Dear John, I Ran Off With Your Gator
We recently test-drove the all-new John Deere Gator RSX850i in Moab, Utah. It is truly an awesome machine. We tackled Seven Mile Rim and Hell’s Revenge, and the Gator was still ready for more
The Sport model was designed for harsh desert and rocky, sandy terrains and includes sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, a PreRunner bumper, cargo box rails, a sport steering wheel, and FOX 2.0 Performance Series shocks. Developed for hunting, fishing, and backcountry trails, the Trail Model RSX features sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, a Warn winch, a front brushguard, a front receiver hitch with recovery loops, a rear bumper, and cargo box rails. The Base RSX is just as it sounds and can be modified using any of the more than 70 available aftermarket attachments.
All of the Gator RSX models use an 839 cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled, four-cycle, gasoline motorcycle engine that produces 62 hp and 42.4 lb-ft of torque. The product literature sets 53 mph as the top speed but we actually got the speedo up to 54 mph. The engine also delivers 0-to-30-mph acceleration in three seconds, and the advanced electronic controls and fuel-injection system supply precise starting, idling, and throttle response. We never felt without power during the two days of trail rides, however we did engage the selectable limited-slip front differential on occasion when an obstacle looked deserving. The rear differential is locked full-time.
With its four-wheel independent suspension the RSX delivers an amazing ride at any speed and handles like a champ through the bumps and cornering. It uses a dual, wide arch A-arm design up front and a multi-link semi trailing arm in the rear that offers 9 inches of wheel travel and moves the wheels rearward in compression to decrease impact. FOX 2.0 Performance Series shocks with full spring and compression adjustability come standard on the RSX Sport, and are available for aftermarket upgrade on the other models. The Base and Trail models feature aluminum-body monotube FOX shocks that also deliver great performance.
We only had a short time to experience what the Gator RSX850i had to offer but it convinced us of its immense ability in the first five minutes. We’re not ready to give up our 4x4s just yet, but if we were, the new RSX would be an exceptional replacement.
Ample wheel travel paired with Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks, not to mention the liquid-cooled 839cc V-twin engine, make the RSX850i an incredible vehicle for any terrain. There are three RSX models available: the Gator RSX850i Sport, the RSX850i Trail, and the Base RSX.