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ATV Tests

Thorough tests of all things ATV. ATV tests of latest models, epic builds for racing, or just stock riding on the weekend. Our reviews give a comprehensive analysis of parts, performance, and price. We’ll give you the inside scoop on all you need to know about your favorite machines.

ATV TEST: 2020 YAMAHA GRIZZLY XT-R

A weapon in the woods By the staff of Dirt Wheels The big bad bear. Yamaha’s Grizzly has topped the mountain year after year as the brand’s premier sport utility ATV. It can paw its way through thick mud, traverse river beds on the hunt, and scale the steeps at a quick clip. Yet, the Yamaha can also retract its claws and conquer terrain in comfort. While the Grizzly is capable of extreme enjoyment on the trails, it doubles as a handy rig around the ranch, too. For 2020, Yamaha decided to outfit a few UTV models to…

ATV TEST: 2020 CAN-AM DS 250

Sticking with sport quad roots By the staff of Dirt Wheels Most of us didn’t start off riding fast and agile straight-axle sport quads or exceptionally capable big 4x4 rigs. Instead, we started small. Three-wheels, or four, we began riding on machines smaller than Can-Am’s DS 250. Once we had sure footing and a real understanding of how an ATV works, we could step up to a new realm of off-road enjoyment. The DS is a great transitional machine to allow you to progress to life with roost and wheelies, or a perfect quad…

ATV TEST: TRX650R ONE-OFF HONDA

Bad big bore By the staff of Dirt Wheels Way back around 2004 Jay VanValkenberg had been riding a big-bore TRX250R two-stroke for 15 years. He bought it brand new back in 1989. Then he decided to add a four-stroke quad to his collection. He was sick of waiting for Honda to get in gear and offer a big-bore-thumper, straight-axle quad. Being a diehard Honda fan, he wanted a thumper that had plenty of torque and plush suspension. He decided a fully built TRX450R wouldn’t satisfy him, so he decided to build his own fully…

FIRST RIDE: 2020 KAWASAKI TERYX KRX 1000

It looks like a winner By the staff of Dirt Wheels Kawasaki has a rich tradition of building ultra-high-performance motorcycles. Conversely, despite the longest UTV history of any Japanese manufacturer, Kawasaki has not been on the cutting edge of UTV performance. Sure, the original Teryx was a genuine sporting unit when it was first introduced, but as the years passed, it slipped farther below the performance pinnacle. Now there is the 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000—a true, modern performance UTV. It checks all the…

PROJECT ATV: DUNCAN DUNER

CHECK OUT THE NEW DUNCAN RACING WEBSITE! TRX470R sand slinger By the staff of Dirt Wheels We never fully understood the vastness of gravity’s effect on the inhabitants of this rotating ball of land and water that we call Earth. That was until we felt the pull of mystic wind-blown peaks and the sharp ridges of sand dunes. Riders from far and wide are pulled to these various insatiable places with all manner of off-road machinery to scale the steeps and blast berms with some of the most impressive aftermarket…

ATV TEST: 2020 KAWASAKI KFX90

Kids are on a roll By the staff of Dirt Wheels Riding isn’t just for grownups! The young ones want to hit fun trails and deserve to experience the pure joy of what ATV off-roading is all about. The best way to do that is to start young, and the best and safest way is to start off small. Some of us stretched our legs on two-stroke mini quads, bikes and three-wheelers back in their day, while others here at Dirt Wheels started riding on modern four-strokes. Kawasaki’s KFX90 is rated for riders 12 years of age and over,…

KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 750 4x4i EPS TEST

-- Still a top contender -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels Kawasaki’s Brute Force 750 has been a staple in the 4x4 ATV market for quite a while now. Revisions have been small over the years, and that is due to how well the big-bore works. Power is plenty, suspension is supple and the Brute can tackle tough jobs around the ranch and rapid-transit trails while spitting rocks or slinging mud. We picked up the 2018 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i with electronic power steering in Metallic Stardust White for a test in the…

GAS GAS ATV TEST

-- 300 2-stroke & 450 4-stroke from 2004 -- You may have heard of the ATVs with the funny name that were made in Spain. The Gas Gas quads were actually fast machines, whether you got the 300 2-stroke or the 450 4-stroke. Even though they're no longer available now they are a part of ATV history, along with Cannondale, that you should know about.  Dirt Wheels tested the two Gas Gas quads in our January 2004 issue and you may want to read the reprint of that article below. . .

2019 SUZUKI KINGQUAD 400 SHOOTOUT

Auto-clutch manual vs. CVT automatic—which is better?  By the staff of Dirt Wheels Sport quad riders love their manual transmissions because of the absolute control they give over your machine’s power output. Plus, they can be more fun to ride. 4x4 riders or ranch-goers tend to stick to automatic transmissions due to ease of use. Few 4x4 quads still offer manual shifting, but that is because customers demand automatic transmissions. Suzuki makes two 2019 KingQuad 400s. The ASi comes with a CVT automatic, and the…

RETURN OF THE HONDA TRX450R

-- Making this popular quad new again -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels, Photos by Pat "Ride in focus" Carrigan There is no doubt that Duncan Racing International (DRI) helps breed winners. Erin Simmons relies on the DRI team of Loren and Leonard Duncan to build and prep his AZOP championship-winning Honda TRX450R. Going fast in Grand Prix-style racing is no small feat. Having a quad ready to tackle multiple types of terrain is half the battle of competition at a pro level. Simmons is no slouch on a quad, either.…

2020 POLARIS SPORTSMAN XP 1000 S

-- Testing the widest new ATV -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels When it comes to off-road, Polaris is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. There are several reasons why Polaris has such a strong position in the dirt market. For one, the company builds machines that people want to own. That may sound ridiculously simple, but that idea escapes a lot of companies. Next, Polaris continues to push limits with all of the vehicle types it manufactures. That “push” has never been more obvious than with the new-for-2020 Polaris…