Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another "alternative" ATV - the Ecoquad


Scottland-based Ecorider, which developed a two-wheel diesel-powered off road bike of the same name, has now entered the quad market with the diesel-powered Ecoquad, promising a fuel consumption figure of 90 miles per gallon.

Not sure how much of an option this will be for folks in the United States, although I did find a US site for Ecorider, so there are distributors and dealers here. Also, the design intent is a bit different than the big Arctic Cat 700 Diesel ATV. The Ecoquad is powered by a 442cc Lombardini air cooled diesel motor delivering just 11HP at 3,600rpm and only available in 4x2 configuration while weighing 562 lbs.

But the niche they are going after makes sense. Rising fuel prices and other cost pressures on farmers, the ability to run red diesel which is widely available on most farms, and the fact that CO2 emissions from the Ecoquad are very low at just 83g/km all add up to a unique and substantially different quad to the right person.

Quad auction of the week

A cool eBay discovery....


The #11 2007 Arctic Cat Prowler driven by Kyle Fiebelkorn in last years WPSA series. This will close tomorrow, currently only $6000.

Electric versus Gas ATVs on MythBusters

Got word that the Discovery Channel TV show MythBusters is doing a new episode on determining which is faster, an electric car or gas car. Intuitively one might think gas-powered vehicles, which I suppose is the myth being busted. Anyway, MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman recently filmed a segment for the show involving Polaris 800 ATVs (one gas, one electric) in Lakeport, California. I think this could be interesting in raising awareness, given my recent post on the Model One electric ATV.

If you are interested, can keep an eye on the episode previews and TV schedule, although I didn't see anything on there and expect it to be a ways out.

Yamaha Rhino's still being challenged on safety concerns

I don't really care to link to any of them, but I'm seeing even more web sites and advertising for law firms building class action lawsuits against Yamaha regarding rollover accidents involving the Rhino side-by-side. Although this issue was first raised several years ago, there is obviously a long road ahead for Yamaha and the industry. These articles are mostly being done for PR and search engine visibility, lawyers willing to spend big bucks to jump on this "opportunity". Sad really.

I see this as mostly a perception issue, albeit a serious one, creating even more hurdles for the sport. The main alleged defect relates to the high center of gravity of the Rhino with a shortened wheel base and powerful engine, leading to higher incident rate of rollovers. Excuse me? Those seem like design features, not defects. High ground clearance and the power to get where you want. Or put another way, it's like saying all cars should be recalled for the design defect of going faster than 75mph, resulting in serious injuries and death in far greater numbers than ATVs. Any design involves trade offs, and individuals are responsible to use them accordingly. Instead of just expecting the growth in ATVs to continue, we all need to do what we can to address these challenges.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Quad Builder videos on ATVScene.com

Things have been quiet here on QuadExperts.com, not only because of the holidays but because we have been hard at work on some new features for the site and some other new sites altogether.

And doing some other work as well!

In the meantime, you can checkout the first couple episodes of Quad Builder that ATV Scene is doing. I saw "How to build a national-ready LTR450 without breaking the bank" awhile back but the link was never working until now. Funny thing on the timing, I'm currently adding several of these same components to my LT-R450 in preparation for upcoming racing season. The videos don't really go in-depth on the technical stuff, but glad to see people starting to create them. I also must say the Motoworks pipe goes on almost by itself, and my initial ride shows some great power gains.

My newly arrived Motoworks SR4 Full system exhaust

And part 1 of a Honda 400Ex project is now up on the site as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Follow up post on ATV rubber track conversion systems

Turns out my initial summary of adding tracks to your ATV was one of the more popular articles I've done! So I'm back with some new information and a cool link at the bottom to a pre-built Can-Am Trackasaurus with snow plow and other hop ups on eBay!

Prospector Pro All Season Track Kit

Polaris sent me an email about a brand new track setup they are offering, their "next-generation" Prospector Pro All Season Track Kit for Polaris Sportsman, Sportsman X2 and Sportsman Touring models.

