Have you ever wondered which ATV is the fastest one you can buy? It’s a question that has crossed the minds of many ATV enthusiasts. While manufacturers may not disclose top-speed numbers anymore, there are plenty of reports from enthusiasts who have put their machines to the test and shared their findings on forums and YouTube.
Fastest Stock ATVs Ever: Through the Years
Let’s take a look at some of the fastest stock ATVs from different years:
- 1988: The stock Suzuki LT500 ATV, known as Quadzilla, reached an impressive speed of 79-80mph during testing by 3×4 Wheel Action magazine.
- 2001: Yamaha Motor Co tested a stock Yamaha Raptor 660R, which reached speeds of 74-75mph. They also suggested that the Yamaha Banshee could achieve similar speeds. Additionally, BRP announced that their stock DS650 ATV could reach a top speed of 75-77mph.
- 2004: Dirtwheels magazine reported that a stock Yamaha YFZ450R achieved a top speed of 75mph during testing.
- 2008: Polaris joined the speed competition with their stock Outlaw 525S ATV, which reached approximately 75mph.
- 2010: Arctic Cat’s Behemoth 1000cc stock Thundercat ATV impressed with its top speed of 79mph.
- 2016: Yamaha’s YFZ 450 recorded a stock top speed of 75mph during a race in Texas.
The Fastest Stock ATVs You Can Buy Today
While some of the previously mentioned ATVs have been discontinued, there are still some speedy options available in the market for 2022. Let’s take a closer look at two of them:
Can-Am Renegade X XC
The Can-Am Renegade X XC is not only known for its top speed capability, but it’s also one of the best ATVs on the market this year. Powered by a 976cc, liquid-cooled, Rotax V-twin engine, the Renegade produces a whopping 91hp, making it one of the most powerful ATVs out there.
While the official top speed figure has not been revealed by the manufacturer, owners have reported speeds well above 85mph. With a simple ECU flash and aftermarket exhaust, the Renegade X XC can even exceed 100mph, which is seriously fast!
In addition to its speed, the Can-Am Renegade X XC comes equipped with ITP Holeshot tires, offering excellent performance both on dirt and pavement. With 9.2 inches of suspension travel at the front and 9.9 inches at the rear, this ATV handles rough terrains with ease. Plus, Can-Am offers various aftermarket accessories like bumpers, racks, and snorkels to enhance its practicality.
Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 S
Polaris has taken its range-topping Utility ATV, the Sportsman XP 1000, and created the Sportsman XP 1000 S by incorporating sportier suspension, increased ground clearance, and several other performance-oriented features. This ATV is perfect for riders who love off-road adventures.
The Sportsman XP 1000 S is powered by a ProStar 952cc, twin-cylinder engine that delivers 89hp. In comparison to the standard Sportsman XP 1000, which weighs 84lbs less and offers 1hp more, the XP 1000 S comes with larger, off-road spec tires designed for traversing trails and achieving higher speeds. As a result, owners have reported top speeds of 75-80mph, with several YouTube videos supporting these numbers.
How Can You Increase ATV Top Speed?
If you’re looking to enhance your ATV’s top speed, there are a few factors to consider. Factors such as the condition of your machine, tires, altitude, and terrain type can all affect top speed. Here are a couple of strategies to improve your ATV’s top speed:
Altering the Gear Ratio
One effective way to change the performance of your ATV is to alter the final gear ratio. The gear ratio plays a significant role in determining the maximum speed your ATV can reach. By installing taller and steeper gears, you can increase your quad’s acceleration rate and, in turn, its top speed.
Changing Out Your Tires
Tire selection also plays a role in achieving higher speeds. Tires with a longer radius can increase your ATV’s top potential speed, assuming your engine can generate enough power to drive them effectively. However, larger tires may slightly impact acceleration rates.
Keep in mind that engine size alone does not dictate the possible top speed; it primarily determines the acceleration rate. To achieve a higher top speed, you’ll need to find the right balance between increasing horsepower, changing the gear ratio, and selecting the appropriate tire size.
Increasing the Top Speed on Electric ATVs
For those riding electric ATVs, the top speed is not limited by the same constraints as internal combustion engine-powered ATVs. With batteries that can sustain high output for extended periods, electric ATVs have higher potential speeds and stronger acceleration.
Does Top Speed Matter in an ATV?
While top speed isn’t as crucial as acceleration in an ATV, it’s still fun to know the baseline top stock speed of your quad before upgrading it with performance parts. Keep in mind that when riding in rough terrains, you’ll often need to adjust your throttle, making reaching top speed less important.
Now you have a better understanding of the fastest stock ATVs available and how you can improve your ATV’s top speed. Whether you’re a speed enthusiast or simply enjoy the thrill of riding an ATV, these insights will help you make informed decisions. So, get out there and enjoy the ride!