Polaris Defense Adds Turbo Diesel MRZR

The new turbo-diesel powered MRZR-D from Polaris Defense.

The new turbo-diesel powered MRZR-D from Polaris Defense.

Another view of the MRZR-D, which will go into production this year.

Another view of the MRZR-D, which will go into production this year.

Polaris Defense, a division of Polaris Industries Inc., announced the addition of the MRZR-D, a high-performance MRZR turbo diesel to their military vehicle lineup. Polaris Defense will publicly debut the MRZR-D at the 2016 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), in Tampa, Fla., May 24-26, and at CANSEC 2016, in Ottawa, Ontario, May 25-26. While many key features – like the dimensions, payload, towing, ground clearance, accessories, handling and other features – remain the same, Polaris improved occupant seating space, ergonomics and sight lines based on user feedback. The turbo diesel increases auxiliary power, improves range and helps with fuel logistics given the large number of diesel fueled military vehicles. MRZR vehicles are helicopter transportable and come in two, four or six person configurations. The MRZR vehicles are used by US Special Forces and other allied militaries. Learn more: Polaris.com

Comment:  The use of diesel fuel is key. SVR previously conducted research on a specialized UTV with potential military applications. Diesel is not only used in many other military vehicles but is often more readily available in potential combat areas. In addition, if improvisation in the field is needed, vegetable oil can be used as well.


Road Use Regulation Roundup: May 2016

The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that has been passed or is being considered at the state, county and city levels since October 2016. Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • Many of the ordinances cover the use of UTVs and ATVs on public roads while others also involve golf cars or sole involve golf cars. Few involve LSVs or NEVs.
  • In many instances the impetus for the regulations started with local residents approaching local council members or city managers.
  • Regulatory activity is happening primarily at the town or city level, but there is some action at the county level as well.
  • The regulations are a mix of those restricting on road use of ATVs, UTVs and golf cars and those allowing the use of these vehicles.

Chillicothe, IL – The Public Safety Committee agreed to send an ordinance prohibiting the use of UTVs on local roads after numerous calls from residents against an initial ordinance allowing the vehicles. Golf cars are still allowed.

Solon, IA – City Council voted against an ordinance that would allow UTVs on some city streets. Concerns were raised about safety given the size and speed of the vehicles and the fact that the city has no police officers of its’ own to enforce the ordinance. The city has allowed golf cars on certain streets since 2011.

Jefferson, WI – The city council unanimously approved an ordinance allowing NEVs on city streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less. The ordinance pertains to vehicles that conform to NHTSA LSV standards.

Panorama Village, TX – The city approved a golf car registration ordinance to ensure that residents are following regulations regarding use of golf cars on city streets.

Gulf Breeze,  FL – The city council is considering strengthening golf car regulations for street use because of concerns with unsafe golf cart operations including use by children and teenagers, use on pedestrian sidewalks, use on high-traffic streets, excessive occupant loads and use at night with no headlights.

Louisa County, IA – The board of supervisors approved an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs on secondary roads in the county.

Barry County, MI – The Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that opens non-highway roads to off-road vehicles (quads, ATVs, dirt bikes and UTVs) with a speed limit of 25 mph, but bars the vehicles from city and village streets and state roads. It also increases fines for unauthorized use of the vehicles from $60 to $250, with a portion of the revenue set aside for road repairs.

Gardner, WI – Urged by residents, the town board is considering allowing ATVs and UTVs on local and county roads in town. Vehicle users want to establish a trail to connect with neighboring towns that allow the vehicles.

Wadena, MN – The city passed ordinance that will allow permitted use of ATVs, UTVs, golf cars and other types of vehicles that are used for snow removal or other uses in the city. They are also working on an ordinance for recreational use of these same vehicles.

Jacksonville, IL – The City Council is working on an ordinance to allow street legal gof cars and utility vehicles on city roads. Drivers are required to have a valid license, carry mandatory liability insurance, pay a $75 permit fee and be at least 18 years old. Vehicles must have a review mirror, warning devices, seat belts, taillights, brake lights and turn signals.

Delaware County, IA – Delaware County officials are exploring the possibility of allowing all-terrain vehicles on county roads. A group of local ATV enthusiasts recently asked county supervisors to open county routes to the vehicles, as well as utility vehicles. The 100 members of Roads to Trails say there are limited options locally to use the vehicles.

Danville, IL – Danville Township passed an ordinance allowing people to use golf cars and UTVs on township roads after the vehicle has been inspected and an annual $25 fee has been paid.

Fayette County, IL – The County Board did not approve an ordinance allowing low speed vehicles on rural roads in the county. The ordinance pertained to ATVs, UTVs and golf cars.

