Archives for category: – ATV / Side-by-side

A couple of weeks ago I dropped by Thorson’s Off-Road in Santa Rosa for a quote on a new skid plate. We got to talking and I was given a quick tour of the shop. They were prepping an insane looking Jeep for the King of Hammers, a 165-mile desert race in which teams must blast through open terrain at 100+ mph and also negotiate difficult, slow rocky sections.

The week-long event takes place in Southern California near Twentynine Palms, features motorcycles and buggies, and starts on Friday, January 30th. The main event takes place on Friday, February 6th.

See the rest of the post for links and photos of Thorson’s crazy Jeep.

Read the rest of this entry »

Continuing with the English buggy theme of the last post, allow me to introduce the Ariel Nomad. Remember the Ariel Atom, that bare-bones, tube-chassis tarmac sprinter? Well, this is its dirt-loving brother.

The specs are similar to the Rage Comet R. The Nomad is a little heavier at 670 kg (1,477 lb.), gets a little more power from its 2,354 cc Honda engine, 235 hp to be exact, and reaches about the same performance bar of 3.5 seconds 0–60 mph. It’s also from England. I’m not sure it’s set up to jump as well Comet but check out the video. It looks pretty fun.

Link:
Ariel Nomad

Check out this XCAR video featuring the Rage Comet R, a 200hp spiritual successor to the dune buggy. Like the dune buggy it’s a simple, rear-wheel drive machine, with a borrowed engine, and a penchant for on-and-off-road fun.

Whereas the original dune buggy’s performance could be described as peppy, the Comet R’s is absolutely Herculean. Instead of a 50 hp VW motor, it’s powered by 200 hp Kawasaki ZZR 1400. The 1,325 cc engine revs to 11,000 rpm and will hurl the 600 kg (1,323 lb.) Comet R from 0–60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. That’s supercar performance from a buggy that’s just as comfortable jumping berms as it is melting your face at a track day.

As a footnote, the original Meyer’s Manx dune buggy weighed about 635 kg (1,400 lb.). Oh, and the Rage Comet R hails from England. Blimey!

Links:
Rage Comet R

WCXC on Pinterest

Although I haven’t been so great at keeping on the blog lately (though I will be changing that), I have been good at keeping my Pinterest account up. And through a fluke of nature (which was Pinterest recommending one of my boards to new users), I now have over 20,000 followers. Whoa.

If you like your overland, off-road, camp, and adventure information in bite sized chunks, check out my Pinterest page. I have boards on camping, truck mods, Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, Skills, and a bunch of other stuff too.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you’ll probably dig it.

Links:
Here are all of the WCXC boards.

And here are all of the pins.

In this episode of Dirt Every Day, Fred Williams and crew compare two small 4x4s, each with about an 80″ wheelbase and about 60 hp: a 1946 Willy Jeep and a John Deere Gator. The video is kind of goofy, kind of funny, but also pretty informative and entertaining.

Link:
YouTube: Dirt Every Day

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The Atlantic has a great set of images up on its site regarding the recently completed Dakar Rally. Check them out here.

Links:
Dakar Rally, The Atlantic

Dakar Rally, Official Site

The 46th running of the Baja 1000 starts tonight in Ensenada, Mexico, and winds along an 833-mile course to finish back in Ensenada on the 17th. Here’s a video with a little bit of history about the race, including—I just learned—the traps and obstacles set by the spectators.

You can also follow along at the SCORE site. They also have a live map where you track the progress of the almost 40 different vehicle classes.

Have a look at the rest of the post for a pretty cool GoPro view of last year’s race from onboard Bryce Menzies trophy truck.  Read the rest of this entry »

What do you get when you put a 750cc, 150hp sportbike engine in a 687 lb. kart? A “Crosskart” that produces about as much horsepower per ton as a Lamborghini Aventador.

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This photo showed up on Facebook a few days ago, apparently. An Australian dad built his son a scaled-down 70-series Land Cruiser, complete with Lightforce spotlight and bull bar. I wonder if the antenna means it has a radio as well.

It occurred to me that a truck like this could totally go on the trail with an adult convoy since trail speeds average about 10 mph. How amazing would that be for a kid out in the wide open country with their own truck and their family there for backup?

In a related story, this was told to me the other day. A guy went out with his kids in his FJ80. They were in a big, dry river bed, so he put the truck in low range, got out and let his kids drive it around. They were nine and twelve. “They’ve been driving go-karts for years, so they know how to drive pretty well.” Then after a bit he saw his kids stop the truck. “What are they doing?” he thought. Two seconds later they were barreling across the wash.

They had shifted the truck back into four-wheel-high and were giving it the boot. “Hey get back here!” he yelled. “I gotta make sure they’re not watching me next time when I put it into kid-mode,” he told me.

Maybe it’s time to build your kids their own rig. 🙂

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The Dakar Rally has been blasting across South America for more than a week now. If you’d like to follow the action, here’s a link to the official site: Dakar Rally 2013.