October 28, 2010
By Bob Humphrey
Tough machines for today's hunters.
By Bob Humphrey
Once considered an extravagance, ATVs are increasingly becoming an ordinary (and in some cases, essential) tool for modern hunters. Whether it's building food plots, transporting the disabled or accessing otherwise inaccessible areas, hunters' demand for ATVs has skyrocketed. So has the supply, as each year ATV makers expand their lines to include models geared specifically for hunters. This year is no different; and while some companies are introducing several new models, we asked each manufacturer to choose the single best model for hunters.
Engine: 695 cc, SOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valveCooling System: Liquid, with fan
Fuel Capacity: 5.8 gal.
Transmission: Automatic CVT with EBS
Drive System: 2/4 WD + Diff Lock
Brakes: Hydraulic Disc
Towing Capacity: 1,050 lbs.
Length: 98 in.
Width: 47.5 in.
Height: 48 in.
Wheelbase: 58 in.
Ground clearance: 11 in.
Dry Weight: 788 lbs.
Color(s): Black, Red, Advantage Timber, Metallic Green
MSRP: $8,499 (Black/Red), $8,999 (Advantage Timber), $9,399 (H1 Limited Metallic Green)
Arctic Cat designed its 700 TBX H1 to be the ATV version of a pickup truck, with enough power to deliver the goods no matter how big the job, yet capable of providing a smooth trail ride when the workday is over.
The rear dump box features a 300-pound capacity and pickup style tailgate latch, plus box tilt latches on both sides. Handy tie-down attachment points are built into the cargo box and TBX frame, while integrated rails accept accessory clampdown fixtures. Meanwhile, the front SpeedRack allows quick installation and removal of a wide variety of Arctic Cat accessories without the need for tools. Whether pulling a food plot implement, hauling in seed or hauling out game, the rugged TBX boasts a 1,050-pound towing capacity (with a standard 2-inch automotive-style rear receiver hitch), 100-pound front rack capacity and comes standard with a 2,500-pound Warn winch.
The 700 H1 provides arm-stretching power, with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and a 695cc, SOHC, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. A brand new all-encompassed electronic 2WD/4WD/Differential Lock switch on the right-hand control makes going in/out of 4WD or Diff Lock an easier process. Hi/Lo-Range allows responsive acceleration and engine braking. A generous 12 inches of ground clearance lets you go most anywhere, and you can set the spring preload (five rear positions, five front positions) on the shocks to tailor the ride for individual riding styles, terrains and loads.
Other features: Panel gauge displays up to 14 critical operation information indicators.
Contact: Arctic Cat; 218-681-8558; www.arcticcat.com
|BAD BOY BUGGIES|
Engine: 48-Volt DC Separately-Excited
Fuel Capacity: Eight Heavy-Duty, Deep-Cycle, 6-Volt Batteries
Transmission: Not Applicable
Drive System: Direct Drive Front & Rear
Brakes: Hydraulic 4-Wheel Disc & Regenerative Braking
Suspension: Independent MacPherson Struts (IMS)
Towing Capacity: 800 lbs.
Length: 112 in.
Width: 51.5 in.
Height: 84 in.
Wheelbase: 68 in.
Ground clearance: 8.5 in.
Dry Weight: 1,669 lbs.
Color(s): Realtree AP
BAD BOY BUGGIES
Bad Boy Buggies threw away its old plans and re-engineered the new XT from the ground up to create the ultimate all-electric, off-road, four-wheel drive vehicle.
Among the XT's many features are a fully redesigned chassis for best-in-class handling and performance and four independent MacPherson struts for a smooth ride. Eight heavy-duty, 6-volt, deep-cycle batteries from Crown deliver more horsepower and torque than other models, and the batteries' weight distribution has been optimized to take full advantage of the vehicle's frame and suspension. The entire electrical system is sealed, so you needn't worry about wet conditions.
Other Features: The XT includes a brush guard, roof rack, front basket, rear flip seat, receiver hitch, smart charger and removable windshield.
Contact: Bad Boy Enterprises; 866-678-6701; www.badboybuggies.com
Engine: 499.6 cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve (4-valve/cyl)
Fuel Capacity: 4.3 gal.
Transmission: CVT, sub-transmission with high, low, park, neutral & reverse
Drive System: Selectable 2W/4W shaft driven, with Visco-lok front differential
Brakes: 2 inboard hydraulic discs (front); 1 inboard hydraulic
Suspension: MacPherson (front); TTI independent (rear)
Towing Capacity: 1,300 lbs.
Length: 86 in.
Width: 46 in.
Height: 45 in.
Wheelbase: 51 in.
Ground clearance: 11 in.
Dry Weight: 654 lbs.
Color(s): Yellow, Viper Red and Camo
MSRP: $9,299 (Yellow/Red), $9,699 (Camo)
Can-Am added several new features to enhance its Outlander line of ATVs, which includes the Outlander 500. With its lightweight chassis and heavyweight Rotax EFI engine, the Outlander 500 EFI has the best power-to-weight ratio in the 500-550cc class. The Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) system with dual-mode adjustability is coupled with Visco-Lok QE front differential calibration, which progressively (and automatically) transfers power from a slipping front wheel to the gripping one for easier steering and better handling.
