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Dirt Bike & ATV Buyers Guide - Bed Toys Buyer's Guide

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on August 1, 2009
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Not everything in this world is about taking your truck over gnarly obstacles or piloting it through Yao Ming-deep mud bogs. Did we just say that? Well, some adventures involve the truck only to take you to your starting point (and, yeah, there could be some mud and rocks along the way). Once there, it might be a matter of unloading a dirtbike for exploring the skinny trails in the backwoods, or an ATV for heading off on a hunting expedition. Or maybe you prefer to use one of the two machines to blow off steam through competition. Here's a look at what you'll find in the ATV and dirtbike markets that fit those uses and more.

Arctic Cat 700 H1 EFI Mud Pro
Quickie: Mud racers contributed to the design of this ATV, so there's competition spring and shock valving and special gearing with the clutch tuned for each gear. There are also 14 inches of ground clearance. The H stands for "hemi", as in hemispherical-shaped head for efficient power.
Engine: SOHC 695cc four-valve single-cylinder
Suspension: Fully independent; an optional sway bar is available
Dimensions (width/height/length): 47.5/51.75/86.5 inches
Weight: 793 pounds (dry)
Towing Capacity: 1,050 pounds
MSRP: $9,529
More Info:

Honda TRX700XX
Quickie: This one falls into the sport category of ATVs, meaning you get high-performance attributes. Convenience features were also thrown in, such as push-button electric starting, an easy-to-wash, large-capacity foam air filter, a maintenance-free battery, and rear mudguards with rigid footrests.
Engine: SOHC 686cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: Independent double-wishbone, front and rear
Dimensions (width/height/length): 46.3/45.4/73.9 inches
Weight: 505 pounds (ready to ride)
Towing Capacity: N/A
MSRP: Starts at $8,499
More Info:

KTM 450 SX
Quickie: A brand-new model for 2009 is this motocross application. KTM is big on "Ready to Race," so this speciman uses a fully adjustable suspension, a chrome-moly steel chassis, and motocross-specific rubber.
Engine: DOHC 449cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: The front is a dual A-arm, WP fully adjustable setup; the rear is a compression-adjustable WP PDS monoshock
Dimensions (width/height/length): 49.8/31.3/60 inches
Weight: 363 pounds (dry)
Towing Capacity: N/A
MSRP: $11,398
More Info:

Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i
Quickie: We showed you this model when it was new last year, but two special editions are available: Brubaker-friendly Camo, which is wrapped in RealTree Hardwoods Green bodywork, and the Holman-approved NRA Outdoors, with camo bodywork, plus more of the stuff on the front and rear racks, the wheels, and the front guard. There's so much camo, you may have no clue it's right next to you.
Engine: SOHC 749cc four-valve single-cylinder
Suspension: Dual A-arm in front, fully independent/dual A-arm rear
Dimensions (width/height/length): 45.9/48.5/86.4 inches
Weight: 652.7 pounds (ready to ride, sans fuel)
Towing Capacity: 1,250 pounds
MSRP: Special editions start at $8,549
More Info: 949/770-0400,

Polaris Sportsman 850 XP
Quickie: Among the technology on this ATV is Active Descent Control, a new roller-driven clutch that reduces friction but increases clutch response, and a 20-percent larger radiator. Ergonomics have been improved too, including wider floorboards and new digital instruments.
Engine: SOHC 850cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: Dual A-arm, front and rear
Dimensions (width/height/length): 47.6/50.75/83.25 inches
Weight: 784 pounds (dry)
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
MSRP: $8,999
More Info: 763/542-0500,

Suzuki KingQuad 500AXi 4x4 Power Steering
Quickie: The addition of power steering is such a big deal, it got star billing when naming this model. It was added to lighten steering at low speeds, and the ATV also features long suspension travel (7.7 inches), an advanced engine brake system to help with downhill speed, and a diff-lock.
Engine: SOHC 493cc four-valve single-cylinder
Suspension: Independent, double-wishbone, coil spring front; fully independent A-arm/I-beam rear
Dimensions (width/height/length): 47.6/50.6/83.3 inches
Weight: 661 pounds (ready to ride)
Towing Capacity: 400 pounds on uneven surface, 992 on straight road at low speeds
MSRP: Starts at $7,599
More Info:

