Finding the best ATV for rocky terrain can be a challenge. There are many different models, and it is hard to tell which is better.
If you own a 4×4 off-road vehicle, you know what driving on rocky terrain is like. You may have even experienced the feeling of dread when your tires hit rocks.
But there is hope! The good news is that some amazing ATVs can handle any terrain. These vehicles were designed for just this purpose and will give you a safe ride no matter where you go.
Much research and testing goes into finding the Best ATV for rocky terrain. We will review some of these models in this article. You can read about each model’s pros and cons and what makes them ideal for riding through rough terrain.
5 Best ATVs for Rocky Terrains
This article will discuss five different ATV models that are great options for riding on rugged trails or even off-road races like Baja 1000.
And don’t worry; we’ll talk more about how much they cost at the end, so you know which fits your budget!
Without further ado, here are our reviews of the Best ATV for Rocky Terrain.
ZFORCE 950 SPORT
The ZForce 950 Sport comes with a revolutionary powertrain that is purpose-built for any terrain.
It has been designed to go where other ATVs cannot, and at the same time, it’s as easy to ride as an ATV built strictly for low-impact riding. The new SPS system on the ZForce 950 Sport delivers more of the most important thing you need off-road: POWER!
Top features for ZFORCE 950 SPORT
- A four-speed gearbox with high/low range transmission
- A large 21-inch front wheel and a 16-inch rear wheel for increased stability
- Real 4×4 suspension that delivers high performance for any terrain
- The ZForce 950 Sport can be converted into a 2- or 4-wheel drive ATV with the flick of a switch
- Air-cooled engine with electronic fuel injection provides reliable power and excellent throttle response.
This model features a handmade frame with a true X-frame design which maximizes clearance and stability.
It also delivers high ground clearance and long suspension travel to tackle even the roughest terrain without getting hung up in holes or rocks.
A fuel-injected 942cc SOHC single-cylinder engine with a manual clutch powers the ZForce 950 Sport by ARROWHEAD.
It puts out close to 40 horsepower and has lots of torque, which helps you climb any hill or easily overcome obstacles.
The thing we enjoyed riding this beast is that it features more than 11.5 inches of ground clearance which can be a lifesaver off-road.
Specs of ZFORCE 950 SPORT:
|Model||ZForce 950 Sport|
|Brakes||Front / Rear – Hydraulic|
|Wheels||Front / Rear – 14 in. aluminum alloy|
|Tires||Front – 27 x 9-14 in. Rear – 27 X 11-14 in.|
|Weight||Curb – 1,400 lb.|
|Transmission||CVTech® Automatic P / R / N / H / L|
|Lighting||RIDEVISION high-intensity LED headlights & DRL LED taillights|
|Engine||4-Stroke, SOHC, 8-valve|
|Horsepower||Max. – 79 hp @ 7,000 rpm|
|Torque||Max – 60 ft. lb. @ 6,200 rpm|
|Fuel System||Bosch EFI|
|Frame||High strength FEA optimized one-piece HSLA steel|
|Front Suspension||Double A-arm independent|
|Shock Absorber||High-pressure gas, compression, and rebound adjustable|
|Rear Suspension||QuadLink™ trailing arm independent|
|Shock Absorber||High-pressure gas, compression, and rebound adjustable|
|Steering||Quick-Ratio variable Electronic Power Tilt wheel|
|Additional||Colors Gray, Red, Orange|
|Includes||DC power & USB outlets|
|Capacity||220 lb. cargo rack Towing Capacity 550 lb. Winch – 3,500 lb.|
|Hitch||2 in. receiver|
|Safety Features||Full underside protective skid plates Roof|
Pros and Cons of ZFORCE 950 SPORT:
- 4×4 ATV with 4WD High/Low transmission
- Front and rear suspension
- Power steering for easy handling
- Adjustable seats with backrests and lumbar support
- Extra-large fuel tank
- Vented front disc brake and rear drum
- This ATV is a bit heavy, weighing in at over 1,200 LBS pounds.
