ATV Christmas

December 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

All I want for Christmas is a...

Yamaha Raptor 700R. Sadly I won’t be getting it but I have great memories of getting ATVs Christmas.

The Honda Foreman 400: I was 13 years old and mom and dad got us the Foreman for Christmas. It changed everything, we did.  Now we had four-wheel drive and suspension, not to mention almost double the power. The Foreman became our snow cat hauling insanely large numbers of people to the top of the mountain for sledding and snowboarding. Often we had two people on the front racks, two on the seat and three on the back racks and one pulling behind on a rope. Getting out of second gear was tough and I can’t imagine the years of life we sucked out of the Foreman those winters, year after year doing the same thing.

The Foreman in our minds could do anything. With a set of aggressive atv tires and some momentum I would push through several feet of snow, with clouds of snow flying over the front handle bars. Often biting off way more than the ATV could handle I would find myself waist deep in snow shoveling a way out. During the other seasons we rode the Foreman every single day. Some of our favorite activities included forging the river and driving through the natural spring bog in the river bottoms. The foreman was light compared to it’s competition which enabled us to get it unstuck easier than our friends quads, so Mike and I often were the first to try a new spot out.  All of this riding took it’s toll on the Foreman, multiple roll overs and smashed suspension which left the plastics rubbing against the tires have mangled the foreman over the years. Before we upgraded to a sport quad the Foreman was our jumping vehicle as well. Honda should have sent a film crew to see the things we put the Foreman through over the years. It would sell anyone on it’s dependability. Rarely has a quad been ridden so often and so aggressively. Best of all the mangled quad still sits in my garage. Its duties have been reduced to yard work and running Molly our Labrador down the dirt road next to our house and back. The Foreman still starts with no problems and is a blast to ride. Thousands of memories were born that cold Christmas morning.

The EX. I do not believe we are total Honda Homers but how could we go any other direction after what we have done with the Foreman. Not to mention the 400EX opened a door to 4stroke sport quads that will never be closed. Sam already had and EX and for two years Mike and I brought up getting an EX about every-time we talked to Dad, now that I am older I can only imagine how annoying that must have been for him. Dad loved surprises and we really had no clue we would be getting the EX for Christmas. I still remember Christmas eve when dad brought it home he did not want any of us to see it so he dropped it off at a neighbors picked me up to run an errand, the quad was in their drive way and cunningly he told me to look the other way at something as we passed. Doing the same thing on the way back he basically hid the EX in plain sight. Christmas morning was great as usual and after we had opened all of the gifts we snuck a peak outside to see if there was anything in the front yard... nothing. Dad told us to come back and that their was one more gift on the fireplace mantel. Disappointed knowing we would not be getting one this year Mike and I stared searching the mantel. There it was small black and perfect we found a key hidden in a Santa's sleigh. We dashed for the door, dad yelled that it was in grandmas garage who lived next door. We ran into her garage and there it was bright yellow and beautiful. Of course we fought over who drive it first and who would spend the next day or so driving the break in miles, and showing it off to Sam who lived just down the road.

Once again everything we knew about riding ATVs changed, we could go faster, jump higher and control our machine just that much better. The Dunes became our friend and one of our favorite places to ride and the next thing you know we needed another sport quad to keep up with the EX. The yellow plastic is fading to a light orange color now and with several upgrades the quad looks quite different from the one we found in grandmas garage. However almost 9 years later I still love to ride it and it by far gets driven the most out of our machines.

I am not sure when we will be getting an ATV for Christmas but I know it will be a memory I will never forget. If getting an ATV is something you have been considering for your children I will be the first to recommend it, scrap getting a few of those wimpy toys at the kiosk in the mall and start saving for an ATV, it’s a gift your family will remember forever.

What experiences have you had with ATVs and Christmas? If you have a story you would like to share email it to me at jared.doldham@gmail.com and I will post it on the site or you can just leave it in the comments section.

Merry Christmas from ATVCOWBOY

Posted by Jared |