Since 1986, Honda, Yamaha, Polaris, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Can-Am and Arctic Cat have been improving the 4X4's we ride. Ten of them stand out.
Polaris Scrambler XP We have to have an excessively fast 4X4 in the list for you thrill seekers. Polaris, Can-Am and Arctic Cat have used 1000cc motors in 4X4’s before. You need to be a very skilled rider to handle any 1000cc 4X4 regardless of brand.
Yamaha’s Grizzly garnered a lot of attention when it became a 600cc back in 1998. It was also a big deal when it was revamped in 2001. However, nothing shattered the competition like in 2007 when Yamaha added electric power steering to the Yamaha Grizzly.
Suzuki Vinson 500 was the king of quality and value at the time back when Suzuki had the beginning of a great run in the ATV business. All of the 4X4’s were great and so wee the Z400 and finally was the LT-R450 later that decade.
In the late 1990’s Polaris ATV’s had two things going for them; the first generation of CVT transmissions for ATV’s and introduced on this machine, independent rear suspension. The Sportsman 500 worked well for chores as well as ripping down the trail. Later the Sportsman had cool features like onboard storage and the Polaris Sportsman 500 came with a very affordable price tag.
Yamaha’s Kodiak 700 is our favorite for the moment. We like the power, the price and the options available. It’s not the fastest one out there but it does everything real good. We would feel just as comfortable racing this thing in GNCC as we would heading to the mountains to go fishing on.
In 1986, Honda introduced the first ATV with four-wheel drive and features such as a limited-slip front differential. At the time it was equipped with a 350cc four-stroke but no racks. A year later Honda added them. In 1988 the engine was downsized to a 300 ended up became the best-selling ATV of all time.
Can-Am’s Renegade X mr was the first good factory mud machine built with features like a grab strap, relocated radiator and snorkels. For 2017 you can choose a 570 or 1000cc X mr.
The Polaris Scrambler 500 was an early sport 4X4 and was the bigger brother of an equally as cool 400cc two-stroke. Both had McPherson Strut front suspension and cornered very well. Their only downfall is that the straight axle rear suspension wasn’t comfortable by today’s standards and ground clearance numbers weren’t very good.
Can-Am’s Outlander XT package makes the list because it was the first 4X4 to come standard with a winch, handguards, front and rear brush guards. This Can-Am Outlander also has great power, storage and comfort.
In 2001, the Kawasaki Prairie 650 4x4 became is the first V-Twin powered ATV on the market and it was a blast sparking the rack less sport edition called the V-Force. The Prairie was the first to offer a completely sealed, oil-bathed multi disc brake in the rear.