Even the most off-road vehicles cannot match their cross-country driving capabilities. Designed as pleasure vehicles, the ATV models are now available in different versions, not only for sports, but also as workhorses and often bulls.

ATV. For many, this concept is an abbreviation of the English phrase all terrain vehicle, i.e. An “all-terrain vehicle” can be associated with some elementary combination of a car and a motorcycle, with the help of which a certain group of people with a decent income enjoy nature. According to biology, in many cases, crossing two different species of animals leads to infertile offspring, but this is how a mule is born (a hybrid of a donkey and a mare), which has the strength of a horse and the endurance of a donkey. Yes, in this form the analogy could work, but in practice, ATVs have their own evolutionary line, at the beginning of which there is a motorcycle. And as a human creation, this vehicle not only has a generation, but has also managed to develop into many branches of evolution. Today, the widespread perception of an ATV as a one-seater with an almost open shoulder structure, open wheels with large tires, a motorcycle engine, and lack of humiliating overhangs is rather limited against the background of the huge diversity that exists in this unique world. It also includes small kids' ATVs, rear-wheel drive dual-transmission vehicles, sports ATVs and a wide range of products that reach the size of a small car, have up to four seats and / or cargo platforms, and often diesel engines. The latter are widely used in the armed forces, farmers, forestry, and because of their specificity are called UTV (from the English. These are especially valuable helpers for people, largely because of their ability to move over rough terrain, which cannot be measured by any car. The case between ATV and UTV is the side-by-side view, in which two passengers stand side by side, and in most cases when there are four, in two rows. The term "ATV" is often used synonymously.

And it all started almost like a joke

This territory seems to be untouchable, and car manufacturers do not describe themselves in it. Besides Honda, practically created the first functional ATV at a time when motorcycles still hold a very large share of the company's business and there is no other car company trying to be present in this area. Motorcycle manufacturers like Kawasaki are in their element here. Suzuki and Yamaha, on the one hand, and snowmobile companies such as Polaris and Arctic Cat, divisions of large companies such as Canada's Bombardier, whose ATVs are called Can-Am, or companies associated with tractors and similar vehicles. John Deere and Bobcat.

In fact, the now popular ATVs were born as tricycles, and although in 1967 a certain John Schlesinger created a similar vehicle for the electronics company Sperry-Rand, and then sold patents to New Holland (which belongs to the Sperry-Rand company), the right to be called the creator of the first production the ATV has Honda. According to the company's historical records, in 1967, its US division asked one of its engineers, Osamu Takeuchi, to design something that dealers could sell in the winter, when most motorcycles are stored in garages. Takeuchi came up with many ideas, including 2, 3, 4, 5 and even 6 wheels. It turned out that the three-wheeled car has the most balanced qualities of all - much better than the two-wheeled versions in terms of cross-country ability on snowy, slippery and muddy terrain, and much cheaper than cars with a large number of wheels. The challenge was to find tires of the right size to provide traction on soft ground and snow. Takeuchi has been helped by television films, especially the BBC Moon Buggy, a small amphibious SUV fitted with oversized tires. The three-wheeled vehicle, built in 1970 by Honda, has a configuration in which the driver sits on an ATV (as opposed to the Schlesinger model in which he is inside it) and became popular the following year thanks to his participation in the film. for James Bond "Diamonds Are Forever" with Sean Connery.

Originally created for fun, the new car would later be renamed from the US90 to the ATC90 (from the All Terrain Cycle, or all-terrain motorcycle). The ATC90 has a rigidly fixed suspension and compensates for this with large balloon tires. The missing springs and shock absorbers only appeared in the early 80s, which resulted in the tires being slightly lower. Even in the early eighties, Honda continued to lead the business with its ATC200E Big Red, which became the first three-wheeled ATV with a working application. The ability of these vehicles to reach almost inaccessible places made them extremely popular for various needs in the United States and Canada, and very soon other players naturally intervened in the business, and it began to grow rapidly. However, innovators from Honda are not sitting idly by and are again one step ahead of the others - they are creating the first sports models that will be monopolists in the market for almost a long time due to efficient layout and reliable engines. In 1981, the ATC250R became the first sports tricycle with a tricycle suspension, front and rear disc brakes; The car has an 18 hp engine, a sporty look and is still considered one of the best cars of its kind. In 1985, a 350 cc air-cooled four-stroke engine was available. Cm and four-valve head - a solution that was truly unique for that time. Based on this, the ATC350X has a longer suspension and more powerful brakes. Honda models continue to improve, the tubular frame becomes more rectangular instead of round profiles, and the lubrication system changes to cope with extreme vertical movements.

