Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of a quad bike race as you blast across the toughest forest terrain, manoeuvring harsh angles across greasy mud and water-filled tracks. But can you really hope to conquer the factory teams riding their high performance 1000cc racing bikes when you’re on a 3-year-old 500cc ATV with 6,000 miles on the clock?
Two Powys farmers have proved that victory comes down to more than just speed after clinching first and second place in the gruelling WOR Events winter series.
The challenge was thrown down to friends Martin Benbow and Steve Williams by Suzuki Dealer Phil Pryce after his family dealership loaned Steve a second-hand KingQuad 500 (now known as ‘Old Faithful’) to try out on the farm.
Knowing that both farmers were experienced racers (Martin is currently the MCF British Quad XC 4x4 Champion), Phil also knew they were both keen to have a go in a series that has some of the toughest enduro conditions around – but they needed a bike.
Phil said, “Suzuki has always been the number one option for work and fun and I knew that if the ATV was good enough to use on the farm, it would do the enduros even better – two hours through the forest is nothing compared to six months on a hill farm!”
In fact, two hours was just the start of many hours of non-stop outstanding performance from the ATV. Following Steve’s first round win, Martin borrowed Old Faithful.
Phil said, “Martin is a fast hard rider and had concerns about it lasting the course after its thrashing in the first round, but I told him that nothing he could do would break this ATV. True to form, he absolutely hammered it, but it just kept going.”
After being narrowly beaten to second place in his first round, Martin won the next and then proved unstoppable, going on to take the title of series winter champion, with Steve taking second place overall.
Martin said, “Neither I nor Steve could believe the levels of reliability and strength of this ATV, or how fuel-efficient it was even flat out in racing conditions.”
“Over each two-hour series event, the ATV used just half a tank of fuel,” Phil explained. “While other competitors had to stop halfway round the course to fuel up, we never even bothered bringing any fuel down to the track. We didn’t take any spare parts either because I knew the bike wouldn’t need any repairs.
“People think that racing is an expensive sport and that you need a glitzy racing ATV to compete, but this event has proved that the outstanding performance of even a 3-year old Suzuki KingQuad 500 that’s done over 1100 hours can get you to the front of the pack through reliability, fuel efficiency and great handling.”
Since Old Faithful re-wrote the rulebook on just how far you can push utility ATVs, Phil’s dealership has already sold four new 500s. Look out for them taking work and fun to the limit near you.