The Outlander has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and Torsional Trailing arm Independent (TTI) rear suspension with no scrub and 75-percent fewer moving parts. This year's model also features new cast-aluminum wheels and an updated front fascia.
And, like its 650 and 800R counterparts, the Outlander 500 XT features Can-Am's XT package, which consists of a 3,000-pound winch, handguards, heavy-duty bumpers, 26-inch tires and DPS power steering standard. All machines are also available in the MAX XT two-up configuration, which adds a removable passenger seat.
Other Features: The Outlander also gets a camouflage upgrade for 2010 with industry-exclusive Next G-1 Vista pattern.
Contact: Can-Am/BRP; 877-469-7433; www.brp.com
Engine: 420cc, liquid-cooled, OHV wet-sump, longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke
Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gal.
Transmission: ESP five-speed, with reverse
Drive System: Direct front and rear driveshafts
Brakes: Dual hydraulic disc (front); sealed mechanical drum (rear
) Suspension: Independent double-wishbone (front); swingarm with single shock (rear)
Towing Capacity: Not Provided
Length: 80.9 inches
Width: 46.1 inches
Height: 45.1 inches
Wheelbase: 49.2 inches
Ground clearance: 6.5 inches
Dry Weight: 586 lbs. (TRX420FE) / 605 lbs. (TRX420FPE)
Color(s): Red, Olive, Natural Gear Camouflage
MSRP: $6,199 (Red and Olive), $6,599 (Camo); w/ EPS $6,599 (Red and Olive), $6,999 (Camo)
Honda's Rancher series has long been a favorite among outdoorsmen, and the new FourTrax Rancher 4x4 ES will only enhance that reputation. This latest version comes factory-loaded with plenty of gotta-have-it features.
Honda's Electric Shift Program (ESP) makes shifting gears as easy as touching a button, or selecting between 4WD and 2WD TraxLok. It also features a torque-sensitive front differential and fuel injection. And to top it off, the Rancher 4x4 ES is also available with the riding ease of Honda's Electric Power Steering (EPS).
Other features: Improved rack design for easier lashing of cargo, more seat foam for increased comfort and pre-load adjustable front and rear suspension for custom settings.
Contact: Honda; 866-784-1870; www.honda.com
Engine: 749 cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin
Fuel Capacity: 5 gal.
Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse, and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control.
Drive System: Selectable 4WD with Variable Front Differential Control
Brakes: Dual hydraulic 200mm discs with 2-piston calipers (front); sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc (rear)
Suspension: Dual A-arm (front); fully independent, dual A-arm (rear)
Towing Capacity: 1,250 lbs.
Length: 86.4 in.
Width: 45.9 in.
Height: 48.5 in.
Wheelbase: 50.6 in.
Ground clearance: 9.7 in.
Dry Weight: 653 lbs.
Color(s): Realtree APG HD
As its name implies, the Brute Force 750 4x4i is propelled by a powerful four-stroke, digital fuel injected 749cc, 90-degree V-twin engine to tackle the nastiest of obstacles.
Dual front A-arms and independent rear suspension (IRS), along with upright seating position and soft yet firm urethane seat foam, provide a remarkably comfortable ride.
The power train is mated to a fully automatic, dual-range continuously variable transmission (CVT) with low or high range and reverse. A limited-slip front differential reduces steering effort under normal four-wheel drive operation, while Variable Front Differential Control permits the rider to distribute torque equally to front wheels for maximum traction. Front drive shafts feature industry first Cardan joints that help absorb torque fluctuations to the drive shaft and reduce vibration.
Sealed rear braking system components are protected from mud, dust and debris, and their compact size provides more ground clearance. Kawasaki Engine Brake Control enhances braking. Front and rear suspension feature dual-rate springs for ride comfort and sport performance. The tough Thermo-Plastic Olefin (TPO) angular bodywork is covered in hunter-friendly Realtree APG HD camouflage.
Other Features: Automotive-style instruments include digital speedometer, odometer, twin trip meters, clock, hour meter and fuel gauge and are mounted for easy viewing. Four-bulb, 40-watt headlights provide maximum lighting power for nighttime rides. Also has a waterproof storage box in the left front fender and a storage compartment in the right front fender.
Contact: Kawasaki; 800-661-7433; www.kawasaki.com
Engine: 549cc, single EFI, 42 hp
Fuel Capacity: 5.25 gal.
Transmission: Automatic PVT
Drive System: Polaris On-Demand, True All-Wheel Drive with exclusive VERSATRAC
Brakes: Hydraulic disc (front); hydraulic foot (rear)
Suspension: Rolled IRS in rear; Dual A-Arms with exclusive anti-kickback steering in front
Towing Capacity: 1,995 lbs.
Length: 93.25 in.
Width: 47.6 in.
Height: 49.5 in.
Wheelbase: 57 in.
Ground clearance: 11.25 in.
Dry Weight: 799 lbs.
