|This is a letter i received from a customer who purchased a Kawasaki Jet Ski from us:
To Adams Motorsports team:
Let me begin by saying it was a pleasure doing business AGAIN with you. From when we pulled up in the parking lot from when we left the parking lot we were treated like royalty and with great respect and that is very much appreciated. This is why I once again decided to do business with you. I had talked with jon earlier in the week and even e-mailed Terry before that and both Jon and Terry were very helpful in answering my questions. As I said from the time we arrived we were automatically greeted by Janet and i told her I had been talking to Jon and she was very helpful in assisting me with the paperwork while Jon was at lunch considering I told him I was going to call him before I left Jacksons Gap and i failed to do so. So in other words it was my fault that he was at lunch. Even (I can't remember his name) the Alabama/Harvick/Earnhardt/Kurt Busch hater was very accomodating. He wasn't even making the sale yet was constantly asking us if we needed anything or was okay (cold drinks..etc..). I mean I really didn't expect this type of behaviour from an Alabama/anti-Kurt busch fan. (just kidding). To sum everything up our experience at your dealership went above and beyond what i would have ever imagined. From the time we stepped foot at your dealership until the time we left we felt as if we were treated with the utmost respect. I realize this is just a letter from one person but this one person will do ALL of his business with you in the future and this one person has alot of friends that you will be recommended to. Thanks again to jon, janet, Alabama/Harvick, Jody and to Terry. Thanks again for making my third experience with Adams' a great one and promising you it will not be the last one-
|..By the time the ESCORT radar detector chirped it was too late.. We both saw the state trooper coming right towards us. "How fast? I asked Brent as he jammed on the brakes- "fast enough - 80 maybe...." was the reply- We were toast. I turned around in my seat to watch him - he hit his brakes but then he did something unexpected- He kept going! THANK YOU GOD! He musta had a breakfast date or was just getting off his shift or SOMETHING.. he had us 25 over on a 2 lane highway in the middle of nowhere..and he let us go- THUS Began our day!
A few weeks back our Polaris rep had called and asked us to participate in one of their WOTT's - Way Out Training Tours . This is where they gather all the competitions vehicles and we ride and compare them to Polaris' own machines. Great concept. I agreed to attend.
This particular morning had been a bizarre one - I SWEAR I set the alarm clock for five o'clock - Brent (Spiers - my sales manager) and I had agreed to meet at the shop that morning at six - it was a nice hour and a half or so ride down to the site of the ride. All I remember was the phone ringing waking me up from a nice slumber - instinctively I mumbled - "which beam went off? don't dispatch the police - I'll check it" - my standard reply when the alarm company calls at night. "MAN - WHERE ARE YOU? " was the voice on the other end... "IT'S SIX O'CLOCK" - it was Brent - I was late - The alarm let me down- well..actually I had forgot to actuate the alarm lever-
A quick shot of kava - wash of the face - deodorant applied - teeth brushed and hair styled by gravity I hit the door- Brent wasn't TOO upset - he never gets upset or mad which totally freaks me out - I am just the opposite-
He agrees to drive while I scarf down a "pop-tart" and a Red Bull energy drink. The breakfast of champions!! Now i don't ride with just anyone and I am a control freak..plus I consider myself a damn good driver- But I have been in the car with Brent driving and he's very good - I trust him.. so off we go!
"It sure doesn't seem like we're going 95 does it?" asked brent as we passed another left lane bandit a girl with Mississippi plates yaking on her cel and dawdling on the left lane. I made sure the radar detector was on "highway" and finished off my second pop-tart- "We're looking for the Georgianna exit - then it's just another 23 miles there" - I was amazed at how good a time we were making - we might make it by eight o'clock....
We hit the exit and were on a nice secondary two lane road headed towards Dozier Alabama.. it was around this time that the aforementioned Trooper incident took place-
We considered it an omen of good luck that we avoided a ticket- we were lucky! (BTW we made it in 65 minutes!)
Southern Ridge ATV Trails is an incredible riding area in Dozier Alabama - nestled (as they say) on a big 500 acre plat of land are over 35 miles (and more coming) of trails for ATVs and UTVs- a wide variety of terrain means you can put a machine through its paces in virtually ANY situation.
This place has RV hookups too - bring the camper and the whole family and make a weekend of it (Call them 850-863-2662) You will NOT be disappointed I promise you-
When we arrived we saw the Polaris semi trailer. Pulled out beside it were various ATVs and UTVs from all the manufactuers just waiting for us to ride. This was going to be fun - We had the new Honda Big Red - the latest utility machine to be introduced and arguably the most anticipated machine EVER in this segement. Honda is known for doing it right so when they finally brought out their first UTV everyone really took notice - this was my first time seeing one - much less riding one.. I was curious to see how it stacked up to the others - We also had a Yamaha Rhino, Kawasaki Teryx, Polaris XP Ranger and both the standard RZR and RZR "S" models. The utility class was well represented- this was going to be interesting to say the least!
