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  #1  
Old 16 Nov 2007
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Quads, Buggies, etc

I had a go on/in one of these yesterday



I have to say, apart from the stupid name, I was quite impressed with it. Only 2WD at the moment, but there's a 4WD coming out soon, although looking at it on YouTube HERE and HERE, I'm not certain 4WD is needed. It's also fully homologated in France, so totally fine for driving in Europe (not certain about the rest of the world, but being Chinese made I imagine maybe it'd be all right there). It's even got a winch fitted as standard.

It got me thinking, perhaps, just perhaps it might be an interesting adventure vehicle. It's got the "open air, in touch with the world-ness" of a bike, but the "not fall over in the mud and sand-ness" of a car/truck - good for a person like me who err can't actually ride a motorbike.

Sure there's downsides, it's a bit noisy, a bit slow at only 90kph, and doesn't at the moment have either that big a fuel tank (15litres) or any luggage space. But the last two are easy to work round and how often do you actually want to go more than 90kph off road anyway?

Anyone want to talk me down off my buggy induced high, or should we let the Panda 4x4 stay happily in the garage, and take two of these to China instead?
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Old 19 Nov 2007
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Moved

Oops, put it in the wrong section, I hope this is the right one now.
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Old 19 Nov 2007
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Hi Alex. There are quite a few of these buggies about. I think many of them are 'cheap'. I would think they'd be great for messing about with, but they would not have a great deal of reliability if driven for a long period of time. Unless they were made by a well known manufacturer. I'm pretty sure Honda made the first one of these a few years ago. Although, they would only be designed for 'playing' with regardless of the manufacture!
There is a type of buggy (see picture) that is being used a lot instead of a quad bike by farmers etc. These (what ever they are called) have a lot of accessories and upgrades available in America, where they are really becoming quite popular (so I believe). They are made by well known manufactures (Suzuki etc)
I think the thing in the picture below (which I don't know the name of!) is basically a sensible version of the buggy you mentioned.
Stick to your Panda!

Cheers,
Matt
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Quads, Buggies, etc-buggy01.jpg  

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Old 19 Nov 2007
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Grown up buggy

This is a more substantial thing
http://www.gwoa.co.uk/uploads/forums/wab_005_262.jpg
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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Yeah that's a lot more substantial, that's a car!!!

The one above is a Polaris I think, I've looked at those but they're mighty expensive, for the price of one you could get a secondhand 4x4 and for the price of two, well you could get a new one.

I spoke to the designer of the one I posted, he's a former Trophée Andros ice-racing champion here in France, and took a lot of what he knew from his racing days in the design of the thing. He reckons his chassis design is more than up to the job, and while it's made in China, they have French quality control inspectors at the factory (hmmm no comments).

The engine is I believe a licence built clone of a Honda engine, so assuming they're up to it again it should be fine and Honda spares should fit. But of course being a licenced built copy would mean that installing the original would be easy enough to do and give you Honda reliability, and the fact that they're used widely would mean that spares shouldn't be too hard to come by.

Anyway, I'm off to Le Mans tomorrow to test one, and speak to the designer, he seemed fascinated by the idea of a long trip in one, and was keen on supporting any venture. I'm sure if they're very keen they'd be reluctant to let one or two out of their hands which weren't up to the job, it'd be bad press after all if it failed in the middle of nowhere. We shall see
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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TukTuk

Don't forget thsoe girls recently did it in a tuk tuk!

Tuk to the Road

Surely if you can do it in a tuk tuk you could do it in that?
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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I have a theory that you can do almost everything in almost everything. The question is always though, how often do you want to be under the thing with a spanner.

But yes, i do sometimes think we've all got a bit cautious about what we use, with our GPS and super-reliability. It's a long way from Dr Livingstone striding into the jungle or Scott setting off for the Pole.
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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You're right! If it does break down, fix it! It's only made out of metal and plastic.

If the designer thinks it can do it, then why not!!
Give it a good thrash roung the Le Mans track. Shame you can't go on the Mulsanne straight!!

cheers,
Matt
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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I doubt I'll be anyway near the Bugatti circuit, just messing about in the woods somewhere outside Le Mans.

Mind you the Mulsanne is just public road, so I might have a try as long as I don't lose it at the roundabout at the end like I nearly did a couple of years back in a Mini in the wet.
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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I had a Honda Pilot about 18 years ago in Riyadh, great fun on the dunes and tracks, would climb giant dunes without problem.
I didn't see if this Chinese thing had a diff, it may be the same layout as a quad bike which means very skitish on tarmac and don't lift off the throttle mid bend.
I have had bad experiences with Chinese products here in Saudi so I would be interested to see how this buggy develops.
Great idea although from experience you will get covered in all things thrown up by the wheels.
Cheers
Ian
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Old 20 Nov 2007
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Apparently a diff is an option, as is a difflock, but yes I know the fun of lifting off mid-bend in a diffless thing, lucky I had waterproof pants on.

And speaking of waterproof pants, yes, the mud splattering effect. Well I look on it as being like a motorbike, not a car, so you're going to get muddy, but at least you can hose it off after.
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Old 21 Dec 2007
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Take Two

Bit of an update on this. The one at the top I've abandonned hope of, as the importers keep pushing back delivery dates, and if they can't get one in the country when they say they can, well I'm not certain about them.

But, that took me to the PGO Bug Racer BR500i (the name's longer than the buggy). PGO is Taiwanese, has been going for years and uses Piaggio engines. In the UK they're imported by Quadzilla, but they have a worldwide dealer network, including every country we're planning on apart from Mongolia. It's 2WD like the other, but with a lockable diff, and high and low transfer box. Chatting to the people I got a sense of a lot more confidence.



So, off for a test day first week in January and we'll see... Sometimes I think though it'd be better to be more conventional.
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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iwantiwantiwantiwantiwantiwantiwantiwantiwantiwant iwant!

(sucks in a breath)

Looks like a lot of understeer going on in the video though. Most of the weight seems to be over the rear axle. A bit like the VW Beetle in that respect (nothing wrong with those: I was born in one).
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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have you been good my child?
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Old 11 Jan 2008
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Cool, that looks like a lot of fun.

I've always been a fan of the Chenowth buggies myself - Chenowth Racing Products

Cheers,
Ncik.
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