It allows a rider to achieve speeds that are 70% to 80% of the ATV’s top sped when equipped with wheels. The video on the Pure Polaris page shows them clocking a Polaris Sportsman doing 50mph with the tracks! This is a lot faster than I reported before, although still not quite a Thundercat snowmobile!


Apache Track System review
Discovered that Off-Road.com recently published an update to a project Can-Am 650 two-up ATV where they installed the Apache Track System from BRP. Brought up some initial considerations to go over. For one thing, installation and how easy it would even be to swap back and forth with normal wheels like I was thinking. You should expect some modification to the ATV even, and given the weight of track carriage and tracks, will need some help too.

Other takeaways:

  • need to have in 4x4 mode for reasonable steering
  • amazing ground clearance added - the space between the front and rear track made it effortless to get over downed trees or even washed out areas near the creeks.
  • takes a large area to turn around
  • most trucks do not have enough room in the bed to haul an ATV with tracks

For some great pictures and the full story, including the recount of throwing a track that could have been a lot worse situation, see this Off-Road.com article.


Kimpex Commander Kits
Have heard that some dealers are offering these in northern states and Canada as a good track system that is more affordable than some of the others. Don't have details but for fairness wanted to add them to the "list".

Can-Am Trackasaurus...yours for only $15k!

In lieu of Quads of the week, found this very relevant and awesome machine on eBay. A Can-Am Outlander 800 MAX XT with BRP's Apache Track System and other goodies. Check it out.



Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Genuine Hyosung accessories for TE 450 now available in US


Found via this page on korider.com forum, Hyosung.biz now has nerf bars, skid plate, A-arm guards, rear storage rack and front bumber for the TE 450 for sale. These accessories will also fit the UM MTX-450R. Didn't realize these guys were not to far down the road from me in Arizona. Will have to get their opinions on the Hyosung's in relation to the traditional brands.

Reports from Kawasaki and Honda reveal continued decline in US ATV sales

Kawasaki
Despite increased worldwide sales for Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) in the first six months of its fiscal year, including nearly 12% growth for the Consumer Products & Machinery business (of which powersports vehicles are a part), the company says motorcycle and ATV sales declined in North America. The Japanese manufacturer says business appears to be improving worldwide, with the exception of the United States, although it did not provide specific sales numbers for its North American market.

Honda
Meanwhile, Japan's Honda Motor Co. reported not only a 15.3 percent drop in unit sales in North America for its motorcycle segment (which includes motorcycles, ATVs and PWC) but unlike Kawasaki a decline of 17.2% in worldwide motorcycle and ATV sales in the same time period.

Sales for the three-month period totaled 2,333,000 (2,268,000) units, down from sales of 2,816,000 (2,737,000) units during the same three months in 2006. Honda says motorcycle and ATV sales in North America during the first six months of its fiscal year totaled 201,000 (105,000), down from 232,000 (123,000) during the same period of the prior year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A full-size electric ATV...coming soon!


Barefoot Motors, a new startup founded by former Zap executives, has started promoting their "Model One" all electric ATV, or earth utility vehicle as they would say. And "full-size" is the key here, as even my 2-year-old already has a battery-operated Power Wheels ATV! So the Model One quad is powered by lithium batteries and equipped with both high and low gears, all wheel drive, regenerative braking and 1000 lbs of towing capacity.

What is the real impact?
You can read about their clear focus on the environmental issues involved with ATVs and the agricultural target market, but wanted to make some broader comments of my own. I think the simple advancement of technology in this industry, more options for different people, and more awareness and support for the versatility that quads offer is a great thing.

While they do use some pretty damning statistics of current ATVs...

"Gas-powered ATVs are up to 10 times more polluting than cars"

"Replacing a single gas-powered ATV with ours is the equivalent of taking four cars off the road."

I actually think comparisons to automobiles are bad statistics as environmental impacts go beyond just emissions. I'm becoming a huge proponent of "quads as vehicles", basically smaller machine footprint all the way around. I know it is a radical but think what some towns would look like if the majority of local transportation were done with side-by-sides and ATVs (reduced need keep clear cutting and paving roads and massive parking lots). Funny thing is, here in Arizona I can already ride my ATV around town although I often walk or ride my bike.