Panama City Beach, FL – The council directed the city’s legal team to craft an ordinance that will put a moratorium on the registration of any new vehicles — essentially golf carts — until the board decides how to limit the number on the road. The city reports 194 rental vehicles are registered with the city compared to 93 the year before. The city is concerned with the large number of such vehicles on the roads and has already limited the number of scooters used.

Silver City, NM – Silver City is considering allowing ATVs and UTVs on city streets. In their 2016 session, the New Mexico Legislature passed a law allowing ATV use on paved roads in the state, subject to local government approval and stipulations. Any municipality that wishes to adopt this rule has the right to do so, and can also restrict ATV use on their roads in the ways they wish — including establishing separate speed limits for the vehicles.

What’s Cooking On The STOV: Sports Facility Vehicles

Highlighting some of the many applications for Small, Task-Oriented Vehicles

From left, Morgan O’Sullivan of Cushman, Simon Jennings of Ernest Doe & Sons, Darren Baldwin of Tottenham Hotspur FC and Andy Turbin, also fo Ernest Doe & Sons, with the fleet of electric vehicles supplied for the club's training ground.

From left, Morgan O’Sullivan of Cushman, Simon Jennings of Ernest Doe & Sons, Darren Baldwin of Tottenham Hotspur FC and Andy Turbin, also fo Ernest Doe & Sons, with the fleet of electric vehicles supplied for the club’s training ground.

In the UK, the Tottenham Hotspur football club of the Premier League recently replaced their fleet of transport and utility vehicles for their training facility. The all electric fleet from Ransomes Jacobsen and purchased through a local dealer, Ernest Doe & sons, features vehicles from sister brands Cushman and E-Z-GO. The fleet includes six Cushman Hauler PRO 72-volt electric utility vehicles, two Cushman four-seater Shuttles with custom cargo beds, two specially-designed stretcher/ambulance vehicles and an E-Z-GO Express Shuttle 6, for transporting VIP guests around the 77-acre site. The 72-volt vehicles represent an upgrade for the club whose previous fleet was three years old. Management expects to increase operating time and range with the vehicles. Learn more:  EADT.co.uk

Kubota Recalls Over 23,000 UTVs

The Kubota RTV400 being recalled.

The Kubota RTV400 being recalled.

The Kubota RTV500 being recalled.

The Kubota RTV500 being recalled.

Kubota has issued a large recall of their model year 2013, 2014, and 2015 RTV400 and RTV500 utility vehicles. Approximately 23,400 vehicles are being recalled because the steering shaft can break and cause loss of vehicle control. Kubota has received nine reports of shafts breaking and one injury as a result. Owners should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact an authorized Kubota dealer for a free inspection and free repair. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Summary

Name of product:  Utility Vehicles

Hazard:  The steering shaft can break and cause the operator to lose control of the vehicle, posing an injury hazard due to risk of collision.

Consumer Contact:  Kubota Tractor Corporation at 800-752-0290 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or online at www.kubota.com and click on More, then Safety, then Safety Notices for more information. Kubota is contacting known customers directly.

Recall Details

Units:  About 23,400

Description:  This recall involves model year 2013, 2014 and 2015 Kubota RTV400 and RTV500 series gas-powered utility vehicles. Recalled utility vehicles come in orange and camouflage and have serial numbers ranging from 10001 to 22042 for the RTV400 and 25083 to 40991 for the RTV500. The model is on the side of the unit and on the data plate on the back of the cab, between the cab and the bed. The serial number is also on the data plate.

Incidents/Injuries:  Kubota has received nine reports of shafts breaking, including one in which a consumer lost control of the vehicle and collided with a barbed wire fence, resulting in a cut on the arm.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled utility vehicles and contact an authorized Kubota dealer for a free inspection and free repair.

Sold at:  Authorized Kubota dealers nationwide from 2010 to 2015 for between $21,000 and $22,000.

Distributor(s):  Kubota Tractor Corporation, of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured in:  United States

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Comment:  This is a large recall. Even though the sales period stretches over several years, anything over 10,000 units let alone 23,000 is a sizable number. I would also surmise that this repair might be a more involved and thus more expensive than most recall repairs.

Honda Recalls 2016 Pioneer 1000 UTVs

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS being recalled.

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS being recalled.

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe being recalled.

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe being recalled.

Honda has recalled approximately 3,300 model year 2016 Pioneer 1000 utility vehicles due to the front door potentially opening unexpectedly and posing an injury risk. The recall involves both 3 and 5 passenger models. (See specific model information below) Only one incident has been reported and no injuries have been reported. Vehicle owners should contact their local Honda dealer for free replacement of the front door striker plates. The following is recall information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Recall Summary

Hazard:  The front door can open unexpectedly while the vehicle is in use, posing a risk of injury to occupants.

