The Workhorse That Simply Works: Honda ATVs

With Honda ATVs on hand, work and play take on new dimensions

11/22/2004 9:58:27 PM

For many years now, the most popular cars sold in America haven't been cars: Pickup trucks staunchly remain the perennial best sellers. How can that be? Pickup trucks continue to enjoy spectacular popularity across a wide spectrum of the driving public because of the versatility they provide. It seems as though people in this country constantly transport items large and small, to and fro, whether for work or play, and the versatility of a light-duty transporter shines through. The same can be said of one of the hardest working tools in the great American toolbox: The ATV.

Versatility is the key

Soon after Honda first invented the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in the 1970s, an almost unbelievably diverse cross-section of the American populace began putting these affordable, versatile vehicles to use in a mind-boggling variety of applications, both for work and for play. This innovative level of versatility proved to be a winner: By delivering the ability to work hard all week in a huge variety of settings, then take off for a weekend of pleasure riding or a new degree of access to the great outdoors, ATVs quickly became sure-fire winners.

Agricultural endeavors in particular seem to attract widespread use of ATVs. In order to maximize profitability over the past few decades, agribusiness in general has transitioned to larger and larger blocks of land under the stewardship of one company. And when tracts of cultivated land stretch for hundreds or even thousands of acres on end, ATVs serve as an extremely economical alternative compared to highly specialized farm equipment, or even when compared to our old friend the pickup truck. The multi-purpose applications afforded by ATVs seems almost as limitless as the bounds of the human imagination. Thanks to an incredible degree of maneuverability plus an environmentally friendly low-impact footprint, these do-it-all wonders quickly supplanted the roles traditionally held by heavier, more costly equipment.

ATVs: the cost-effective alternative

Specifically, the extreme cost-effectiveness of purchase and operation of ATVs over larger machines made these new additions a slam-dunk decision. Whether the yardstick was initial purchase price, the cost of work-related attachments or maintenance bills, Honda ATVs offered unequalled advantages. Moreover, the remarkable efficiency of their single-cylinder engines saves incredible amounts of fuel-no small consideration in light of ever-increasing gasoline prices. And for many of these machines, their labors continue into the weekend as they serve double-duty for recreational use; surveys indicate that multi-purpose usage grew from 30 percent of total usage in 1985 to approximately 80 percent of usage in today's ATV market.

In 1986, Honda unveiled the first four-wheel-drive ATV, the FourTrax™ 350 4x4, and these newfound capabilities made the ATV all that much more valuable at work as well as in recreational settings. Only two years passed before Honda added the 1988 FourTrax 300 and FourTrax 300 4x4, the revolutionary pair of hard-working Hondas that would ultimately become the most versatile, most popular ATVs in history. Combining an ideal balance of size, weight, power and capacity, the 300s sold more than 530,000 units over the ensuing 12 years. And if the hardest-working ATV in America ended up packing tackle to that favorite trout stream on Saturday morning, nobody else had to know.

In fact, with the graying of America's Baby Boomer generation, increasing numbers of people find themselves constrained by limited mobility due to illness, injury or disability. For such people, the great variety of ATVs offered by Honda literally serve as the key to the outdoors so they can continue to hunt, fish, work and pleasure ride. With an ATV at hand, you need not have the legs and lungs of a 20-year-old to continue enjoying the great outdoors.

Taking care of business

Throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, the ATV became firmly entrenched as the vehicle of choice within a host of work settings, capable of getting thousands of different jobs done faster and easier. You'd be hard pressed to find a Louisiana rice farm, Washington apple orchard, California vineyard or Montana cattle ranch that didn't have at least one. From surveying operations to nut orchards, golf courses to potato farms, utility company service crews to shopping center maintenance, nothing on wheels has ever been as versatile, reliable, efficient and affordable, on the job or on the weekend, as the Honda ATV.

An Industry Speaks

Industry observers estimate that 85 percent of ATV use in the 1990s revolved around some sort of work-related enterprise. When asked what products had the greatest impact on their farming operations since 1967, the readers of Farm Industry News ranked the Honda ATV right up there with Dekalb Biotype E Sorghum, A3127 Hybrid Soybeans and the Miller Electric MIG Welder as a Landmark Product of the last 25 years. That's high praise from one of the most brutally sensible groups of people on the planet.

ATVs enter the world market

All across the USA, having a FourTrax on the work site makes a host of jobs more efficient. However, the impact around the world has most likely been even greater yet. In countries that lack America's stable commercial infrastructure, well-trained and abundant manpower force, and robust financial resources, the Honda ATV's reliability and efficiency handle jobs that simply couldn't be done before.

Folks all around the globe have now discovered what Americans enjoyed for years, and they're putting Honda ATVs to work, from log haulers in Sweden to fire departments in Argentina. And in countries where dirt roads and small paths far outnumber paved roads, the ATV serves an important task as basic transportation. For example, without Honda ATVs miners in Suriname would find it nearly impossible to get to work every day. Wherever they may be, people continue to discover that ATVs accomplish all manner of tasks, large and small, that were either impossible, impractical or both. Whereas Honda ATVs were largely a domestic U.S. phenomenon before 1990, they're currently working in more than 70 countries worldwide.

For work or for play, within the USA and around the world, the expanding family of Honda All Terrain Vehicles has never stopped delivering on its Number One premise: With Honda ATVs, we work hard so you won't have to.