Browsing Tag

ATV Test

2019 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R

-- Testing the best-selling sport ATV of all time -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels Yamaha has so much love for sport ATVs that they keep the best-selling ATV in the category on dealer floors for you to buy today! It’s no secret, the struggle of the economic downfall in 2008 hindered the market and kick-started the decline of sport quads. Compounded with the rise in UTV technology, the sport ATV category had its heyday. Now we consider certain 4x4 machines sport models. Honestly, those 4x4s are very sporty in our…

Honda ATC 350X Rebuild

When it was a new high-performance thumper nearly 30 years ago, the 1985–1986 Honda ATC350X was the biggest performance four-stroke three-wheeler around. It, like nearly all three-wheelers of the time, was more of a serious sport machine for the trail than a racer. At Dirt Wheels, we have seen a resurgence of riders restoring these classic machines, though most are more of what street-rodding calls a “restomod.” In other words, these machines are not returned to showroom condition, but to the level that the owner dreamed of…

ATV TEST: 2016 Honda Rincon 4×4

Honda’s flagship Rincon has only seen one major improvement in its life, and that was back in 2006. In that model year the liquid-cooled engine mated to a three-speed transmission, increased from a 650cc mill up to a whopping 675cc. In addition, EFI was also added. In total those cc numbers do seem small, but for the 90 percent of 4x4 riders out there, speed is not a number-one priority. However, smooth riding, getting the job done and power are. Furthermore, the 65-mph top speed this machine is capable of hitting is plenty…

PROJECT ATV: Honda TRX450R Rat Rod Quad

The “rat rod” culture has been around since the ’50s. Back then, guys would take a worn-down car from the early 1900s to 1950s, chop and lower it, remove the fenders and add some serious horsepower, along with a couple of flashy parts. The rusty remnants of years of abuse and weathering on the body usually remain. There are several variations of the styles of rat rods depending on the owner or builder of the car. Some of the more notable trendsetters of the rat rod movement would be artists like Von Dutch for his Flying Eye…

ATV TEST: 2016 Yamaha Grizzly 700

Over the last two decades we have watched the Yamaha Grizzly 4x4 ATV transform from the largest-displacement monster to a refined animal. In the late 1990s, Yamaha dominated the market by having the biggest 4x4 you could buy with a whopping 600cc. Fast-forward over time and that number has increased by Yamaha and has been surpassed by everyone else. The displacement numbers game didn’t seem to attract Yamaha; it was sales numbers that were counted, and Yamaha has continued to have the best in the category. Concentrating on…

SHOOTOUT UTV: Arctic Cat Sport 700 vs. Kawasaki Teryx 800 vs. Polaris RZR S 900 vs. Yamaha Wolverine 700

The mid-sized performance UTV category is growing. In the last year, both Yamaha and Arctic Cat developed machines to go against the Polaris RZR S. Unfortunately for them, Polaris upped the cc on the RZR S to 875cc, making it even faster. Furthermore, Kawasaki has increased the power and suspension action of the Teryx to try and keep up. We see this category as a group of machines in the $15,000 price range that still needs to fit on 60-inch-wide trails, be hauled in the back of a pickup, and not necessarily used for work.…

SHOOTOUT: Honda 250R vs Suzuki Quadzilla 500

If you go to an ATV dealership or even check out the manufacturers’ websites these days, it looks like high-performance sport quads are sort of fading away. While sales of brand-new quads may be rebounding at only half the speed of the economy, people are still riding them in large numbers. Look at your local ride area and racetrack; in some cases, things are as good as they ever have been. Everything from modern four-strokes to old two-stroke quads and even three-wheelers are out and about enjoying this great sport.…

PROJECT ATV: Duncan Racing TRX450R Sand Slinger

Building a perfect duner is a matter of heritage, style and power preference. For years the Yamaha Banshee was the machine of choice for sheer power and its exhilarating ride. Oddly enough, with all the two-stroke resurrection we are seeing lately, the Banshee is not as popular as the Suzuki Quadzilla 500 or Honda 250R. The duner we are featuring this month was built around a newer Honda, the four-stroke TRX450R. Its owner, Thad Dirksen, let the legendary builder at Duncan Racing turn it into his perfect duner. When you…

SHOOTOUT: Can-Am Outlander L 500 vs. Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi

We pitted the $6499 Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi against the $6999 Can-Am Outlander 500L to see if an older straight-axle machine can still hang with a modern-day ATV with independent rear suspension. The two contestants are a lot closer in price than they are in design. The Suzuki KingQuad 400ASi is Suzuki’s lowest-priced 4x4, while Can-Am does have one model cheaper in the 450L, which only sells for $6399. So if power or speed is of no concern, the 450 might be a closer comparison, and it comes in the same chassis as the 500.…

ATV TEST: 2015 Polaris Sportsman 1000 4×4

What do you have when you take a smooth-riding utility chassis and stuff it with one of the fastest CVTequipped ATV engines on the planet? A tool that not only helps you get the work chores done in a hurry, but it can take you out on the trails and thrill you as if you were on a sport quad. Sure, the machine is heavy at 822 pounds dry, not including the 5.25 gallons of gas it can hold, and it’s pricey, starting at $11,999. However, if you excel in the company of excess, the Polaris Sportsman 1000 might be right up your…

ATV TEST: 2015 Yamaha YFZ450R Special Edition

Yamaha’s YFZ450R is one impressive sport ATV right out of the box. The engine is powerful, the suspension outperforms all other stock sport quad suspensions, and the overall performance of the machine is very satisfying. Without question, Yamaha continues to upgrade this quad each year, and the 2015 YFZ450R Special Edition was not left out of that process. The SE comes with a radical color combination, mating a red frame with black and white plastic. PLENTY OF PONIES From the factory, the YFZ450R has never left us…

PROJECT FROM THE PAST: XC Racer Suzuki LT-R450

When Suzuki introduced the track-ready, 49-inch wide LT-R450, they turned a lot of heads. Now amateur MX racers had a machine they could take off the dealer showroom floor, add a few safety features, and race it that weekend. They would save thousands in aftermarket A-arms, shocks and tires. Furthermore, Suzuki had a product that their racers could win with on Sunday to increase sales on Monday. Unfortunately, Suzuki alienated a customer base that wanted a 450cc quad that they could comfortably ride deep into the woods.…