Bombardier's New Rally

Rally Targets First-Time ATV Owners

Feb. 18, 2002 By Eddie Perez
Every now and then a new product comes along that makes people stop and think "Why didn't we think of that?" It's no different in the ATV world, but it's not too often that a new ATV comes along and is so completely different from anything currently available that it could be called revolutionary - or is it evolutionary?

There we were, eight of us looking at the covered silhouette in front of us. We knew there was an ATV under there, we just didn't know what to expect. The folks from Bombardier had described it clearly enough, but when when the cover was removed from the new Rally, the eight of us present were ...speechless? We sat quietly for a few seconds, trying to take it all in, trying to decipher this new ATV in front of us, not really knowing what to say. Let's just say, that we needed a closer look. As we gathered around the new ATV, the first thing we noticed was that it didn't look like any other ATV. The unique look of the Rally might take a few minutes to get used to, but once you've gotten a good look at it, you'll want to take it for a spin.

Fortunately for us, we just happened to be gathered at the Little River Plantation in Georgia for just that reason - to take the new Rally for a spin....

Rally spec. sheet -

Bombardier Rally
ENGINE Rotax 4-stroke, 4-valve
Displacement 176cc
Cooling Liquid
Carburetor Mikuni VM24
Transmission CVT with Neutral and Reverse
Final Drive chain
Front Type Independent A-Arm
Front Travel 5.5 inches, 140mm
Rear Type Rigid Swing-arm
Rear Travel 6.5 inches, 165mm
Front 2 discs / hydraulic
Rear 1 discs / mechanical
Dry Weight 386 pounds (175kg)
Overall Height 42.1 inches (1070mm)
Max. Length 79.8 inches (2026mm)
Max. Width 41.5 inches (1054mm)
Wheelbase 46.5 inches (1181mm)
Fuel Tank Capacity 4.4 US Gallons (16.5 liters)
Tires, Front 22 x 10 x 7
Tires, Rear 22 x 10 x 10
Front and Under Engine 9.0 inches (229mm)
Rear Axle 6.3 inches (160mm)

Body Styling
As mentioned earlier, the body styling of the Rally is like no other ATV on the market. It's sharp-contoured fenders give it a tough, yet sporty look. The average quad has the standard, thin, flimsy fenders that are designed only to keep the mud, rocks, and dirt from flying in your face.

On top of those fenders, which certainly could not bear the full weight of an average-sized person, is usually a thin-tubed storage rack.
Bombardier designed the Rally with tough, molded fenders and rack in one sturdy piece. The front and rear molded racks have tie-down notches built in and a molded tub area to hold your stuff in place, ready to be tied down.

We knew the molded fenders were sturdy when one of the Bombardier reps climbed up on the Rally and confidently stood on the edge of the rear fender - which didn't even budge. I'm not sure of the weight of that Bombardier rep, but he looked to be closing in on 200 lbs. and the Rally's fender held up without bending or breaking.

Next, we took a good look under the Rally to see its new frame construction and the narrow underside, designed to will help minimize contact with rough, rocky terrain. The Independent A-arms up front give the Rally 5.5 inches of travel, more than most quads in its class. The rear suspension is a rigid swing-arm that provides 6.5 inches of travel. Overall, its 9 inches of ground clearance under the front is the most available from other sub-250cc's in the Rally's class, as is the 6.3 inches of clearance under the rear axle. Performance
The Rally's light weight (a mere 386 pounds) makes handling easy and will quickly give the novice rider a solid sense of control over the ATV.

The 176cc engine provides enough power to allow the Rally to outrun it's bigger, heavier competitors - we raced the Rally against Honda's Recon with its larger 229cc engine and we were able to get the jump on the Recon right off the start and pull away with ease. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gives the Rally its smooth shifting throughout, and the all-around disc brakes help stop the Rally in its tracks.

After just a few minutes of getting used to the Rally's size and feel, I was able to easily carve sharp turns and kick up a little roost. Sliding the rear end on turns was easy, I felt like I was handling the Rally without it trying to get away from me. The simplicity of the Rally makes it an ideal quad for the novice rider. The nimble feel of the Rally made catching air easy, although the Bombardier folks were sure to let me know that the Rally was not designed for jumping of any kind. Still, after one or two test jumps, I was able to get the Rally a foot or two off the ground, with the Rally's suspension making the landing smooth and easy. Next, I tested the water and mud-handling capabilites of the Rally as I found a few mud puddles waiting to be exploited.

It may have seemed like I was playing (which I was, of course) but I wanted to find out how the molded foot pegs would hold up to water and mud. The results? With my riding boots on, I never lost my footing even though I piled on several inches of mud. I never felt my feet slipping off the pegs.

The Rally was designed to target the entry-level market and it looks as though Bombardier hit the mark. It is part utility, all sport, and ready to hit the trail. The Rally is quick and easy to handle, yet tough enough for hard-riding, and with the largest fuel tank in its class - just a shade under four and a half gallons, there's enough fuel for a full day of riding. In fact, the Rally holds more fuel than the (much) bigger Honda Rubicon 500 which holds a mere 3.7 gallons. The simplicity of the Rally is ideal for the novice rider. You've got Forward, Neutral and Reverse, and a thumb throttle - that's it. There are no gauges to keep track of, not even a speedometer to look at (though they say it'll do around 40-45MPH). Plus, you don't have to remove the seat to replace the air filter - the air filter access panel sits in front of the handle bars.

With an unbelievable sticker price of only $2,999.00, the Rally is priced right and will give the entry-level rider as much ATV as he- or she, can handle. Hopefully, Bombardier is working on a 500cc version of the Rally - just think of the possibilities.



Editor's note - The action shots depicted here and in the accompanying photo gallery should not be attempted by inexperienced riders and are in no way encouraged by Bombardier or Always wear proper riding gear and safety equipment.

Photo Gallery

Just another day at the office.

Don't try this at home.


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