REVIEW: Rox Speed FX ATV Foot Pegs

We recently had a chance to be on the front end of a new product release with the Rox Speed FX Universal ATV Foot Pegs. As soon as we saw the press release we contacted Rox Speed FX to see what the fuss was about. Rox Speed FX has been in the powersports industry since the 1990’s when it released Sled Tred, a floorboard traction system for snowmobiles. And while Rox Speed FX has released many products since then, it seems they have come full circle back to maximizing foot traction while you put your ride through the gnarliest of terrain.

Rox Speed FX Universal ATV Foot Pegs

The Universal Foot Pegs aren’t just an improvement on OEM design. It’s a trip back to the drawing board on how to keep your feet securely inside the vehicle at all times. The 3″x8″ surface area dwarfs factory footpegs. The pegs have 10 teeth down each side and another 4 across an elevated outside area to help keep your feet from leaving the floorboards. In a pinch, I think they could be removed and used as a weapon! Despite their size, the lightweight construction makes them close in weight to the factory steel.

Rox Speed FX Universal ATV Foot Pegs

There really isn’t much comparison between the factory foot pegs and the Rox Speed FX Universal Utility ATV Foot Pegs.

Installation is probably the easiest accessory we’ve added shy of a sticker. Most OEM foot pegs are off after removing 2 bolts. In most cases the Rox Speed FX Universal ATV Foot Pegs will mount back into the original mounting holes thanks to the channel design cut into pegs. For our 2014 Honda Rancher DCT we found the most secure fit was to drill a new hole as the outside OEM hole fell inline with the Rox logo giving the bolt less chance to keep its grip. Even with that, installation was under 15 minutes. Alternatively you may choose to mount the Rox Speed FX pegs in parallel to your OEM pegs. All the needed mounting hardware is included.

In our test rides we headed to multi-terrain trails to test the grip against sand whoops, hardpack dirt and deep mud holes. No matter how rough the ride or how much traction the tires lost our feet didn’t move. Even repositioning your feet on the pegs takes a deliberate effort. They could not perform better at their intended goal unless you were strapped into them.

Rox Speed FX Foot Pegs

The Rox Speed FX Universal ATV Foot Pegs are already showing up on racers rides in the GNCC circuit. They will likely be a must have for mud racers soon as well. The foot pegs are made in the USA, carry an MSRP of $89.95, and can be ordered directly through Rox Speed FX. To order your own set and browse their other offerings check out

REVIEW: 2014 Honda Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT

While most manufacturers made their tweaks under the hood this year, Honda did the most body restyling. The Foreman and straight rear axle Ranchers have an all new look for 2014. Following a design that started with stealth warplanes and later trended into the automotive industry, Honda traded curves for flat, angled surfaces. But that’s just what was changed on the surface. To get a feel for the updates we picked up a new 2014 Honda Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT (TRX420FA1E).

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

The Honda Rancher has long been a staple of the utility ATV market. So on some level its a surprise that Honda did as much rework on the Rancher as they did. They continued to use the proven 420cc longitudinally-mounted engine, but placed it in an all new frame. It’s 20% stiffer which means more stability and precision for you. One of the best features on the Rancher line is the presence of fuel injection. It’s one of the lowest price ATVs with EFI and for 2014 it has increased fuel economy. Honda also borrowed technology from their automotive line and put in a new in-tank fuel pump. Speaking of which, the fuel tank has been increased to 3.9 gallons.

The rear axle is now enclosed and the rear brakes have been moved to the right rear to increase ground clearance. New bushings, bearings and CV boots all around make for more durability and longevity in your investment.

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

With the rider in mind Honda has made the pilot’s seat more comfortable with a softer, thicker foam. The new digital dashboard design adds fuel level, clock, water temperature and maintenance reminders to the gear position, odometer, speedometer and hour meter that were previously present. Since your day ride has been so comfortable you won’t want to stop, the new 35-watt headlights will brighten your path on the trails as you continue to ride off in the night. There’s also more travel in the front and rear suspension. And if you feel like an even sportier ride you can also switch from the fully automatic DCT transmission to the Electronic Shift Program (ESP) and shift through the 5 speeds manually. And finishing off the style changes, Honda’s new Phantom Camo is available on four-wheel drive models and a new orange is available on Automatic DCT models in addition to the traditional red and olive options.

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

If the Rancher looks bigger than you are used to you don’t need to get your eyes checked. It’s 1.9 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider and 1.1 inches higher (82.8Lx47.4Wx46.2H). The wheelbase has been stretched 0.7 inches and you’ll be playing with 0.7 inches of additional ground clearance at 7.2. And if you like to do your own maintenance, the one piece body removes easily to grant access to the areas you may need to get to. A  one year warranty covers bigger issues and can be extended for a few more years.

