2013 Aluma UT12 Trailer
Unless you’re lucky enough to own an abundance of land that helps keep your riding experience fresh, it’s likely that you’ll eventually get stuck trailering your ATV or SxS to a killer ride spot like I usually do. A dependable trailer that won’t leave me stranded along the road has been at the top of my wish list ever since my first 12-foot steel ATV trailer broke in half, thanks to a rust infested frame. That experience taught me a valuable lesson, and since I hang my hat in the heart of the Rust Belt, I vowed to never own another steel trailer again.
Aluma designs and manufactures some of the finest all-aluminum trailers on the planet. What separates Aluma from many other trailer manufacturers is the fact that everything (except the axle assembly, coupler, and jack) is constructed of aluminum. Gone are the days of replacing warped pressure-treated wood decking after a few seasons of sitting out in the weather. [ Read Full Post ]
Americans often get stuck in the mindset that bigger always equals better. If there’s any doubt in the accuracy of that statement, one trip through a drive-through burger joint will set you straight. But size doesn’t always play a factor when it comes to ATVs; take for example, Kawasaki’s Brute Force 300.
This small yet sporty and reliable ATV has plenty of power to do work around the farm, drag deer out of the woods, or keep avid off-road enthusiasts entertained. Throttle-junkies like myself will enjoy the Brute Force 300’s ability to be ridden aggressively. It has great handling—the quality that impressed me the most—and can be easily wheeled through tight trails. [ Read Full Post ]
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 braking itself rather than relying on electronics and clutching. [ 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 ]