We also had ATVs - the new Polaris XP lineup - the 550 and the 850 with ans without power-steering. We had a Yamaha Grizzly, Suzuki King Quad, Kawasaki Prairie, Bombardier 800, and a Honda with an automatic or push to shift transmission. Alot of machines to ride for sure-
They had laid out a nice course that snaked through the woods - tight sections between trees with exposed roots and stumps that opned up into a couple of fast dirt road sections that led back into the trees and up and down some nice hills- There were a few nice mud holes - little chance of getting stuck but fun to sling on the guy behind you! All in all the course was maybe a mile long.
For the first stint I drew the Kawasaki Teryx, a machine that I am very used to and familiar with - now finally I get a chance to see what it'll do in a real outdoor setting-
As luck would have it maybe a hundred yards into the woods I was snaking through a tight "S" secion when I bounced around a nub and nailed the gas to power out of the corner and the steering suddenly was light...real light.. light as in NO STEERING. The steering shaft had sheared off!!! 'Glad I wasn't on one of the fast dirt road sections! oh well .... one less machine to test! I hitched a ride back with Brent who was in a Polaris Rzr - Next I rode the Rhino.. I wasn't impressed with the suspension - it was too stiff and it wasn't as compliant as either the XP Ranger or the RZRs.. the steering kickback was really bad too - it would literally snatch the wheel out of your hands if the front wheels encountered an obstacle...The power was OK - I found myself going really slow and tip-toeing through the rough stuff - the ride was harsh which had me searching for the smoother sections!
The Honda Big Red - well.. let me first preface my comments once again with the fact that I AM A POLARIS/KAWASAKI/SUZUKI dealer... I compete against this Honda. So take my comments with THAT in mind.
WHAT WAS HONDA THINKING? Five plus years of development and THIS is what they came up with? Too little suspension, too little hauling capacity, a car type automatic transmission that never seems to be in the right gear - One tiny storage box on the dash with no lid - and an astronomical MSRP! One rider (who SELLS these) put it like this - "someone at Honda was arguing with a fellow employee - he bet the other that Honda could sell a big POS simply but putting "HONDA" on the side of it - so that's what honda did - and he won the bet". Sure this is a basic utility machine with no thrills but it's priced like a fully loaded machine that's much. much better! Honda dropped the ball - this thing STARTS at $11,399. I'm sorry - I actually LIKE Honda usually but this thing is awful.
The Ranger XP even though it's a BIG machine felt good on the tight course- the power of the twin cylinder engine made jumping out of the turns fun - But the most rewarding thing was that suspension- with ten inches of fully independent suspension in the back this thing would pick its way through the exposed roots and rocks and keep the driver isolated from the jolting. AMAZING. Plus going down a big steep hill meant the engine braking system would limit us to just 5 mph.. instead of concentrating on how much brake pedal effort to apply just take your foot off the brake and pick the easiest path through! The ONLY complaint I had with the big ole XP Ranger was the seat belt couldn't keep me from sliding around on the seat. As an old racecar guy i like to be stationary and let the machine do all the moving. Granted I was putting it through some sideways acceleration and up and down hill sprints - still I would've liked a more secured seating position. Overall though polaris has done a masterful job with this new and improved ranger for '09.
The little RZR and the RZR "S" were the fun machines of the bunch- After riding the ATVs and getting beat to death as the constant riding made the exposed roots THAT much more exposed and hazardous.. getting in these two was a major relief.. Once again the Polaris indepedent suspension made the machine incredible. You could pick your way trough the rough terrain and hardly feel the bumps - the with the narrow chassis (50" wide) you could powerslide around corners and jump out of the bermed turns - the RZR would really hook up. We weren't keeping times but the consensus was the RZR S was cleraly the fastest with its little brother the RZR second fastest - it's just hard to beat POWER - plus small size and great suspension. The Ranger XP would be next - the suspension just allows you to cover greater distances in less time and always in full control of the machine. It's incredible.
