Best 2 Up ATV’s For 2012

Photo by Flickr user Robert Harley Mostad
When looking into a 2 person ATV there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Will I ever ride this on my own? How much ground clearance will I need? Since I am hauling 2 people how much motor is sufficient?  Are adjustable shocks needed? Comfortable for two? Price? There are plenty more questions that come to mind.

With 2 up ATVs being relatively new to the market there is not a ton to choose from. As this can be a good thing, it can also be an expensive mistake choosing something you’re not really happy with.  I will break the top 2 up ATVS down for you and help you pick the machine that’s best for you.

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1.    Outlander MAX XT-P 1000 V-Twin

Can-am is out to please! This beastly 976cc V-twin engine is the largest made for 2 up ATVs. The power this machine has is untouchable by its competition. Arctic Cat came close but couldn’t exceed or even meet the power of the Outlander Max. With Can-am proving a point on their engine power, it didn’t stop there.  Can-am equipped this ATV with their signature continuously variable transmission (CVT) with engine breaking. When out riding on steep terrain, this can really come into heavy use especially when hauling the second rider or just a heavy load. It gets even better, Tri-mode dynamic power steering (DPS). Can-am gives you three options to choose your stiffness on your DPS. This would be nice in having the option to change as sand riding is loose and rock riding you use a lot of arm strength to keep the wheels straight. Let’s not forget about the new front and rear fox podium rc2 piggyback shocks. These shocks are sick! They are fully adjustable thru a wide range. From riding by yourself or with another, these are the shocks you want underneath you for comfort and control. For even more control Can-am is the only ATV with the torsional trailing arm independent rear suspension (TTI). Such an amazing feature that I think most ATV’s will have this by 2014. I will let Can-am explain TTI for themselves. Check out TTI rear suspension!!

Key features:

  • 976cc V-twin (largest made for 2 up)
  •  Continuously variable transmission with engine breaking
  • Torsional trailing arm independent  rear suspension
  •  Dynamic power steering  (3 settings)
  • Fox fully adjustable podium rcs piggy back shocks
  •  Digitally encoded security system
  • 5.4 gal. fuel tank (largest)


2.    Arctic Cat – TRV 1000i Cruiser

I like what Arctic-Cat did with this ATV. More than plenty of power with their 951cc V-twin SOHC 4 stroke, 4 valve with EFI engine. Its only 25cc short of matching the number one spot which is only about 1 ½ HP. That should be nothing to change your mind yet! The look of this ATV with the automotive style paint, the windshield, the faring, the large dash readout, and the rear touring case matches its category perfectly.  The rear seating on the TRV-1000 is built tough with the big hand grips; solid arm rest down to the foot rest is by far the best I have seen. Arctic-Cat gives you some options with their 4wd system that’s pretty unique. Instead of just having a normal 2wd/4wd switch it added to that with a 4wd lock position witch locks your front differentials.  When they added that option to the TRV it shows they want this ATV to be where the others can’t make it!!  I like that. They also have the automatic CVT with engine breaking so when you make it to the top of the hill the engine breaking will help you easily get back down. The one down side I see with this ATV is its suspension setup. It’s good but just not as advanced as the outlanders. There is not a lot of adjusting options for this suspension and for that one reason, I put this ATV second.

Key features:

  •  951cc V-twin SOHC 4 stroke
  •  Continuously variable transmission with engine breaking
  • Automotive style paint
  • 2wd/4wd with front differential lock option.
  •  Large and comfortable seating for rear passenger
  •  Hand warmers
  •  5.3 gal. fuel tank
  • Rear touring case
  • Front faring with mirrors


3.    Polaris Sportsman Touring 850 H.O.

Polaris has done a nice job with this ATV. This is probably the most economical buy for a very strong running touring ATV. Its motor is definitely not the biggest but this wicked 850cc engine packs plenty of power for two. When it comes to towing, this beast takes #1 with the capability of towing up to 1500 lbs. That’s impressive for an 850cc to pull more than its 950cc and up competition. Polaris was the first with power steering and they are still improving on what was already great. This year they added electronic power steering with variable assist at low speeds. Anyone who has ridden an ATV knows they are the hardest to turn at slow speeds. Polaris listens to its riders and fixed the problem with adding variable assist. That means less fatigue and more time kicking up dirt on the trails! The one thing that sticks out to me is their new rear seat design. It is the first ever comfort ride seat suspension. It’s basically a spring underneath the rear seat to make the ride smoother for the passenger.  Polaris also has their own legendry independent rear suspension (IRS) which helps get that big 10.25” of travel. I own the 500 H.O. sportsmen which also has IRS and I couldn’t be happier with the way it handles on rough terrain.

Key features:

  •  850cc Twin EFI 4 stroke engine
  •  Continuously variable transmission with active decent control and engine breaking
  • Rear seat Suspension
  • Electronic power steering with variable assist
  • Rolled (IRS) with 10.250” of travel
  • Built in large front storage
  •  Anti-kickback steering