PROFILE: MATTHEW BALLARD

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail system is one of the greatest things in the ATV world. Literally hundreds of miles of trails are open and accessible to the public, and more are being planned. They host big ATV jamborees, have corporate sponsors, and really work to keep ATVing alive and well. We took a few minutes to speak with Matthew Ballard, executive director of the HMT, and pick his brain about everything HMT-related. We got what we wanted, and then some, from the affable Mr. Ballard.Dirt Wheels: What is your position in terms…

HONDA 450R FACTORY RIDE

  Honda continued with their bombshell pronouncements at their annual dealer show in Las Vegas. With a crowded floor of over 2500 dealers anxiously waiting, they announced that in addition to the new TRX450R Sportrax debut, they would be signing nine-time ATV Grand National Champion Tim Farr to compete on the new quad at GNC MX, TT, stadium and a select few desert events.   This stunning news marked the return of Big Red to the ATV race circuits it had summarily abandoned some 18 years ago. This about face for Honda…

HOT ROD QUAD

             Everyone loves a hot-looking and even hotter-running quad. As the Dirt Wheels staff sat inside our disorderly, but incredibly well-lit offices one evening, we got to talking about what particular ATVs we liked most.              Some of the staffers loved the sharply defined race-inspired lines of top racers' motocross or cross country machines. Others chimed in that they dug the outrageous colors, bodacious chrome and all-out snazziness of an immaculately prepped duner.               Then there were the…

MINI TEST: 2004 KAWASAKI KFX80

 It has been well over a decade since Kawasaki had a mini ATV in their lineup. With Kawasaki’s new relationship with Suzuki, they were able to at least purchase and re-badge one of the better minis available today, the Suzuki LT80. Even though it is nothing more than an LT80 with green bodywork, Polaris, Bombardier and Arctic Cat also buy minis from other builders and call them their own.   Back in 1987 and 1988 Kawasaki had a 110cc Mojave that received great reviews from the press and the public. However, when the CPSC…

DUNCAN RACING HONDA 440EX

Duncan Racing has a reputation for building race ready quads that hold up to the abuse and wear and tear of  competition. Long time west coast ATV racer Doug Eichner has won the World Four-Stroke Championships, held at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California, aboard a modified Duncan Racing Honda 400 EX for the last two years running. This feat was particularly impressive because Doug did it using an air-cooled, Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) four-stroke engine that is admittedly a good decade behind the latest crop of Double…

SEPT 24–BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MSR’S DAVE CASELLA

Dave Casella is one of those happening cool people that you could hang out with all day and go bench racing. Just ask any of the MSR team riders, who talk to him on a regular basis. Dave wasn't always the life of a party though. Only a year ago Casella stepped into his current role at MSR, and from there the company took on a completely different look. After the recorder tape broke the first time we interviewed Dave (sorry again!), we caught up with him again to ask about the revamped MSR, Malcolm Smith, and signed…

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BARI WAALK

This week we met up with Mechanix Wear’s Bari Waalk. In between a tour of the Mechanix Wear facility, looking at the many different pairs of gloves that are made, and taking a ride in the company Hummer H2, we nabbed an interview with Bari. Here’s what the man with the silver glove had to say.The name of the game for Mechanix Wear is gloves, and it seems that you offer a billion different types of gloves. What sports do you cover with your gloves?Our gloves are really good for any sport in which tools are required. I…

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH RENTHAL’S SHAWN NORFOLK

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH RENTHAL'S SHAWN NORFOLK 6.24.2004 Scheduling off-site interviews and meetings with professional riders is a difficult task. With fame and importance come rock star status and a schedule that's filled up worse than seating for a new Star Wars movie. Fortunately, the nine to five people who hold down desk jobs at ATV companies throughout southern California don't consider themselves famous. Instead, they supply products to the rock stars and reap the rewards. Dirt Wheels is beginning weekly installments…

MARCH 29–YZF470

A Yamaha for the woodsIn the last few issues, we've featured several Yamaha YFZ450s decked out and ready for the motocross track. From our project YFZ and Tavis Cain?s Duncan YFZ to Kory Ellis? Alba/GYTR race winner, these machines are track-ready rockets. Now, we have the first test of a true woods YFZ. Four Stroke Tech (FST) has been building big bore cross country racers for well over a decade now and if anyone could get more ponies out of the YFZ, it would be them.The staff of FST got to work early on the new Yamaha as…

YAMAHA BRUIN 350 VS. BOMBARDIER OUTLANDER 330

Yamaha's Bruin 350 4x4 sells for a remarkable $4999. This makes it one of the better bargains out there in the entry-level four-wheel drive market. Bombardier introduced an all-new Outlander 330 H.O. for the 2003 season and it sells for a suggested retail price of $5499. What we wanted to know was, when you compared these two machines head-to-head, in a price, value and feature shootout, how would they fare against one another? To find out, we packed up both machines and headed out to one of our favorite industrial-strength…

HOW TO FIND BARGAIN ATV PARTS–FEB 26

Let's face it, as friendly as your local dealer is, he?s probably not the best source of cheap parts. Dealer parts are usually sold at a premium, as they are often high-profit items for the dealership. So what can you do to save some money and still get the parts you want?THE INTERNETFor all its ups and downs, the internet is here to stay and it?s an unbelievable source of information. Therefore, it is also an unbelievable goldmine for all things ATV. So if you don?t have internet access, join the rest of the world and sign…

JAN 20–2WD SPORT UTILITY SHOOTOUT

With all of the attention lately on the newest, trickest, and fastest sport quads that are arriving in 2003, sometimes it's easy to forget about the other side of the quad world. By that we mean the utility quads. We enjoy these ATVs because they provide basic, low-cost access to off-road travel. Many people don't feel comfortable on a rip-snortin' monster quad, be it a two-stroke racer or a huge 4x4 machine. All of the manufacturers offer machines that cater to this segment of the market, and that's what we will focus on…