Side-By-Side Demo Day 2018

When Can-Am Waikato (Putaruru) and Phil’s Motorcycle Centre (Matamata) teamed up to bring three brands together, Farm Trader was up early to ensure a full day of action

With Can-Am, Kawasaki and Yamaha on-site, there was plenty of side-by-side action to choose from – and it would have been rude not to test drive all of them.

Without a doubt, the attention grabber was the Can-Am Maverick X3, which flew around the paddock, kicking up a dust storm with its 172hp turbocharged engine. This thing is power plus, capable of 0–60mph in 4.4 seconds. That’s just slightly faster than your average farm bike!

Built to perform and ideal for the adrenaline junkie, this is a fun addition most would wish for on their Christmas list. Also from Can-Am were the more functional Defender models, with the heavy-duty Rotax engine ideal for tough farm tasks.

The HD8 and HD10 Defenders have a decent-sized cargo tray, a towing capacity of 2500lbs (approximately 1133kg), with a reinforced, automotive-like high strength chassis.

The Kawasaki Mule collection ranges from 400cc petrol models up to 993cc diesel machines, all capable heavy-duty work machines.

Electric power steering is standard and there’s plenty of power in these mid-size two-passenger machines, making them ideal for farm work as well as touring around the property in comfort. With the speed limited for safety in the MuleSX, it’s a great option for farm workers.

Yamaha featured its popular three-seater Viking with Ultramatic On Command drive system as well as the Wolverine X2 R-Spec, the new two-seater version of the X4 we checked out earlier in the year. This was probably my pick of the machines available for its functionality as well the fact that it brings a bit of sporty performance.

It’s all about personal preference, though, and there were no complaints from me all day. These farm bikes are all built well in terms of capability and performance to ensure reliability on farm.

Photography: Mark Fouhy

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