All That's New in Powersports Under One Giant Roof
There are few trade shows on the planet that can rival the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show which is held in Las Vegas. It’s beyond huge and fills the floor space of six Las Vegas sized convention centers and their parking lots with everything from tools, to tires. High-end supercars, custom builds, Mad-Max style creations, and ATVs can be found. There is even a power sports pavilion where hot new products that will soon find their way to trails near you make their debut.
Nobody is ever going to hand you a trophy for plowing the snow out of the driveway. The best you can hope for is a warm drink and a kiss from your significant other, and with any luck a few days off before you’re forced back outside to fight winter back again. At least you’ve got one of the best tools ever for getting the job done.
Last year Yamaha released their version of pure sport performance with the YXZ1000R. This machine brought a real sequential shift lever and foot operated clutch to the off road community for the first time in a SXS as well as speculation on how well it would be received. Some questioned if having to shift gears would limit the high revving, triple cylinder machine to the more experienced drivers in the UTV market. We should have known Yamaha would have an answer waiting.
Watch practically any powersports event, race, or adventure show and you’ll see small video cameras sprouting from the rider or vehicle. The invention of high definition, highly durable mini cameras has changed how events are filmed and viewed by others. There is no shortage of POV (Point Of View) high definition cameras on the market, and recently we tried one available at CAN-AM dealers called the CYCLOPS GEAR CGX2.
The 2016 High Lifter Products ATV Mud Nationals is in the books and it seems this annual event is becoming a pilgrimage for the mud faithful. Year after year, for the last 14, the largest off road mud riding event held in the USA rolls into the sleepy little town of Jacksonville, Texas. It was a simple gathering started by High Lifter Products to get some friends for a fellowship ride. It was organized to experience the joys of riding together in the trails of Mud Creek Off Road Park.
MOAB is a no-brainer location for off-roaders and any chance to ride the incredible scenery of Southern Utah is a welcome opportunity. Combine that with the annual Discount Tire Rally on the Rocks jamboree and a couple thousand new friends, and you’ve got a can’t-miss event. Attending a ride, rally, or jamboree is a great way to explore new terrain, make new friends, and to check out new parts from vendors. Think of it as the county fair for off-road lovers and you’ll get the idea.
By John Arens Photos by Pete Bengel and Wayne Davis
Polaris has enjoyed spectacular success with their off-road lineup. It seems every year new model announcements introduce a flood of new ATVs and Side x Sides and over time the total number of machines in the Polaris stable has grown to well over 100. For 2017, Polaris is concentrating less on all-new machines and more on quality and refinement, with a good dose of technology backing it up.
We love a good riding adventure, but when Larry Larrabure from MotoAdventures called and told us about big changes to his Costa Rican trail riding tour, it really got our attention. For over two decades, Larry has been guiding dirt bike riders through the hills and small towns of Costa Rica, and he’s built a legendary reputation for providing an excellent experience. If there was a chance to experience it first-hand, we would be all over it!
One feature shared by every type of off-road enthusiast, whether they ride a dirt bike, ATV, or even a jeep, is that when it comes time to haul it, you will need a good set of ramps. They’re a tool every bit as necessary as your tire gauge, spark plug wrench, and tie down straps.
Of all the manufacturers of ATVs and UTVs, only one is working with NASA in preparing one of their machines for operation on the moon. And it’s not the two manufacturers that have actual aerospace divisions. When NASA went looking for a company to partner with that had experience in producing vehicles capable of crossing any type of terrain, solid or liquid, there was really only one to turn to: ARGO!