atv under testWe measured fuel consumption, performance, turning circle, weight and braking distance.

Fuel consumption.

Each ATV covered four laps of a hilly 4.5mile Downland course two laps while pulling a 330kg gross trailer and two without it, all in 4wd. Surfaces varied from concrete to rutted grass.

The lap was divided into 14 sections, each assigned a forward speed from 10mph to 30mph. One rider did the work, aiming to reach each speed as swiftly as possible, then to hold it as closely as power allowed up hill and down dale.

GPS provided the speed read-out, distance covered and a moving average speed. Fuel went into a rack-mounted auxiliary tank, whose sloping top allowed brim-filling without the risk of air pockets.

Fuel used during the four laps was replaced at the finish using a calibrated cylinder, and consumption calculated.

The procedure varied a little with two machines. The fuel-injected Polaris could not be used with an external tank so its own was used, filled as carefully as possible. And as farm work blocked access to part of the Ecoquad’s laps, it covered 16.1miles rather than 18miles.

These results give an accurate picture of relative fuel consumption in one set of circumstances. Expect higher consumption in constant stop-start, wide-throttle riding.

Performance.

Each ATV towed a Logic LBT100 trailer plus straw round bale (gross weight 390kg) up a steepening 0.49mile concrete track, from a standing start in 4wd. Time and terminal speed were recorded.

Turning circle was checked on flat grass in 2wd and 4wd.

Weights were found using Michelin’s electronic pads.

Stopping distance was recorded by settling each ATV at 25mph then slamming on the anchors at a given marker. This was the most potentially variable test, so like performance, it was repeated several times with two riders and the results averaged.