WHO HAS THE BEST 4-WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEM?
There are basically two types of 4-wheel drive available on ATVs these days.
The first is part-time 4WD like you see on Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Arctic Cat and Kawasaki.
With these systems, you can select whether or not you want to be in 4x4 by flipping a switch.
There's also a diff-lock switch that enables the front wheels to be locked so power is transmitted evenly left to right. This is great technology and definitely is capable of getting the job done.
An alternative and widely used system is full-time 4-wheel drive and this setup is used by Polaris and Can-Am.
Full-time or All-Wheel Drive means you can leave the vehicle in 4x4 mode all the time or you can select to leave it in 2WD.
There's no penalty through the handlebars with increased effort when you're in 4x4.
Can-Am, uses a viscous coupling (trade name: Visco-Lock) that senses when 4WD is needed, automatically engages it and then automatically locks up the front left and right wheels for maximum traction.
The Polaris system operates nearly exactly the same except it doesn't use a viscous coupling. Polaris uses a mechanical "hilliard" system in the front differential to automatically select 4WD and also to apply locking to the front differential.
The system can sense when more traction is required and it allows both automatic differential locking and auto 4WD selection on the fly.
From a pure user-friendliness perspective, the Polaris and Can-Am 4x4 systems are pretty cool.
No fear going into a mud hole that you may have forgotten to engage 4WD and now you'll lose momentum. Just nail the throttle and hang on - you're guaranteed to be in the correct mode.
We really like the part-time systems out there and they are so refined nowadays, you'd almost have to be an idiot to mess things up with them.
However, full-time 4WD is just too good to ignore.
More Like This
UPCOMING DIRTTRAX AIRTIMES
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Day in the DIRT with Peter McKinnon
July 13, 2020
We spend a day with iconic photographer & filmmaker Peter McKinnon and show him what Off-Road ...
TireJect - The Best Tire Sealant To Repair and Prevent Flat Tires
June 29, 2020
Luke compares the effectiveness of TireJect's particle-based liquid rubber formula consisting ...
CAN AM OUTLANDER 570 XMR REVIEW
June 24, 2020
Luke gets down and dirty with Can Am's mid-sized, mud machine - the Outlander 570 XMR featuring ...
STUCK WITH KING BOSS QUAD!
June 18, 2020
Once the walk-around was finished, we got out with King Boss Quad in his fully customized ...
Top Gear View All
July 6, 2020
TireJect Tire Repair and Flat Prevention
The Most Effective Tire Repair and Flat Prevention Product on the Market
Ask Motorhead View All
April 18, 2017
WILDCAT TRAIL VS. WILDCAT SPORT
Would you be happier with a Wildcat Trail or would you go for a Wildcat Sport if you had your choice?
Headlines View All
July 7, 2020
2021 TERYX KRX 1000 COMPLETE LINEUP
With the Teryx KRX 1000 already the source of great excitement in the sport side x side category, Kawasaki has added two new models ...
Tourism View All
November 17, 2017
WIN AN OFF-ROAD FAMILY ADVENTURE GETAWAY
Win an Off-Road Family Adventure Getaway at Spearhead Trails in beautiful Southwest Virginia.