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What is a Coot?

Twisted Coot What is the Coot? It's a simple question, but hey, its valid. Not everyone knows the name of the world's most incredible ATV! Simply put, the Coot is a full-time four-wheel drive, articulated ATV. Articu-what? The Coot has two seperate body sections connected by a joint in the middle. This joint allows the body sections to twist independently of each other (up to 45 degrees!) and keep all four wheels driving as much of the time as possible. The picture at the right shows the Coot's articulated hulls in action!

Coots were originally powered with 12 or 18 horsepower Tecumseh engines. This may not seem like a lot, but the Coot is geared for power. These babies will take a 75% grade with no problem! The Coot's drive system is powered through a centrifugal clutch and a 2 forward and one reverse speed transmission. This combination is simple and reliable, yet it allows for a wide range of power for varying conditions. The drive shaft delivers power to the axles through worm gears, ensuring efficient delivery.

Coots steer similar to a car. There were two steering systems available. The 124x models utilize two-wheel steering while the 444x models utilize four-wheel steering. As you can imagine, the 444x models have a dramatically tighter turning radius.

Not only are Coots powerful and easy to drive, they are frighteningly tough machines! Their laminated all-steel frame is welded to a tough 16 gauge steel skin that will resist nearly anything you throw at it (you can take that literally, too!). I've rammed my Coot into a tree at full speed, about 20 mph, with astounding luck. The tree didn't fare so well, but the Coot seemed to have a chuckle over the mishap. Camoflauge Coot

Speaking of driving, you can drive a Coot darn near anywhere it will fit, including water! The Coot will happily propel itself along at about 2-3 mph in calm water using its tires as paddles. Of course, if you are lucky enough, your Coot has the optional propeller outdrive, allowing you to navigate moving water at about 5 mph. Fishing, anyone?

In a nutshell, thats what a Coot is. To really understand a Coot, though, you need to take one for a spin. Unfortunately this can be hard to do since they went out of production in 1985! However, its not impossible to find a used Coot. Checking CootWorld's classifed ads is a good start, as is checking the classified ads on Route 6x6. You can even find them for sale in newspapers, on occasion. Do yourself a favor and start looking ASAP!