Our Verdict on ZForce 950 Sport:
We have put the ZForce 950 Sport through its paces out on a variety of trails and it has performed beautifully.
The new SPS system is amazing and delivers more power than almost any other ATV out there. If you are looking for an ATV that can easily handle rough terrain, then this model is a great choice.
YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R
The ATR 700 R is a great option for ATVs that need to tackle rocky terrain or any terrain really. It’s an excellent choice for people who want a lot of features and versatility at a low price.
This machine can handle off-road conditions without missing a beat. With its lockable front and rear differentials, you can go wherever your heart desires! It offers the perfect solution for people who like traveling on rough terrain.
Top Features of RAPTOR 700R
- Digital Ignition – Digital ignition reduces maintenance and ensures optimal engine performance at all times.
- ABS – The Bosch ABS system provides enhanced control.
- Powerful Engines – Two engine options are available on the ATR 700 R. A 686cc gas-powered, SOHC, four-stroke engine and An electric start 658cc gas-powered, SOHC, four-stroke engine.
- Fuel Tank – The fuel tank on the ATR 700 R holds 6 gallons of gas, which is sufficient for long trips.
This model has improved suspension, providing greater stability in bumpy conditions – whether dirt, sand, or hard-packed gravel.
It also has improved engine cooling with larger radiator fins and radiators. The exhaust pipe is longer, which allows more airflow to the engine bay.
The ATR 700 R comes with a five-speed manual transmission and 15.5 inches of ground clearance, but the best part is that you can adjust your ground clearance from 8 inches to 13 inches.
ABS is also standard on the ATR 700 R, which helps you stop on a dime to quickly react to changing conditions.
Specs of YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R:
|Model||Raptor 700R SE|
|Brakes||Front – Dual hydraulic disc|
|Rear – Hydraulic disc|
|Tires||Front – AT22 x 7-10 Maxxis®|
|Rear – AT20 x 10-9 Maxxis®|
|Weight||Wet – 422 lb.|
|Ground Clearance||Maximum – 9.5 in.|
|Seat Height||32.7 in.|
|Transmission||5-speed with reverse|
|Drive||Final – X-ring chain; 2WD|
|Lighting||Dual 30W Krypton headlights and LED brake light|
|Engine||4-stroke, 4 valves; SOHC|
|Bore x Stroke||102 x 84 mm|
|Fuel System||Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), 44 mm|
|Ignition||Transistor Controlled Ignition (TCI)|
|Fuel Capacity||2.9 gal.|
|Suspension||Front – Independent double wishbone with piggyback high /|
|low-speed compression, rebound and threaded preload adjustment,|
|9.1 in. travel|
|Rear – Cast aluminum swingarm with piggyback high / low-speed|
|compression, rebound and threaded preload adjustment, 10.1 in. travel|
|Additional Colors||Grey Metallic, Yamaha Black|
|Warranty||6 Month (Limited Factory)|
Pros and Cons of RAPTOR 700R:
- Five-speed transmission with high/low range
- Lockable front and rear differentials
- Digital ignition for improved performance
- Automatic centrifugal clutch that’s easier to control and provides smoother shifting
- Self-contained cooling system and high-performance radiators
- Hydraulic disc brakes for increased stopping power
- Although this model has plenty of power, it’s not the fastest ATV out there.
Our Verdict on RAPTOR 700R:
This model comes at an affordable price and delivers so much value. It provides a smooth ride and is a great option for people who want all the features of an expensive ATV at a fraction of the price.
This model handles all types of terrain with ease and is a great choice for riders who want to venture off the beaten path. We have really enjoyed riding the ATR 700 R because it’s so user-friendly and feels very safe.
YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R
The ATR YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R is best for rocky terrain. It can also tackle steep inclines and declines with no problem! If you go off-road more than a few times yearly, the ATR Yamaha YXZ1000R SS XT-R is the perfect bike.
What makes the ATR Yamaha YXZ1000R SS XT-R ideal for off-roading?