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

So all this sounds great, but how does it ride? Our first rides were in the heart of winter. Thanks to EFI our 2014 Honda Rancher didn’t care at all. While the surrounding carbureted machines struggled to wake up, the Rancher was eager for trails. The acceleration is impressive for a 420. There is plenty of power and then some. The dual clutch transmission (DCT) shifts firmly feeling similar to a manual transmission even if you’re being light on the throttle. The electronic shift option is handy in sticky situations or when you just want to have a little more fun.

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

The cushy seat and suspension make the ride super comfortable. You can tell it’s a straight rear axle instead of IRS but it’s still a great ride. Speaking of IRS, the IRS models of the Rancher are available for 2014 but they are unchanged from 2013. I would imagine the updated IRS model will be out later this year. The 4WD option works smoothly and handles well. We were unable to find a reasonable situation it couldn’t pull us through. Our model was without electronic power steering (EPS). For a few hundred dollars more yours can be equipped with it but we never felt it being particularly needed. Despite the heavier front end the handling feels like a lighter 2WD quad and it tracks like it. Even in off camber positions it felt solid and controllable.

2014 Honda Rancher DCT

If you’ve never driven a Rancher then you’ve been missing out and need to catch up. If you are well acquainted with the Rancher then have faith that Honda is continuing the legacy. With a base MSRP of $6,699 the 2014 Honda Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT is right in line with the rest of the models in its class. For more information on the new Ranchers or to find your nearest dealer check

REVIEW: Vertx Original Tactical Pants

Tactical pants are a rapidly growing industry. And there’s a good reason why these specialty pants are finding their way into your local sporting goods stores. It’s because they are very durable, versatile and comfortable. I wear tactical pants 5 days a week and have several from different companies. The Vertx Original Tactical Pant is easily my favorite so far.

Vertx VTX1000

The Vertx Original Tactical Pants are great for off-roading. They are comfortable enough to wear all day and durable enough for whatever environment you are headed to. The pants are constructed of 98% cotton and 2% spandex. The knees are reinforced and articulated. The crotch is gusseted. The waistband has elastic to allow for the perfect fit and freedom of movement. Reinforced seams and Lycra keep the fit perfect and ready for anything.

Vertx VTX1000 Pant

The pants feature multiple pockets. The cargo pockets are inset so they don’t bulge like traditional cargo pockets. There are dividers inside the pockets to help prevent items from moving too much. The front pockets include a notch perfect for a knife or utility tool. A concealed zippered pocket is in the right front pocket for extra security and the rear pockets include a flap the helps secure your wallet.

Vertx makes the pants in 1 inch increments from 28 to 36 waist and 2 inch increments to 54. Inseams are available from 30 to 36 and unhemmed for your own length. The women’s version is available in size 0 to 18 with inseams of 30 to 36 inches. While you won’t find them in Kawasaki green or Honda red you can pick them up in earth tone colors like Black, Khaki, Desert Tan, OD Green and Navy. Besides, if you’re looking to get more attention on your wardrobe than your ride maybe you should spend the day at the mall.

Vertx VTX1050 Pant

Let’s face it, you spend a lot of time looking at the latest motocross clothing each year, but unless you’re a racer you probably don’t own much of it. Instead the riding parks are filled with everything from shorts to jeans to waders. There are no style rules when it comes to park wear, but why spend $100 on a pair of generally uncomfortable pants that you won’t wear except at the park or Halloween? Check out the line of Vertx pants and buy where you’ll get your money’s worth with an MSRP of $54.95. See more at

PREVIEW: 2014 Yamaha ATV and Side X Side Lineup

It’s that time of year again. The riding season is in full swing and manufacturers are making their announcements for the new year’s models. Yamaha has released their 2014 utility lineup to include an all-new side x side and a few subtle changes to the Grizzly 700 ATV.

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4x4 EPS

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4×4 EPS. Yamaha stock photo.

The biggest news in Yamaha’s ORV line is the introduction of the Viking FI 4×4 EPS Side by Side. The days of the Rhino are over with the Viking staking its claim as the exclusive Yamaha Side X Side. The Viking is powered by the newly improved 686cc engine that has been very successful. It uses Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission and benefits from engine braking in 4WD and reverse. The Viking has a cargo capacity of 600 pounds in its dump bed and a ground clearance of 11.8 inches with steel skid plates.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the Viking is the seating for 3 people. The center seat is set back slightly to help accomodate all three without sacrificing comfort. Even with the added seat, the Viking is only 61.8 inches wide compared to 56.6 inches on last year’s Rhino. All three seats include 3-point seat belts making the Viking the perfect family side x side without being stretched into a dirt limo. The Viking will hit showrooms in Realtree AP HD in August 2013 at $13,249. As the hunting season rush calms down, the Hunter Green ($12,499 MSRP), Steel Blue and Red ($12,699 MSRP) models will arrive in September 2013. Both Steel Blue and Red include soft-top roofs.

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4x4 EPS

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4×4 EPS. Yamaha stock photo.

