Stampeding to Get the Word out

Published in the October 2017 Issue October 2017 Feature Lane Lindstrom

The Bad Boy Buggies-turned-Textron-Off Road-to-Textron-buying-Arctic-Cat might be one of those “can’t see the forest for the trees kind of scenario” for the Stampede.

With all that’s been going on with Textron Off Road Vehicles (TOV) this year, we think it’s kind of been tough for the Stampede to gain much traction in the dirt powersports segment.

Textron transitioned Bad Boy Buggies to the Textron Off Road name in March of this year. This was also about the same time that Textron announced it was buying Arctic Cat. Over the ensuing months, several things changed (as you would expect) and it’s all just now beginning to settle out and a much clearer direction for TOV being shown.

TOV just unveiled its 2018 lineup of ATVs and side-by-sides and it’s a pretty impressive lineup (and mix) of Textron Off Road and Arctic Cat vehicles (18 in all) and that includes the Stampede X. We’re here to talk some about the Stampede but first, we need to clarify a couple more things.

With the 2018 unveiling, more changes were announced. Arctic Cat dirt vehicles will now carry the name of Textron (snowmobiles will still carry the name Arctic Cat). For example, it’s now the Textron Wildcat Trail. Also, some models of ATV and side-by-side will be discontinued once the company sells out of those vehicles, i.e., the HDX 700 and Prowler 700.

New Names

Also, the Stamped is no longer available in a “base” non-EPS model. The remaining model names have also changed. The Stampede EPS is now the Stampede while the Stampede EPS+ is now the Stampede X. The Stampede XTR EPS is now the Stampede 4 and the Stampede XTR EPS+ is now the Stampede 4X. We think you’ll agree the new names are a much cleaner and simpler way to identify the vehicles.

We finally got our chance to drive a Stampede in August. We were excited for that opportunity and even though a steady rainfall (definitely not a sprinkle here and there, but steady rain—it rained nearly two inches the morning of our ride) dogged us during the ride, it was a good chance for us to familiarize ourselves with the side-by-side.

Our time was limited in the Stampede X—the version we got to drive that day—so we are no means experts on this TOV side-by-side but we have found over the years we’ve been riding, dirt vehicles tend to speak for themselves, if you know what we mean. If there are flaws in a vehicle, they usually manifest themselves pretty quickly in a ride.

We found the Stampede X to be a solid side-by-side with plenty of creature comforts despite the tough, muddy conditions we rode in. There were a handful of accessories that were a nice addition that day in the rain, especially the roof and light bar, which lit up the deep woods we rode in. There was also a winch and hood rack on the Stampede X that you can find in TOV’s accessory catalog.

In comparing the Stampede X to the Stampede, added features on the X are 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires (which really did a great job of keeping us as planted as possible on the muddy trails), aluminum wheels, colored shock springs and two-tone seats.

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