I think with more focus, the current quad designs can become la ot more efficient as well. Also weigh in battery disposal and the production of electricity to recharge them, although as they mention, if you have a solar system, as many wineries do, now you can close the energy loop completely.


Other applications?
So beyond the obvious target market for farmers, it would seem there would be more niches to start with as well. With increasing ATV use by hunters, the ability to get out into the remote woods with minimal noise and disruption would certainly be a huge benefit. I'm not a hunter myself, but I understand scent - or lack thereof - is critical and so you could at least lose the exhaust scent ;). And really anywhere we want to preserve the experience of "wilderness" yet still enjoy the man + machine combination. I just wonder how the batteries and sub-systems are being designed with any of these in mind, specifically thinking about water + electricity problems!

The details
With investment capital, Barefoot hopes to have five to ten prototypes in beta testing locally by the end of 2008, then moving from initial prototypes to production in 2009. If you are interested in purchasing one now, you can contact melissab@barefootmotors.com. Barefoot is building about 150 next year and asking for deposits of roughly 10 percent which we will apply to the price of the vehicle. It is fully refundable at any time. Initially costlier than a traditional ATV until efficiencies of scale can be developed, I think the price is still reasonable at $12,000-$15,000 especially considering fuel savings. A lot of new gas-powered ATVs are approaching $10,000. And if you want something right now, checkout these guys making modified offroad golf carts, not that they are really going to be the same class as the Model One.

Finally, here is a video where you can see that Mythbuster legend, Jamie Hyneman is a design engineer for Barefoot. Ironic that for being such a smart guy he doesn't have a helmet on...





How safe will we try and make ATVs?

Barack Obama would double the funding for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) if elected president. Obviously this is news because of all the recent issues with imported toys, but then right in the middle of the article you find this...

"In one case, a three-year-old boy rode his battery-powered scooter into a swimming pool. A six-year-old died when the cape of a costume he was wearing became tangled in the axle of his gas-powered ATV."

And what the hell is the government going to do about that? What does this have to do with the safety and fitness for use of what a quad was designed to do? I guess we can look forward to ATVs that have drive trains not actually attached to the wheels so as to prevent t hem from actually going anywhere.

Recently stolen ATVs

Unfortunately another update the stolen reports we started.


All of these have rewards listed as well. We are still building other sources, and you can always report to us directly. And while no quads were reported stolen on ATVSource.com's Quad Police, did find this story about insurance that can be a reminder or motivator in that regard. The gist...you need to have your ATV(s) specifically listed on a home owners policy that supports them to be able to make a claim, and in most cases should have a separate insurance policy. I'll track down all the information and recommendations on ATV insurance for an updated post.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Roundup of some recent project racing quads

1. Yamaha YFZ450 - Blue Thunder

ATV Rider felt like the YFZ has not gotten the attention it deserves lately with all the new 450s coming out.

"This machine still has one of the strongest motors in its class, has excellent turning and handling characteristics and as an all-around fun quad to ride"

So they set out to build the ultimate racing machine based on the YFZ450 on page 36 of their February 2008 issue.

A set of wider A-arms and longer axle from Laeger's Racing to improve stability and Noleen J6 shocks to give better handling suspension on a motocross track were added first. They also installed a Yamaha GYTR complete exhaust system that not only allows the engine to breathe better, but looks better too and is lighter weight. Then CT Racing did some trick internal motor work, along with adding a high-compression JE piston. The only trade-off for this extra performance is the requirement to run race gas.

Footpegs, heel guards and nerf bars from IMS/Roll Design were added to get the quad track-ready and ITP Quadcross tires mounted on ITP rims were added along with other goodies detailed in the article.

They brought along their project KFX for comparison but the "YFZ outshined on all portions of our test track. This was by far one of the best machines I had ridden in a long time"


2. Alba Action Sports Polaris 525 Outlaw Sand Quad

Polaris worked with Alba Action Sports to build a showcase quad for their dealer shows and consumer functions around the country as featured on page 155 of Dirt Wheels January 2008.

