We’ve all seen riders pour buckets of money into their ATV or Side x Side, yet they never think twice about what keeps it running. Along with a clean air filter, clean, high quality oil is vital to keeping your engine running smoothly for many years, and just like your relationship, it all comes down to chemistry.
For those of us that live in a northern climate, the first snowfall is often a wondrous event. School children leap from their desks to gather at the windows, amazed at the fluffy, giant flakes that drift to the ground, slowly turning everything pristine, pillow soft, and white. Invariably, a few radio stations can’t resist playing “White Christmas” for a sentimental caller or two, and for one quiet afternoon, it’s Americana, as captured by a Norman Rockwell painting.
Every year at the Indianapolis Dealer Expo, there are dozens of new companies that preview their products. Sometimes the products are innovative and well made, and the company prospers. Other times we look at each other silently but in disbelief, kind of like when your buddy claims he’s going to stop smoking. On one occasion we even made the company rep cry as we explained why his product was not legal for the U.S. market. Thankfully for the off-road loving public, we’ve never seen either of them since.
The great thing about ATVs and Side x Sides is their versatility. Whether you ride across endless miles of barren desert, knee deep snow, shifting sand, or slimy mud, your ATV is uniquely suited for whatever type of terrain you come across. They’re the transformers of the power sports world, and when it’s time to go to work, they can again be transformed into one of the most useful tools you will ever own.
Making a TRX450 into a better all-around trail & dune quad
How good is the stock Honda TRX450R? Good enough to be a perrenial top choice for off-road racers and trail riders all across the country. But even good machine can always be made better, right? As Bill Murray in Stripes would say, "That's a fact, Jack. "
So, to prove this theory right, we took a 2007 model 450R, which we had access to, and set about transforming it from a 'standard' looking and 'standard' running TRX450 into a veritable roost-rocket, fully blinged out 500R dunster!
As a boy, every day was filled with adventures around the farm. A daily trip through the woods was seemingly required as well, either on foot, by bicycle, on a little Suzuki dirt bike, or eventually, on an ATV. No weather was too formidable, and no chance to explore was missed.
Without a doubt, ATVs have greatly expanded the acceptance of off-road recreation. For many riders that were either uncomfortable with the sometimes schizophrenic nature of a dirt bike, or did not want to be confined inside the cab of a vehicle, ATVs were the perfect choice for outdoor fun and exploration. Entire families could ride into areas too remote to be seen on foot and experience nature first hand, and they could do it safely at their own pace.
Rural Indiana is known for being one of the most productive agricultural regions on the planet. A back roads drive on a sunny, fall day will display endless fields in every direction, with soybeans drying in the sun, and brown corn leaves rustling to the slightest breeze, waiting to be harvested. Scattered along the roads and in between the practically endless corn and bean prairie, giant, silver, grain bins dot the sky and mark the small towns that are, for all intents and purposes, a Midwestern oasis.
Let's face it, finding extra money in the budget for our toys got a lot harder in the past year. By no means does this mean we will go without (I believe in some circles they call this an addiction), but it does mean that we are going to research our purchases better and make them do more for us. Here is our story...
As UTV manufacturers continue the process of refining and evolving their product lines, the mid-size segment of this market especially keeps getting better and better. Among the major players in the 4x4 mid-size segments are the Mule 610, the Ranger 400, the Club Car XRT950 and the new Husqvarna 4414. Husky's entry is the poster child for the philosophy of "less is more", but it offers all the goodies that mainstream UTV owners desire, such as four-wheel independent suspension, “shift-on-the-fly” four-wheel drive, sealed CVT, tilt-bed and a rugged brush guard.