View Full Version : Thinking Outside of The Box : ATVs

02-11-2016, 08:06 AM
Stumbled across this little beauty this morning. This is made in Russia where ATV rides you! No, not really, but it sounded funny.

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I can see a couple of great benefits to this design and a few serious flaws.

This one is demonstrated on a frozen lake with no sort of uneven terrain. He drives it on thin ice and breaks through, and it floats perfectly fine. Thanks to those paddle-style tires, it can achieve a top speed in water of 3.7 MPH, which isn't bad at all for a wheeled vehicle in that environment. And then it easily climbs back out of the water and onto the ice.

This would be great for Fire Departments & Coast Guard rescue operations where they're trying to rescue people or animals that have fallen through the ice and can't get out, and in that situation seconds count because of imminent hypothermia. I've seen a ton of videos of a rescuer slowly inching his way to the victim on his belly, tied with ropes to other guys so they can pull him back... this takes time to set up and many people end up drowning while the rescuers try to figure out how to get to them safely.

The downside is that in any kind of frozen river with a current greater than 3.7, this wouldn't work - the river would force it on the downriver side of the ice and I can see it flipping - and that's almost certain death to the operator. Besides the current exceeding the ATV's water speed, rivers fluctuate in depth constantly, and most river ice is hollow. This means if you break through, there's a difference in the surface of the water and the top of the ice pack of a few feet sometimes - and that would make it impossible for this to climb back out. Still, that would buy time for rescuers to get other equipment to the site to extricate all parties.

The dangerous aspect of this ATV, though, is the general public having one of these and trying to use it like you would any ATV. That means a lot of hills and uneven terrain. It doesn't take a genius to see at first glance that this is a serious rollover hazard design because of the center of gravity being so high combined with a short wheelbase. It has to be high because of the huge tires, there's no way around that.

Another hazard are those paddle-style tires. Any kind of side-hilling with this and that baby will go sideways in a hurry - until you slid into something like a small rock, and then it's going to roll like a beach ball.

Still, if you used this one properly and kept it on level ground with the knowledge of that tippy nature, it would be a blast!

Just the cool factor of this looking like a Tonka from my childhood makes me want one.

02-11-2016, 08:13 AM
I like that other one you posted better. If you still have the picture, please repost it. That thing was handsome!

02-11-2016, 08:28 AM
This one looks like a real winner. I can't see any downside to this one, other than trying to sneak through the woods between trees.

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Fully enclosed cabin, a ton of suspension, huge surface area with those twin tracks. This would be a blast in winter or summer. It obviously would outperform any wheeled ATV in any terrain.

That looks like a fairly complicated suspension, so there might be longevity issues to that. And how would it handle a stick / small tree getting pushed into the mix? That will happen frequently in the wooded areas.

It would tear up a snowmachine trail, but really, I'm the only one who gives a damn about that. I make our trail to the cabin up the river with a lot of consideration to the smoothest route possible for pulling freight behind the snowmachines on freight sleds, and then on every pass up and down the river, I widen the trail until finally we have a 20' wide rock-hard trail that you can drive a truck on. This skid-steer system would probably gouge the hell out of the hardpacked snow and tear the trail up on corners. If you've ever seen what a bulldozer does to a winter trail, you know what I'm talking about. But there's only a handful like me who care about smooth trails because of freighting considerations, so my opinion on that really doesn't count in the grand scheme.

02-11-2016, 08:34 AM
I like that other one you posted better. If you still have the picture, please repost it. That thing was handsome!

You mean this one?


02-11-2016, 08:42 AM
You mean this one?


Yes. I think I am in love! How much did you say that thing costs?

02-11-2016, 08:55 AM
Yes. I think I am in love! How much did you say that thing costs?

Looks like a brand new one off the showroom floor is $5200.

But that's a base model and the picture I posted has a lot of extras, like aftermarket rims & tires, a winch, snowplow, racks, etc.

You can get into a very nice one with extras like that for about $2500 or so on Craigslist. You just have to look it over and be sure it wasn't punished by a teenage boy channeling Evel Knievel's ghost.

02-11-2016, 09:15 AM
This one is very different :

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I would pay a lot of money to watch this guy run it through any kind of puddle or water. The resulting rooster tail of water coming off the back will hit him right in the face and rip him off that sled backwards, and fill that sled up with water in less than a second. It will fill that sled full of snow rapidly, adding a lot of extra weight, as well.

He's running it in snow, but that snow isn't very deep and it has a base. Trying to use this in a large dump of fresh powder as a vehicle would be great exercise because you'll be walking behind it and not being pulled. Having weight like that behind the machine creates a huge amount of drag... I know this from many thousands of hours pulling sleds behind snowmachines. This would really only be usable on a packed trail, and then your battery is only going to last for so long.

I can see rigging up a snowplow on it, but this has so many problems with practicality that I can't see forking over any money for it when there are many other, better options out there.

In any tracked vehicle, the pilot has to be above or ahead of the tracks.

02-11-2016, 10:09 AM
This concept was built with a small Ford tractor back in the 1920s and an expedition from Fairbanks to the North Pole was launched in 1926... but after 12 days they'd only covered 65 miles. They rattled themselves apart and were horrible on fuel, so the idea was scrapped as not practical.

I saw one of these in a Fairbanks museum a few years ago, but I can't find my picture. It was a fascinating bit of history and equipment.


The concept was abandoned in America, but later on the Russians began playing with it and came up with workable designs - and theirs is amphibious :

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Pretty impressive machine!

However, I can't imagine the amount of conniptions treehuggers around the world would have even looking at one of these, let alone driving one off your property. I'd give a great deal to bomb around the back country in one of these - assuming I didn't go to prison for doing it, which would undoubtedly be the end result of such a joyride.