Top Features for YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R:
- Engine – 998cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline three-cylinder
- Fuel Delivery – Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)
- Transmission – 5 Speed Automatic
- Suspension – Front: Double Wishbone Swingarm; Rear: Monoshock
- Tires – Front: 90/100-21; Rear: 110/90-18
- Brakes – Front: Hydraulic disc; Rear Hydraulic disc
- Wheels – Front: 21X7-10; Rear: 18X9.5-12
The 4-wheel drive feature is the main reason why this is one of the best ATVs for rocky terrain.
No matter where you go, you can get back home without damaging your vehicle’s undercarriage. And because you can go on more difficult trails, there is a better chance that you will find wildlife to see.
The Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is great when it comes to maneuvering in tight spots as well; this is especially important when you are riding in rocky areas where there may be large boulders or uneven terrain.
The Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is also great for hills because it is rated at a lower weight and has more torque than many other ATVs.
The tires on this ATV will last a long time and do not need to be replaced very often – that’s how good they are! When you want to go on an off-road ride, turn the fuel and ignition on and take off.
Specs of YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R:
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, 3-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke (mm)||80.0 x 66.2|
|Compression Ratio||11.3 : 1|
|Lubrication System||Dry sump|
|Fuel Management||Fuel Injection|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (L)||34.0|
|Transmission||Constant mesh 5 speed, paddle shift, auto clutch, with reverse|
|Frame Type||Steel tube|
|Suspension Front||Independent double wishbone with anti-sway bar, 411mm travel|
|Suspension Rear||Independent double wishbone with anti-sway bar, 432mm travel|
|Brakes Front||Hydraulic dual discs|
|Brakes Rear||Hydraulic dual discs, shaft mounted park brake|
|Tyres Front||29 x 9.00R-14|
|Seat Height (mm)||640|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||330|
|Wet Weight (kg)||709|
- It can withstand almost any kind of weather condition, including mud and rain.
- An excellent engine and transmission, which are very reliable.
- The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV has enough torque to go over difficult terrain.
- The fuel tank holds more gas than most other ATVs.
- It is not the lightest model (1625 lbs) available, which can cause it to be difficult to transport.
- The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is a bit pricier than other models available.
- The cost and financing are higher than other models.
Our Verdict on YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R:
The ATR Yamaha XT-R SS ATV is a great model for off-roading, but it is also pricey.
However, it pays off when you consider the value of this ATV. The features are outstanding, and the engine is extremely powerful and easy to operate and control.
Before purchasing this model, we recommend taking a trip to the dealership so that you can test drive it first.
Arctic Cat Alterra 450
You can’t go wrong with a brand like Arctic Cat. They are one of the most trusted names in the ATV industry and they specialize in offering ATVs for the roughest terrain.
The Alterra 450 is a great example of this. This off-road vehicle was designed to meet the demands of rugged terrain, and it does so successfully. It is built with a lightweight chassis, giving it extra stability and better handling.
Top Features of Arctic Cat Alterra 450:
- Engine – 450cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder, EFI
- Transmission – 4 Speed Automatic with Hi/Low Range
- Ground Clearance – 10.7 inches
- Suspension – Front: Dual A-Arm; Rear: Swing Arm
The Alterra 450 is powered by thick, high-grade tires, which are great on paved roads and rocky terrain. The vehicle is also designed for steep terrain with its 46-degree approach angle.
Its integrated rear fenders are one feature that sets the Alterra 450 apart from other ATVs. These plastic fenders protect the body and keep mud from flying onto the rider.
Another great feature is its optional LED light kit. You can get a set of lights specifically designed for the Alterra 450 and mount them to your machine wherever you want!