Alba discovered that there were virtually no aftermarket parts available for the Outlaw 525 IRS
which proved not to matter as they just built custom parts themselves and with others, including a billet aluminum handlebar adapter that not only raises the mount height, but allows any style of aftermarket bars to be added.

Most attention was given to handling and looks, with Fox Float front shocks and Fox Podium rear shocks custom built and adapted to the quad. A bright orange chassis, right down to the nerf bars, gives the Alba Outlaw sand quad a very distinctive and aggressive look.

The engine work was kept simple, adding a big bore kit and an Alba exhaust system. This still added nearly 10hp over stock however. Since the IRS model weighs more than the solid axle Outlaw, having a bit more power does help.

This is some cool work you should check out, and especially interesting given post I just did on the Outlaw IRS not being billed as anything but a trail machine.


3. Duncan Racing Suzuki LT-R450 Quadracer

On page 172 of the same Dirt Wheels magazine, Duncan Racing International is tasked with building quite the rocketship from a base LT-R450 Suzuki.

" in this never ending escalation of moto-warfare, you have to keep up on your rocket science courses just to make sure your missile is going to be competitive with all the other missiles unleashed out there"

The main component used by Duncan is their 475cc National Engine Kit for $2945.


The 98mm big bore kit is the largest piston that can be safely put in the stock cylinder and still be used with the Nikasil plating - which offers maximum performance, reliability and engine cooling. Installing a steel big bore sleeve is not recommended. Duncan's Vortex EFI system comes with the kit and works well. Duncan does not offer technical support for other EFI fuel management interfaces that do similar things (such as the Dynojet Power Commander III that I am running).


"We feel we're getting right around 18 horsepower gain with our 473cc kit for the Quadracer" - Loren Duncan (founder)

"could easily keep it a gear high and have it pull strongly to the next turn"

It should be noted, this is work that really needs to be done by Duncan racing, with a time frame of 4 to 6 weeks. And with engines running 12:1 compression and up, you should move to race fuel from standard pump gas. Something like C-12 race fuel (105-112 octane) is preferred by Duncan.

The package is held together on the track with Elka Elite shocks and Elka steering damper for handling with Roll/IMS A-arms, steering stem, handlebars, nerfs, footpegs, heelguards, and bumpers.

ATV Rider rides Arctic Cat's 650 Prowler XT


On page 26 of the February 2008 issue of ATV Rider magazine (a little bit ahead of themselves I know), a review I haven't seen in print, the Arctic Cat Prowler XT 650. It was tested in the deep gnarly wooded terrain of Northern Georgia, by Thad Josey and Mike Newsom. Neither of which had tested any of Arctic Cat's side-by-side machines previously and had certain expectations for it that were not all that favorable. That said, I think the article is overly glowing because the Prowler did exceed those expectations quite a bit.

They felt the Prowler XT 650 could not be stopped, regardless of terrain, which I think might be partially a testament to side-by-side vehicles in general. Nonetheless, the Prowler obviously produced great power and is very rugged.

They did feel like it sits high, which it would seem to me as well, and combine that and lack of doors, is prone to having your legs come out. So I would suggest you either not drive it too aggressively, or more likely install some doors or nets before you get hurt. (and before you do that, go grab the latest deals and coupons at QuadShopping.com)

Some quotes from the authors..

"my only complaint about the dump system is that the release handles for it are exposed on the outside of the machine which risks being hit on the side of a tree, therefore easily dumping your load or damaging the handle"

" ferocious power output with the ability to tackle any obstacle"

" could use an improved safety bar and handle system for the passenger"

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS long term review

Off-Road.com has provided their experience after putting the IRS (independent rear suspension) version of the Outlaw through the paces for a year now. Some of the key feedback

  • tends to push you into and out of the corners
  • big benefit of the IRS is the additional clearance (obvious)
  • will not track as straight as a non IRS equipped ATV in whooped out areas (obvious)
  • most riders find the transmission notchy
  • very hard to put in neutral
  • power band is very wide and friendly unlike the old Outlaw 500
  • overall reliability was respectable with one failure (front wheel bearing that destroyed the hub at the same time)

The conclusion - racers, even amateurs, would do well to look elsewhere, but for those seeking a performance-oriented machine for the trails, the Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS should be a finalist.

