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Updated: October 12, 2011 15:19 IST

Polaris offroading vehicles

S. Muralidhar
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Polaris
BUSINESS LINE Polaris

Mud-slinging, dune-bashing, slush-flinging, off-roading fun! Yes, a lot of that must sound like what our politicians do everyday. But, I was referring to the kind of mindless, adrenaline pumping entertainment you could have with a capable all-terrain vehicle in your hands. And trust me it can get quite addictive.

All-terrain vehicles or Quad-bikes or simply Quads, are a recent phenomenon in India, though they have been around for a few decades in the so-called developed markets. Some of us have probably experienced them in a few entertainment complexes, but their real potential comes out when they are in their element – the wild outdoors.

The globally travelled, well-heeled Indian finally has the option of now owning capable, good quality ATVs and Quads with the entry of Polaris.

The US-based Polaris Industries is a recognised leader in the power sports industry, and is amongst the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and Off-road vehicles (ORVs). Timing it to the launch, Polaris India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the US company has been conducting road shows in the major metros to showcase the range of off-road bikes and ATVs.

Essentially the vehicles are all tuned for tackling untamed terrain. Rugged mountainous regions with either no roads or just kutcha tracks, slushy, marshy terrain and thick wooded areas with no access for large vehicles are all the perfect playing ground for these vehicles. While they can be used for recreational purposes, many of them are also built to able to perform other tasks like towing and transporting small cargo. None of the ATVs, OTVs or Quads are meant for on-road use though.

Apart from snowmobiles, there are two basic ranges of off-road vehicles that Polaris is currently offering for buyers.

The company's Sportsman brand ATVs range is designed to enable you to have the most fun outdoors. These are ‘quad-bikes', capable of riding through rain or snow, flat or hilly terrain. Available in Premium (high quality performance), 2–Up (double seater) and Value (more affordable) ranges, the prices start from sub Rs 3 lakh.

Polaris RANGER RZR Side by Side is the other range of vehicles that Indian buyers can opt for if they are looking for a slightly safer and multi-seater option. These are sport utility off-roaders which are exclusively built for off-road activities. Featuring roll cages, more powerful engines and a car like driving style, vehicles in this range can be configured to seat up to 4 or even 6 passengers. They are capable of delivering sharp performance and extreme off-road capability. There are four variants available: Only Trail (exclusively for hilly/mountain terrain), only Sport (for dune-surfing and riding in open spaces), only 4 Seat (world's first 4-seater Side by Side) and Only Xtreme (Premium performance under all conditions).

Most of these vehicles feature on-demand four-wheel drive systems, special all-terrain tyres, rugged long travel suspension to handle extreme conditions and special body work to ensure full protection to passengers. Engines and other operating systems are tuned for off-road performance and depending on the model and its purpose, they are also capable of operating at high altitudes and while wading through water. Some of the more seriously capable vehicles in the range may be expensive, but is there a price tag one can fix for some serious fun. Most of these vehicles are compact enough to be loaded on to a trailer and towed away to the nearest jungle.

Want to truly experience the adage – Work Hard, Play Harder – you know where to head to.

muraliswami@thehindu.co.in

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