2018 ARGO XPLORER ATV LINE
The name Argo is synonymous with a couple of interesting and unequaled off road capabilities. Clearly, the utmost Argo distinctive is the amphibious nature of its traditional six and eight-wheeled Xtreme Terrain Vehicles.
Argo’s have rightly coined themselves XTV’s because for many decades the company has uniquely produced amphibious vehicles capable of maneuverability on both water and land.
Although it’s not widely known, Argo dealers are a pretty exclusive group. The company sells Argos through a well-established, relatively small worldwide dealer network. Here’s the interesting part: When recently surveyed by Argo’s head office, these dealers overwhelmingly reported a high level of satisfaction with the brand and the business model it reflects.
Think about it. Why wouldn’t Argo dealers be smiling? They have virtually no competition. Argo six and eight wheeled XTVs are one-of-a-kind off-road vehicles with a history of working and lasting exceptionally well. For dealers, the result is there’s no need for price cutting and that means smiling faces all-around.
For the record, these days the majority of powersport dealers of well known OEM brands are most likely to complain about too much competition from their own-branded dealers, especially as it relates to pricing.
As a result of its relatively healthy off-road marketplace, the appeal of Argo XTVs has expanded. While this sounds good, there are qualifiers. First, the Argo dealer network needs to grow to support this surge in XTV sales. That being said, in order to grow its network, Argo needs more products to entice more dealers.
As part of Argo’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the company has jumped into the ATV business with both feet. Under the leadership of powersport veteran, Argo’s insightful President, Brad Darling (a former Veep with Arctic Cat), the company has embarked on a whole new genre of Argos.
The new ATV line-up is exceptional, offering two of the most popular engine sizes, both one up and 2-up extended wheelbase models and two trim and feature levels.
XR 500 and 500 LE
The all-new Xplorer ATV line starts with the basic XR equipped with an EFI 500cc single cylinder OHC engine mounted in a full size (not mid-size) chassis equipped with single lever brakes, full floorboards, independent rear suspension (IRS), shiftable 4x4 with electric diff-lock, CVT transmission with a hi-low range sub-tranny and a class-leading 39-hp.
Buyers wanting more can order up the XR500LE. This one comes with14-inch black aluminum wheels and upgraded Innova tires. The LE comes with Argo’s own Tri-Mode, speed sensing Electronic Power Steering. This system is easy to adjust and in any pre-selected mode the assist throttles itself as you approach 30-mph (50 kph). The XR 500’s dual exhaust tips are not only cool looking, they are fully functional, producing a throaty yet legally quiet exhaust note.
XRT 500 and 500 LE
The “T” here means (Two) 2-up and this Xplorer hits the ground running with comfort for two adult riders. The XRT 500 comes in basic trim while offering a sumptuous king/queen saddle and comfortable adjustable handholds for the passenger. There‘s also nice high-mounted footrests for the rear passenger. This model has a safe and functional stretched wheelbase that positions the rear seat passenger ahead of the rear axle. This is the right way to carry two on a 2-up ATV.
The 500 XRT LE adds Tri-Mode EPS and 14-inch black aluminum wheels as an upgrade. All XRs come with a standard 2-inch hitch receiver with an anti-vibration feature. Lighting up front is from low-mount pencil beams and on LE’s a handlebar mounted headlight. Taillights are LED.
XRT 1000 LE
Here’s the beef of the new line-up. Maybe the most important ATV from an image standpoint in the new Xplorer line is the XRT 1000 LE. This 83-hp V-twin cannon uses a stretched chassis and expanded ergonomics to produce 2-up comfort rivaled only by the Polaris Sportsman Touring and the Can-Am Outlander Max. The seat is superb and offers tons of room for the pilot and passenger.
What’s better is premium calibrated suspension both front and rear. This 2-upper makes no apologies for ride quality. The 1000 LE is equipped with standard Tri-Mode EPS, active descent control and a selectable unlocking rear diff producing true turf mode differential action. Black aluminum rims are standard. The 1000’s 12 inches of ground clearance ensures go anywhere performance and the digital cluster will track tons of info for the rider while going anywhere. If you’re shopping for a big bore ATV, another stop just got added to your list.
The XR and XRT line-ups all use CVT transmissions from one for the world’s preeminent manufacturers of continuously variable transmissions. We were immediately impressed with the smooth and easy shifting all the Xplorers we rode displayed. The ability to ride fast, high-speed trails and tail out the rear end was excellent. When it came to picking our way through tight, twisty, off-camber sections, the Xplorer’s CVT backshifted and delivered seamless, easy-to-modulate power to the wheels in both 2x4 and 4WD.
It’s pretty clear Argo is serious about its new Xplorer ATV line. These are well-priced ATVs that are exceptionally competitive in a very competitive industry. The performance, features, quality and, perhaps most importantly, the assurance of established Argo dealers being there to support these products, puts Argo in an enviable position in the ATV biz in MY 2018.
UPCOMING DIRTTRAX AIRTIMES
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