The ATV lineup for 2014 remains very similar to last year. The only change to the Utility line is in the Grizzly 700. The 700 gains low end, mid range and top end performance thanks to a new cylinder head and enhanced engine settings. The compression ratio has also been raised from 9.1:2 to 10.0:1 with the help of a new piston shape. Yamaha also advertises longer front and rear suspension settings and improved steering for better rider comfort. In addition, the EPS models have updated EPS settings for comfort’s sake. Cosmetically the Grizzly 700 also has new graphics on the fuel tank. The Grizzly 700 continues to be offered in three models, FI 4×4 Auto, FI 4×4 Auto EPS and FI 4×4 Auto EPS Special Edition.

2014 Yamaha ATV Grizzly 700

Removed, so far, from last year’s roster are the Grizzly 125 Automatic and Grizzly 300 Automatic models. This makes the Grizzly 350 4×4 Auto the entry level system. Yamaha does continue to offer the Grizzly 450 4×4 in EPS and non-EPS. The Grizzly 550 FI Auto 4×4 is the smallest model with fuel injection and also available in EPS and non-EPS. These models are unchanged.

2014 Yamaha ATV Grizzly 450

To see more details of the 2014 Yamaha ATV and Side X Side lineup check out the Yamaha website at:

PREVIEW: 2013 Yamaha Utility Lineup


Photo courtesy of Yamaha Motors

Yamaha has released their utility lineup for the 2013 season. This year offers few changes over the 2012 model year, but the lineup will continue to be an industry leader. Most recently, Yamaha released details on the 2013 Grizzly 700 FI Auto 4×4 EPS Special Edition. The change is purely cosmetic; the new edition is a tactical theme with subdued graphics and black aluminum wheels. The 2013 Rhino 700 FI Auto 4×4 Special Edition also gets the same tactical treatment. The pair perfectly suit those preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

2013 Yamaha Grizzly 550 FI EPS in Realtree AP Camo. Courtesy of Yamaha Motors.

The Grizzly 700 continues to offer an EPS and a non-EPS. The Grizzly 450 and 550 also continue to be offered in EPS and non-EPS models. Missing this year is the Big Bear 400. Yamaha has retired the last of the Big Bear series and with its removal has discontinued the last manual transmission utility ATV in their lineup. If you are buying new you’ll be riding an automatic. The 125, 300 and 350 4×4 continue to be available unchanged. The Grizzly 125 and 350 4×4 still have the older body style.

The 2013 Rhino 700 FI Auto 4×4 continues to be the exclusive side by side for Yamaha. There are no major changes for the Rhino beyond the previously mentioned tactical Special Edition.

REVIEW: D&G Enterprises Tool Rack

A year or so ago I stumbled across an ebay auction for a homemade tool rack. The small setup was designed to hold a couple of tools like a shovel and axe as well as a fire extinguisher. I liked the idea and convenience and since the price was right I ordered one. It had a couple of universal mounting options and I found the one that best mounted to my rear rack. It has proved invaluable over the last year and has recieved many comments and compliments.

Polaris Lock and Ride Install. D&G Enterprises Stock Photo.

I looked up the same rack again a couple of months ago and found that the seller had created a new and improved version. I immediately got in touch with Dave at D&G Enterprises to see the new system. Dave is an experienced metal fabricator who came up with the rack idea to comply with his local riding requirements during fire season. Dave shipped out my new rack and when it arrived it was out with the old and in with the new.

Universal fit usually means it kinda fits everything, but doesn’t fit anything well. D&G Enterprises has done a great job of overcoming this issue by providing several different mounting options. When you order one you can specify bar mounts for a 3/4 inch bar, a 1 1/2 inch bar or an L bracket. The 3/4 inch bar mount will fit most standard ATV racks. The 1 1/2 inch bar mount is a good fit on side by side roll cages. The L bracket works great for the Polaris Lock and Ride system. The unit could also be bolted directly to storage boxes or other scenarios as appropriate. The rack itself is welded steel. The rack and mounting hardware are laquer finished and the tool mounts are rubber coated. I have seen some rust spots in places where the laquer has been scratched, but that’s no different than the luggage racks and bumpers on most quads.

A D&G Enterprises Tool Rack with all mounting options. You’ll need to pick the best one for you.

For tool mounting there is a designated spot to hold two tools horizontally. It’s perfect for a small shovel and axe. Other tools may make sense for your own adventures. The tools are held tightly in place by two plastic finger nuts. The fire extingusher is held into place by a spring-loaded bar. You simply compress the spring and turn it out of the way. The extinguisher slides right out of the bracket and is ready for use. It takes only a couple of seconds to remove the extingusher.

A loaded D&G Enterprises Tool Rack

Certainly there are benefits to having tools on the trail. Shovels can be used to dig you out of certain situations. They can also be used as a winch anchor if there is nothing else around. Having a fire extinguisher can help if an ATV overheats or a campfire gets out of control. There are many OHV parks that actually require them to be carried on ATVs. The D&G Enterprises Utility Rack makes hauling these tools convenient without taking up valuable rack space. At less than $40 the unit is well worth it. Pick one up for yourself at