to your machine even when it’s
parked. So, if you are considering a
set of shiny billet wheels, there is one
thing you need to consider: if the
wheel has a sharp edge around the
circumference, near where it meets
the tire, you might be in for hidden
trouble. This sharp edge can cause a
flat if you land hard off of a jump, hit
a sharp ledge or even slam a big,
smooth rock. Luckily, the billet wheels
that Yamaha and Can-Am installed
on these test units have a safe, rounded edge. The standard spun aluminum wheels on the Suzuki have a
nice rounded edge as well.
When we started these machines
in 20-degree temperature, they fired
up quickly. The Suzuki and Can-Am
feature electronic fuel injection, while
the Grizzly only uses a carburetor.
The difference between having, or
not having, EFI rarely becomes an
issue in our testing. It’s one of those
features that does its job without
much fanfare. The biggest asset we
have found when using EFI is when
we are on a trail ride that takes us
from a low-starting altitude to a higher one (near 10,000 feet in elevation).
This test did not show any major differences, however, the EFI machines
had slightly crisper throttle responses.
Two features of Can-Am’s XT
package were very useful during
our days of testing. Since this was a
winter ride, the full-coverage hand
; To represent another low-cost
option in this test, we brought along
the Polaris Sportsman 500. It’s the
lowest-cost 500cc 4X4 by over a $1000.
It has independent rear suspension,
a fully-automatic CVT transmission
and, for 2011, a new look. Recently,
this 15-year-old platform received a
facelift with a new bodywork that features a standard front storage box.
The 2011 Sportsman retails for an
incredibly low $6000. There are no
special edition models available, nor
can you get power steering on this
machine. Power steering adds about
$1000 to the larger 550 and 850
Sportsman models. ;
Smaller 400cc 4X4s like these are very
common on ranches and farms. After
the chores are done, they do provide
plenty of fun on the trail, too.