Every now and then, the off-road industry ventures outside the aging precincts of its technology—sometimes far enough that the typical descriptions for its mainstream offerings don’t apply. For example? The new single-rider machine from Polaris. It’s not a quad, nor is it a side-by-side, since it carries only one rider. Then there’s Bad Boy Buggies’ off-road machine powered by both an electric engine and a combustion engine. And the list of innovations this year goes on, with plenty of machines ideally suited for anglers and hunters. These 13 ATVs, in particular, are well worth a look.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ATVS FEATURED HERE, PLEASE CONTACT THE RESPECTIVE MANUFACTURERS.

ARCTIC CAT: Prowler 500 HDX

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MSRP: $12,399

Take the popular 700 series side-by-side and downsize it a bit to accommodate a more manageable 500-class engine, add a generous rear cargo box plus seating for three riders and what do you have? A machine custom-made with the angler and hunter in mind.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 443cc, 4-stroke hemi, electronic fuel injection
  • Transmission: CVT with high, low, reverse and park; switchable to 4WD on the fly
  • BRAKING: Hydraulic discs front and back
  • Suspension: Double A-arms with 10 inches of travel front and back
  • STEERING: Power steering available on the Limited and XT packages
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 31 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: Up to 600 pounds in a tilting rear cargo box
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Forest green and red in the base model; camo option in the Limited Edition
  • Learn more: (204) 982-1656; www.arcticcat.com

ARGO: 8X8 XTD

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MSRP: $31,495

This eight-wheel-drive tank’s unstoppable versatility is legendary. It’ll push through a quagmire, cross the worst rock gardens with ease and even swim ponds, all the while keeping your gear safe and you dry. It just plain makes sense, then, to run this machine on a diesel engine. It’s available with or without tracks.

  • ENGINE: 3-cylinder in-line, liquid-cooled, 1028cc diesel engine generating 24 horsepower
  • Transmission: A triple differential Admiral transmission patented by parent company Ontario Drive and Gear
  • BRAKING: Hydraulic discs
  • Suspension: Set by tire pressure
  • STEERING: Handlebar
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 36 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: Will carry up to 1,340 pounds on land, 840 on water
  • GAUGES: Analogue
  • COLOURS: Black, red, yellow, Tundra and Mossy Oak Infinity camo
  • Learn more: (519) 662-4000; www.argoatv.com

BAD BOY BUGGIES: Ambush iS

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MSRP: $15,499

With this hybrid side-by-side, you’ll never have to worry about dead batteries again—the Subaru engine kicks in to provide power to the rear wheels when needed, and in the process charges up the storage batteries. And with the electric motor powering the front wheels, it glides along noiselessly in ambush mode.

  • ENGINE: Air-cooled, V-twin, 720cc, fuel-injection Subaru engine providing 28 horsepower; 48-volt electric motor offering 17.2 horsepower
  • Transmission: Selectable rear-wheel gas drive, front-wheel battery drive and hybrid gas-battery drive for 4-wheel engagement; manual front- and rear-locking differentials
  • BRAKING: 4-wheel hydraulic discs
  • Suspension: Independent
  • STEERING: Automotive-style steering wheel (no power steering)
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 31 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 900 pounds (including riders)
  • GAUGES: Analogue
  • COLOURS: Basic model comes in matte black; options include matte green, Flame Red, and Realtree camo
  • Learn more: 1-800-241-5855; www.badboybuggies.com

BOBCAT: 3600 4X4

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MSRP: (N/A)

Conceived and designed to work hard, this side-by-side incorporates technologies such as hydrostatic drive that will come in handy for getting out of tight spots in the backwoods. And there’s room enough for the driver and two passengers.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line, 3-cylinder diesel engine generating 24 horsepower with a top speed of 50 km/h, fuel injection
  • Transmission: Full automatic transmission with reverse, high and low range
  • BRAKING: Linked front and rear hydraulic brakes, plus engine brake
  • Suspension: Independent double A-arm front, semi-independent rear, with preload adjustments
  • STEERING: Tilting wheel with power assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 37.9 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: Tilting cargo bed capable of hauling 1,250 pounds
  • GAUGES: Analogue/digital
  • COLOURS: White with red detailing
  • Learn more: 1-800-743-4340; www.bobcat.com