Raptor 250 DVD and Giveaway

Another free DVD offer with the chance to win the ATV of interest, this time the Yamaha Raptor 250. We've been talking about this recently, and is really a quad with a lot of appeal. So I figured I would give up my personal information to see what fun was on the DVD, along with the slightest chance of winning! You can do so as well, until June 30, 2008.

Stock LT-R450 Suzuki wins race across UAE!

So a minor news item - Suzuki QuadRacer R450 Wins FIM Cross Country World Championship for Quads - caught my eye for a couple reasons. For one, I used to live over in this area of the Middle East, and am somewhat familiar with what the course must have been like. Tough but a lot of fun. Then this...

The winning quad raced the event with a stock engine and stock suspension. An extra large main fuel tank and saddle tanks were fitted as the course traversed vast stretches of isolated desert.


Makes me feel better about the LT-R450 I'm currently racing! The rest of the details...

The Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 picked up a huge championship in the 17th running of the UAE Desert Challenge. The event was the final round of the FIM Cross Country World Championship series. 55 Cars, 5 trucks, & 80 motorcycles & ATVs participated in the grueling six-day final event of the series.

Suzuki rider Sebestian Hussaini rode the Autosport sponsored QuadRacer to the FIM World Championship Quad Class title over many competitors. Starting in Abu Dhabi, the UAE DC traverses everything from mountainous rocky terrain to endless sand dunes, a 2,210 km true test for man and machine.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thoughts on the Thundercat

Recently thinking about the Thundercat 1000 ATV from Arctic Cat and those reviews we posted. I jumped on the forums this morning to see if anybody has started to share their experiences, but evidently while expected to start showing up in dealers this month, nobody seems to have one yet.

I'll be most interested to see what Arctic Cat has achieved with the beefed up components for the transmission, differentials, axles, and CV joints. I know a 650-700cc can easily break these so I can just imagine what a 950 might do.

But the other big thought is how the Thundercat will be classified in different states. I had discussions in the past with folks where some states would not classify something this big as an ATV. I'm sure Arctic Cat is working that end.

One last thing to consider. I understand the safety perception with ATVs, but why all the trepidation around this thing, considering I found out that Arctic Cat actually has produced a Thundercat 1000 in the past. A snowmobile that is!


And check out the specs on this monster...puts the ATV to shame! (or in better light in terms of safety I suppose ;). It has an estimated 170 horsepower which comes from a massive 999cc, triple-cylinder, 2-stroke engine and only weights 583 pounds. Nice.

In any event, the Thundercat 1000 ATV will likely find its place, mostly in extreme conditions like mud bogging or even snow riding...go figure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Raptor 250 vs Honda 300EX verdict is in from ATVScene.com


We just brought you a comparison summary of the two quads, and now ATVScene has published their final test. They took the $1100 difference in price between the two machines, and outfitted the Raptor 250 with a GYTR front bumper, skid plates, a complete GYTR exhaust, GYTR filter with pre filter and a billet adapter plate and a GYTR jet kit.

The idea was to then compare the overall performance with the larger displacement Honda on the trail and track. The weather in Ohio didn't cooperate, so they ran a single test at Earlywine Indoor Motocross Park. While the Honda exceeded expectations, and actually had an advantage in the very bottom end of the powerband, the GYTR Raptor 250 dominated in just about every other area...including lap times.

Kawasaki Plans Teryx Deliveries


Kawasaki plans to begin delivering its standard model Teryx side-by-side vehicle in January, with limited edition models following in February. Expect to see reviews of the Teryx in the months following that, as Kawasaki is hosting journalists to ride the product in Utah in January.

Kawasaki's Teryx will come in four configurations: standard (MSRP $9,799) and standard Hardwoods ($10,249), and limited edition ($10,599), Hardwoods LE ($11,049) and NRA Hardwoods ($11,347). The side-by-side vehicles are being manufactured at Kawasaki's production facility in Lincoln, Nebraska where a fourth ATV production line dedicated solely to the Teryx was recently added.

