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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.

2018 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R TEST

-- Big power and big fun are always on tap, By the staff of Dirt Wheels -- Have you ever heard the expression, “Legends never die”? Well, that has been Yamaha’s sport quad mantra for years. Back in the 1990s they didn’t let the Blaster, Banshee or Warrior fall into the depths of despair like Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki did with their sport quads. That was a hard time for sport quads. Even though big sales numbers weren’t there, Yamaha continued building them for the masses. That is still the case. Yamaha is…

THE MIGHTY DS650

THE BIGGEST, BADDEST, FASTEST, MOST POWERFUL QUAD EVER! -- That's what it said on the front cover of Dirt Wheels, which was certainly a true statement at the time, back 1999. Everyone in the ATV world became very excited about the DS650 when the first photos and news about it were released a few months earlier. At that point all of the ATV enthusiasts across the country were eagerly waiting to read the test on it in Dirt Wheels. What did the Dirt Wheels test crew think about this all-new, super-sized, mega-powerful…

TEST: 2018 HONDA TRX250X

Although the Honda TRX250X has DNA that hails from racing heritage, it is a humble machine. Small but mighty, this quad has been a superstar in the ATV world when it comes to purchasing popularity, ease of use and fun factor. Priced at $4,749 the TRX250X is Honda’s last remaining pure sport quad that still receives updates- mainly in the cosmetics department. We let test riders of all sizes put the 2018 TRX250X through its paces in the desert, sand dunes and mountain trails, and it kept true to its reputation. As…

TESTING ARGO’S XPLORER QUAD

By the staff of Dirt Wheels -- Earlier we provided you with a first look on the all-new 2018 Argo Xplorer quad range. It’s nice to see another company known for making great machines add quads to their lineup. As we stated in the first look on the Xplorer 4x4 quad lineup, this was an unprecedented move from Argo and the biggest news since their creation 50 years ago. They introduced their Xplorer 4x4s as a price-point option for consumers. The best move they made was making them price-comparable…

TRX400R vs. BANSHEE 630

-- BIG 2-STROKE SHOOTOUT -- Here's a "Blast From The Past" you may find interesting. Back in our October 1999 issue of Dirt Wheels we tested a Honda TRX250R that was enlarged to 400cc. We compared it against a Yamaha Banshee 350 that was enlarged to 630cc. They were both in the category of ultimate 2-stroke quad. How fast were they? Keep reading...

2018 YAMAHA KODIAK 450

--First test of Yamaha's exciting new 4x4 -- When Yamaha discontinued the Grizzly 450, we were disappointed that such a great mid-class 4x4 quad had left the market. The various Grizzly models have been a staple in the 4x4 industry for over a decade, and the Kodiak was also well liked until Yamaha stopped producing them for a period of years. Fortunately, the Kodiak 700 was introduced in 2016 and was well received, and the Grizzly 700 remained one of the best-selling 4x4 ATVs around. But, Yamaha’s 4x4 lineup…

FINDING A NEW 2005 TRX450R STILL IN THE CRATE

-- AND THEN GIVING IT SOME LOW-COST IMPROVEMENTS -- There is no doubt that we have had many love affairs with the Honda TRX450R in the years since its release in 2004. That isn’t to say we don’t have a passion for other sport quads, but the legendary Honda is easy to find, cheap to build and has proven reliable through the years. As easy as a Honda TRX may be to find, finding one like Jay Young’s TRX450R of Team True Racing is far from easy. He got lucky with his Honda. It spent life in a crate from its…

FAST STREET SHARK ATVs

-- 100+ mph street-legal quads built by Lone Star Racing -- First tests by the Dirt Wheels crew: Setting out to build something different and unique is admirable. We marvel when someone’s dream build comes to fruition, but building something that’s never been done before can take a toll on your checkbook and your mind. The big picture can look dismal at times. To build something special, something that rightfully allows you to bask in the glory of the epic build, isn’t an easy task. It takes a lot of…

THE MIGHTY RAPTOR!

THE HISTORY OF YAMAHA'S BIG SPORT QUAD -- The 1990s maintained a stagnant state of limbo for ATV manufacturers of sport quads. Of the potential manufacturers, Yamaha was the strongest player with the famed Banshee 350 and Blaster 200 two-strokes and the Warrior 350 four-stroke. Yamaha had a strong hold on the market, but it also knew that those beloved two-strokes would slowly be forced from the line-up by increasingly strict emissions standards. The fight to stay ahead of the competition lit a fire beneath…

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE RAPTOR 700R

-- Yamaha has been the number one supplier of sport quads even when other ATV manufacturers have ignored this group of off-road enthusiasts. This dates back to the late 1980s when sport quads came under attack from the general news media. Performance models began to disappear from the lineups of most manufactures, but not for Yamaha. The two-stroke Banshee remained available every year from 1987 to 2006. So did the two-stroke Blaster and the four-stroke Warrior 350. Yamaha continues that philosophy today by providing…

THE BEGINNING & END OF HONDA 3-WHEELERS

-- From the US90 to the 250R -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels with Mike Palmgren. A Parrot Green Honda US90 where the ATV world began and the Honda ATC250R that was the end of performance three-wheelers from the company that created them. ATVs survived and thrived, but the 1980s were the troubled end for three-wheelers. As we rolled up to Oceano Dunes SVRA, we were curious where the test subject was hiding. A lot of truly pristine machines roll through Dirt Wheels, but this better-than-new 1970 Honda US90—the very…