Master Mechanic Pete Shows Us How to Rebuild a Tired Engine
If you’re going to ride, you’re also going to wrench now and then. Most of the time that means nothing more than changing the oil, cleaning an air filter, or simple adjustments. Every so often though your mechanical buddy will need a major rebuild, the most common of which is replacing piston rings. On a two stroke this was no problem; pop the cylinder off, hone the bore, install new rings, and get back to riding, often times in the same afternoon.
Jury-rigging. Backwoods engineering. Cobbling. Call it what you want… at some point we’ve all encountered a situation where we’ve had to improvise and come up with a solution that isn’t exactly ideal. We’ve had some real doozies that make us practically hear Larry the Cable Guy yelling, “Git-R-Done!” For moral and legal reasons, we won’t publish some of the real hum-dingers, but here are a few of our favorites that don’t involve explosions or imminent trips to the emergency room.
Part of the fun in ATVs and Side x Sides is spinning wrenches from time to time and installing modifications. We’ve seen all manner of modifications over the years, from highly modified mud runners, to powerful motocross racers designed to soak up the biggest jumps with ease, to rock crawlers that can climb crab-like over boulders we can’t even walk up. The owners always love their ride, and they also love to talk about it, but we’ve never heard anybody brag about their oil filter.
Despite the tremendous personal effort it often requires, snow removal is never going to be an Olympic sport. The faster you can get through the task, the better, and the most you can look forward to are admiring, appreciative glances from your significant other. Other than a move to a warmer climate, you’ve got one other sure-fire way to beat back Mother Nature’s worst - and the best tool for the job is already in your garage. Remember your all-terrain hunting and trail buddy?
No performance shop has won more races and championships than CT Racing. From national ATV championships, stadium championships, SCORE, Best in the Desert, AMA Supermoto, and even on other continents, they’ve won it all from the humble beginning of ATV racing up through today. Whether on two-strokes or four strokes, CT Racing has consistently provided complete performance packages that make tons of power, but are reliable as well.
One category of models we have not awarded a Best in Class award for in the past is the multi-passenger, 4 seat Side x Side. The problem is, both the Polaris RZR-4 XP900 and the Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4x4 were designed for vastly different riding conditions and intended users. Both offer some outstanding features, but it really comes down to where you ride and what you need it to do. So which is best in Class? That depends on you.
Having sold over 500,000 Gator utility vehicles, John Deere’s Gator is the best-selling UTV ever built. Successful products must continually evolve to survive though, and with their 825i XUV, Deere is taking the Gator lineup in a whole new direction.
When Can-Am introduced their Commander Side x Side, it set a new standard for performance, refinement, and handling. With a limited number of Side x Sides on the market at the time, the Commander was widely considered a hi-performance machine, but since then there have been many other models introduced including several dedicated solely to going fast.
When an athlete excels at many facets of their sport, often they’ll be called a “natural.” In the Side x Side world, the one model that is a true superstar at its position and can be called a “natural” is the Polaris Ranger XP 800. Like recent baseball Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, it’s not the lightest, fastest, or most powerful, but as a package it’s outstanding and a true all-star.
Arctic Cat’s Prowler 700 HDX is Cat’s do-it-all machine for the hard working and hard playing crowd. Like the Prowler 700 XTX, the heavy duty HDX comes with an extremely smooth running, 695cc, liquid cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valve engine. Electronic Fuel Injection insures excellent starts and crisp throttle response at any temperature or elevation and the engine is both quick and powerful. It’s a blast to drive. While the motor is nearly identical on both machines, the chassis, suspension, and bodywork are worlds apart.