Traxter gives John Deere hot ATV

SARASOTA, Fla — Extensive research by John Deere, the huge agricutural equipment manufacturer, showed there is a market for utility ATVs that wear the Deere colors and badging. Research also showed that it wasn’t very smart for John Deere to develop its own ATV from the ground up.
After considering all of the ATV manufacturers, Deere chose Bombardier Recreational Products to manufacture its line of ATVs. However, even though John Deere ATVs are built to the stringent specifications of the agricultural equipment giant, Deere has added a couple of trademark positive tweaks to the award-winning Bombardier design.
Introducing The Buck and The Trail Buck Atvs
Deere will offer two basic utility ATVs, the Buck and Trail Buck in 2004. The machines are scheduled to be in showrooms next spring.
All John Deere Buck and Trail Buck ATVs will use Rotax four-stroke, liquid-cooled engines, available in 498cc or 648cc. The Rotax engine produces some awesome torque for heavy-duty work. The John Deere Buck and Buck EX ATVs will transfer the power to the wheels using a five-speed, constant-mesh engaged-gear hydraulic transmission that will shift automatically using factory set shift patterns or manually from an operator controlled thumb shift switch.
The Buck EXT will shift semi-automatically with the thumb shift switch. The Trail Buck, Trail Buck EX and Trail Buck EXT ATVs will use a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that incorporates a belt drive system. The shift lever detent was softened for easier shifting on the Trail Bucks. All Deere ATVs have low/hi range, neutral and reverse gear, along with a “Park,” just like an automobile.
Factory Extras Added
The Buck EX and Trail Buck EX will have some factory extras like a 2500-pound Warn winch, heavy-duty front push bar, front and rear rack extensions, two-tone yellow and black seat, front and rear receiver hitch and draw bar, integrated hand guards and more. The Buck EXT and Trail Buck EXT have a longer wheelbase and a composite dump box (with tailgate) capable of carrying 600-pounds! Perfect for hauling seed bags, dirt or hay bales.
Another important feature the John Deere ATVs will use is the Visco-Lok front differential. It’s unlike a conventional limited-slip front end found on many ATVs, or a front differential where the rider has to manually push a switch or pull a lever to have “full-time or locked” four-wheel drive.
The Visco-Lok front end does all the work automatically. And, the Visco-Lok progressively transfers power to either front wheel that is losing traction. Steering effort is increased and decreased as four-wheel drive demands are met. By using the Visco-Lok, John Deere ATVs will give the rider an easier operating platform, since no switches or levers are used, for full 4X4 capability.
The suspension on each John Deere ATV allows each wheel to travel seven inches, using independent suspension in front and a swingarm in the rear. The ride is smooth at slow or recreational speeds. The shocks on the Trail Buck were recalibrated to John Deere specs for a softer ride. The ride quality is that of the Bombardier Traxter and Quest. And, top speeds of the Buck or Trail Buck ATVs are in excess of 45-mph; plenty fast for some fun trail riding.
Other features that make Deere ATVs best suited for the agricultural, hunting and recreational market is the very large, closeable cargo space under the front rack. A lot of gear or tools can be onboard at all times. Also, the step-through design allows for easier operator mounting and dismounting; something that many workers in the farm fields need to do.
The Rotax engines are located low and centered in the frame, so the stability of the Deere ATVs is very impressive as well. For durability, the fan-assisted rear mounted radiator is protected from dirt clogging and damaging flying elements. The 5.8-gallon fuel tank will keep you working in the field or having fun on the trail for quite some time before refueling, too.
Many optional accessories for the agricultural and hunting enthusiasts like plows, winches, gun scabbards, cargo bags, spotlights, all designed to John Deere specs, are available for the Buck and Trail Buck ATVs.
Enhancements John Deere made to its ATV lineup while in design include the headlamps, front bumper/brush guard, skid plate and front fascia, wider front fenders, graphics, rear fascia with two integrated tail lamps and two-piece steering console.
The basic Buck carries an MSRP of $6,999 and runs up to $7,799 for the Buck EX. The Trail Buck 500 starts at $6,499, and the top line Trail Buck 650 EX will retail at $7,799.

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