A question we’ve often asked each other around our well-lit Dirt Trax garage, is whether buyers look for horsepower more than low prices when choosing an ATV.
Certainly, big power gets all the headlines and is what makes potential buyers’ spines tingle. However, given the nature of ATV use, does the whole purchase decision get skewed when it comes down to getting the biggest blast for your dollar?
A fine example is the incredible success of the Polaris 500HO Classic. This is probably the largest selling single model in the whole ATV business. Why? If you compare its utility (basically, the way it works), its ride and its features and then mix in its torquey power delivery from a relatively primitive, carbureted powerplant, you can see why the masses gravitate to it when its time to write the check.
Another successful model series is Arctic Cat’s downsized new 350 and 425 4×4 series. These are very strong selling models that don’t offer big displacement mills or mind-bending power, but are full-featured ATVs priced at the bargain level.
On the other hand, the sizzle goes to the big-inch, mega-torque 700, 800 and bigger models that have huge price tags but are guaranteed to deliver more thrills per cubic centimeter. Having these influential “flagships” at the top of any OEM’s model list seems to carry enthusiasm downward into their lower priced offerings.
One thing is for sure. ATV buyers won’t buy an ATV with a reputation for being totally punched, no matter how low the price is. What they will buy is an ATV priced low because it’s missing a few features but still delivering decent performance.