Specs of Arctic Cat Alterra 450:
|Engine Type||Liquid Cooled, Single Cylinder|
|Drive System||2WD/4WD Manual Actuation|
|Fuel System||EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)|
|Front Suspension||Double A-Arm with 7.5- in. (19 cm) Travel|
|Rear Suspension||Double A-Arm with 7 in (18 cm) Travel|
|Brake System||Dual Front Hydraulic Disc, Single Rear Hydraulic Disc|
|Foot Brake||Foot Operated Rear Brake|
|Parking Brake||Park in Transmission|
|Front Tires||25 x 8-12|
|Rear Tires||25 x 8-12|
|Total Capacity||440 lb (199.5 kg)|
|Front Rack||75 lb (34 kg)|
|Rear Rack||150 lb (68 kg)|
|Towing Capacity||1,050 lb (476 kg)|
|Overall Length||83.9 in (213 cm)|
|Overall Width||44 in (111.8 cm)|
|Overall Height||46.9 in (119 cm)|
|Overall Weight (Dry)||613 lb (278 kg)|
|Wheel Base||47.7 in (121 cm)|
|Ground Clearance||10.2 in (25.9 cm)|
|Fuel Capacity||4.3 gal (16.2 L)|
|Hitch||Standard 2-in Receiver|
|Standard Colors||Coyote Tan, Smokescreen|
|Skid Plate||Standard Full Length|
|Standard Instrumentation||Multifunctional Digital Gauge|
|Lighting||Dual Halogen Headlight and Dual Halogen Brakelight/Tailight|
|Start Method||Electric Start|
- The design of the Alterra 450 is rugged and sturdy.
- Very Affordable
- High-quality tires that are great for any terrain.
- Powerful engine and transmission.
- Excellent steering response
- The seat is uncomfortable, especially if you’re riding long distances.
- The Alterra 450 is not the best option for taller riders.
Our Verdict on Arctic Cat Alterra 450:
We tested this model in all kinds of environments and weather conditions. The bottom line, you can really take it anywhere! However, be prepared to maintain this machine regularly.
The Alterra 450 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a rugged ATV that will take on difficult terrain with ease.
It’s also great for riders who are looking to do some racing. The Alterra 450 is a great addition to any terrain and is reasonably priced.
Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS
The Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS is another popular ATV that is best suited for off-roading. This medium-sized model can handle many different terrains, and its features are designed to support this.
This model has a 90-horsepower powerful engine that provides plenty of torque, and its transmission is designed for off-road use.
Top Features for Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS:
- Engine – 950cc, SOHC 4-Stroke with the twin-cylinder engine
- Transmission – Automatic PVT Transmission with Sequential Shift Kit
- Suspension – Front: Dual A-Arm Suspension; Rear: Swing Arm Suspension with 8″ of Travel
- Ground Clearance – 11.5″
The Sportsman XP 1000 EPS also has a locking differential which aids in steering and traction. The shocks are firm but comfortable enough for an off-road ride.
A big reason why this model is so popular among riders is because of its power and comfort.
The ride is smooth, even on rocky trails, and the Sportsman XP 1000 EPS can navigate with the help of GPS tracking.
Climbing steep grades is not difficult with this model; it has a 30-degree approach angle and a 31.5-degree break-over angle.
There are several upgrades available for this model. These include suspension travel, plate guards, and a larger fuel tank.
