Baseball is played on a diamond, football has the gridiron, and golfers have their country clubs, but we prefer the "back country club". There is nothing better than exploring a new riding area on an ATV or Side x Side. Every turn of the trail is a new challenge, and a chance to check out territory we haven't seen before. Like most riders, we never get tired of challenging ourselves at someplace new, and while most riding areas feature woods, rocks, or tight trails, we know of one private off-road area that has it all.
For those that live in a Northern climate, winter presents a whole new type of riding as lakes and ponds freeze over, and as snow piles up on the trail. It’s a blast pitching the back end of an ATV or Side x Side around in the fluff, or charging through drifts that explode in a white cloud as you power through. The trouble is, after several months of cold weather riding, we’re ready for a few days in the sun, and the perfect place to unwind is at the most famous sand box in the country: Southern California’s Imperial Sand Dunes, aka. GLAMIS!
Most manufacturers have nightmares about extra unaccounted passengers on any vehicle they build. For years, the rule of thumb with ATVs was "one seat and one set of pegs equals one rider only." A trip to almost any riding area more than illustrated the real world practice of people riding double, however, and although we ALWAYS follow proper safety practices and do everything we can to encourage others to do so as well, we could see the point of riding double in some cases. It was only natural to take your significant other along for an enjoyable day of exploration.
Of all the ATVs that offer power steering, none have benefited more than the 2010 Arctic Cats. When the Cat crew announced that several of their 2010 utility ATVs were going to feature variable assist power steering, they were almost a little apologetic about not introducing it a year ago, but they wanted extra time to develop the system as a package and not as a simple “me-too” add on. It was worth the wait.
There is no piece of gear more important than your helmet. Regardless of whatever tires, wheels, winches, or any other accessory you bolt onto your ATV or UTV, one unfortunate whack on the head can make it all go away. We simply cannot overstate the value of a quality helmet, even for UTV riding, and here is what you need to look for.
Advice on Suspension Setup from Industry Professionals
There are many very good ATVs and Side x Sides on the market today, and they truly are amazing vehicles, capable of taking us through some of the toughest terrain on the planet. With a little experimenting and adjustment, they can be made even better. One of the areas where the largest improvements can be made and immediately felt is with the suspension, but sadly, many riders overlook any suspension changes until after they’ve installed an aftermarket exhaust, air intake, or a larger set of tires and wheels.
“What do you think about racing a stock Kawi, Corry?” These were the words that began my little journey to Glen Helen, CA for round seven of the WORCS series, in order to race in Kawasaki’s own media class; a class which would allow us “editor types” to get a taste of what the 2010 Kawasaki KFX450R has to offer in stock trim.
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.