the engines fire that the subtle differences emerge. The 550 has less horsepower than the 850, and is about 40 pounds lighter. However, the 550 feels heavier because it doesn’t have enough power to float the front end to avoid obstacles. Drivers can make the 850's front end feel light by stabbing the throttle.
Performance wise, 550’s Engine Braking System (EBS) performed flawlessly when I took it down steep, winding trails. The EBS felt natural, like the engine was actually doing the compression... [ Read Full Post ]
Yamaha entered the Side-By-Side (SxS) market with the venerable Rhino 660 in 2004, and introduced the world to the first sport-utility machine equally capable of both hard work and hard play. The Rhino 660 helped spawn the SxS racing craze and jump-started a host of new aftermarket companies that blew custom Rhino parts out the door as fast as they could produce them. In 2007, the Rhino 700 FI Auto took the platform to a new level with the enhanced fuel-injected 700-class engine. Since then the Rhino 700 FI Auto has remained virtually unchanged, and is still one of the toughest and most reliable machines on the planet.
Additionally, one of the coolest things about the Rhino and numerous other Yamaha ATV’s is the fact that they're all built in Newnan, Ga., using parts sourced from vendors all over the country. [ Read Full Post ]
Some of the rigs we profile on this blog teeter on the edge of what an ATV really is. Take for example, the Amatoya ATV from designer Liam Ferguson of Monash University. Purely in concept form right now, this 2-passenger quad might be a new way to suppress fires. It features a high-visibility cockpit and can unload 500 gallons of water from the Remotely Operated Suppression Cannon Outfit (ROSCO).
While ATVS go by many names—quad, quad bike, three- or four-wheeler—the American National Standards Institute defines it as a vehicle that travels on low-pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control. ATVs, by this definition, are intended for use by a single operator.
So is the Amatoya an ATV, UTV or something entirely different? [ Read Full Post ]
Quad Missions Worldwide is a collection of long-distance rides via ATV that aims to raise money for UNICEF. These missions are run by Paul Varty, who hopes to raise 50,000 pounds ($80,668). He just completed a 1,739-mile ride from London to Marbella, Spain on his street-modified Yamaha Raptor 700r. The next leg of his journey will be to the Western Sahara and back on his Suzuki King Quad 700. [ Read Full Post ]
I captured this image a few years ago while on a multi-day tour of the Rubicon Trail. In case you’ve never heard of the Rubicon Trail, this 22-mile stretch of rocks ascends through the Sierra Nevada Mountains just west of Lake Tahoe, Calif., and about 80 miles east of Sacramento. It is known as the toughest OH V trail in the U.S., if not the world. [ Read Full Post ]