ATV Review – 2011

All -terrain vehicles have become true versatile vehicles for work and recreation. They now serve hunters, anglers and campers and help with chores around the farm and in the woodlot.Looking for even more versatility, today increasing numbers of prospective buyers are choosing side-by-side personal utility vehicles that can carry two or more passengers and haul or tow several hundred pounds of cargo. Some can be used on snow and in water as well as on dry land; some are powered by diesel engines or electric motors. 

Along with models from the major manufacturers, this year’s review includes machines from companies that might be new to you. Among them you’re almost sure to find one that meets your needs and fits your budget.


For 2012 Yamaha has updated several models including the Grizzly 550 which features a 558 cc power plant along with independent rear suspension, On-Command 4WD, fuel injection and much more. A sales leader, the Grizzly 550 EPS offers the convenience of power steering along with durability and reliability.

The Grizzly 700 FI Auto Lightweight and 700 SE combine proven durability with toughness to tackle the roughest terrain. The SE comes with cast aluminum wheels, metallic sandstone painted body work and special graphics and power steering.

A blend of work and play features help make the Yamaha Rhino 700 FI a versatile, reliable, off-road capable side-by-side vehicle. The Rhino 700 FI Sport Edition comes with adjustable piggyback shocks, sun top, LED taillights, cast aluminum wheels and more.


Suzuki's KingQuad ATVs include 400, 500 and several 750cc models. The top 750AXi Power Steering is loaded with technologically advanced features like advanced power steering that provides lighter steering and more responsive handling; the fuel-injected 722cc engine, housed inside the high-tensile steel frame, develops abundant torque, which gives the 750AXi Power Steering exceptional performance.


The Texas-based manufacturer is introducing its new hybrid Scout H4 with 42-horse electric motor that can be powered by either the onboard Trojan battery system or the onboard gas-powered 7.5 kw generator. Fully charged, the bank of 12-volt batteries can take you over 30 miles; power up the onboard generator and you can expect to go an additional 95 miles on a full tank of gas. The generator also provides 110 volt auxiliary power for tools, campers, cabins and more. 

The four-passenger Scout H4 rides on a tubular chassis and undercarriage supported by a four-wheel fully independent suspension with coil-over independent shocks. The four-wheel hydraulic disc brake system, shift on the fly 4×4, and rack and pinion steering help you stay in control at the peak of performance. The Scout H4 is available in black, red, green, yellow, blue and Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. The Scout H4 can be purchased direct from Titan UTV or through select dealerships nationwide.



Honda’s line-up of five quads offer comfort and convenience features like electric power steering to reduce steering effort and rider fatigue and independent rear suspension that allows both rear wheels to move independently. Transmissions include the continuously variable, fully automatic Hondamatic (available on the Foreman Rubicon). The three-speed Honda automatic transmission (an automotive-style torque converter) is available on the FourTrax Rincon, and the Rancher AT has the Honda automatic dual-clutch, five-speed transmission.

Honda’s Big Red, side-by-side has a 675cc liquid-cooled engine, Honda Automatic Transmission, 2WD/4WD drivetrain and independent suspension, along with a balanced braking system that ensures front and rear braking even if one brake line fails.



Among the popular Kawasaki Brute Force® is the 650 4x4i. Its combination of independent front and rear suspension and 633cc V-twin power plant means it can handle both outdoor chores and a fun trail rides. Other features include: Independent front suspension with dual A-arms and independent rear suspension, fully automatic continuously variable transmission has shifting timed in higher rpm range, electrically selectable two- or four-wheel drive and front and rear racks the can carry a combined 264 pounds.

The Mule 4010 Trans4x4 utility vehicle is a two-seater that can haul a serious amount of lumber, tools or hay around the farm or construction site and then can be quickly transformed into a four-passenger transport vehicle in just a few easy steps with no extra parts to remove, no extra tools required. Other features include: a trailer hitch bracket with 1,250-pound towing capacity; digital fuel injected V-twin power; and fully automatic transmission with selectable two or four-wheel drive.

Arctic Cat

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Arctic Cat’s line-up encompasses a dozen vehicles among its ATV and Prowler models. The 550i with electronic power steering provides steering assistance to the ATV before it even starts to move at idle, conserving rider energy when in four-wheel-drive or when the differential lock is engaged. The 550H1 engine is a potent 545cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder designed for a wide torque curve and smooth power delivery. Ride-in suspension has 11 inches of ground clearance and 10 inches of suspension travel. An electronic 2WD/4WD/differential lock switch on the right hand control makes going in/out of 4WD easier.