Honda TRX400EX "Low Budget" Project ATV

ATVRiders.com acquired a new 2006 Honda TRX400EX, and set forth to build an inexpensive, all around sport ATV using many time tested parts in their latest project. They left the engine alone, completely rebuilt the suspension, added new oil tank, axle and other goodies.

This is a neat read, given the intent of building something the average enthusiast could do as well. To keep the project inexpensive, they actually utilized eBay for purchasing many of the items including the shocks. They said their greatest find was a used set of Walsh A-Arms! (another plug for our new site QuadShopping.com, where we search for these sorts of deals for you everyday)

In the end...

"Our project 400EX is far from a pro caliber ATV, but we set out to build a project that was within reach of the everyday rider, and the goal was accomplished with the 400EX especially since used 400EX ATVs are readily available at bargain prices, and they are extremely reliable if maintained."


See the full article for all the details and a video.

Jagged X’s RANGER RZR wins BITD series

Jagged X’s Polaris RANGER RZR finished the Best in the Desert (BITD) season with a bang, dominating both the Henderson’s Terrible 400 and finishing first in the 2007 Class Champ Chase.

“Winning the grueling BITD series in the first year of production is a great accomplishment for both Jagged X and the RANGER RZR” - Craig Scanlon, product line sales manager for the Polaris Side x Side Division

More from the press release.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Kawasaki KFX450R insight from William Yokley's mechanic


Found some quality information on the KFX 450 racing quad over on ATVRiders.com. Yokley's mechanic Ron Wade makes the following comments on the Kawasaki..

“The KFX is a pretty nice machine and is easy to work on...There haven’t been any major problems with it and the aluminum frame is holding up really well.”


The article - Pro Mechanic Ron Wade's Kawasaki KFX450R Tips & Tricks - goes over installing a tether killswitch and Dynojet Power Commander, rerouting the wiring harness, modifying the air box and throttle position sensor and tips on avoiding heat issues. You can also find the complete specs on William Yokley's 2007 Team Kawasaki KXF450 on his site here, which gives approximate total cost of only $17k!

Polaris ATV a wish come true

How about some good news related to ATVs? While I didn't have much to report today, and still working on a few of my own articles, thought I would mention this link to a story about the Make-a-Wish foundation granting the wish of a Utah boy with a rare disorder, who wanted a Polaris ATV.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Go ahead, get the kids an ATV for Christmas!

Arctic-Cat 50cc ATV models now just $1599. You can also shake the little snow globe while on that site, but really, if you can afford it, a quad would make a great Christmas gift for your children. Despite the most recent reports from physician groups proposing bans on ATVs for anyone under 16, I think this would do more harm than good. Getting our youngsters started at an early age, on smaller and safer ATVs, teaches them more skills and respect for the machine, as opposed to forcing them to wait until they are a 16 year old know-it-all and taking off on a full-size quad for the first time! Here is hoping that common sense and a longer term perspective prevail.

The options for your kids have also increased greatly for 2008. Can-Am has brand new DS-70, DS-90 and the DS-90 X-package mini ATVs (they are promoting on homepage for the holidays even!), and joins Kawasaki's new minis from 2007 we posted about while back. Suzuki and Honda still have there super reliable youth ATVs as well. In fact, we bought our girls Suzuki LT-Z50s each for Christmas last year. As always, keep an eye on the mini category here at the ATV and Side-by-Side blog for all the latest.


And what about gifts for dad!? For now, take a look at our latest site for deals and shopping tips for ATV gear at QuadShopping.com. We will be launching this officially on Monday.

Polaris Outlaw 525 promotional video

This video caught my attention...I like that the KTM-powered ATV is leading the dirt bike around!

