Thursday, June 17, 2010

ATV Feeders

The term ATV Feeders or "all-terrain vehicle" is used to describe a number of small open motorised buggies and tricycles designed for off-road use. The 4-wheeled versions are also called quad bikes or more often quads. Models with 3 wheels are called all-terrain (motor) cycles or ATCs. 6 and 8 wheel models exist for specialized applications. The rider sits on these models just like on a motorcycle, but the extra wheels make them more stable at slow speeds. The deep treads on the tires of ATV feeders are effective for navigating terrain that is muddy and has tree roots and small rocks.

Models of ATV Feeders today are roughly divided into the sport and utility markets. Sport models are generally small, light, two wheel drive vehicles which accelerate quickly, have a manual transmission, and run at speeds in excess of 70 mph (102 km/h). Utility models are generally bigger four wheel drive vehicles with a maximum speed of up to 60mph (approximately 96 km/h). They have the ability to haul small loads on attached racks or small dump beds. They may also haul small trailers. Due to the different weights, each has advantages on different types of terrain.

Sport models of ATV Feeders are often built with a mind towards motocross racing, either in the design of the machine or at least in the marketing of it. To be successful at motocross racing, a quad must have light weight, high power, good suspension and a low center of gravity. 6 wheel models have a small dump bed, with an extra set of wheels at the back to increase the payload capacity. They can be either 4 or 6 wheel drive.
There also exist 6 and 8 wheel models where the rider sits inside. These vehicles may float and are designed to go through swamps as well as dry land. The major manufacturers of ATV Feeders are Honda, Kawasaki, Bombardier Recreational Products, KPX, Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris Industries, Cannondale and ATK.

ATV Feeders have become controversial among some groups, namely child-safety advocates, rural landowners, and environmentalists. Despite the move from 3-wheel to 4-wheel models, some deaths and injuries still occur. Often the riders of ATV Feeders go through privately owned property in rural areas. Further, environmentalists criticize ATV riders for riding through sensitive areas, especially wetlands and sand dunes.