Good news about Vikings has been hard to find lately, especially for fans of the fumbling, cellar dwellers from the NFC North. While the Minnesota Vikings continue their march to mediocrity, Yamaha has done its part to restore the name of the brave explorers of old, and they’ve released an all-new explorer of their own under the Viking name.
As much as we like climbing over obstacles, exploring trails, and swimming through mud on a utility ATV, nothing gets us back to the roots of why we began riding in the first place like spending time on a great sport ATV. It’s riding just for the sport of it. There is no hitch for hauling around work or racks for toting hunting gear, but it is riding for no other purpose than to enjoy the moment. No company understands that better than Yamaha.
Until you can open the shed door and ride right to the trails, your deer blind, or the work site, you’ll need to haul your ATV or Side x Side sometimes. That puts you squarely in the same boat as almost every other rider, and nothing would end your next adventure quicker than having your machine unload itself onto the road. Whether you ride a Polaris, Yamaha, Can-Am or Arctic Cat, the one thing you must do is fasten it down securely.
Can-Am’s Outlander Max 650 so impressed us during our first test rides, we named it ATV of the YEAR last season. There isn’t a single feature that puts it over the top, but as a package, it works extremely well and on the trail it feels as if you’re born to be behind its handlebars. While there have been Outlander Max models for many years, some even so well equipped we call them “trail luxury” ATVs that can be considered the trial Cadillac CTS of the trails, the Outlander Max 650 is something special.
“They’re shooting behind the duck.” That was a quote heard at our first ride on the Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS about how other OEMS often find themselves trying to catch up to the relentless, breakneck pace Polaris has set with new model development. Sometimes there are just too many ducks to follow.
While western desert and dune riders rejoice as cooler weather creates prime riding conditions, the rest of the country prepares for Mother Nature’s worst as winter bites down. That doesn’t mean riding season is over for everyone outside the southwest though. There are still jobs to be done, wood to be hauled, hunting season is still open, and a trail ride through a white, wintery landscape reveals a quiet beauty all its own.
A sure sign that we’ve found a great riding area is when we consider moving there. The list of those areas is short, with places like Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Oregon and Utah, Colorado’s Western Plateau, and now Maine. Maine has almost 8000 miles of trails, thanks to cooperation with state and local officials, gracious land owners, and the tireless work of active clubs.
The great thing about ATVs and Side x Sides is their versatility. Whether you ride across endless miles of barren desert, snow, shifting sand, or slimy mud, your ATV is uniquely suited for whatever type of terrain you come across. There are parts you can add, though, that definitely increase your ATV or Side x Side’s versatility, and bigger tires and wheels, accessory storage, and a winch are at the top of the list.
Liquid Image Torque HD Goggles and Ego Xtreme Sports Camera
By expert shooter, Pete Bengel
Sports cameras are like dandelions these days. There are a ton of them on the market, and new ones seem to pop up overnight. A small, mobile camera is a great tool for recording your off-road adventures. For the average consumer, though, it can be pretty tough to decide based on specs alone, as most of the cameras are quite similar in design and features.
Summer is the perfect time for a road trip, especially if it’s part of an off-road trip. Wherever you live, there is almost certainly a great riding area and plenty of trails to explore within a day’s drive. Whether you’ve got an afternoon, a weekend, or a week for your adventure, we’ve created a guide about some of our favorite riding areas and what you can expect to find at each location. Gather up your friends and family, load up the truck and trailer, and head out for some quality trail time.