Two Days of Hard Time with Kawasaki’s New Teryx4 800 Show It’s More Than Just a Great Machine
John Arens and Wayne Davis
Less than two years after the introduction of their trail loving Teryx4 Side x Side, Kawasaki has given it a round of updates designed to increase its performance, comfort, and curb appeal. After our first ride over some of the toughest terrain in Utah, we can say it was a success.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is about as far from the image of a stereotypical, stodgy legislator as one can get. She’s dynamic, enthused, and out there interacting with the people of her state. Not just content to send out press releases from the governor’s well-appointed office, she much prefers to get in on the action, whether it’s at the shooting range, or, when we met her, behind the wheel of a new Honda Pioneer minutes after it rolled off the line.
In many ways Polaris reminds us of an elite level, professional sports team. Every year they field a championship caliber lineup, and every off-season they continually evolve, sometimes with minor changes, and sometimes by bringing in new players altogether. Our first look at the 2014 Polaris lineup previewed a couple new prospects, but also showed their commitment to the basics that has made them a fan favorite and a perennial contender.
Each year we put in thousands of miles and countless hours riding, wrenching on, and basically living with new ATVs and Side x Sides. While there are a lot of great machines we enjoy on the trails and track, there are always a few that stand out and deserve recognition as being the best of the best. After much debate, consideration, and consternation here are the machines our staff picks as the best models of 2013.
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.