Radio interview source: Lucas Cooney, Editor, ATV.com
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All-terrain vehicles or ATVs appeal to many riders. They use them for recreation, to enjoy the outdoors, and to get things done around the property.
Lucas Cooney is the editor of ATV.com. He says the latest trends show that ATV and utililty vehicle manufacturers are focusing on versatility, and trying to make machines that appeal to as many consumers as they can.
"It used to be that they would have a handful of ATVs that they would try to make for broad appeal," he says. "But now it seems they're making more and more machines to fill specific niches. You see a lot of sport-focus stuff coming out, really expanding that. But you also see companies building a lot of rural-specific things, like a new diesel side-by-side to kind of appeal to more the landowners and things of that nature. The idea is that they'll sell a machine specific to your needs, rather than you making their machine fit your needs."
Cooney says manufacturers are putting heftier engines into their ATVs, trending upward of 90-horsepower. But at the same time, companies are producing models that will fit a lower budget.
Small-to-mid-size landowners don't always need both an ATV and a tractor. Cooney says some ATV owners want to use their machines for chores that a tractor would normally tackle, so you'll find a growing list of attachments.
"A power takeoff kit basically that allows you to add a lawn mower, a log splitter, an ice auger, and things of that nature right to you ATV," says Cooney. "You can see dethatchers and aerators for lawns, wire spoolers for laying out fence line and bringing in fence line at the end of the season. Plenty of plows, some separate manufacturers have a backhoe available."