DECEMBER FIRST BOUND COPY
We just got the first copies of the December issue of Dirt Wheels in the office. Editors have the memories of gold fish. We can swim around the bowl forever and rediscover the same castle over and over. We worked on the December issue a month ago, so opening it now is like seeing a whole new magazine.
This time of year, it’s all about new models. The big topic for December is the first test of the Yamaha YFZ450X, which is a narrow version of the sensational YFZ450R motocross machine. The X is much better suited for trails and off-the-track adventures, and it still has the fuel injection and the aluminum frame that grace the R model. The only thing we don’t like is that it supersedes the original YFZ450, which we have grown quite fond of. For now, though, there are lots of older Yamaha’s available on dealer showrooms.
Other 2010 news is a feature on new Arctic Cats, headlined by an expanded Mud Pro Line. The Mud Pros are machines meant for diving into the ugliest, nastiest bogs and living to see the other side. Honda’s 2010 line is actually very thin; most of it is called carry-over 2009 models. The only quads to get a 2010 designation are the Rancher line and the Rincon. Even those are largely unchanged. Frankly, we’re good with that. We would rather see existing ATVs on sale than more expensive new ones. For now.
On the UTV front we have a test of the new Polaris RZR-S, which is the most sport-oriented side-by-side in the business. A few pages later, we have a UTV buyer’s guide with photos and specs of every model known to man.
Johnny Leach at MotoWorks was involved with two different stories. He let us ride the very Can-Am DS450MX that Frenchman Jeremie Warnia is using to win the ITC QuadCross series. And his 13-year-old son was one of the test riders in a mini-ATV shootout between the Honda TRX90 and the Yamaha Raptor 90. He’s vowed to keep the results a secret.
Then there’s a test of the Trinity LT-R515 dune machine that we previewed on www.dirtwheelsmag.com last month. Yes, it turned out to be as fast as we thought.
It is, of course, the December issue, so there’s a Christmas buyer’s guide where the editor’s reveal their personal gift lists. If anyone tells my wife a thing, there will be big trouble. I plan on hiding this issue until after the holidays. Don’t turn me in.