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July 3, 2006 – ATV Digest

Hatfield-McCoy conducts trial periods for UTVs
The Hatfield-McCoy Trails is allowing some UTVs onto the 500-mile trail system during a 90-day trial period, which started June 1.
The trail system had previously imposed a 50-inch width restriction, restricting use to ATVs and dirt bikes.
“We had always allowed these vehicles on a case-by-case basis for riders who had a physical handicap that prevented them from riding a regular ATV,” said Hatfield-McCoy Executive Director Jeffrey Lusk. “We got to the point where we were taking an exceptional number of calls about UTVs and after talking it over with our trail maintenance crews and our board of directors, we came up a with a plan to see the viability of allowing these machines.”
Only five types of UTVs are being allowed during the trial period: the Kawasaki Mule, Suzuki QUV, Polaris Ranger, Yamaha Rhino and Arctic Cat Prowler.
“We decided to go with side-by-side machines from five major ATV producers,” Lusk said. “In the future we will consider similarly built machines from other manufacturers. But for this trial period, we wanted to go with vehicles that our trail staff had used previously or had seen in action.”
For the trial period, the UTVs will be limited to the system’s green, or easiest, trails. If the trial period goes well, UTVs will become a permanent fixture on the system.
UTV drivers must meet a number of rules, including:

  • All riders must wear a helmet.
  • All riders must have over-the-ankle footwear.
  • All riders must wear eye protection.
  • All machines must be equipped with a factory-equipped roll cage.
  • Riders may only operate machines on green trails.
  • No machine shall be operated with more than two total riders.
  • Riders must utilize all factory-installed safety equipment.
  • Machines cannot be modified from manufacturers’ specifications.
    For any questions about the new UTV rules and regulations, you can contact the Hatfield-McCoy Trails at 1-800-572-2217, or go online at www.TrailsHeaven.com.
    Report finds four new ATVs fail to meet safety standards
    A new study released by the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America revealed a host of safety problems with youth-model ATVs from several companies that are new to the U.S. market.
    The study analyzed four “new entrant” ATVs and found that each one failed to comply with the voluntary industry standards agreed to by established ATV companies and by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    The four ATVs were the Baja Motorsports 90cc, Kazuma Meerkat 50cc, Sun L SLA-90cc and Long Chang Lion S 110cc.
    Hazards included inadequate brakes and suspension, no lockout to prevent starting while in gear, and top speeds beyond the limits established for youth models.
    The SVIA commissioned the report, authored by two former U.S. CPSC experts at the firm Marchica & Deppas. Marchica & Deppas chose the four new ATVs from the Internet. Three were purchased by phone and delivered directly to the home of one of the partners.
    “The four new entrant ATVs we tested pose a serious safety risk to consumers,” said Nick Marchica, co-author of the study and the former project manager for the CPSC’s Product Safety Assessment in the Office of Compliance.
    Work Begins on $20 Million Riding Area in Pennsylvania
    Construction of a $20 million recreation area atop an old strip mine is under way in Patton, Penn. To celebrate, officials held a groundbreaking ceremony June 8 at L&L Service and Supply, where the entrance to Rock Run Recreation Area is to be located.
    The recreation area, designed to accommodate ATVs, snowmobiles and off-highway motorcycles, is scheduled to open in mid-October.
    Officials said 50 miles of trails are to be open initially, but the long-term goal is to have 150 trail miles on the 6,000-acre site. psb

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