Electronic power steering on the Prowler 700 XTX and a five-position tilt steering column enhance handling. The torquey, 700 H1 engine with electronic fuel Injection puts power to the ground via the front and rear suspensions. Fully independent, double-A-arm front and rear designs have 10 inches of suspension travel and 10 inches of ground clearance. The Prowler cab is equipped with dual bucket seats with 3-point driver/passenger seat belt, rearview mirror, a center console complete with drink holders and dual 12v accessory plugs.


The Argo line of amphibious six- and eight-wheel vehicles is ready to take on the toughest condition on land or water. Argo has integrated its advanced ADMIRAL transmission technology into the Argo 6×6 650 HD and 8×8 700 HD. The 750 HDi pairs the triple-differential ADMIRAL steering transmission with a powerhouse 31-hp fuel-injected engine. 

All models have been upgraded with a 40-percent quieter muffler and improved engine compartment cooling. All liquid cooled 8×8 Argo models can be equipped with optional suspension seats and a convenient entry step. Argo is also offering an advanced environmentally friendly Gardobond metal coating process that provides significantly improved performance and durability without containing any hazardous heavy metals.


Bad Boy Buggies

A limited edition Bone Collector XTO is the latest electric-powered vehicle from Bad Boy Buggies. It comes with a dash-mounted double gun/bow rack, seats embroidered with the Bone Collector logo and a limited edition plate stamped with the individual production number. The new roof with a fully integrated cargo rack lowers the vehicle's profile to make loading and unloading easier. There’s a comfort-grip steering wheel to absorb the bumps of the trail and a 3,500-pound winch.



Bennche (pronounced Ben’-she), distributes UTVs, ATVs, motorcycles and neighborhood vehicles to dealers from its production plant near Dallas, Texas. UTVs include the Bighorn 500, 700 and 700 Crew Cab. Standard features include electronic fuel injection, four-wheel independent suspension, dual vented hydraulic disc brakes, push button 2WD to 4WD, front differential lock, 3,500-pound winch, aluminum wheels, cargo dump bed and a large easy-to-read digital dash. A top, windshield, center console, headlights, taillights, rear view mirrors, turn signals and a horn are also standard equipment. Bighorn models come with a 1-year warranty, are street legal ready and can be registered as low-speed vehicles in many states.


BRP’s Can-Am off-road product lines grew with new models and technologies. Featured for 2012 launch is a completely redesigned Can-Am Outlander 1000 ATV with a new 976 cc Rotax V-Twin power plant. This year's side-by-side line-up expanded with the luxurious Can‑Am Commander 1000 Limited package.

The Outlander 1000 and 800R models have been reinvented with innovations like Geometric Contact Control that helps control unwanted vehicle behavior. The Outlander X mr features an adjustable-on-the-fly Air Control Suspension, and Integrated Snorkel System. The Outlander 400, 500 and 650 models add torsional trailing arm independent rear suspension. Along with a hulking 85-hp Rotax 1000 engine, Commander XT models offer a half windshield, touchscreen GPS and sound system with four integrated speakers.



With more than 20 Ranger and 17 Sportsman models, there’s bound to be a Polaris just right for everyone. The best-selling Sportsman® 500 H.O.’s smooth ride and handling are legendary. For 2012, it’s also a best value 500, available in red, green or new yellow color. Top features include: new integrated 6.5-gallon front storage box; On-Demand True AWD for maximum traction: legendary smooth independent rear suspension; and a full 11.25 inches of boulder-avoiding ground clearance.

The 2012 Ranger  Diesel has all the Xtreme Performance features of the Ranger XP, plus diesel power. It features an isolation-mounted, fuel-efficient 24-horse YANMAR diesel engine, with 40 percent more range than comparable gas models and delivers 90 percent of peak torque at 1,600 RPM for incredible low-speed pulling.



This northern Wisconsin company features an amphibious AVx4 two-passenger personal utility and sport vehicle that’s at home in mud, snow, water or sand. It weighs 760 pounds, is 83 inches long, 37 inches high and 58.5 inches wide. Its 480 cc Vangard twin delivers 16 horsepower to its KT 35 skid steer transmission and big 25-by-12-by-9 tires. There is also a front bumper with brush guard, rear cargo rack, halogen headlights and trailer hitch.

Sno-Bus Manufacturing also builds a tracked all-terrain vehicle that generates 32 horsepower from its 992cc air-cooled four-stroke engine and features a Sauer/Danfoss hydrostatic transmission. It can travel up to 15 miles per hour and up to 9 mph in reverse. Ground pressure, with operator is .74 psi.


Categories: Buyers Guide

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