Anyway, we'll be bringing you more and more video content directly on the blog so you don't have to waste time with all the crappy ATV videos on YouTube. We have good tracking setup as part of our work to launch a video and photo search channel on the ATV search engine.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yamaha Raptor 250 vs Honda 300EX

The shootout everyone has been waiting for, and Dirt Wheels has one on page 52 of their January 2008 issue called "New school vs old school" while ATV Scene is working on their own comparison. I've already started to see questions about what riders will be on in the Youth Production class in GNC and WPSA racing, where the 300EX has dominated since the inception of the class no that the Yamaha Raptor 250 is an eligible choice. I guess the real test might begin then, but here is what we have today...

2008 Yamaha Raptor 250

First things first, the Honda is a "larger" quad all the way around...in length, height, width and definitely weight. It even has larger tires, which were in fact too tall for the liking of Dirt Wheels testers, with a lot of tire roll.

Both have trusted motors, Honda's being on the market for 15 years and extremely reliable, while the Yamaha Raptor 250 engine comes from the Tricker motorcycle sold overseas. The Raptor has much more torquey power from low to top range, making it seem like a much more powerful ATV although the Honda's larger engine does give it the top speed of the two quads.

Suspension differences are obvious, with the Honda more tuned for basic offroad conditions and the Raptor for tracks or more aggressive riding. But overall...

"The Yamaha is hands down the best handling ATV of the two...you can turn it on a dime and it is very controllable on the ground and in the air" - Dirt Wheels


In the ergonomics department, the nod also went to the Yamaha.

2008 Honda TRX300EX

One thing the 300EX has while the Raptor does not is reverse, which may or may not be a big deal depending on your riding.

In the end, the verdict is clear.

"Honda, and others, will need to make some major upgrades, or we will see the Yamaha Raptor 250 at the top for many years to come" - Dirt Wheels


Furthermore, at $4999 the Honda 300EX is a whopping $1100 more expensive! As ATVScene.com would say, "this means that the buyer standing in the dealer showroom can either purchase a stock 300EX or buy a Raptor 250 with $1100 worth of accessories for the same price." And this is exactly what they are currently evaluating as you can see from the above link. They have not actually done any testing yet, but have installed what $1100, or $1065.55 to be exact, will get you in GYTR parts for the Raptor 250. The existence of an actual GYTR performance kit for the Yamaha 250 is notable as well, since you won't find anything similar for the 300EX.

We'll keep you updated on the forthcoming ATV Scene tests as well as feedback from riders and racers that start sliding them around, right here on the ATV and Side-by-Side Blog as soon as we get it. Or, if you've already made up your mind - don't forget the Yamaha deals we just mentioned!


All kinds of incentives for Yamaha ATVs

Saw a new link for up to $600 Customer Cash on select Yamaha sport ATVs between December 1 and December 31, 2007.

There are still a couple offers on Yamaha utility ATVs and Side x Side models through the end of the year as well, if you were just reading about the Yamaha Rhino! These include a 8.9% APR and as low as $69 per month until 2010 financing deal, and also saw a free 2-year factory warranty and discounted Warn winch offer.

2008 Yamaha Rhino 700 introduction drive

Off-Road.com posted the first experience behind the wheel of the new 2008 Yamaha Rhino 700 F.I. I have seen. There were on hand in the Tennessee Mountains where Yamaha decided to introduce the newest version of the Rhino.

The article is almost entirely an in-depth review of the new features and design however, and you'll need to scroll almost to the bottom, just before the list of specifications to get their takeaways from the actual ride...

As I settled in I felt as if I was always falling forward. Could've just been me.

At first it seemed like the RPM's got there before the reaction of the wheels but I finally realized that it was spinning a lot.

The Rhino turned on a dime and this was great but sometimes too easy. It's not like it's crazy when you bump things, but it really could at least use a steering stabilizer of some kind.


Can-Am Outlander ATVs take three GNCC championships

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) sums up the 2007 GNCC series. Hard to argue with the results...

Can-Am X-Team riders simply dominated the 4x4 classes this year - including a four-place sweep of the points standings in the 4x4 Open class

the class was all Can-Am, all year, all the time. Twelve of 13 4x4 Open class races in 2007 were won aboard a Can-Am Outlander 800.