Yamaha Grizzly 550 FI with EPS
Quickie: This all-new midsize utility ATV has electric power steering (that's the EPS part) and a new engine. Yamaha's Ultramatic auto transmission also appears, and there's an all-new open gate shifter to easily eyeball what gear you're in.
Engine: SOHC 558cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: Independent double-wishbone
Dimensions (width/height/length): 46.5/35/48.8 inches
Weight: 600 pounds (dry)
Towing Capacity: 1,212 pounds
MSRP: Starts at $7,799
More Info:

Aprilia MXV 450
Quickie: This is Italian-manufacturer Aprilia's first motocross bike, and it has a V-twin engine. Two notable things: features include two ignition settings---"Big Bang" (factory default) and "Screamer." And, there's a 12,500rpm limit. Hard/soft mappings can be switched via a handlebar button.
Engine: 452cc V-twin
Suspension: The front has a 50mm Marzocchi upside-down fork, the rear is Pro-Link with Sachs monoshock
Seat Height: 38 inches
Weight: 236 pounds (dry)
MSRP: $8,499
More Info:

Honda CRF230F
Quickie: Designated for off-road recreation, it has been assigned many lightweight components: aluminum crankcase, frame, rear drum brake, and rims. It uses a low motocross-style seat.
Engine: SOHC 223cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: The front is a 37mm leading-axle Showa fork, the rear is a Pro-Link Showa single shock
Seat Height: 34.1 inches
Weight: 249 pounds (ready to ride)
MSRP: $3,899
More Info:

KTM Champion's Edition
Quickie: It's a limited edition for four KTM models (the 450EXC is seen here and covered in the specs). Red Bull graphics, a special head and taillight package, a billet fuel cap, and other accessories are part of the unique offerings.
Engine: SOHC 449cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: 48mm WP-USD front, WP-PDS shock at the rear
Seat Height: 38.8 inches
Weight: 236 pounds (dry)
MSRP: $9,198
More Info:

Husaberg FE 570
Quickie: Notable design features include new Brembo brakes, an integrated exhaust manifold to keep it safe from rock damage, a new fully adjustable suspension setup, and a new lightweight frame.
Engine: SOHC 565.5cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: 48mm WP with upside-down forks in front; WP PDS shock at the rear
Seat Height: 38.8 inches
Weight: 251 pounds (dry)
MSRP: $9,998
More Info:

Kawasaki KX450F
Quickie: The motocross bike gets its first major redesign since its debut in 2006, including a new fuel-injected, compact engine. A new aluminum swingarm, front fork and rear shock, and titanium exhaust pipe were other improvements. There's also a Monster Energy edition.
Engine: DOHC 449cc four-stroke single-cylinder
Suspension: 48mm inverted Kayaba AOS in front, Uni-Trak linkage/Kayaba shock at the rear
Seat Height: 38 inches
Weight: 247 pounds (dry)
MSRP: $7,549
More Info: 949/770-0400,

Zero Motorcycles Zero X
Quickie: Mods this year were made to the drivetrain, suspension, frame, brakes, wheels, and tires, done for more durability in taxing terrain. This is a hi-po electric dirtbike, if you're not familiar with it, and it's the third generation. The 2008 model sold out.
Engine: Permanent-magnet electric motor, with a 40-mile/two-hour range
Suspension: Front is a custom White Brothers inverted fork with the Extreme package; standard is Fox Racing Shox fork. Rear is Manitou shock, or Fastace shock with Extreme
Seat Height: 36 inches
Weight: 151 pounds (ready to ride)
MSRP: Starts at $7,450 for the Sport model
More Info: 888/RUN-ZERO,

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