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Next generation ATVs

Sport-utility models. The Canadian manufacturer Bombardier is adding to its ATV line with a new sport-utility model called the Quest 500 4x4. This model joins a recently launched Quest 650 ATV. The full-time 4-wd Quest 500 features a 498-cc Rotax engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The clutching is calibrated for quick acceleration and responsiveness. Its large fuel tank (5.8 gal.) allows all-day work, and the extra-cushy seat and specially calibrated dual front and rear shocks make the ride comfortable. A center console design allows the rider to mount and dismount the vehicle easily. The Quest 500 offers a 9.6-in. ground clearance and a 1,100-lb. towing capacity. Suggested retail price: $6,499. For more information, contact Bombardier Recreational Products, Dept. FIN, 565 de la Montagne St., Valcourt, Quebec, Canada J0E 2L0, 514/532-2211,

The power race. The race to build the biggest, most powerful ATV continues. Polaris just released information about its newest and largest ATV, the Sportsman 700 Twin. The Minnesota company reports this ATV is now the most powerful ATV in the world. Its announcement comes on the heels of Kawasaki’s introduction last spring of its largest ATV, the Prairie 650.

The Sportsman 700 blurs the line between tractor and ATV. Its 1,500-lb. towing capacity and 20% more horsepower than its Polaris predecessor makes this model a legitimate alternative to a small utility tractor. The company says farmers can use it to do heavy jobs like repositioning irrigation pipe and hauling hay. The 700 model features a 683-cc, even-firing, parallel twin engine with 25% more torque than the Sportsman 500. It also includes Polaris’s popular automatic transmission, independent rear suspension and on-demand 4-wd. Its smooth-riding traits make it comfortable for any on-farm job or recreational activity. Its turning radius is 76 in., and it weighs 740 lbs. The ATV lists for $7,399.

For more information, contact Polaris, Dept. FIN, 1225 Hwy. 169 N., Plymouth, MN 55441, 763/542-2314.

New for 2003. Honda just entered the full-size ATV race with a sporty new 650-cc FourTrax Rincon model. Considered part of Honda’s 2003 ATV lineup, the Rincon won’t be available in Honda dealerships until next summer, but the company is giving ATV fans an early look at the new model. Its unique design features SUV styling, flowing fenders and integrated headlights and taillights. Conscious of keeping the vehicle’s weight down, Honda used aluminum components in the vehicle’s control arms, rear knuckles and wheels. As a result, the 650-cc model weighs just 600 lbs. (dry weight).

The new ATV features Honda’s largest liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 649-cc engine. It is fully automatic with a torque-sensitive, limited-slip front differential and fully independent front and rear suspension. It also has Honda’s first switch-operated 2-wd/4-wd system, called TraxLok. The new Rincon clears 10.7 in. of ground and provides a turning radius of 10.8 ft. It will be available in red and olive colors.

Power switch. Honda’s new Foreman ES and Foreman S also have the TraxLok selectable 2-wd/4-wd and a torque-sensitive, limited-slip front differential to allow easier steering. The new ATVs are equipped with a 433-cc, overhead valve, air-cooled four-stroke engine, which is longitudinally mounted for improved drivetrain efficiency. Towing capacity for the new Foremans is 850 lbs. The ES model features electric shifting with the controls on the left handlebar. It has five speeds and reverse. This model retails for $6,400. The S model with five speeds and reverse retails for $6,200.

Easy shifting. Also joining the Honda lineup is a second Recon model — the FourTrax Recon ES. This 229-cc model comes with the electric shift program that allows easy and fast shifting for five speeds and reverse. This line of ATVs is equipped with an overhead valve, air-cooled engine, high-performance cylinder head, new carburetor for improved torque and engine power, and oil cooler. The Recon ES retails for $3,700.

For more information, contact American Honda Motor Co., Dept. FIN, 1919 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90501, 310/783-2000,

Middle-weight options grow. For farmers who want something between a small, sporty ATV and a large workhorse, Arctic Cat now offers two new middle-weight models with 375 cc. The 375 4x4 and 375 2x4 ATVs are built with a new four-stroke engine that is air- and oil-cooled with a temperature-controlled fan. The engine also comes with a large oil radiator and fan to handle extreme temperature conditions. The company installed its Duramatic transmission and engine braking system in the ATVs. A healthy 103/4 in. of ground clearance comes from the fully independent, double A-arm front suspension and ACT-independent rear suspension. The 4x4 model offers selectable 4-wd or 2-wd.

Other features include a 1,050-lb. towing capacity; a 4.75-gal. fuel tank for extended range; front and rear hydraulic disc brakes operated by a single-lever control with integrated brake lock; and front and rear sealed drive shafts for low maintenance. Both models are available in green or red. Retail prices are $4,600 for the 2 x 4 and $5,400 for the 4x4.

Reworked 400, 500 models. In the next level of the Arctic Cat line are two new 400-cc models: 400i 4x4 and 400i 2x4. The 400i models offer a new fully independent suspension on both front and rear. The ATVs come with five-speed, auto-clutch transmissions, a start-in gear feature, and 12 in. of ground clearance. These models also are manufactured for low maintenance with a fully sealed engine and magneto, easy-to-reach oil filter, and suspension bushings that require no lubrication. Also available in green and red, the models retail at $5,700 for the 2x4 and $6,700 for the 4x4.

At the top of the Arctic Cat line are three new 500-cc models, all powered with the same fully sealed, liquid-cooled four-stroke engine. The 500 4x4 automatic TBX is made for heavy-duty work on the farm. It is equipped with a rear, plastic tilt-box that holds 300 lbs. Hinged with a rear tailgate, you can dump loads instead of shoveling them. The new model, available in green, retails for $7,000.

The 500i 4x4 and 500i 4x4 automatic ATVs come with the independent rear suspension. This design creates a smooth ride and 12 in. of ground clearance. The models also are equipped with the Duramatic automatic transmission. All new 500 models are rated with a 1,050-lb. towing capacity and are equipped with the same low-maintenance features found in the 375 and 400 models. Retail price for the 500i 4x4 is $6,600, and the 4x4 automatic costs $6,700.

New utility vehicle. Eyeing the growing UV market, Arctic Cat unveiled its first true UV this summer. The SBS 1000 fits the gap between a wheelbarrow and a pickup with its generous, corrosion-resistant dump box. Growers can haul 1,000 lbs. with a nearly 15-cu.-ft. capacity in the box. Powered with a 480-cc engine, the SBS 1000 holds a driver and passenger in bucket seats. It boasts a tight 9-ft. turning radius and 800-lb. towing capacity. The independent rear suspension provides good traction and stability along with a smoother ride. The vehicle weighs 1,000 lbs. and is 115 in. long. Retail price: $7,499.

For more information, contact Arctic Cat, Dept. FIN, 600 Brooks Ave. S., Thief River Falls, MN 56701, 218/681-8558,

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