Warnert Racing / Can-Am X-Team racer Rick Cecco won the 4x4 Open class after a year-long battle with fellow Can-Am rider Bryan Buckhannon to the final race of the season; Cecco won his championship aboard an Outlander 800 H.O. 4x4. Next year, Cecco will pilot a Can-Am Renegade 800 in the U2 class.

I guess there is a reason it is called the Can-Am GNCC series!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

2008 Polaris Ranger RZR Recall


Model year 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR 800 EFI side-by-sides with model number R08VH76AD (red), and model number R08VH76AG (green) are being recalled because the fuel tank can leak, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. The firm has received four reports of the fuel tank leaking. No injuries have been reported.

They were manufactured between August 21, 2007 and October 3, 2007 and sold at Polaris dealers nationwide from August 2007 through November 2007. The model number decal is located under the passenger seat.

See the Polaris page for more details and instructions.

Crossrunner adds 110 mini utility ATV


The Crossrunner 110U was just added to their site, and joins the 110 that has been on the sport side, for a great way to work and play. The quad is Youth Model Y-12 sized, which means only riders age 12 and above are supposed to ride this bike with a 30 mph top speed. This is part of the new guidelines being worked on with the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) which we will cover more on QuadExperts.com in the future.

See the web page for full specifications.

Monday, December 3, 2007

United Motors (UM) reveals five new quads for 2008


UM just announced a handful of brand new ATVs along with some updates, although I couldn't find a link to any of them on their website.

The list includes three new utility ATVs, one new sport ATV, one side-by-side, and a revamped MTX-450R sport quad.

Of note is the Bull 320 4x2 Side-by-Side which is based on another new machine, the Bison 320 Utility ATV. Also new are the Bison 430 4x4 Utility ATV and CAMO edition of the same, and a MTX-320 Sport ATV. Like the MTX-450R, I'm assuming these are being produced in partnership with Hyosung.

Look for the new UM ATVs to begin rolling into dealerships starting in January 2008, and they will be on display at the Indianapolis dealer show in February.

Quads of the week

Another "new feature" for your Monday morning! In addition to the stolen ATVs, we are working on an application to combine just about every online auction, classified, or other listing for ATV and side-by-side machines in a single place. And we've discovered there are a whole lot of them! So while we are working on that, and even afterwards, we thought we would at least share the best eBay finds each week.

Given some of the recent racing related posts, here are a couple racing-oriented Yamaha's. One mini and one full size...just move your mouse to the edge to get an arrow to navigate the quads.

Keep an eye out for stolen ATVs

This is something we are going to start reporting here at The ATV and Side-by-Side Blog by keeping track of all the popular online spots for listing stolen ATVs. We won't clutter things up, but when we have a lot of them we'll provide a summary. Since we know our readers love ATVs and hate thieves, we can all help each other out...

Just think if it were yours.

Cobra ECX Mini Quads dominate racing


Was over on Cobra Motorcycle's website after my wife sent me a link to a bunch of cute kids profiled there (we have some future racers in our family as well). Anyway, noticed this recent news on Cobra ECX 50 and 90cc mini quads sweeping the ’07 Australian ATV Championships.

If you are not familiar with the Cobra's, they are on a whole other level from the Suzuki, Kawasaki and other popular 50 and 90 beginner ATVs. Cobra Motorcycles produces premium race-ready mini motocross quads for youth riders that are serious about competing.

And don't confuse them with other "Cobra's" you might find out there. I have seen a lot of people calling TGB-made quads "Cobra's" on eBay, and even a Cobra Powersports Company. These are not Cobra ECXs! Perhaps more confusing, one of the Tomberlin ATVs is also named "Cobra".

Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS finishes fifth at Baja 1000

The Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS continues to flex its muscle in the racing world, this time by finishing the longest Baja 1000 on its first attempt.

Hancock Racing, consisting of Jeff Hancock, Josh Edwards, Nick Nelson, Brandon Brown, Shane Strunk and Shiloh Strunk, finished the grueling, 1296-mile race in fifth place in the Pro ATV class. The team ran most of the race in third until an engine issue plagued the team in the last 250 miles.