Friday, March 14, 2008

TGB Outback 425 gets the privilege of being in Dirt Wheels

The Taiwanese-built Outback 425 got a review in April 2008 Dirt Wheels in what is a rare appearance these days for non-traditional quad manufacturers. And after reading the article I'm not sure if they don't like the quad, or don't like that TGB/Cobra Powersports doesn't provide them with the advertising dollars the brand name guys do!

For example, they give mention to the following:

  • "Very strong and thicker than normal cargo racks"
  • "The rear disc is tucked away inside the right wheel resulting in a very impressive ground clearance measurement (for a straight axle quad) of 7.5 inches"
  • "Not only can you use it [12 volt accessory source] to power items such as cell phones and GPS units, you can do it while you ride. That's tough to do on any other ATV"
  • "Full complement of aluminum skid standard equipment. Most brand name quads come with weak plastic skid plates"

Yet they conclude that for some reason the Outback 425 should only cost half as much as a name brand? Another thing that confused me where the following apparent contradictions...

"plenty of power was available as long as speeds were kept under 30 miles per hour"

but then

"could reach a top speed of 55 miles per hour without much excitement. Top end power was much better than the torque and lack of power found in the lower RPM"

Two different test riders perhaps? One thing that should be made clear is that it is no speed demon regardless, and while minor adaptations (such as mud tires) were made for the U.S . market, it is largely a platform designed to be capable off and ON road. I wouldn't mind testing one for dirt and paved roads here in Arizona where ATVs can be licensed for that (I mentioned some thoughts on that yesterday).

They also pick on it being heavy. Perhaps it feels heavy but I just checked our database and it looks like the listed dry weight of 590lbs for the Outback is on par with the Suzuki KingQuad 400 at 590lbs (formerly the Eiger) or KingQuad 450 at 606lbs for example. And actually comes in lighter than other popular makes like the Outlander 400 (615 pounds) or Arctic Cat 400 at a whooping 645 pounds!

That said, I actually found the review itself to be one of the best ones I've read in a magazine - not the usual glowing, "you should own one of every quad" type of articles. But again, not sure this was from them being overly critical or perhaps just as a result of it being an unfamiliar ATV. Either way you can check it out on page 116.