Testing their new Motactor system

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

The Axon 55-S can easily pull heavy UTVs out of stuck situations. It will warn you when the system is not able to continue running to protect itself from damage.


If you talk to any rock-crawling or mud-pit-running enthusiast, they will generally have a winch nestled on their machine. These riders love terrain that features the risk of getting stuck. Having the ability to get yourself out of a sticky situation is crucial. For the past 70 years, Warn has provided hub and winch products that help off-roaders get back on the trail. The company just released their new top-tier Axon winch line for ATVs and UTVs.


The Axon’s main upgrade compared to its predecessors, the Vantage Pro line, isn’t just an all-new sleek and strong outer casing, it includes the Motactor. The Motactor is the combination of the winch’s motor and the contactor (a separate [until now] terminal block that properly distributes the system’s electrical power). Packing the contactor into the motor housing allows the Axon to be pre-wired internally and then sealed shut with the help of an IP68 waterproof gasket. This also reduces installation time by a claimed 50 percent since you or your mechanic won’t have to run wires to the contactor and then to the winch. All that runs out of the winch’s housing is one small wire pack with a connector on the end.

Warn redesigned the entire winch. The hook is one of the only parts that were carried over from the Pro Vantage line.


Now that the electronics are fully sealed, Warn was able to install an intelligent system that informs you of how your winch is running. The universal switch that comes in the kit to mount in the dash, and the external remote on some models, have a LED light that informs you of how it’s operating. The winch tells you when it is running low or doesn’t have enough power, when it is getting too hot to continue operating, and alerts you when you are reaching its load limit. The light will change colors and blink to keep you notified.

The internal parts of the Axon winch line have been strengthened and improved. The free-spooling system allows you to pull the metal or synthetic rope out very quickly. There is a brake that can hold the full-rated winch load with the help of all-metal planetary gears. Even the all-metal gear construction of the Axon is improved over the Pro Vantage line, and the exterior is stronger due to tie-plates instead of rods. Winch sizes start at a 3500-pound rating for the Axon 35 and end at the Axon 55. You can get these winches, including their 45-RC, with Spydura synthetic rope lines. Pricing ranges from $499.99–$849.99 for the Axon line of winches.

The contactor is now housed with the motor, which makes installation much easier. The planetary gear train is all metal



We experienced the strength and quality of the new Axon winch lineup through multiple tests that Warn had prepared for us. The 55-S managed to pull a Ford F350 Super Duty that weighs over 8000 pounds up a steep hill. The winch was submerged in water for over eight hours and it functioned perfectly, and last, we got to experience how the Axon warns you when it’s losing power, reaching a load limit and getting too hot. The winch will protect itself and the user while helping you get unstuck and back on the trail. We can’t wait to get one mounted up to one of our machines!

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Go to www.warn.com or call (800) 910-1122 for more details on WARN’s product lines.

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