Polaris: The Army Wants You
This summer the U.S. Army sent Polaris Industries a $6 million order for more of its MV700 ATVs, plus related parts and accessories, for use with the troops in Afghanistan. There's more to militarizing the ATV than green paint and camo seat covers. The MV700 also has a 1,500-pound tow capacity, a 600-pound total carrying capacity on its front and rear racks (double what's available in this class for non-milspec ATVs, says Polaris), and run-flat Goodyear Mud-runner EXT tires. The tubular frame you see is what Polaris calls a "protective exoskeleton" to better shield the ATV from the rigors of military use.
Hmm, seems like they need a small off-road vehicle. Maybe a reissue of the Willys M38 is due?
New 4Runner on the way
If only this month's deadline was a couple weeks later, we'd have a photo of the whole '10 Toyota 4Runner, which was scheduled to debut at the State Fair of Texas. All Toyota will say about its fifth-generation 4Runner prior to the intro is that it is "more rugged than ever," with "increased comfort" and "added roominess." According to trade journal Automotive News, the 4Runner will get Toyota's new 4.6L, 310hp V-8, which is more powerful than the 4.7 it replaces while delivering V-6-like fuel economy. Watch for more details and a better picture next month.
•Land-use advocate Del Albright has developed a new website, SaveMyTrails.com, that offers "one-stop shopping for finding out where to start with saving your trails," he said. "Recreationists want things fast, simple, and easy, and SaveMyTrails.com provides the first steps and a simple formula for getting in the game."
•Last month we told you about the large number of grants given to the OHV community by Yamaha. We have since learned that Tread Lightly! received a $40,000 chunk of that grant in the form of cash and equipment. Yamaha funds will support the design of a template for a new travel map that will simplify information from the U.S. Forest Service's Visitor's Use Map by incorporating both motorized and nonmotorized travel information, as well as Tread Lightly!'s outdoor ethic. Yamaha also contributed a Grizzly utility ATV in support of Tread Lightly!'s annual fundraising auction on eBay.
Team Toyo Rocks Crandon
Our buddies at Toyo Tires were justifiably stoked following the 40th Anniversary BorgWarner World Championship in Crandon, as drivers running on Toyo's Open Country M/T-R tires dominated the Labor Day Weekend event. Kyle LeDuc earned the prestigious BorgWarner Cup for winning Sunday's Pro 4x4 race in his Rockstar/Makita/Ford/Toyo-sponsored F-150. Brother Todd LeDuc won Saturday's BorgWarner World Championship Pro 2WD race in another Rockstar/Makita Ford and finished the weekend within striking distance of TORC's Pro 2WD series championship.
Rick Huseman is currently leading the Pro 4x4 points chase. He made his mark at Crandon by pushing his Monster Energy/Traxxas/Toyota/Toyo Tundra to a new track record that was more than 2 seconds quicker than the previous record.
Also setting a track record, in Pro 2WD, was Robby Gordon in his Polaris/Toyo Silverado. Gordon had one of his super-human weekends over Labor Day, qualifying at Crandon on Friday, driving a NASCAR race on Saturday, and then returning to Crandon to race on Sunday-all after hurting himself during a high-speed crash in his desert-race Hummer earlier in the week.