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…

CAYMAN 50

One issue that faced the Cayman was that to save weight LEM used weak composite plastic hubs to hold the wheels on. During our jumping tests we broke a right rear hub and had to order a replacement. The other major issue was that the Cayman’s limited slip rear axle prevented powerslides and sand riding.   Now a new one-piece alloy hub/rim assembly solved problem number one, and a solid rear axle solved the second one. For the new unit they also redesigned the front bumper to provide more protection for the nosepiece.…

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…

2004 YAMAHA BRUIN 350 4X4 AUTO

    One of the basic tenets of having a good time is being able to afford the leisure activity you wish to pursue. The more "bang" for your "buck" you can get, the easier it is to rationalize the expenditure. In the neverending battle to give you more for your money, Yamaha has introduced a new mid-sized, four wheel drive ATV with an astoundingly low price point of $4999! The newest bear cub to join the Yamaha sport/utility Wolf pack is a little number called the Bruin 350 4x4 Auto.   Now, you might expect a sport/utility…

HI-PERFORMANCE SHOOTOUT

2003 promises to be the year of the high-performance sport quad. New models are now starting to pop up with increasing regularity in the hottest and fastest growing segment of the ATV market today. One of the newest machines to arrive on the high-performance scene is Polaris's radical Predator 500. We couldn't wait to get our hands on a long-term test unit so that we could compare it to the established models in the class to see how it fares against its esteemed rivals.   Well, we finally got our production Predator 500 and…

2004 YAMAHA YFZ 450

While some ATV manufacturers have avoided introducing sport or high performance quads over the last 15 years, Yamaha has never retreated one inch. They have kept a strong presence in the sport ATV ranks with their Banshee, Warrior and Blaster for well over a decade now and continue to offer these machines to a throng of ATV purists worldwide.   For the 2004 model season, Yamaha has introduced an all new model, designated the YFZ450, to their extensive sport and high performance ATV lineup. This revolutionary quad is set to…

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…