Five Ace ATVs

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How great are ATVs? It’s a rhetorical question, as we know they’re awesome. And practical — there’s little else that can handle the harsh and varied terrain of an Aussie farm like an ATV can.

We at tradefarmmachinery.com.au have been fortunate enough to test a bunch of great quad bikes from a wide variety of manufacturers.

Here is our list of five excellent ATVs that we’ve tested over the last few months:

 

Kawasaki Brute Force 750 ATV

Kawasaki Brute Force 750

 

We’re tempted to say the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 ATV shares with the Suzuki 500 AXi an indefinable quality that adds to its appeal. True, you need more than star quality to carry and tow heavy loads, but having a machine that looks capable of doing it easily makes the task itself seem easier.

This quad is actually what the industry now likes to call a hybrid. It has all the tough bits for carrying, towing and going off road, but also the fun bits for riding fast, sliding through gravel corners and blasting up hills.

You’ll never need more power than this engine gives you. Few Japanese ATV manufacturers quote engine performance figures but Kawasaki isn’t shy about it. The fuel-injected V-twin develops 50hp (37kW) at 6750rpm and maximum torque of 59Nm at 5250rpm. And yep, that’s enough.

 

Suzuki 500 KingQuad AXi ATV

Suzuki 500 KingQuad AXi ATV

 

The KingQuad is excellent off-road, but again, nothing obvious explains why. One strong point is its very good ground clearance. Another is the manageable power delivery.

This quad isn’t what you’d call fast. Its top speed is about 115km/h and, frankly, we have no idea why you’d want to ride any faster on a property. But the machine crawls confidently and quietly over lumpy ground without dragging its coccyx on everything.

Throttle response is good when you’re riding hard and easy to meter when you need subtle throttle control. The suspension is cushy without wallowing like jelly on a spring.

That, the brilliant riding position, and a very quiet engine mean you can work on this thing all day without feeling totally shagged at the end of it. It’s such a nice quad to ride.

 

Honda TRX500 FA6 ATV

Honda TRX500 FA6 ATV

 

The FA6 has a reasonable turning circle even with the diff lock engaged. The power steering is slightly lighter than we’re used to, but still well calibrated for the varied tasks this machine will undertake.

The distinctive footwells have very deep recessions. Maybe they drain better like that. Also, the design gives better grip for boot than a flat footboard that typically would be covered in mud.

Outright performance feels the same regardless of the transmission mode. This engine has good working torque, is responsive, gets to its top speed quickly, and runs quietly.

We wouldn’t say shifting is the smoothest we’ve come across but, then again, the odd clunk doesn’t justify withering criticism from us. Lots of things go clunk, and lots of them are on ATVs. In any event, we’re told that once the oil has been changed for the first time, and once hot, shifting becomes smoother.

 

CFMoto X500 Farm Spec ATV

CFMoto X500 Farm Spec ATV

 

The CFMoto was an easy addition to the list. It's an extremely comfortable bike ride for three reasons. The handlebars and seat are set up in a way that puts the rider into a comfortable, upright sitting position, and the seat has just the right amount of cushioning.

The EPS is exceptional and can really be appreciated when moving around at low speeds.  Even with 4WD engaged the steering is still effortless, and after a full day of testing we had none of the aches and pains in the chest and shoulders that we used to get when riding ATVs without power steering.

Finally, the independent front and rear suspension gave a very smooth ride and kept all four wheels in contact with the ground for maximum traction and stability.

 

Honda TRX500FM2 ATV

Honda TRX500FM2 ATV

 

The Honda TRX500FM2 quad bike’s power, manoeuvrability and speed are great features for operation on larger sheep, cattle, dairy and cropping operations. It’s also proven to be a valuable piece of machinery on smaller lifestyle and hobby farms as well.

The ATV and trailer combination is more than up to collecting wood, feeding hay to horses, and pulling small spray equipment at a fraction of the cost of a ute or small tractor – and a lot more fun.

It’s powerful, comfortable, easy to control and virtually maintenance-free due to its simple but proven design. And it’s well protected by a bash plate that runs the length of the undercarriage and guards under the front steering and suspension assembly.

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