Specs of Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS:
|Engine Type||ProStar 4-Stroke SOHC Twin Cylinder|
|Cylinders Displacement||2 / 952cc|
|Fuel System/Battery||Electronic Fuel Injection / 400 CCA|
|Transmission/Final Drive||Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H In-line Shifting|
|Drive System Type||One Touch On-Demand AWD/2WD|
|Engine Braking System (EBS)||Equipped|
|Active Descent Control||Equipped|
|Overall Vehicle Size (L x W x H)||82.5 x 55 x 49.5 in (209.5 x 140 x 125.7 cm)|
|Estimated Dry Weight||970 lb (440 kg)|
|Bed Box Dimensions (L x W x H)||N/A|
|Payload Capacity||715 lbs (324 kg)|
|Front/Rear Rack||200 lb / 300 lb (91 kg / 136 kg)|
|Seat Height||37 in (94 cm)|
|Wheelbase||56.8 in (144.27 cm)|
|Fuel Capacity||5.25 gal (19.9 L)|
|Ground Clearance||14.5 in (36.8 cm)|
|Front/Rear Brakes||Single Lever 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc with Hydraulic Rear Foot Brake|
|Parking Brake||Park In-Transmission / Lockable Hand Lever|
|Cargo System||Lock & Ride 4 Gal (15L) Front, 2 Gal (8L) Rear|
|Front Suspension||Clearance Arched Dual A-Arm 11.6 in (29.5 cm) Travel|
|Rear Suspension||Sealed Dual A-Arms Rolled IRS, 14 in (35.6 cm) Travel|
|Hitch Towing Rating||1,750 lb (794 kg)|
|Hitch Type||Standard 2 in (5 cm) Receiver|
|Instrumentation||All Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Two Tripmeters, Hour Meter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, AWD Indicator, Volt Meter, Coolant Temperature, Hi-Temp Light, Clock, DC Outlet|
|Lighting||LED POD, LED Bumper Lights, Dual LED Brake Lights/Taillights|
|Other Standard Features||Front Bumper, Rear Bumper, 3,500 lb. Winch, Cut and Sew Seat, Painted Plastics, In Pod Battery Charge Port, PIN Activated Secrity System (P.A.S.S.), Fender Flares, 6 Moveable Tie-Down Points|
|TIRES / WHEELS|
|Front Tires||27 X 9-14 DURO PowerGrip V2|
|Rear Tires||27 X 11-14 DURO PowerGrip V2|
|Wheels||14 in. (35.6 cm) Aluminum|
|Electronic Power Steering||Multi Select EPS|
Pros and Cons of Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS:
- A smooth ride and excellent handling on all types of terrain.
- Powerful engine and transmission
- Plenty of accessories to upgrade this model.
- Great maneuverability on uneven terrain thanks to the wider tires
- For better traction, you will need to purchase mud tires.
Our Verdict on Polaris Sportsman XP 1000 EPS:
This model is a good option if you plan on riding in muddy conditions. Otherwise, we don’t recommend it for serious off-roading.
The Sportsman XP 1000 EPS is excellent for cruising the trails and general use around your property, but you might want to look elsewhere if you need a serious mudder that can take on larger obstacles.
Buying Guide for Best ATV for Rocky Terrain
The best ATV for rocky terrain should be able to handle any terrain and all types of weather. You should be sure to look for the following features:
The most important thing to consider is the engine. Depending on your riding needs, you want something that will have plenty of torque and horsepower.
The transmission should be smooth and easy to use. You want the ATV to respond quickly to your movements and not stick, especially when riding over rough terrain.
Having wide tires is important. They help you traverse different types of terrain and can absorb rocks.
Using GPS, you can track your location and even measure the distance and speed that you traveled. This is a great feature for off-roading as it can help you plan your next move and make necessary adjustments.
Do you need special ATV tires for rocky terrain?
You don’t necessarily need a new set of tires. However, if you plan to ride through mud or other watery terrains, investing in mud-terrain tires is a good idea. These will provide more traction and prevent your ATV from slipping off the trail.
What is a good ATV length?
ATVs are made in many different sizes, but the length shouldn’t be a problem. If you want something smaller that can still handle rocky terrain, the YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS XT-R is a great option. It’s smaller and still has plenty of power for rowing through all types of terrain.
How can I maintain my ATV?
Most models are fairly easy to maintain. Start by checking the air filter and oil levels before every ride.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eEnsure you do this every time, or you can ruin your engine and other parts. Clean the ATV thoroughly after every ride to prevent damage caused by mud, water, or dirt. You should also replace the spark plugs every few years.
ATVs are a great option if you’re looking for a vehicle that can take on rocky terrain. Many types of ATVs are available but vary in size, power, and features.
We recommend using RAPTOR 700R if you want a good off-roading model. It has a powerful engine and unique features and can comfortably carry the weight of two riders.
Arctic Cat’s Alterra 450 is your best choice if you are low on budget. It is the only option on our list that costs less and still has many features to help you roam the terrains.
We hope this article has helped you find the best ATV for rocky terrain.
Please comment below if you have any questions about our recommendations or tips for finding a good model. We’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Good luck!