How Many Wheels Did The Original ATV Have?

Nowadays when you notice an ATV you will always find the four-wheeled one. In some parts of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States the All-Terrain Vehicle is also called a ‘four-wheeler‘ in the name.

As you know they are very similar to a bike the other common name for ATV is ‘quad-bike. The ATV we see today wasn’t exactly like that in the ’80s or the ’90s.

How many wheels does an ATV have?

The modern-day ATV has arrived after several changes and developments on the previous models. It is very common to have questions like- how many wheels did the original atv have? Or was the ATV always like that how you see today?

Well, the answer to that will be No, the ATV was very different in earlier years and was no so efficient and strong.

The All-Terrain Vehicle is one of the most unique vehicles in existence today. As the name suggests and you might already know they are meant to be driven on off-road trails and are really thrilling to ride.

ATVs will take you on terrains where you would be not willing to go on foot but would have the urge to explore. The adventurer in you would be satisfied when you choose to ride in the woods, desert, muddy terrains, and even on snow.

Everyone should know a bit of the history of the vehicle which is the source of immense joy today for many.

Three ATVs together on a hilly region.
Three ATVs together on a hilly region.

Check here to know on  Top 10 Best ATV Tires

The Six-Wheel Giant ATVs

The first ATV concept that was executed looked like a juggernaut and would have dominated on multiple kinds of terrains without any issues.

This vehicle was made in Canada and had six wheels. The name stood as Jiger and was a one-of-a-kind vehicle in the world.

The Jiger had an engine of 5.5 Horse Power and weighed around two hundred pounds in weight. But in the early years of the Jiger, it could be only bought through a special kind of order and wasn’t produced in bulk until after 1965.

The vehicle had always been without straddle. But when the straddle-ridden ATV came into existence the Jiger was was given a new category called the AATV where the first letter stood for Amphibious.

John Gower was the prime mind behind the invention of the Jiger. The first Jiger which was made fully functional was glowing yellow in color and had tires of Firestone.

But the tires, later on, had to be replaced by genuine balloon tires. After this whoever was willing to get a Jiger six-wheel ATV had the option of getting a roof on the Jiger for protection from the afternoon sun and occasional rain.

Near to the ’70s, the engine was modified and around two thousand special order Jigers were delivered by that time. The company concluded the production of Jigers in 1968. But before they closed totally versions of the Jiger were purchased by the US army department, the British army, and the sophisticated NASA.

This proved the credibility and uniqueness of the vehicle and made Gower proud of his creation.

An early Jiger model on display
An early Jiger model on display

The Three-Wheel ATV

For the question of how many wheels did the original atv have?, you should know that although the six-wheel one was the first ATV, the three-wheeled one didn’t come much after The original three-wheel ATV design originated in the mid-’60s after the six-wheel Jiger was already known to people.

Much surprisingly the three-wheel ATV named the Sperry-rand Tricart was made as a graduation project at the Cranbrook Academy of arts.

The designer named John Plessinger sold the patent and design rights to Sperry Rand who made them commercial.

Many other small companies tried to make an impact but were defeated as Honda and other giants stepped into the three-wheel ATV market.

The first ATV with only three-wheel was the US90 model which was straddle-ridden and was comfortable.

Honda, later on, trademarked the term ‘All-Terrain Cycle’ which remains in connection to all three-wheelers existing today as well. The vehicle surprisingly had the balloon tires like the six-wheel AATV.

Honda was the king of the market around the early 80s because of their ruling patents of design and engine positions.

They got royalties for the patent from different companies who were entering the ATC market with their vehicles. Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha entered the market in the 80s and honda got new competitors.

Later on, many sports ATC were introduced into the market by all them having great features like suspension and racks for utility and it became very much popular and much more in selling figures for the companies.

Later on, came the 200cc models which sold record units for being the largest displacement vehicle under honda. They sold all of the six models in huge quantities making a large sum of five-hundred thousand units sold in just three years.

There is just so much that happened in connection to the modern ATV. In here you would get much more answers than just – how many wheels did the original atv have?

A three-wheel Honda brand ATV
A three-wheel Honda brand ATV

Check here to know on  Top 10 Best ATV Tires

 

The Modern Four-Wheel ATV

What was the first 4 wheel ATV?

The colossal brand Suzuki was the leader in making the mass production of four-wheel ATVs possible. The first model was named Quad Runner LT125. This model was manufactured by Suzuki in the year 1982.

Why did they stop making 3 wheel ATVs?

The manufacturing of three-wheel ATVs was stopped by every company by 1987 because of safety issues and surpassing the legislations.

All of the brands agreed on a ten-year moratorium for production and also to finance a hundred million dollars ATV campaign for safety.

Even after ten years, no one went back to building the three-wheel ATVs whereas the focus shifted to four-wheel designs.

The ATC which stay in running condition falls under the same rules and regulation today as of the four-wheel ATVs. Nowadays the ATVs that are sold under the sports banner today have very different features than the utility category.

They are much smaller in size, lower in weight. The utility models are much bigger with a lower speed limit. They are capable of pulling load on attached racks. There are various models in the market today which involve different suitability of application.

 

Conclusion

Thus the four-wheel ATV was not just like the ones you see today rushing through terrains. After several shifts in the industry, the four-wheel ATV was mass-produced and was available from various brands to buy.

You might rarely notice a three-wheel ATV but they remain in very little quantity as the production was stopped.

The amphibious ATV was also not much suitable for trail riding and driven for varying purposes. They could only be used for a singular application and needed much practice for comfortable handling.

Leave a Comment