Outdoor World Yamaha VikingBlazing a trail across Antigua

The new Yamaha Viking is revving up hillsides and battling bush. We find out why this mighty machine is taking no prisoners.

Move over traditional ATVs. There’s a new kid on the block. And it’s meaner, mightier and more resilient than any of its plodding predecessors.

The Yamaha Viking has stormed onto island and is ready to conquer whatever comes its way. Potholes, puddles, brushland and beaches are no match for this three-seater highway hero, equipped with a robust proven 686cc fuel-injected engine, power steering and tough acceleration. But this is far from a gas-guzzling, testosterone-inspired toy aimed at meatheads who spend their weekends perfecting their handbrake turn. Hell, with enough safety features to make a mobility scooter look risky you can even bring the kids on board.

Fully kitted out with seatbelts, padded headrests, automatic transmission in 2WD and 4WD, cup holders and lights, it runs on petroleum and is licensed for the road just like a standard car. And with options including windscreen, fender flares, grab bars, stereo and speaker pods, it doesn’t feel entirely dissimilar to one either.

Viking-red-buggyAboard this multi-terrain machine, low emissions don’t mean sacrificing vim and vigour. The high-tech liquid-cooled engine pulls hard through the rpm range whether traversing tarmac or blazing a trail through the bush. An added bonus is the specially designed doors which help keep the mud, water and dirt on the track where they belong. Ideal for everything from recreational off-roading to the weekly grocery shop, Antigua’s oft-lamented pocked highways mean the vehicles are already proving a hit with long-suffering motorists the length and breadth of the island. The Viking can transport up to 600 pounds of gear in the open back (which comes with tie-down hooks as standard and optional covers), while the heavy-duty hitch is capable of towing up to 1,500 pounds.

Glynn Grummett, manager of Outdoor World – the only authorised dealer for Yamaha on island – said the Viking is equally comfortable both on and off the road. “You can drive it anywhere and it’s built for anything, which makes it ideal as either a workhorse or a plaything. The fact that it has three-seats across, sets it apart from other side-by-sides. “It’s also wider, more stable, higher, longer, and you can carry more. They are suitable as an everyday run-around, for a weekend trip to the beach or for a jaunt up Boggy Peak. “It switches from two-wheel to four-wheel-drive just like on a car, except that it will go anywhere a normal car won’t go - or even a normal ATV.

The Viking is built to conquer and it does.” In addition to selling them, Outdoor World’s Old Parham Road store offers servicing, repairs and maintenance too. Glynn added: “To anyone considering getting one, just think of the fun you will have.”

With more Yamaha Vikings due to arrive on island soon, it’s time to buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life. The smiles are free of charge and 100 per cent guaranteed.