The Yamaha is not a bad machine - They've sold a ton of them- but it lacks the power, suspension and versatility (hauling/towing) of the Ranger. Don't even get me started on the Honda. Like I said if Honda just wanted to make a simple basic utility machine with no thrills then they have succeeded HOWEVER when you price it along side an XP Ranger which outguns it in EVERY category you can begin to think of then it's a waste of money!! The Ranger carries more in the seat (real 3 person room), carries more in the bed (a full 1000 lbs), hauls more (1500 lbs), has two closable glove boxes, an underdash shelf - an underseat box - TILT steering, a turf-mode diff that when selected allows you to turn sharply in the yard and not disturb the grass - a full locking ALL WHEEL DRIVE system that is hands down the best in the industry - the longest and best suspension on the market - the highest ground clearance - the most power - I mean the list goes on and on- Come test ride one before you buy ANYTHING - you won't be sorry
(we'll compare the ATVs next time)
|THE REST OF THE STORY - the ATV chronicles
The Polaris folks had mixed the ATVs in with the UTVs and had us take a lap around the course in each. Upon returning to the staging area we'd hop off the machine and go to the machine directly ahead of us and ride it. There were a dozen of us dealers there so it made for some interesting situations. Brent kept getting the need for speed and would close in on the kid ahead of him - so much so that the kid actually complained to the staging guy. We learned to hang back at the start and let the guy ahead have a nice cushion then blast down the trail... we'd usually catch them just before the last fast section - and that was fine. It was getting later in the day and the dust was beginning to be a problem - even with goggles.
I rode the Grizzly first - my first time EVER to ride one - what's with the ape hanger handlebars? Weird feeling bars - it's like they took them off a Virago from the 80's. It rode OK.. not as plush as I would like ut with decent power - the 4wd system - while not needed on this circuit was a bear (I had to) to use and still wouldn't GUARRANTEE 100% all wheel drive. Next I rode the HONDA - I liked the seating position better - the ergos - long a honda hallmark were spot-on. The bars were perfect too - Maybe coming off the Yamaha helped in that regard- What i didn't like was the automotive type transmission. the deliberate shift action is blunt and the mechanism seems to hunt for the correct gear alot of the time - (Unsuccessfully too).Decending a hill meant little or no engine braking so you relied heavily on the brakes which weren't as good as the others and the ride wasn't as controlled as it should be..
The Bombardier had the best seat in the test - PERIOD. Coming off the Honda and plopping on the 800 was wonderful! Just the right amount of plushness... sweet! The motor was a monster - BIG power - this thing would literally JUMP out of the turns - Brent rode a nice wheelie on his stint with bomb.. That engine was strong but also very noisy.. it made an unusual amount of racket.. like someone pulled the pin..fortunately it never went off- at least not while I was riding it-
The Suzuki King Quad was a power steering model - the odd thing was it was as though it was backwards - little or no boost at slow speed or stop and over boost at speed..opposite of how I thought it should be.. The quad ran good - the suspension, while better than either the griz or the honda was still very stiff and the machine just "felt" heavy... The all wheel drive system - even with Diff lock on took a long time to engage - and when engaged THE SPEED WAS RESTRICTED BY THE ECU! Suzukis have a distinct feel about them and this one was the same way.. I like Suzuki - they are quality machines but this one wasn't as good as som eof the others in this test-
The big V-Twin Kawasaki Prairie has long been a favorite of mine - the torque of that big motor along with IRS and fuel injection makes (on paper at least) for a solid Quad..the problem is the machine feels big and heavy - it's hard to escape that feeling- the power is nice but the suspension is stiff - not compliant.. entering the root zone in the woods made me clinch the bars tight and hold on - dreading the rough stuff - quite simply it took the fun out of riding the quad- Also like both the Honda and the Yamadog going downhill meant little engine braking.. One section on our course was a nasty decent with lots of washes which led to the fastest part of the course.. coming down that hill was an exercise in picking your way through the least deepest trench while setting yourself up for a 90 degree left hander at the bottom. That was hard to do-
I drove the Polaris XP550 - not as much power as the big 850 but the same basic platform- Polaris had done a clean sheet of paper remodel on the Xps and made chages where customers asked them too.. First thing i noticed was the width - or lack thereof- Polaris lost an amazing FIVE INCHES in the ankle area- This allows you, for the first time ever on a Polaris, grip the tank junction with your knees to control the quad. Impressive. They also relocated the tie rod pivot on the steering hubs to give amazing steering action with reduced effort and little or no kickback. CHECK.. That was easily noticed when we rode over the roots and stumps.. Now the Polaris Power Steering equipped model was simply AMAZING.. I have not been a big proponent of PS on ATVs but what sold me was the damping function of this device- YOU COULDN'T FEEL THE OBSTACLES - Late in the day when I was tired and quit honestly dreading another lap through the roots and stumps and bumps the power steering XP was a godsend! Night and Day! The Polaris engineers went into detail about why their system is better than the other guys (it is) but let me sum it up by saying JUST RIDE ONE.. before you buy ANYTHING - TRY an XP with POWER STEERING.