 CAN-AM: Commander MAX XT

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MSRP: $19,849

This four-seater side-by-side exudes presence. It’s powerful and big, roomy enough to seat four riders in comfort and with enough cargo space to haul 600 pounds of gear. It’s ideal for those long hauls where you don’t want to make a couple of trips to get everybody and everything into camp.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, V-twin, 976cc, 85-horsepower Rotax, fuel injection Transmission: CVT with high, low, neutral, reverse, park and auto-lock front-end differential
  • BRAKING: Ventilated discs with hydraulic twin pistons front and back
  • Suspension: Double A-arm with dive control, torsional trailing arm with sway bar; 10 inches of travel on both
  • STEERING: Automotive-style, tilt steering wheel with power assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 37.8 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: 600 pounds
  • GAUGES: Analogue/digital
  • COLOURS: Yellow, grey or Vista camo
  • Learn more: (819) 566-3366; www.canamoffroad.com

CFMOTO: Terralander 800WT

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MSRP: $9,195

There’s plenty of power in this quad to haul your gear to some remote fishing hot spot or your hunt camp out in the hinterlands. It comes standard with a rear cargo rack, and can be switched from one-up to two-up riding by adding the included passenger backrest.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, V-twin, 800cc, 63 horsepower, fuel injection
  • Transmission: CVT with high, low, neutral, reverse and park; switchable 2- and 4-wheel drive and electric locking differential
  • BRAKING: Double hydraulic disc in the front and single hydraulic disc in the rear
  • Suspension: Independent double wishbone with 7 inches of travel at the front end; same with 8.5 inches of travel at the back
  • STEERING: No power assist, but available in an EPS package
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 23 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: 77 pounds front, 154 pounds rear
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Charcoal
  • Learn more: 1-877-463-3940; www.cfmoto.ca

HONDA: TRX420FPA

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MSRP: $8,499

When Honda engineers undertook to overhaul the TRX420 series, they did so from the ground up. The result is a quad that’s slightly longer, slightly wider and a lot more robust. The drive train, though, remains largely untouched, keeping the selectable auto or manual mode that sets the TRX apart from the rest.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke, longitudinally mounted, 420cc, fuel injection
  • Transmission: Fully automatic 5-speed, selectable 2- and 4-wheel drive with torque-sensing front locking differential
  • BRAKING: Hydraulic discs at the front, sealed mechanical drum at the rear
  • Suspension: Independent double wishbone with 6.7 inches of travel up front, swing arms and single shocks with 6.7 inches travel at the rear
  • STEERING: Power-steering assist, handle bars
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 16 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: 66 pounds front, 132 rear
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Orange and green
  • Learn more: 1-888-946-6329; www.atv.honda.ca

KAWASAKI: Teryx4 EPS

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MSRP: $17,299

The legendary Teryx side-by-side’s rebuild includes an upgraded engine with 10 per cent more torque, and eight per cent more horsepower. I rode the machine up steep mountain trails, over endless rock gardens, back down steeper mountain trails and opened the throttle on dust-choked straightaways. It never missed a beat.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, V-twin single overhead cam (SOHC), 783cc engine, fuel injection
  • Transmission: CVT with reverse, shaft-driven 2- and 4-wheel drive and locking front-end differential
  • BRAKING: Dual discs with dual piston calipers at the front, wet multi-plate at the rear
  • Suspension: Double wishbone all around with adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
  • STEERING: Automotive-style wheel with power assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 30 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 250 pounds
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Yellow
  • Learn More: (416) 445-7775; www.kawasaki.ca

KUBOTA: RTV X900 General Purpose

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MSRP: $14,013

Sometimes, when the task gets tough and the trail gets rough, you have to leave style and slick finishes back in the showroom, and opt for muscle and function instead. That’s why Kubota built this diesel-powered two-seater with a half-ton cargo capacity.

