BEST IN CLASS: BEST 2-UP ATV
Staff, Photo: Mike Lester
Friday, March 09, 2012
WINNER: Polaris Sportsman Touring 850 HO
This category has been heating up the past few seasons with informed buyers making the choice to purchase safe, purpose-built 2-up rides.
In our opinion, nobody else has done more to make the passenger experience comfortable and safe than Polaris with the XP based Sportsman Touring.
The “Comfort Ride” system, employing a small coil over shock under the passenger seat is simply without equal in the industry. It’s interesting to note the XP’s ultra narrow rider ergos actually play a role in increased passenger comfort as well.
The bodywork is motorcycle narrow and no other manufacturer comes close to the comfort afforded by the XP’s fore-aft oriented drive train and rear mounted CVT.
The deluxe 850 HO touring has nice upgrades and driver grips, hand guards, mirrors and a new-this-year replaceable rear rack filler to convert the Touring into a one-up ride.
Of course the proven 850 parallel twin powering this ATV is the icing on the cake. Smooth, quiet with incredibly linear power delivery and a near-perfect CVT transmission.
The Sportsman Touring 850 HO capably takes BIC!
Can-Am Outlander Max 650
There’s no escaping Can-Am’s leadership role in the development of the 2-up ATV. Can-Am was the first in this segment and continues to provide innovative and passenger-friendly models in ever more power variants. This year, the 650 Max gets the nod for runner up in this hotly contested category.
There’s exceptional ride quality here and the linear gentler power from its Rotax 650 Twin is formidable. Can-Am also offers the Max in an XT-P version with a long list of performance and visual enhancements.
Arctic Cat TRV 700i
Arctic Cat is fully engaged in the 2-up ATV biz offering myriad models in almost every power segment. Here’s the good news: These are very good 2-passenger ATVs.
Certainly the big-power 1000 is worth a look but we much prefer the more subtle power output of the 700 for 2-up riding.
Arctic Cat is making its twofers even more attractive by offering valuable upgrades like EPS and factory installed touring packages that include locking luggage and windshield/fairings.
We look for even more innovation from Arctic Cat as it continues to establish itself as a legitimate leader in the 2-up segment.