Japanese domination

In the years that followed, all but Suzuki developed powerful two-stroke cars, but no one can measure sales with Honda, which has already built a solid reputation in the field. Although Yamaha offers its Tri-Z YTZ250 with a 250cc two-stroke engine. See and a five- or six-speed manual transmission, and Kawasaki begins production of the Tecate KTX250, also with a two-stroke engine and a five- or six-speed gearbox, Honda's ATV models are actually the most balanced. Abroad, the American manufacturer Tiger enters the market with various models of ATVs with three wheels and two-stroke Rotax engines with a working volume of 125 to 500 cm3. The Tiger 500 became one of the fastest models of the time thanks to its 50 hp. reaches a top speed of over 160 km / h - quite dangerous for something open, moving on three wheels. However, for various reasons, the company did not last long.

In fact, it is the increase in power that marks the beginning of the end for three-wheeled ATVs. They are more unstable and unsafe than four-wheeled vehicles, and in 1987 their sale was banned in many places. Although they have less weight and less drag when driving with all the benefits that come with it, they still require much more skillful cornering and more athletic ability than a pilot who has to lean more actively to balance - overall style. ride differs from that of four-wheeled vehicles.

The birth of ATVs

Sometimes falling behind in one area can make you a pioneer in another. This is exactly what happened to Suzuki, which pioneered the ATV. The first of its kind, the QuadRunner LT125, appeared in 1982 and is a small entertainment vehicle for beginners. From 1984 to 1987, the company also offered an even smaller LT50 with a 50cc engine. See, which was followed by the first ATV with an automatic CVT transmission. Suzuki also released the more powerful LT250R Quadracer, a four-wheel-drive sports ATV that sold until 1992, and also acquired a high-tech, long suspension, water-cooled engine. Honda responds with a FourTrax TRX250R and Kawasaki with a Tecate-4 250. Looking to differentiate itself, relying primarily on air-cooled engines, Yamaha releases the Banshee 350 with a water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke engine from the RD350 motorcycle. ... This ATV was renowned for tough riding on muddy rough terrain, but became very popular for riding on sand dunes.

Big business - Americans at play

In fact, from that moment, a real big competition between manufacturers began with an increase in the working volumes and sizes of the offered ATVs. On the other hand, sales start to grow rapidly. The Suzuki Quadzilla is now equipped with a 500cc engine. Cm and can travel over rough terrain at 127 km / h, and in 1986 the Honda FourTrax TRX350 4 × 4 ushered in the era of dual transmission in ATV models. Soon other companies joined their production, and these machines became extremely popular among hunters, farmers, workers on large construction sites, in forestry. It was in the late 80s and early 90s that the division of ATV models into fun (sport) and work (Sport Utility and even larger and more functional UTV) models began. The latter are usually more robust, presumably dual gear, can tow an attached load, and a little slower.

The first American company to enter the ATV business was Polaris, now known for its snowmobiles. The snowy Minnesota company introduced its first Trailboss in 1984 and has gradually become an important factor in the industry. Today Polaris offers the widest range of such vehicles, from small models to large four-seater side-by-side and UTVs, including for military use. One of the founders of the company, Edgar Hatin, later split from it and founded the Arcric Cat company, which today is also one of the largest players in this business. Motorcycle division of Canadian conglomerate Canadian Bombardier Corporation launches its first ATV, Traxler, which won the ATV of the Year award a year later. Since 2006, the motorcycle part of the company is called CAN-Am. Although the large companies from Japan and America mentioned so far dominate this market, more and more players have emerged in recent years, mainly from China and Taiwan. Kymco (Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd.) was founded in 1963 and is the largest scooter manufacturer in the world with an emphasis on ATVs since the early XNUMXst century. Today, Kymco offers a wide variety of ATVs and has strong relationships with manufacturers such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries and BMW... KTM recently joined the business.

Text: Georgy Kolev

In short

ATV Categories

Sports ATV Designed with a clear and simple goal - to move quickly. These cars accelerate well and have good cornering control. Sport ATVs feel right at home on motocross trails, sand dunes and various rough terrain - wherever you can combine high speed and agility. With a huge assortment of models and accessories, as well as more and more high-performance motorcycles, it's all about financial ability.

Youth ATV If you want to introduce your child to off-roading, this is the solution. These types of ATVs are small, low-powered, and practically a variety of sport and work ATVs. Most of them have special mechanisms attached to children's clothes, so the engine stalls if it falls. Their prices are significantly lower than those of standard ATVs.

Utility ATV Can be used for both work and pleasure. Whether it's a standard ATV or the popular side-by-side, utility models are multifunctional. These vehicles are larger and more durable than sports ATVs, and most have independent rear suspension for greater ground clearance to handle even the most challenging terrain. Utillity ATV models tend to be more comfortable than their sporty counterparts, and have larger tires so that power can be adequately transferred to uneven surfaces.

UTV These vehicles are becoming more and more popular when it comes to traveling over rough terrain. They offer incredible functionality and can meet any need. Whether you are looking for a fast dune vehicle, a sturdy and sturdy vehicle with a cargo bay, or even a silent electric model for your hunting camp, you will find them among the UTV machines. The big advantage of UTV models over conventional ATVs is the ability to carry more people - in some versions up to six.

The most popular ATV models in the last year

Kawasaki Teryx и Teryx4

This UTV model for two or four can do a great job and please a family. It is powered by a 783cc twin-cylinder engine and power steering.

