Regardless of where you go, there are Side x Sides hard at work or play. What started years ago as simple utility vehicles, such as Kawasaki’s Mule, was quickly adapted by sportsman as Polaris introduced the Ranger, and then Yamaha jumped on the sport aspect with their Rhino. Today there are models of every size and for every imaginable use. For manufacturers already in the powersports business, it made sense to introduce another product line for their dealers and customers. While other brands gobbled up sales, the question was always: when would Honda bring out a Side x Side of their own?
It’s hard to believe that the 2011 National Ride will be our 10th annual, wow time flies! In our travels, since the inception of this annual adventure, we have enjoyed some awesome trails each unique in their own way and the experience they have offered. Even with all of that variety they had one thing in common, gathering together with other friends new and old to experience all that ATV’s have to offer.
EMP only recently entered the Snow plow building business, but they’re off to a great start! They begin by using tough, American made steel and build the entire plow and hardware at their Cleveland, Ohio plant. At ¼” thick, the mounting structure and frame they use is almost twice as thick as many other plows.
We’ll admit that the first time we headed out onto the trail riding double on an ATV was a little strange. For years we had been one of the guardians of safe ATVing, and riding with a passenger was one of the Cardinal Sins, sure to lead to destruction and damnation. The trouble was, since the first ATV rolled into the first ride area, undoubtedly a friend, buddy, or girlfriend wanted to ride along regardless of the lack of seat, foot pegs, or handholds.
Few companies have build 500,000 of any product, but recently John Deere reached a milestone when the 500,000th Gator Utility Vehicle rolled off the end of the Horicon, Wisconsin line. No UTV is more closely associated with American agriculture than the John Deere Gator, and wherever we go there are Gators doing just about every job on the farm. They’ve become a modern day pack mule, extra hand, cattle herding Border collie, draft horse, and pickup all in one green and yellow package.
Loyalty and old rivalries die hard and one the fiercest and most long standing rivalries in motorsports began when one guy figuratively kicked snow in the other guys face. Those old rivalries have expanded far from the frosty north all the way to the sweltering desert and today Polaris, Can-Am, and Arctic Cat go toe-to-toe with each other on every type of terrain. Whether it’s ATVs, sleds, or Side x Sides, as one company releases a new model you can bet the other guys will up the ante with one of their own.
The new Polaris RZR XP 900 features a new engine and a unique long travel suspension, and we just got done thrashing it in the desert. Look for a full article review and video Thursday at 10am! You'll love it!
Early Side x Sides were built strictly for utility use, with all the handling characteristics of a tractor. That caught the attention of Polaris which quietly went into action. With an engineering staff loaded full of Northern Minnesota hunters, it’s no wonder the Rangers are at home in the woods; they should practically be issued a hunting license. Imagine your best dog, best shotgun, best pickup, and best hunting camp all rolled into one, and you’ve got the Polaris Ranger XP 800.
The Kawasaki Teryx is one tough-as-nails UTV! It’s no wonder racers love it for its chassis. On our last jaunt across hundreds of miles of extreme desert, out of our group of eight Teryx mounted riders, we didn’t have a single failure or mechanical problem! We were extremely impressed! The Teryx isn’t limited to just high speed adventure, however. The term “Crossover Vehicle” applies perfectly to the Teryx for its ability to perform many different tasks extremely well.
We’ve never been to a ride area and had more reaction than when we rolled into the dunes with the CAN-AM Commander 1000XT. Even before we parked, there was a small flock heading our way, all eager to see for themselves the most anticipated Side X Side in years. It was as if the Commander was a divine revelation and the masses were eager to worship on its gleaming, bright yellow altar of performance. There would be no stealthy testing on this day.