Bombardier Traxter XL
Outdoor Life Online Editor

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Bombardier Traxter XL
Bombardiers are new to the ATV marketplace, but their unique design has quickly set them apart from other ATVs in the industry. “Looks like a garden tractor,” is the first response of many, but as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. For 2001, Bombardier is introducing the Traxter XL. With its 1,100-pound towing capacity, expansive cargo box rated to 600 pounds (most ATVs can carry only 200 pounds on their rear racks) and front storage compartment, this is obviously an ATV with unequaled hauling ability, but imagine our surprise when the Traxter XL handled trails with tenacity and deftness as well.

Like other ATVs the Traxter XL boasts a 498cc engine, an electronically controlled hydraulic-shift transmission and full-time 4WD. What’s unusual is its lengthened chassis (about 10 inches longer than most ATVs of its size) and its rear cargo dump box. Its longer wheelbase means that this machine can’t do 180s on tight trails, but its suspension does provide a surprisingly comfortable ride on unruly terrain.

This ATV is not made to be ridden fast on tight trails. One thing that would make it difficult is the Traxter’s large handlebars, which require ample arm motion to turn (if you’re short, you should ride this monster before buying it). Another thing to note is that, because of the emphasis Bombardier placed on low-end power for hauling and towing, the Traxter XL needs to be shifted into its lower gears when climbing hills.

The transmission is semi-automatic. A thumb-activated rocker switch on the left handlebar shifts the gears. It’s easy to operate and the lighted console lets you know which gear you’re in. Gear selection is made easy with a straight-shift pattern but is somewhat inconvenient due to its location beneath the left handlebar.

Our final analysis is that the Traxter XL is the work mule of the sportsman ATV world and is ideal for packing out big game or hauling seed to your food plots. (450-532-2211)