It appears that more and more people are getting into going riding, but look around almost any off-road park and you will see that side by sides are everywhere! While it is great to see so many people showing an interest in off-roading with the popularity of side by sides it seems to have almost ruined sport quads. In looking at the 2020 line up for manufacturers, Yamaha is the only company that is making a 2020 sport quad with the YFZ450 and the Raptor 700, most manufacturers are focusing on utility quads and side by sides. This can also be seen when looking magazines and publications that used to focus on ATV’s and sport quads, some of these don’t even mention them anymore or their focus is so small because of the focus and popularity of side by sides. DirtWheels Magazine is now mostly side by sides, and ATV Action became ATV/UTV Action and is now just UTV Action.
Growing up riding dirt bikes this seems like the decline of manufacturers producing 2 stroke dirt bikes. Will sport quads follow the same trend? It already seems similar with the number of sport quads manufacturers producing new sport quads down to only one.
But when out on the trails these days once you make is past all the side by sides, the sport quads that are out there aren’t usually the brand new ones off the showroom floor, they’re older models that have been maintained and/or upgraded thanks to a great supply of OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories from numerous companies and individuals. A quick look on online forums, Facebook groups, & YouTube videos and comments, there is an extensive amount of knowledge and helpful people to answer questions and offer opinions on these sport quads; all of which pays dividends to the people who still ride, love, and support sport quads.
I will admit growing up riding dirt bikes, sport quads were referred to as the dark side, but I eventually made the change to a Raptor 700 and couldn’t be happier. I still felt the sense of freedom and control when I went riding, something that to me isn’t felt when you’re driving a side by side. Now I’m not trying to say that side by sides aren’t good and don’t have their advantages, you can have a friend or significant other riding with you, you can carry equipment, and when using proper safety equipment they can be safer to an extent.
But to me those don’t justify giving up sport quads, because when out on the trails I’m there to go riding, not sitting around the trail drinking and socializing (something that is seen out on the trails a lot).
Plus, the places to ride around here are getting rough and rutted out, especially on hills that get a lot of side by side traffic; making it difficult for quads, especially sport quads. Yet the sport quads still show up and give it everything they got.
Again, don’t get me wrong, side by sides aren’t all bad, I know plenty of people that have side by sides that I go riding with. But riding with a group of side by sides will never replace the joy and excitement of riding with a group of sport quads.
So I ask, where have the sport quads gone? Will sport quads make a comeback? I for one will always have a love and passion for sport quads, and I truly hope that we can save the sport quads.