Blazing Trails

ATV and side-by-side manufacturers have boosted power ratings and updated other offerings in their 2019 models to make operation smoother and more manageable. Here are several of the newest machines and their features.

Kubota RTV-XG850 Sidekick, Image by Chris Hill

All Can-Am 2019 Outlander ATVs model 650 and up now have an updated suspension that features front arched A-arms, front sway bar and torsional trailing arm independent rear suspension. The company says the update is designed for precision handling and better control and comfort.

The Outlander 1000R and MAX models also feature a 91-hp Rotax V-Twin engine with a new intelligent throttle control system offering three driving models--Sport, Standard and Work. All of the Outlanders from 650 cc and up also provide a 1,650-pound tow rating.

Can-Am also refreshed the exterior design by adding a new front grille inspired by the styling of the Maverick X3 side-by-side lineup. Other new design features include aluminum bumper corners, new wheel packages and mudguards.

The company introduced lower pricing for the 2019 Outlander 650 and 850 ATVs. MSRP for the 650 is $8,399, or $400 less than 2018, and $8,999 for the 850, $750 less than the 2018 model.

Also for 2019, Can-Am has added the Adventure Roof Rack accessory for its Defender and Defender MAX side-by-sides. The rack is made from 1.25-inch diameter steel tubing and can carry loads up to 75 pounds. It features integrated mounting points for lights and anchor points for a spare tire attachment. The rack can hold up to eight pod-type LED lights and offers cutouts for LinQ tool holders.

More information is available at


The new Kawasaki Mule Pro-MX recreational/utility vehicle offers a cargo bed rated to carry 700 pounds of cargo. Standard equipped with a 2-inch hitch receiver, the vehicle comes with a 1,500-pound towing capability.

Kawasaki says to meet the needs of the Mule Pro-MX used in a recreational setting, it had to increase performance. It did so by adding a new single-cylinder 695-cc, liquid-cooled, four-cycle gasoline engine. Fuel-injected, this four-valve engine delivers 43 foot-pounds of torque while providing top speeds of more than 40 mph.

To assist in making the Mule Pro-MX a crossover concept, Kawasaki designed a new “tuned” steel platform/frame. This new frame offers a torsional strength that allows it to flex in certain areas when traversing rugged terrain and crossing over obstacles to maintain traction and comfort, but then return (spring back) to its original design configuration without compromising durability.

Torque and power are conveyed to the two rear wheels or to all four wheels, a selection that can be made with the flip of a dash-mounted toggle switch. The continuously variable transmission (CVT), along with a centrifugal clutch, provide effective engine breaking. When additional traction is needed, the rear axle can be locked by touching a large dash-mounted switch. When additional power is required, the automotive-style inline transmission shifter, mounted on the center console, can be placed in low or high gear, as well as neutral and reverse positions.

The Mule Pro-MX is available in a Timberline Green, Firecracker Red, True Timber HTC Green Camo or a Brite White exterior. Kawasaki offers more than 40 accessories that can be individually added to tailor the unit for specific needs and applications, or they are offered as part of three accessory packages. Base MSRP is $11,999.

More information is available at


Kubota featured its RTV-XG850 Sidekick at the 2018 National Farm Machinery Show but offered a riding experience for journalists in early September. The most significant feature noticed then of this new model is the power.

With a 48 hp gas engine, the RTV-XG850 has a top speed of 40 mph, significantly faster than the 29 mph of its other RTV-X models. The machine features a CVT with centrifugal clutch, or CVT Plus, the company says offers a quick and smooth takeoff. Idle speed control, combined with highland correction, provide “stable power” for the operator.

To help with handling and stability at even its top speed, the RTV-XG850 offers speed-sensitive electronic power steering. This allows the steering wheel to track back to center, providing an “automotive design” experience to steering. Other features designed for operation handling and comfort include front and rear independent suspension, engine-assisted braking and a selectable full-time 4WD system.

The RTV-XG850 can tow up to 2,000 pounds and comes standard with a trailer hitch. Cargo capacity is 15.2 cubic feet or 1,000 pounds. Kubota also is offering more than 50 accessories with this model.

More information is available at

Textron Specialized Vehicles:

Textron launches three side-by-sides for the 2019 model year, with two new vehicles in the Havoc lineup and the addition of the Wildcat XX LTD.

The updated Havoc base model offers a 100-hp EFI engine, standard electronic power steering, 12.8-inch front suspension travel, 2,000-pound towing capacity, a 600-pound-capacity cargo box and 24 cubic feet of storage with an extended cap. The MSRP is $16,299.

Textron says the new Havoc Backcountry Edition features a standard roof and hood rack, high-bolstered seats designed for increased comfort and more space. MSRP is $17,799.

The Wildcat XX LTD has the same offerings as the Wildcat XX, including a 130-hp engine, but with the addition of rider-protection features. The vehicle has front and rear bumpers, a half windshield and a heavy-duty, marine-grade Bimini Roof with a built-in rollup top. Also included is an updated SSV stereo system with marine-grade components. The MSRP is $21,999.

Textron also has introduced the Alterra 570 ATV series and updated the Alterra 700 ATV.

The Alterra 570 series includes the 570, 570 EPS and 570 XT. All three feature a 545-cc single-cylinder, closed-loop EFI engine. They offer 10 inches of front and rear suspension travel and 11 inches of ground clearance.

The 570 base and EPS models offer the rapid traction system (RTS), and the XT features electronic locking 4WD (EL4). Both features, which are located on the right handlebar, allow the operator to activate 4WD while in motion and with both hands on the handlebars. The EL4 system is electronically controlled, which enables the operator to switch on the fly between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD lock, Textron says.

The 700 series has an updated Textron Motors 700 engine 1.7 inches narrower and 12.4 pounds lighter than previous models. The company reports it reduced the rotational mass by 30 percent, a change that gives a better throttle response and a faster-revving engine to allow for quicker acceleration. The machine also features a new camshaft grind that improves throttle response and stability, as well as better emissions while idling and more low/mid-range torque.

The lineup also features a new CVT cover design that reduces weight and improves drive belt cooling, and creates less heat and sound transfer to the operator. Textron also added a new direct-driven clutch with better calibration to create faster backshifting on acceleration.

More information is available at

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA:

Yamaha adds more Special Edition (SE) models to its 2019 lineup. These include the Tactical Black Wolverine X4 SE, Tactical Black Kodiak 700 SE and the Grizzly SE in Tactical Black with a preinstalled WARN Winch.

The latter model has a 700-cc engine, 27-inch Maxxis ’Zilla tires and 14-inch two-tone cast aluminum wheels. Yamaha says the Grizzly SE produces less noise and vibration than previous models. MSRP is $10,999.

The Kodiak SE also features a 700-class single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. Towing capacity is more than 1,300 pounds. The front rack has a 110-pound capacity, while the rear can handle 198 pounds. MSRP is $9,299.

The Wolverine X4 SE has an 847-cc twin cylinder engine. It also features stow-away full-size rear seats for additional storage. Its MSRP starts at $17,249.

The company also launched its 2019 Grizzly 90 youth ATV. This model, designed for entry-level riders aged 10 and up, features a 90-cc engine and CVT transmission. Many of the features of the full-size Grizzly are included, such as mud-protection fenders, trail-pointed comfort suspension, cargo racks on the front and rear, and Grizzly-tread tires. The Grizzly 90 also offers an electronic speed limiter and adjustable throttle stop. The MSRP is $2,999.

More information is available at


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