June 23, 2020
By Rick Sosebee
Whether you are getting into the woods for a hunt or riding off-road on an adventure with friends and family, model year 2020 offers up many solid choices in the world of all-terrain and utility vehicles. While side-by-side UTVs are still popular, hunters often find the nimble quad a better choice in the woods. In our 2020 off-road round-up we take a closer look at what’s new in ATVs to offer sportsmen and women the most bang for their buck.
Polaris Sportsman XP1000 S
Polaris is an innovator of technology, and some segments of the off-road power-sports owe their very existence to the company. In model year 2020, Polaris brings a new breed of Sport Utility 4×4s with the release of the new Sportsman XP 1000 S. The Sportsman boasts suspension travel unheard of on any previous production ATV. Perhaps, most importantly, according to Polaris, this Sportsman could be the ultimate 4×4 ATV for extreme desert terrain.
Designed intentionally from the ground up for its 55-inch width, the Sportsman XP 1000 S sits on a brand-new frame that Polaris claims is 31 percent stronger through the midsection now.
When you have a massive engine like the Polaris 1000, you’ll need a suspension to handle that output, so with wider Dual A-Arms at both ends and high-clearance lower front A-Arms you have a great start. Pairing up great suspension geometry with Walker Evans 2.0 shocks, the engineers at Polaris feel they have successfully connected the machine to the trail. These shocks feature spring preload and crossover adjustability, along with 16-way compression damping adjustment. It also receives a new variable assist power-steering unit that’s calibrated specifically for the new machine. Overall, this new Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S is built for those who love to tackle ultimate terrain.
Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi EPS SE Rugged Package
Suzuki’s KingQuad lineup really came into its own in 2005 as the automatic transmission equipped KingQuad 700. There are many consumers who love the KingQuad family, and these machines built in Rome, Georgia, have many great advances in off-road technology engineered in their DNA. Fast-forward into the model year 2020 and Suzuki is building a dependable, feature-packed version of that ATV called the KingQuad 750AXi Power Steering SE Rugged Package. This Special Edition KingQuad 750AXi looks sharp and is dressed in the Metallic Matte Colorado Bronze color. The Rugged Package bumpers on the front and rear with incorporated lighting on the front give the KingQuad a specialized look. This 2,700 lumen LED light in the Rugged bumper provides that extra punch through the night when the sun goes down.
The KingQuad 750 is powered by a 722cc, four-valve, double overhead cam, four-stroke engine featuring Suzuki fuel injection. The engine is mated to Suzuki’s Quadmatic CVT transmission with high and low forward ranges, neutral and reverse selected by a smooth, precise, gated shifter. Incorporating 2WD/4WD and 4WD Differential lock gives the KingQuad its grip for surefooted travel through the roughest terrain. The Carlisle 27-inch all terrain tires on the Suzuki Special Edition alloy rims make that connection to the trail below while looking pretty classy at the same time. It’s always exciting to see new ATVs coming from Suzuki, and we are sure the loyalists are excited, too!
Yamaha Grizzly EPS XT-R
The Yamaha Grizzly has a fan base that stretches worldwide and especially here in the states as it’s a coast-to-coast bestseller for Yamaha. The new year brought a few interesting additions to the Yamaha Grizzly family, and the one most talked about is the Grizzly XT-R extreme terrain adventure package. We all know the potent and proven 700-class engine, superior e-coated chassis and roomy ergonomics, but it’s the adventuring side of Yamaha that has developed a few extras for the extreme terrain.
In model year 2020, Grizzly has been designed for the sporty-minded recreational trail rider looking for that extra excitement in the outdoors. If you follow the Yamaha mantra “Realize your Adventure,” then you’ll be familiar with the Adventure Pro tablet that can be purchased along with your new Grizzly XT-R as an accessory. The XT-R package means that this Grizzly is prewired to accept the device and offers telemetry not before realized on an ATV dash. This Adventure Pro gives you even more confidence in where you are and where you are going at all times.
Yamaha’s exclusive 27-inch Maxxis Zilla tires adorn the custom 14-inch wheels that are color matched to the theme of the XT-R line of machines. These tires put the power to the ground through Yamaha’s proven Ultramatic clutching system. You might remember that the Ultramatic clutch has a tight grip on your CVT belt and never lets go for that constant and instant delivery of power to the wheels with no slipping that can ruin a CVT belt. Other exciting features of the Grizzly XT-R include the addition of the WARN Pro Vantage 2500 winch for those times when a little too much macho puts you or your buddies in a sticky situation.
Can-Am Outlander MAX 6X6 DPS 450
Can-Am’s Outlander ATV models have all become popular among enthusiasts. The 2020 additions to the family are even more dynamic, as well as useful to those who work their ATV. Looking into the mid-bore section of the Outlander ATV lineup, we found the new Can-Am Outlander Max 6X6 DPS 450. This six-wheeled worker gives its owner plenty of hauling capability as well as a firm wheelbase for those rougher sections of the property. Incorporating a second seat as well the rear cargo space, this fuel-injected 38hp 427cc Rotax mill generates the power as well as torque needed to haul the mail and more. The Tri-Mode dynamic power makes traversing through tight obstacles much easier, and the selectable 4WD/6WD Visco-Lok quick-engagement front differential helps when traction becomes questionable.
Utilizing the rear mounted two-inch receiver hitch, the Outlander MAX 6X6 DPS 450 can tow an impressive 1,650 pounds of cargo. If you need to use the front or rear rack, you have the ability to haul 120 pounds on the front and an impressive 350 pounds on the rear. The large footwells and wide protective fenders keep trail debris at bay while the passenger sits comfortably in the rear-mounted, bolstered captain’s chair. If navigating the trail or ranch at night becomes a necessity, this Outlander is equipped with dual 35-watt headlights to show you the way.
Honda FourTrax Rancher 4X4 Auto DCT EPS
Riding a Honda ATV inspires confidence thanks to the brand’s proven reliability on the trail. For the model year 2020, Honda has spread its wings to offer the Rancher 4X4 Auto with DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) and Electronic Power Steering. The 420cc powerplant provides the grunt for the trail or workday, while the transmission makes it extremely easy for anyone with or without shifting experience to enjoy the ride. This 2020 Rancher also receives the new Pro-Connect-compatible racks that make installing Honda’s Pro-Connect accessories a cinch.
One item of interest is the revised reverse mechanism for the Rancher line. The small red lever on the driver’s left handlebar allows you to shift from a forward gear to reverse in a shorter period of time. This process bypasses “Neutral,” eliminating steps in the revers- ing process, and the working class of ATV owner will notice this most of all. Speaking of automatic operation, this DCT model of Rancher allows the driver to manually change gears even when in automatic mode.
Looking at other features, you’ll find new suspension guards that extend the full length of the lower suspension arms for full coverage of the driveshaft and outboard CV joints on the front of this ride. Engaging the TraxLok torque-sensing front differential means that you and this red-winged ATV will now be ready to conquer the world.
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.