|Address||Sainte-Barbe, QC J0S1P0
|For Sale By||Owner|
(YOU WILL NOT BEAT THIS DEAL)2002 BOMBARDIER QUEST XT 650.WITH 2,000 KMS, PASSENGER SEAT WITH FOOT RESTS. HEATED HAND AND THUMB WARMERS. HIGH AND LOW GEARS. STORAGE BIN IN FRONT LOCKS.CHROME MAGS. SMOOTH RIDE. GREAT ON GAS FOR TWO PEOPLE. TOO MANY EXTRAS TO MENTION.
Unlike the Arctic Cat, whose tall, aggressive stance belied a more sedate purpose, the Quest 650 had our testers scratching their heads from the outset. But while not all testers learned to love it, most came to respect it.
On the first day of our test, the Bombardier was a tough sell. It rolled like a World War II Sherman tank through the Big Buck course--and was just as entertaining. It proved to be a lot of work to ride in the tight woods; heavy handling plus the widest turning radius made the occasional use of reverse a must. Testers were split on the Quest's flimsy-feeling shift mechanism, mounted low on the right side; some liked the ease of engagement while others thought it cheap and imprecise.
Another annoying tendency, noticed in the faster sections of the course, was how easy it was to overwhelm the suspension in whoops or any terrain that would cause it to leave the ground. Like Icarus, flights on Air Bombardier come plummeting to the ground too soon. The machine, due to its low, wide stance (and great weight), feels stuck to the ground magnetically.
Despite a subpar first outing, we saw hints of the machine's strengths while goofing off on the grass track during a break. The grass track was a wide, flat course in a pasture (with the occasional jump) set up for the Kawasaki V Force introduction the week before our test. During an impromptu race for pink slips before we headed back out on the Cross Country course, the Quest acquitted itself against lighter, more powerful machines simply by being able to zoom through corners with more confidence and hold more speed. Even the mighty Kawasaki--a grass track crowd favorite--was outdone by the Quest. Stability is its key to high-speed confidence, as long as the shocks aren't overtaxed.
Our final two days of testing among the peaks of North Carolina's Smoky Mountains brought the strengths of the Quest to the fore. The eternally forgiving, mountain goat-like Quest 650 was in its element here. A debate raged over whether the 650cc quad was slow. Yes, accelerating the large mass of the Quest took time, but the motor seemed strong enough to most. In fact, while the steep, rocky trails required the majority of ATVs in this test to pin it and hang on for dear life, the Bombardier tractored up all but the most vertical terrain. On one snow-choked hillclimb, as one by one the other machines had to turn off the deeply covered trail and head to where the snow was not as deep, the Quest kept hiking up, benefitting from the tracks of the three previous ATV attempts for the first half of the climb and its own Visco-Lock four-wheel-drive for the rest.
While it had power in abundance, it was the way the Bombardier made that power that turned off some testers. Building juice slowly and methodically, it scrabbled for traction better than any other; confidence inspiring but not very fun. It wasn't helped by the fact that it was the only full-time four-wheel-drive model in the test.
Ultimately, the Bombardier was punished in a test that rewarded the sport side of sport-utility. If we were all afraid of high speeds, wheelspin, off-camber sidehills and loose, unforgiving terrain, this would likely be the quad of choice. On none of the other ATVs could an inexperienced quad rider come out of this extreme terrain unscathed. And although some of our testers' comments sounded derisive, they revealed the true nature of the Quest. If your recreational use is a bit more sedate, this could be your next quad. With killer storage in the form of huge racks and a semi-watertight front box, simple controls and that unique step-through design, the Bombardier has a lot going for it.
**+ **Sticks to the ground at any angle
**+ **Plentiful low-end power
**- **Abrupt, overzealous engine-braking
**- **Always stuck in 4WD
**= **Mountain goat quad, king of confidence