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Mechanix Illustrated Coot Overview

This overview of the Coot was published in an unknown issue of Mechanix Illustrated. A thank you goes out to Daryl Royse for sending me this article!

Add another abbreviation - 4WS - to the lengthening list of shortened names in the world of ATVs - all-terrain vehicles.

4WS means four-wheel-steer. It denotes a new breed of agile-as-a-mountain-goat ATV and it tells you all the wheels are steerable. Turning the front wheels in one direction automatically turns the rear ones in the opposite direction.

Four-wheel-steered, your ATV can snake around boulders, squeeze through a labyrinth of trees and negotiate trail turns that would thwart a pack mule.

First of this new breed is the Coot 444SS which also has 4WD (four-wheel-drive). Coot began production of its 4WS a few months ago and the agile vehicles are being snapped up by hinterland prospectors, sportsmen and even power companies (which must patrol hard-to-track terrain).

Newcomers to 4WSing proclaim the new ATV a veritable mountain goat on wheels. As though to prove the point, one of the new Coots recently climbed Mount Elbert in the Colorado Rockies, one of the highest peaks in America. And the new 4WS managed it, moreover, powered by Coot's standard, single-clyinder, air-cooled, 12-hp Tecumseh engine, which in Mt. Elbert's rarified climes was putting out a bare 9 hp.

Gifted with 4WS, the Coot 444SS can turn around in its own 7 1/2 ft. length. And its waspish 64-in. width helps it run around boulders and trees at close to maximum speed - about 20 mph. Add to this a ground clearance of nearly a foot and wide-tread tires carrying as little as 4 lbs. pressure and you've got a vehicle that can walk right over what it can't squeeze around - sizable logs, for example.

The 444SS also is articulated. That is, its front and rear bodies (one carries the front wheels, the other the rear wheels) are isolated and revolve around an 8-in. diameter pipe, the only connection between the two. With this arrangement the front wheels stay firmly planted even though the ATV's rear may be canted in steep or twisted terrain.

Coot engineers purposely kept the 4WS system as simple as possible. Steering linkage between front and rear wheels is mechanical with nothing more involved than tie rods. Turning the steering wheel turns the front wheels through a simple rack-and-pinion gear and at the same time mechanical linkage turns the two rear wheels in the opposite direction.

The Coot 4WS costs $1,985.

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