Consumer Contact:  American Honda toll-free at 866-784-1870 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.powersports.honda.com and click on Recall Information at the bottom of the page for more information.

Recall Details

Units:  About 3,300

Description:  This recall involves model year 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 side-by-side recreational off-highway vehicles. The ROVs are motorized off-road vehicles with a steering wheel, a gas pedal, a brake pedal, bucket or bench seats, seat belts and an occupant protection structure. The recalled ROVs were sold in three-seat and five-seat models in red, silver or camouflage color. “HONDA” is printed on the front grill and rear tail gate. “Pioneer 1000” is printed on the sides of the vehicle near the tailgate. The model and serial numbers are on a certification label located at the top rear of the left front wheel well. The following model/types and serial number ranges are included in this recall:

Honda recall model info 5-16Incidents/Injuries:  Honda has received one report of an unexpected door-release incident during a dealer set-up of the vehicle. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact their local authorized Honda dealer to schedule an appointment to have the original front door striker plates removed and replaced, free of charge.

Sold at:  Authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from February 2016 through April 2016 for between $14,000 and $17,200.

Manufacturer(s):  American Honda Motor Company Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured in:  U.S.A.

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Comment:  This recall happened relatively quickly as the vehicles were only sold in the last few months. It is not a very large recall, and not that recalls ever happen at a good time, but, since Honda has been making a stronger push into the side-by-side market in the last few years it’s not the best timing from a marketing standpoint. On a positive note, they seem to have identified the problem fairly quickly.

Textron Targets UTV Market With New Stampede 900 Models


The new gas powered Stampede 900 from Bad Boy Off Road.

The new gas powered Stampede 900 from Bad Boy Off Road.

stampedevehiclepage_gallery05_1600x600Stampede 900 360_v3_00002In search of new growth opportunities Textron Specialized Vehicles is targeting the off-road utility vehicle market with their new Bad Boy Off-Road Stampede 900 models. The vehicles represent a new strategy for the company as they add a gas powered UTV to their Bad Boy Buggie line of electric powered vehicles. At the same time they are re-branding the product line under the Bad Boy Off-Road brand, which now includes the new Stampede 900 models, existing Ambush and Recoil Bad Boy Buggie models as well as Onslaught 550 gas powered ATV models.

The Bad Boy Buggie line has had limited success, as electric powered hunting vehicles are more of a niche market and face competition from lower priced modified golf cars. The new Bad Boy Off Road platform should provide ample opportunities for the company to branch into a range of off-road market segments. However, these markets are increasingly competitive as many manufacturers with strength in certain market segments look to attack other segments.

The Stampede line launches with three different 2-passenger models:  the base 900 model, the 900 EPS and the 900 EPS +. The Stampede 900 EPS adds electronic power steering, a selectable locking rear differential, a Jet Black color option and high beam headlights. In addition to these features, the Stampede 900 EPS+ adds 27″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires with aluminum alloy wheels, a platinum color option and color accented contoured bench seats. Both EPS models feature a USB port. The following are key features across all models unless noted:

  • 80 hp, 846cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, twin cylinder, SOHC gas engine
  • 59 ft-lb of torque
  • Electronic fuel injection
  • CVT
  • Double A-Arm suspension with performance shocks and front and rear sway bars
  • 9.5″/10.5″ front/rear suspension travel
  • 11.25″ of ground clearance
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 26″ Kenda off-road performance tires with steel wheels (Except for 900 EPS+ model)
  • Extended cab
  • 24-cu-ft of storage
  • 600 lb. capacity tilt cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • LCD Display
  • Contoured bench seat
  • Doors
  • 3-point seat belts
  • Front steel brush guard
  • Steel tube ROPS

The MSRPs for the models are $13,799 for the Stampede 900, $14,799 for the Stampede 900 EPS and $15,599 for the Stampede 900 EPS+. There are over 70 accessories available as well as a Workman’s package and a Hunter’s package. Learn more:  Badboyoffroad.com

Comment:  The Stampede line with the 80 hp engine and other features is clearly a crossover vehicle that can be used for work or recreation. The price points are in the mid-range of the market. The question is how will this new market entrant fair in a highly competitive market. Textron will likely have to expand their dealer network, which has traditionally been golf car dealers and material handling equipment dealers. The existing network is considerably smaller than the dealer networks of other powersports companies. In addition, the network’s existing customer base and geographic locations may not match up well with the target market.