Do the current set of 700-850cc ATVs offer worthwhile advantages over the 400-500cc ones most farmers use at the moment? Emily Padfield and Nick Fone tried six full-sixed machines to find the answer

It seems like only yesterday that the first 250cc three-wheelers appeared on UK farms – though it was actually 25 years ago. Then came four-wheeled ATVs and 350cc gradually became the norm for a decently-powerful farm workhorse.

THE LINE-UP

     

Make & model

Fuel

Power

Retail price (exc VAT)

Can-Am Outlander Max 800 R EFI (EC)

Petrol

800cc

£7819

Honda Rincon AT FI

Petrol

675cc

£7249

Kawasaki KVF 750 V-Twin FI

Petrol

750cc

£6599

Polaris Sportsman 850 XP EFI Twin

Petrol

850cc

£7499

Suzuki King Quad 750 AXi

Petrol

750cc

£6599

Yamaha Grizzly 700 EFI

Petrol

700cc

£6899

Now, the most commonly bought bikes for farmwork range from 400-500cc. But manufacturers, keen to tackle both leisure and utility markets in one go, are now tempting buyers with bigger and better models.

But what does having 850cc instead of 500cc actually mean? Does it turn feeding the sheep into something more akin to the beach race at Weston? Or does all that extra grunt enable you to haul heavy loads more safely and scale hills without difficulty?

In our test of six high-cc bikes, we assessed them for overall quality, rideability and their ability to do a range of farm tasks. All had independent suspension on all four corners and half had big V-twin motors; all six had electronic fuel injection.

Five had belt-driven CVTs; Honda opts for a torque-converter and three-speed auto-box. For most buyers, the way to choose is by colour and country of origin. But, favourites aside, we tried to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly in each model.

First, watch the video:

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