2005 Bombardier Rally ATV
2005 Bombardier Rally 200
First impressions of the 2005 Bombardier Rally are that the visual design is a pleasing euro look. Surprisingly, Bombardier has reverted to metal racks from the integrated plastic ones used in the past. I find this a welcome change, after experiencing cracked and broken racks from other manufacturers.
The ergonomics of this machine seem well-suited to a large variety of riders from 5'2” to over 6 feet, although somewhat underpowered for large riders. The seat design seems comfortable and the integrated foot pegs and full floorboards are a welcome addition to an entry-level quad.
Some initial concerns were noted:
1. The swing arm axle bearing uses a double nut
arrangement one to adjust the bearing preload and the second locks
the adjustment. On our test ride, the lock nut loosened after a
only few miles of riding.
2. The drive chain also needed adjustment in the same time frame.
3. The clutching seems way too loose.
4. When accelerating from a stop, it feels like the brakes are applied or someone is holding you back. The first few times I started off on this quad I stopped to see if I had left the park brake applied! Once you get past the initial lag on take off, it moves right along. In all fairness to the machine the rich jetting for the test elevation of 3500 to 4500 feet may have affected the power output. It should run much better at a lower elevation. After a few minutes of familiarization our light test rider was ripping around having a blast being able to control the quad with body English, where he finds larger machines less precise and responsive.
What comes in small packages?
The Rally has very good brakes, with disc's both front and rear. This is a much better arrangement than the drum brakes used on most entry level ATVs.
Respectable ground clearance at 9.0 In. and excellent cruising range with 4.4 gallon fuel tank. We found this machine to be very fuel-efficient even though it was jetted very rich for the altitude where it was tested. The engine is a 176 cc 4 stoke 4valve SOHC liquid cooled Rotax unit with Mukini carb and electric start. The Rotax revs quickly but we did experience vary noticeable vibration through the floorboards at higher RPM
The Rally has a CVT transmission with forward and reverse without a low range. The final drive is chain driven solid axle mounted to a single swing arm with preload adjustable shock and 6.4 In. of travel. The front suspension consists of single A-arm with preload adjustable shocks and just less than 5 1/2 In. of travel.
The machine has a claimed dry weight of 388 pounds and a 500 lb towing capacity. Overall dimensions 79.8 in. long 41.5 in. wide and 42.1 in high. The Rally is available in three standard colors - red, green or yellow. The yellow one we tested had nicely contrasting silver racks and wheels. It looks cool for a utility style quad. The lighting is some excellent 30 W headlights, tailight and the nice feature of a brake light.
The controls on this quad are laid out very well with the start button, kill switch, and reverse override easily accessible. The override is placed for the index finger of your left hand.
The only unusual controls are the "start in gear"feature which requires that the right hand brake lever is depressed, the opposite of most other machines.
The controls are comfortable even for riders with smaller hands. The brake levers are well within reach, much better than some other machines, where even my large hands have to stretch. The shift lever position behind the riders right leg below the seat level is somewhat awkward. Steering effort is light and responsive.
The suspension works very well - with smaller riders, the front feels very good in the turns at speed with very little roll or instability. The rear swing arm soaks up the bumps nicely even on small jumps. However the suspension doesn't function properly with large riders. With the preload tight I still bottomed-out on even small bumps. With a 140-pound test rider it worked great! He was able to get the front end light on small woops and it was very agile in tight woods trails.
Unlike some entry-level machines, the under carriage seems to be fairly well protected from rocks, stumps and small boulders. The full floorboards protect the rider nicely from those sticks that always jump up and poke or hit your legs. The fenders are quite ample and protect the rider very well from mud and water. We tried hard to get muddy and only partly succeeded. The tires are 22x10x7 front, 22x10x10 rear. The fronts seem to work well in the turns with good side bite. The rears work pretty well in loose soil and shallow mud, but tended to slip a bit in rocky terrain, possibly due to tread depth as these are all around tires not aggressive crawlers.
Maintenance is pretty straightforward. The air filter is accessed through a cover in front of the handlebars that tips forward there are clearly marked drains for the coolant and oil. The chain is adjusted by rotating the axle housing after loosening two clamp bolts and the rear brake caliper bolts. The coolant radiator needs to be cleaned periodically. Due to its placement it is susceptible to getting plugged with dirt and mud. Check the oil, lube the chain periodically and go riding!
With a few exceptions, this seems to be a respectable machine for beginning riders and those on the smaller side. Larger riders will outgrow the quad quickly. As experience increases, the power and suspension limits will be a major factor as it is considerably underpowered for large or advanced riders.
For the market it is targeting, it is a handy little unit with the ease of a simple CVT transmission. A well thought-out riding platform. It's not a 250cc but then it's not supposed to be. With a $3,299 price tag it would make a good addition to your riding stable
The final analysis, its light, fun, fuel efficient, easy to ride, handles well, and protects the rider well. What more could a person ask for?
Editor's Note - take a look at the 2002 Rally. How far they have come!
Although that shifter is still in the same awkward place....