  • ENGINE: Kubota’s own 21.6-horsepower, 3-cylinder diesel water-cooled engine
  • Transmission: Variable hydrostatic transmission, high and low ranges plus reverse, 2- and 4-wheel drive
  • BRAKING: Wet disc, plus rear-locking park brake, and engine braking on hills
  • Suspension: Independent dual A-arms with preload at the front, coil over shocks at the back
  • STEERING: Automotive-style wheel, power assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 30 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 1,102 pounds
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Orange
  • Learn more: (905) 294-7477; www.kubota.ca

KYMCO: UXV 700i

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MSRP: $11,495

Switching out the 500-class engine used in the past in favour of a 695cc, 45-horse thumper made all the difference in the world. It’ll take you, your companion and all your gear way back into the wilds, and it’ll work hard while you’re out there.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC with electronic fuel injection
  • Transmission: CVT with high and low range plus neutral, reverse and park; on-demand 4-wheel drive with locking front-end differential
  • BRAKING: Dual hydraulic discs on the front, shaft-mounted discs on the back; single-piston calipers
  • Suspension: Dual A-arms all around
  • STEERING: Automotive-style steering wheel, no power assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 32 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 418.9 pounds, manually tilted
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Red, blue and orange
  • Learn more: (864) 327-4744; www.kymco.ca

NORDIK: Tornado 400

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MSRP: $6,995

Many’s the task that doesn’t need the torque of a big-bore engine—or a whole lot of horsepower. If you don’t need it, you shouldn’t have to pay for it and that’s where this 400-class machine sits, ready and able. And the price is reasonable for a side-by-side of this calibre.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, fuel injection
  • Transmission: CVT with forward, reverse, neutral and on-demand 2- and 4-wheel drive
  • BRAKING: Dual ventilated hydraulic discs all around
  • Suspension: Independent dual A-arm with anti-sway front and back
  • STEERING: Automotive-style steering wheel, no steering assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 28.7 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 350 pounds
  • GAUGES: Analogue/digital
  • COLOURS: White, red and camo
  • Learn more: www.nordikmotor.com

POLARIS: Sportsman ACE

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MSRP: $8,499

This baby breaks the ATV mould and eats up the miles. It looks and feels like an RZR side-by-side, but it fits in the bed of a standard, full-size pickup. It also gets the green light on designated trails. Trust Polaris to think outside the box with this single-rider machine.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder ProStar engine delivering 32 horsepower
  • Transmission: Proprietary variable transmission, with park, reverse and neutral, high and low ranges and all-wheel drive
  • BRAKING: Hydraulic discs all around, with dual bore calipers, engine braking and downhill descent
  • Suspension: MacPherson struts with 8.2 inches of travel at the front and dual A-arm anti sway bar with 9.5 inches of travel at the rear
  • STEERING: Automotive-style steering wheel, no steering assist
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 19.8 litres
  • RACK CAPACITY: 120 pounds front, 240 pounds rear
  • GAUGES: Analogue/digital
  • COLOURS: Bright white
  • Learn more: 1-800-765-2747; www.polaris.com

YAMAHA: Viking

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MSRP: $13,199

The Viking is fully worthy of Yamaha’s re-entry into the side-by-side market. From the ground up, it’s a solid, reliable workhorse for taking you where you need to go. And making the ride a pleasure are niceties such as the factory-installed roof; large-diameter headlights; huge, tilting steel cargo bed; and judicious styling.

  • ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 686cc engine, with Mikuni fuel injection
  • Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic, shaft driven, on-command 2- and 4-wheel drive and locking differential
  • BRAKING: Dual hydraulic discs front and back, plus a shaft-mounted parking brake
  • Suspension: Independent double wishbone with 8 inches of travel front and back, plus anti-sway bar
  • STEERING: Automotive-style steering wheel (steering assist available in the EPS package)
  • FUEL CAPACITY: 36.7 litres
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 600 pounds
  • GAUGES: Digital
  • COLOURS: Red, dark blue, dark green and Realtree camo (Tactical Black in the Special Edition)
  • Learn more: (416) 498-1911; www.yamaha-motor.ca

B.C. FIELD EDITOR GEORGE GRUENEFELD HAS BEEN RIDING ATVS SINCE BEFORE THEY WERE CALLED ATVS.