In the ATV segment, in other words, ATVs with a motorcycle handlebar and landing, they have reached the eighth consecutive record: in 2020, world sales exceeded this equipment for the first time exceeding 700,000 units.
In most countries, this technique is not subject to the traffic police, therefore, it is usually not included in the statistics on motorcycle sales, and its sales are difficult to calculate, therefore, we will only talk about the figures provided by the manufacturers officially.
What is an ATV?
According to the American ANSI standard, an ATV, or ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle), or LUV (Light Utility Vehicle) is a vehicle equipped with low pressure tires, with a seat and handlebar of a motorcycle type. All-Terrain Vehicle means “transport for any location” and suggests that ATVs are capable of driving in places where most other wheeled vehicles are ordered.
Landing and handling on ATVs is similar to motorcycle ones, but additional wheels give the ATVs stability at low speeds. In Russian, the name “ATV” unambiguously speaks of the presence of four wheels, but, oddly enough, this class of equipment was originally three-wheeled (the first ATC was the Honda ATC90 trike), and now some large ATVs with a motorcycle handlebar are equipped with six wheels. Let it go “six-wheeled ATV” – this is an oxymoron, but in the Russian language this name has taken root for this technique, and this is completely normal.
In Russia, most of these devices exist on the rights of self-propelled vehicles, that is, they require a separate driver’s license, registration in Gostekhnadzor, and in many formalities are close to tractors. If you have a license, you can drive them on the roads, but most of this equipment is not registered at all. Some copies were imported as motorcycles and have a title bar, they can be controlled if they have a category A and are registered with the traffic police. It is curious that this is a purely legal aspect, since ATVs are constructive“self-propelled vehicles” and ATVs-“motorcycles” do not differ in anything. True, the price for the latter is higher due to the utilization fee and other levies when importing.
An even rarer legal variety of ATVs is ATVs with a motorcycle type of control (category B1 MS). The right to drive them is given upon obtaining category A (in this case, categories A, A1, B1 MS and M are immediately marked on the driver’s license). They exist on paper, but in reality they are imported either as self-propelled guns or as motorcycles.
Analogs with an automobile type of landing and control (a round steering wheel and a row / rows of seats located across the all-terrain vehicle) are called RUV (Recreational Utility Vehicle) or UTV (Utility Task Vehicle), as well as side by-sides (i.e. landing on the side of each other) or just a buggy. These all-terrain vehicles in some countries are considered cars, in others – self-propelled vehicles, and sometimes they are not considered anything at all and do not require any accounting, provided that they are not used on the road. Of course, in some places (like in our country, for example) the confusion with them is no worse than with ATVs. But if we have a purely legal question (as in the anecdote about a customs officer who shows a trick to Copperfield: You see, they say, a carriage of stew? Breathes on print, slaps on paper – Voila, green peas), then in other countries, even through forests and hills, some buggies can be ridden, others not. Sometimes, by the way, the term UTV in English is also called ROV – Recreational Off-highway Vehicle – utilitarian city trucks and pickups with a low-power engine, which are certainly cars, but their weakest variety. Our buggies, like ATVs, are more often imported as self-propelled vehicles (which means that the rights to them are separate, like a tractor), but some are still imported as a vehicle of category B1 AS (where AS stands for Automotive Steering, that is, an automobile type management). A person gets the right to drive such a person by opening category B, and if he studied and passed exams on a car with an automatic transmission, then in his driver’s license there will also be an AT mark both in front of category B and in front of category B1, and this means that the buggy with a stirrer to drive him as it were impossible.
In total, from a formal point of view, all-terrain vehicles with a motorcycle steering wheel are designed to conquer the most inaccessible places, and with a car they are rather considered utilitarian trucks for farmers. But the manufacturers’ views on this matter differ from those of the government, and it is the buggies that dominate the market in terms of technical characteristics – power, suspension components and their movements, comfort technologies. Even frankly luxury options have already appeared with a completely sealed automobile cabin with a stove, air conditioning, acoustics and a built-in navigator – and this is understandable, because the main market for such equipment is developed countries, where a car steering wheel is more familiar than a motorcycle steering wheel, and the price difference between a buggy with a cabin and an ATV with a bench seat does not scare anyone.
Global ATV market trends
The ATV segment is currently experiencing growth and recorded its eighth consecutive sales record in 2020. At the same time, there is practically no growth in sales of ATVs, while the buggy segment is developing rapidly, and in 2020 there were twice as many units of this equipment sold than in 2012.
In 2020, global ATV sales reached 700,000 units for the first time, of which the North American market (USA, Canada and Mexico) accounts for more than half.
The second-best-selling region is China, which mainly sells ATVs from local brands. But this segment is not growing here, and most of this equipment is produced for export.
In Europe, the trend is negative: in 2020, sales dropped by 31% and are now at about the level of five years ago.
ATVs are very popular in Australia, and in addition, positive dynamics are observed in Africa and the Middle East. In India and Southeast Asia, sales of all-terrain vehicles are sporadic.
Given the geographic location of the largest market for this technology, it is not surprising that the world’s best-selling ATV brand is Polaris. The second and third places are occupied by Japanese Honda and Chinese Linhai.
In the top ten, there are two more North American brands, Can-Am and Arctic Cat, two Japanese – Kawasaki and Yamaha, and three more Chinese – CFMoto, Runtong Power and Hisun.