Wednesday, January 17, 2007


When I was 15, my dad bought me a brand new Suzuki Quadsport ATV (that's me on it in the picture on the left). I had a great time riding it with my friends, who had various other off-road vehicles of their own. When I turned 16 and got my driver's license though, I wanted something to drive on the streets with. I had what I thought was a great idea. Why not make a street legal four wheeler (ATV)?

The benefits would be:
  • It would be more stable than a motorcycle (wont' slip out from underneath you in turns).
  • It would provide some protection (from the wheels and axles) in the case of a side impact, so your leg wouldn't get crushed.
  • It would have much greater stopping ability, since it would have 3-4 disc brakes (my ATV had one rear disk, in the middle of the solid rear axle), and stopping traction from four wide tires, instead of just two skinny ones.
  • It would have similar gas mileage to a motorcycle and the similar open air feeling (as close as you can get to flying without leaving the ground) as well.
The problem I ran into is that any vehicle that has more than three wheels must comply with all of the legal requirements of an automobile, including bumpers, windshields, seat belts, etc. I even spoke with my local politician about getting the laws changed, but of course he wasn't very sympathetic to my cause.

Well, in the last several years I have seen some concept vehicles of street ATVs such as this one, about the Peugeot Quirk. But then this morning I read this article about the Polaris Revolver concept, which was recently shown at the Detroit International Auto Show. The article mentions the following (below the picture):

<--Polaris Revolver

Many of the ATVs currently sold in Europe are homologated for on-road use as “quadricycles”. Virtually all of today’s rider active, street-legal, homologated quadricycles are off-road vehicles that have been adapted for on-road use.

Peugeot Quirk-->

So it's perfectly normal for people in Europe to be living my little street-legal ATV dream!

So, will it ever be legal here in the states? Well, I certainly won't be holding my breath waiting. But maybe if the companies that make the machines can lobby a bit. Maybe if enough people show interest. Polaris was showing off the Revolver in Detroit, after all. Perhaps I'll write a letter (or email) to Polaris and ask them if there is any hope for it's production and sale here in the U.S.. Maybe some day...


Amanda Lomonaco said...

Nice masthead! I liked the other one with the rippling muscles, too.

Amanda Lomonaco said...

What a putrid color choice! Definitely NOT manly.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on that, I've seen the picture of the Polaris Revolver and I'm interested in them too. I'm from Canada and I'm going to be getting my license soon, I thought that the Polaris Revolver would be great for me. Polaris had a great idea when they made the Polaris revolver.

Anonymous said...

Funny! You took the smae route I did here in Canada. I argued with local officials about road legal ATV's too. It amazes me that some home welder can chop apart a Harley and make it into a trike with 6 foot long forks and it can be road legal wheras an ATV made and welded by experts at Polaris and is sold in Europe as a "quadracycle" can't be considered safer than the trike. I'd sell my sportsman 600 and buy a revolver in a heartbeat if it was legal to drive in Canada. Then I could use it every day instead of 4 timea a year like now.

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