Arctic cat trail

It is now equipped with a 700 cc fuel injection engine specially developed for the body of this model.

Honda rancher

Wonderful Utility ATV with 420 cc single cylinder engine. The car-style gearbox allows for comfortable manual or automatic gearchanging.

Honda Pioneer 700-4

The model provides a choice between a cargo area and two additional seats. The engine has a displacement of 686 cm3 and an injection system.

Yamaha Viking

This workhorse inherited from Rhino and can do just about everything from drilling rigs to the fun of trail riding. It can carry up to 270 kg in the rear cargo hold and tow an attached load weighing 680 kg. If the conditions get particularly difficult, you can simply turn on the 4x4 system and everything will be fine.

Yamaha YFZ450R

Interest in functional ATVs has recently supplanted interest in sports ATVs, but the Yamaha YZF450R is a proven model. It is popular in various races and the latest version has a new clutch design to make it easier to fly.

Polaris Sportsman

Polaris offers this model at an extremely affordable price with incredible cross-country driving capabilities. The engine displacement is now 570 cm3, the transmission is automatic.

Polaris RZR XP1000

This desert monster is powered by a 1,0 hp 107-liter ProStar engine! There is hardly an obstacle that the rear suspension with 46 cm of travel and the front suspension with 41 cm cannot tackle, and the front LED lights provide excellent night performance.

Can-Am Maverick Max 1000

This UTV combines four long suspension seats and the famous 101 hp Rotax engine. The 1000R X xc version has a smaller footprint and allows the use of narrower clearings in the forest.

Recently, the range of ATVs has become huge, so here we will only present models from the largest, well-known and reputable manufacturers in the industry.


Утилита ATV: FourTrax Foreman, FourTrax Rancher, FourTrax Rubicon и FourTrax Recon.

Sports ATV: TRX250R, TRX450R and TRX700XX.

Nearby: Big Red MUV.


Versatile ATV: Grizzly 700 FI, Grizzly 550 FI, Grizzly 450, Grizzly 125 and Big Bear 400.

Sports ATV: Raptor 125, Raptor 250, Raptor 700, YFZ450X and YFZ450R.

UTV: Rhino 700 и Rhino 450.

polar Star

Versatile ATV: Sportsman 850 XP, Sportsman 550 XP, Sportsman 500 HO and Sportsman 400 HO.

Sports ATV: Outlaw 525 IRS, Scrambler 500, Trail Blazer 330 and Trail Boss 330.

UTV: Ranger 400, Ranger 500, Ranger 800 XP, Ranger 800 Crew, Ranger Diesel, Ranger RZR 570, Ranger RZR 800, Ranger RZR 4 800 and Ranger RZR XP 900.


ATV Utility: KingQuad 400 FSi, KingQuad 400 ASi, KingQuad 500 and KingQuad 750.

Sports ATV: QuadRacer LT-R450, QuadSport Z400 and QuadSport Z250.


Versatile ATV: Brute Force 750, Brute Force 650, Prairie 360 ​​and Bayou 250.

Sports ATV: KFX450R and KFX700.

UTV: Teryx 750, Mule 600, Mule 610, Mule 4010, Mule 4010 Diesel и Mule 4010 Trans4x4.

Arctic Cat

Versatile ATV: ThunderCat H2, 700 S, 700 H1, 700 TRV, 700 Super Duty Diesel, 650 H1, MudPro, 550 H1, 550 S and 366.

Sports ATV: 300DVX and XC450i.

UTV: Prowler 1000, Prowler 700 and Prowler 550.


Versatile ATV: Outlander 400, Outlander MAX 400, Outlander 500, Outlander MAX 500, Outlander 650, Outlander 800R and Outlander MAX 800R.

Sports ATV: DS 450, DS 250, Renegade 500 and Renegade 800R.

UTV: Commander 800R and Commander 1000.

John deere

UTV: Gator XUV 4 × 4 625i, Gator XUV 4 × 4 825i, Gator XUV 4 × 4 855D, High Performance HPX 4 × 4 и High Performance HPX Diesel 4 × 4.


Utilities ATV: MXU 150, MXU 300, MXU 375 and MXU 500 IRS.

Sports ATV: Mongoose 300 and Maxxer 375 IRS.

UTV: UXV 500, UXV 500 SE и UXV 500 LE.


UTV: 3400 4 × 4, 3400XL 4 × 4, 3450 4 × 4, 3200 2 × 4, Toolcat 5600 Utility Work Machine и Toolcat 5610 Utility Work Machine


Utility ATV: Argo Avenger 8 × 8, Tomberlin SDX 600 4 × 4, Bennche Gray Wolf 700.

Sports ATV: KTM SX ATV 450, KTM SX ATV 505, KTM XC ATV 450 and Hyosung TE 450.

UTV: Cub Cadet Volunteer 4x4 and Kubota RTV 900.



Home » Test Drive » Where others don't go

Add a comment