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A True Racehorse

12/18/2013 @ 12:28pm

"One word sums up this machine: fun,” says John Lumkes, Ag Engineering Professor at Purdue University. “Whenever there was a break in the testing schedule, this was definitely the vehicle I wanted to take out and drive.”

“This is a sport utility that’s a true racehorse,” adds Dave Mowitz, Successful Farming magazine.

Our evaluators had a great time taking the Gator RSX 850i for a ride with and without a load. “This is an awesome trail machine with an extremely competent suspension,” says Lumkes. “If I ever need to get 400 pounds to a destination quickly, this is the machine that I want!”


“The acceleration is amazing. The suspension and ride at high speeds is very smooth,” adds Mick Frazier, evaluator at Little Goose Ranch. “The RSX handles better loaded than empty,” comments Joe Greving, co-owner Cedar Rapids Tire. “It’s amazing to drive!”

“I could barely tell the difference when it was loaded. It still had plenty of power,” says Laurie Bedord, Successful Farming magazine. “This machine can handle the trails really well. It’s got some nice recovery and is a stable machine when pushed to the limits.”

Lumkes comments on the characteristics that contribute to the high-speed performance. “The design choices to use aluminum upper suspension arms, high performance shocks, and suspension geometries designed to control wheel camber during body roll is really evident when driving this machine fast.”

Favorite Features

When you are driving a high-speed machine you want to feel safe and secure. The Gator RSX accomplishes this with high-back bucket seats. “The seats provided the necessary side-to-side and back support while driving more aggressively,” says Lumkes. In addition, “the seats are very comfortable,” says Bedord. “I also liked the higher doors.”

There are a few other characteristics to consider on the RSX. As one evaluator noted, “While the RSX does handle extremely well with a load, the load is considerably lighter than the other machines evaluated.” The hauling capacity for the RSX is 400 pounds while most machines evaluated could haul closer to 1,000 pounds.

Mowitz adds, “It’s smaller box and tight suspension and steering, while great on the road or trail, isn’t necessarily a plus for all work conditions.”

When choosing any type of equipment, you have to consider how you will use it to find the best machine. “If you are primarily focused on the utility, this is probably not the best machine. However, if you occasionally need to haul lighter loads, never need more than two seats, and enjoy a driver-focused UTV, this is one of the best and a blast to drive,” says Lumkes.


Evaluators rated each machine on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 as the best rating) on 12 performance criteria. The machines were evaluated unloaded and loaded by each evaluator.


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