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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.

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…

2019 CAN-AM OUTLANDER XT 1000R

-- ATV TEST: Great upgrades for an impressive machine -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels The fun never stops in the world of four-wheeling! Can-Am makes some of the best 4x4 quads around, and you can find models outfitted with extra upgrades in the lineup. The Outlander XT is one of those models, and we got our hands on the 2019 1000R version in a black and Can-Am Red color scheme! We were fortunate to test the Outlander in a lush and thick Canadian forest setting to find out the Outlander’s strengths and weaknesses.…

A TWO-STROKE MASTERPIECE

-- Duncan Racing builds an awesome Banshee -- Photos by Pat Carrigan (Yeah, my photos are dark and out of focus, but Pat can fix them.) The iconic Yamaha Banshee has found a place in the hearts of thousands with its two-stroke, twin-cylinder, fire-breathing engine. They scream and sing over dunes, rip through the desert and are even seen looping around racetracks and negotiating tight trails. After an amazingly long run, Yamaha eventually ceased production of the Banshee in 2006 for the U.S. market. That means there…

HONDA vs. KAWASAKI vs. POLARIS vs. SUZUKI

-- Rincon 680 vs. Brute Force 750 vs. Kingquad 750 vs. Sportsman 570 -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels As time rolls on, technology advances, but the realities of the off-road market mean that the best-selling machines get the tech and marketing dollars. That means that big 4x4 quads keep improving, but they don’t get the attention UTVs do as they get more popular. Reductions in marketing dollars means it has gotten difficult to get enough of these big-bore brutes to perform shootouts. We managed to gather the Honda…

PROJECT YAMAHA YFZ450R

-- Built to beat Baja -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels We are fortunate enough to find ourselves around some of the most epic ATV builds in the business, and this Baja Yamaha YFZ450R is one for our record books. Pro-Am WORCS racer Ricardo Gonzalez wanted to switch gears and race the wilds of Baja Mexico with his team. They needed a machine built to handle a ton of abuse and last for hundreds of miles in the many different conditions that the course throws at the team. His long-time mechanic Kevin Avina was put to the…

HONDA 450R TRAIL MASTER

-- Upgrading this popular sport quad -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels It is no secret that we are huge fans of the Honda TRX450R. To be fair, we love all quads, but Honda built an easily modifiable sport quad that stayed competitive for almost a decade with a minimum number of changes. The 450R still tops podiums and earns championships even today. It makes sense that long-time Dirt Wheels reader and quad enthusiast Daniel Gonzalez would choose the TRX for his steed. He picked up a 2007 Special Edition model a few…

PROJECT HONDA TRX400EX

-- Four-wheel fun you can afford  -- Budget build by the staff of Dirt Wheels In world history, the Dark Ages were well before the discovery of America, but for the sport ATV world, the dark ages were the 1990s. Yamaha kept the sport quad light burning with the Blaster and the Banshee, but other brands shied away. Just 10 years earlier all four brands had performance two-stroke ATVs, and had fun riding, racing and going crazy. Then, in 1998, 10 years after the last Honda TRX250R, the 1999 TRX400EX was released. It…

YAMAHA TRI-Z 250 FIRST TEST

-- The screaming yellow 2-stroke -- Here is the first test of Yamaha's all-new Tri-Z 250 as it appeared back in the August 1984 issue of Dirt Wheels magazine.  Honda riders were nervous that this all-new machine from Yamaha would dethrone their ATC250R. This was Yamaha's ad for the Tri-Z 250 that appeared in Dirt Wheels. Below is what the Dirt Wheels test riders said about  this 1984 Yamaha 3-wheeler. . . .

SUZUKI VANVAN

-- Return of the fat bikes? -- Test impression by the staff of Dirt Wheels We recently did a short feature on the internet dealing with the short-lived, fat-tired Honda Fat Cat two-wheeler. The response was incredible! That response brought back memories of hitting the dunes and trails on the Honda Fat Cat and the Yamaha BW80, 200 and 350. We had those machines in mind while returning our Suzuki KingQuads. We noticed a small fat-tired motorcycle that Suzuki says is an “extraordinarily retro, funky machine”—the…

YFZ450R WOODS MACHINE

-- Cole Richardson’s GNCC Yamaha racer --  By the staff of Dirt Wheels,  Photos by Ken Hill It takes a lot to become a pro ATV racer. You need commitment to put your all into each race, every practice lap and have the willingness to put your wellbeing on the line to place a foot on the podium. Countless hours are spent wrenching, working out your body and psyche, all while honing your skills on the quad to become one of the best. None of those facts matter, though, if you don’t have a great machine to pilot in the…

TWO-STROKE QUAD SHOOTOUT

-- Suzuki, Honda & Kawasaki 250s fight it out -- Back in the June 1987 issue of Dirt Wheels we did a comparison of the three hottest 250 quads you could buy at that time. Below is a reprint of that original article for your viewing pleasure. MORE ARTICLES YOU'LL LIKE: https://dirtwheelsmag.com/shootout-of-the-century/ https://dirtwheelsmag.com/25-years-ago-in-dirt-wheels/ https://dirtwheelsmag.com/shootout-1986-honda-trx250r-vs-lt250/ . . . . . . . .