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Product Test

SPORT 4×4 SHOOTOUT | GRIZZLY 600 vs. SPORTSMAN 500 vs. PRAIRIE 400

SPORT 4x4's In this look back at a classic Dirt Wheels Magazine shootout, we check out a crop of SPORT 4x4's. Television’s Tim Allen would fit right in aboard one of the current crop of Sport 4x4's. You can almost hear his 'Home Improvement' character give one of his hearty "Ho-ho-ho’s" in approval of the current reign of large-displacement ATVs in the Monster truck class of four-wheel drives. Bigger is always better, right? Well, the tool twisters here at Dirt Wheels wanted to know if Tim Allen, and…

ATV FIRST TEST: 2021 POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 ULTIMATE TRAIL

FIRST TEST: 2021 POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 LE. As good as it gets By the staff of Dirt Wheels 2021 POLARIS SPORTSMAN 570 Don't forget your base. Polaris Industries may be actively engaged in expanding the UTV market, but it hasn’t forgotten the 4x4 quads that helped grow the company. Polaris has sold 1.6 million Sportsman quads, but they admit that sales of 4x4 quads are roughly half of what they were before the UTV boom. That is still a large number of quads leaving showrooms. One of the other…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: GIANT LOOP PRONGHORN STRAPS

By the staff of Dirt Wheels GIANT LOOP PRONGHORN STRAPS Giant Loop is well-known for quality, not cheap or inexpensive adventuring products. Many of the products are somewhat exclusive to motorcycles, but most can transition easily to 4x4 quads with racks. In this case, we tried Giant Loop’s Pronghorn straps. These are elastic straps that work with about any vehicle or process where you could use a bungee cord or even rope. The straps come as a pair, and you can get black 18-inch straps, gray 25-inch straps, or…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: CST APACHE A/T TIRE

Digging the desert By the staff of Dirt Wheels According to EveryCulture.com, the homeland of the Apaches was a vast region stretching from what is now central Arizona in the west to present-day central and south Texas in the east, and from northern Mexico in the south to the high plains of what became eastern Colorado in the north. Given the radical difference in terrain found in that vast area, giving a tire the name Apache puts a lot of expectation on that tire, but the Apache A/T is up to that challenge. The new…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: TUSK CHAIN TOOLS

Gotta have ’em By the staff of Dirt Wheels If you ride a performance sport quad with any regularity, you will get into chain maintenance. And if you are running in the woods with any mud, that moment of inevitable chain work will come even sooner. We are fortunate that modern O-ring chains help with chain life and performance, but they do eventually need to be replaced or repaired. Working on O-ring chains without the correct tools is very frustrating. Rocky Mountain ATV’s Tusk house brand has the chain tools you need…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: ARAI RAM-X HELMET

A better open face By the staff of Dirt Wheels Arai is a Japanese, family-owned helmet company that believes that helmets are vital and valuable safety equipment meant for long-term use and extended satisfaction. Aside from a deeply held belief in absolute quality, Arai believes in a smooth, rounded shell shape both for intrinsic strength and so the helmet doesn’t have edges that catch during a crash. The Ram-X is innovative in its shape in another way. Even though it is an open face, the shell extends along the jaw,…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: SIMPSON VORTEX UTV SEAT

Comfort is required By the staff of Dirt Wheels Imagine you are settling your UTV into a hard left-hander, the rear wheels chewing through tacky dirt as you depress the throttle for more power, sending the machine into a controlled pitch. All of a sudden the outside rear tire grabs a rut, and instead of staying in control, your body slides across the stock seat, the stock seat belt allows your upper body to lean, and your grip on the wheel is compromised. Instead of viewing the corner’s exit, you are seeing sky, dirt…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: KLIM WEATHER GEAR

The cold never bothered us anyway By the staff of Dirt Wheels The winter temperatures are dwindling just as the snow on the mountaintops melts away. Temps are on the rise, but the cold and wet weather isn’t entirely over as spring rounds the corner. We ventured out to find the last of the heavy rain and snow to test a Klim gear set that we are enthralled with. The Traverse gear and Aggressor base layers may be a hit to the pocket book, but they are worth the investment if you ride in harsh conditions. WARMTH FROM…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: DP BRAKES SETUP

Friction is key By the staff of Dirt Wheels If you want to go fast, you need to be able to slow down quickly. While you may think that is counterintuitive, the quicker you can stop, the longer you can hold the throttle open. With that logic in mind, we went to DP Brakes for a set of $39.95 SDP Pro-MX sintered brake pads and $109.95 Moose Racing OEM replacement brake rotors that are made by DP for a Honda TRX450R. The old pads had seen their day, the rear rotor was bent and the fronts had some warping, so it was time…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: RUGGED RADIOS BELL QUALIFIER PUMPER HELMET

So you can see, speak and breathe By the staff of Dirt Wheels The Bell brand has been a well-known name in the motorsports industry for decades, and while not as long, so has Rugged Radios. Bell has recently made it far more affordable for an average UTV enthusiast to have a “pumper” helmet designed to be connected to a filtered clean-air system. No more breathing dust! So, you might be asking, why should you go to Rugged Radios to purchase a Bell helmet? For one, Rugged is a leading producer of filtered clean-air…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: PELICAN R40 RUCK & SHIELD CASES

Phone protection for riding By the staff of Dirt Wheels Many people in today’s culture view their cellular devices an extension of themselves, and thus they are never without them. There are plenty of arguments for and against the intrusion of technology into everyday life, but we are not going to get into any of that here. As editors, we use technology to present readers with up-to-date information. That means our pricey pocket computers need proper protection from the elements. Pelican understands that need all too…

PRODUCT EVALUATION: OGIO RIG 9800 ROLLING GEAR BAG

It lasts for decades By the staff of Dirt Wheels Who buys a $329.99 rolling gear bag? We suggest that in the case of the Ogio Rig 9800 bag, smart people that want many years of having fun. Then we looked at the reviews for the bag. People use it for carrying paintball rigs, scuba equipment, construction gear and RC cars among other things. They transport that equipment and gear in cars, on planes and on trains. Every review mentioned how well the Rig 9800 deals with incredible amounts of abuse. We only use the bag to…