Color(s): Indy Red and Sage Green
The new Sportsman X2 boasts features that add even more versatility and work capability. The 42-horsepower, 550cc engine with roller-driven clutch provides smooth, faster clutch response and a "Low" gear with speeds up to 39 mph. Its exclusive, anti-kickback steering with longer control arms, the industry's largest wheels and lower-profile tires deliver positive, precise steering with less rider fatigue.
For sensitive terrains, such as lawns, the Sportsman 550 X2 offers VersaTrac, a one-wheel, locking rear differential for a tighter turning radius and less damage to grass. Improved ergonomics include a narrow seat design with more knee room for easier rider maneuverability when hauling loads or driving on the trail. Sportsman 550 X2 passengers also will enjoy more passenger room than competitive models, and both rider and passenger will benefit from larger floor boards with more mud protection.
Other features: A 400-pound dump box that transforms into a second seat; huge Lock & Ride front storage box that holds 8.2 gallons.
Contact: Polaris; 800-765-2747; www.polarisindustries.com
Engine: 493cc, four-stroke, single cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal.
Transmission: Automatic V-belt, 2-speed forward with reverse
Drive System: Sportbike-derived chain-and-gear camshaft
Brakes: Hydraulic disc, twin (front); sealed, oil-bathed multi-disc (rear)
Suspension: Independent double A-arm, 5-way preload adjustment
Towing Capacity: Not Provided
Length: 83 in.
Width: 47.6 in.
Height: 50.6 in.
Wheelbase: 50.6 in.
Ground clearance: 10.2 in.
Curb Weight: 661 lbs.
Color(s): White, Camouflage, Black Brush
MSRP: $7,599 (White), $7,899 (Camouflage), $7,999 (Black Brush Limited Edition)
The new KingQuad 500AXi (a late '09 release) delivers all the performance advantages consumers expect from the Suzuki KingQuad brand, plus a few noteworthy improvements. First and foremost, they added power steering and accompanying handlebar configuration to lighten steering at low speeds, improve overall operating comfort and reduce fatigue on long rides. Then they widened the KingQuad 450's bore to create a new, 493cc SOHC, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine designed for a wide powerband and strong performance, and changed sub transmission ratio to increase top speed. The QuadMatic CVT-type automatic transmission is designed for maximum versatility and convenience.
Meanwhile, they retained many great features like the Suzuki fuel injection system featuring high-performance motorcycle technology for excellent throttle response, fuel efficiency and quick engine starts. An advanced engine brake system minimizes free-wheeling to reduce downhill speed. The compact, torque-sensing limited-slip front differential offers more powerful traction plus light steering effort; and a differential-lock system provides serious four-wheel-drive traction. Electric 2WD, 4WD and differential-lock 4WD options are conveniently handlebar-mounted, giving riders push-button control for the right setting for any terrain.
Other Features: High-output magneto generator system and 18-amp, maintenance-free battery provide extra power for 30-watt, multi-reflector halogen headlights and compact tail light and brake lights. Large, 2.8-liter, water-resistant front storage compartment includes easy-open screw-on cap.
Contact: Suzuki; 714-572-1490; www.suzukicycles.com
Engine: 558cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.
Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking/H, L, N, R, P
Drive System: Yamaha On-Command pushbutton; 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD; shaft drive
Brakes: Dual hydraulic disc (front and rear)
Suspension: Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment (front and rear)
Towing Capacity: 1,322 lbs.
Length: 81.3 in.
Width: 46.5 in.
Height: 48.8 in.
Wheelbase: 49.2 in.
Ground clearance: 11.8 in.
Dry Weight: 648 lbs.
Color(s): Realtree AP Camo, Hunter Green, Steel Blue
MSRP: $8,899 (Realtree AP), $8,499 (Green/Blue)
For 2010, Yamaha took all the consumer-favorite features on their flagship Grizzly 700 FI and incorporated them into a mid-sized utility ATV -- the all-new Grizzly 550 FI. Yamaha's industry-first torque- and speed-sensing Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system (optional) allows the rider to tackle the toughest terrain with the least amount of effort. The Yamaha Fuel Injection system (YFI) provides improved throttle response, more prec
ise fuel delivery, more consistent power and improved fuel economy under a multitude of riding situations. It also means no choke and easier cold starting.
The Ultramatic automatic transmission system's gearing makes full use of the powerband under a variety of riding situations while the all-wheel downhill engine braking system ensures safer slowing and descent.
The three-way On-Command system, featuring push-button 2WD/4WD and 4WD with differential lock, compliments the Grizzly 550 FI powerhouse. Fully independent wishbone front and independent rear suspension (IRS) ensures optimal traction. Adjustable suspension in both front and rear offers the versatility to set up for all riding conditions.
The Grizzly 550 FI also features the Yamaha-exclusive WideArc front suspension, which offers five inches of more usable ground clearance in front.
Other Features: Easy-to-see LCD and lights instrument panel; thick, plush seat and two sealed storage boxes.
Contact: Yamaha; 800-962-7926; www.yamaha-motor.com