Stock ATV Top Speed Comparison
I've documented the ATV top speeds reached for comparison, as reported by official publications. The following are the fastest speeds by a stock ATV reported by the people and/or organizations listed. If no organization or person is listed I will instead include the name of the website who offered plausible recorded speeds.
I do not recommend speeding even if only to find out what your ATV's top speed is, that's why we have the internet. Now onto the stock ATV top speed reports:
Reported Stock ATV Top Speeds by Brand
- In July 1988: A stock LT500 ATV, better known as Quadzilla, went 79-80MPH during testing by 3&4 Wheel Action magazine
- In 2001: A stock Raptor ATV went 75-76MPH during testing by Yamaha Motor Co. They later suggested that the Yamaha Banshee was capable of similar speeds.
- In 2001: BRP announced that their year old stock DS650 ATV was capable of reaching a top speed of 75-77MPH
- In 2004: Dirtwheels magazine reported that during testing they clocked a stock Yamaha YFZ 450r at a top speed of 75MPH
- In 2008: Polaris joined the speed fray with their stock Outlaw 525S ATV at around 75MPH
- In 2010: Arctic Cat brought their Behemoth 1000cc stock Thundercat ATV to a top stock speed of 79MPH which, considering it is a utility ATV and not a sport ATV, is pretty impressive.
- A stock KFX 400 top speed approaches 69MPH according to several people who contacted me directly.
I was recently asked how fast a Kawasaki KFX 400 ATV could go and from memory I answered somewhere in the 65MPH range. ATV age, altitude, aftermarket parts, terrain type and general condition play an important role in determining top speed.
I asked on Twitter and searched a few of my favorite hotspots to find that others have topped out at around the 68-70MPH range on their KFX 400's. I don't recommend trying it yourself on a used ATV, especially if local laws prohibit you from riding on roads, but I did find a video of what that might look like to reach top speed on a KFX 400, take a look.
If you own one, and have already found out first hand, I'd love to hear your results on twitter.
There have been other notably fast stock ATVs over the years and I'd like to track down the top speeds of some slower but not less popular ATV brands in the near future.
UTVs and Side by side vehicles are now common in the marketplace and due to having larger engines can go even faster than the speeds listed above, if conditions are favorable.
My opinion: Top speed isn't as important as acceleration in an ATV because you're likely to be riding in rough terrain. You will need to throttle up and down too often to reach top speed anyway. Still, it's fun to have a baseline of your quad's top stock speed before you upgrade it with performance parts. I hope the figures above helped.