Monday, October 22, 2007

Get a free DVD...Win a Polaris Outlaw

Not sure if this is in response to all those Yamaha Grizzly and Rhino DVDs flying around, but Polaris is offering a free DVD on the Outlaw 525 with the opportunity to win a new Outlaw by registering for the DVD on this page. I just entered the sweepstakes myself, and if you would like to, make sure you do so by January 1, 2008.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Small recall of the all new KTM XC quads

About 270 of the 2008 450XC and 525 XC ATVs that were sold by KTM dealers nationwide from August 2007 through September 2007 have been recalled. Although no incidents or injuries have been reported, KTM found the rear brake caliper support can crack resulting in the potential for a loss of the use of the rear brake and subsequently lead to an accident.

See the full Recall notice.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thundercat makes the magazines go hmmmmm

The Thundercat 1000 ATV from Arctic Cat recieved its first round of tests from several magazines recently. The following quotes sum up the general sentiment...

"What the hell am I doing here? 950cc? Where does it end? Much like disposable razors with five blades, tailgate party blenders powered by weed whacker engines and Hummer stretch limos with 10 TV's, a quad this big could be considered by many to be overkill" - ATV Rider

"We just don't know having that much power in a 700+ pound machine is a good thing or not" - Quad Magazine

Obviously, the motor is what has people talking about this quad. And the 950cc V-Twin EFI 4-stroke engine is exclusive to Arctic Cat, not borrowed from Suzuki are Kawasaki like on some of their other 4x4 and sport models. Manufactured at the company's new state of the art engine plant in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Arctic Cat is claiming a massive 188lb torque at the output shaft! In drag tests, it hits an electronically limited 75mph with ease.

There are, however, a whole slew of additional innovations and nice features that come with the Thundercat. A "Ride-In Calibration" system - which squats the quad based on a riders weight while still maintaining the same suspension travel and ground clearance - together with lowered seat height and better handlebar bend give a sense of riding "in" and not "on" the machine. The Thundercat also comes with a 2-inch automotive-style receiver hitch, so you can easily put that power to some use other than killing yourself! And it should be noted that a lot of what Arctic Cat learned from their 4x4 race team riders Daryl Rath and Jesse West went into the production of the new machine, right down to the sleek silver paint preferred by Daryl Rath on his race ready H1 650.

Okay, for the full reports in their November 2007 issues...ATV Rider headed to Jig Rock Ranch in Grand Rapids, Minnesota for the introduction test, you can get the whole story on page 50 which includes thankfully, a funny story (probably not so at the time) of Brian Purtymun throwing it away on the big cat.

"...and then it began-that stomach-wrenching off-camber tilt that sets off an alarm in your brain and tells your butt cheeks to clinch so tight that they practically rip off the seat cover"

Meanwhile the Quad Magazine crew had a chance to test a pre-production machine at the next to last round of WPSA competition in Englishtown, New Jersey as covered on page 78 of their mag and Dirt Wheels did some extensive testing which too many details to mention on page 60 of their November 2007 issue.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yamaha Rhino, now a 700 (and fuel injected)

Over the last four years Yamaha's Rhino 660 has remained virtually unchanged - why fix it if it ain't broken I suppose. But succumbing to competition from Polaris, Kawasaki and now Honda, Yamaha surely wanted to do something to stay on top of the competition.

Now called a 700, the Rhino is now powered by the same liquid-cooled, 686cc, fuel-injected engine from the popular Grizzly 700. While the new fuel injection system allows for quicker starts and consistent operation in changing environments, it does not give the Rhino a faster top speed which will remain around 40 miles per hour.

Another significant upgrade is all new dual rear disc brakes, which replace the rear driveshaft-mounted single disc system , that will remain but only as a parking brake.

Doors will now come standard on the Rhino, keeping mud and debris out of the cab, but more importantly providing protection to drivers and passengers legs. In fact, Yamaha is offering all previous year Rhino owners to have the doors installed for free. You must take your Rhino to a Yamaha dealer to have the work done, as Yamaha states customers cannot install the doors themselves.

Passenger grab handles, cup holders and a new under-hood tool-free air filter address many of the issues that have been brought up by previous Rhino owners, as well as matching some of the features of the new Polaris RZR.

For details on the new Rhino 700 along with a whole lineup of special edition and optional package models - including Ducks Unlimited (hunting equipped) and Midnight Armor (carbon fiber look with flames embedded inside) - see the Yamaha Outdoors website.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hyosung MTX450 coming to a dealer near you?

I've started hearing more and more about this Korean quad, but still don't know much about it. Here are some of the latest rumors.