Exclusive: Soon ride Polaris Sportsman 500 legally on the road, being homologated

Two bits of news surrounding ATVs are likely to get enthusiasts excited. One, is that the RTO is considering allowing ATVs to be legally registered and ridden on roads, instead of only off-road. And the second bit is that the price of ATVs is likely to come down as the government is also allowing ATVs to be manufactured locally.

Polaris is likely to be the first ATV manufacturer to get its products on to the road. According to a company source, Polaris has sent its Sportsman 500 ATV to the ARAI for homologation – a process every vehicle that can legally be registered in India needs to go through, to gauge its road-worthiness for Indian conditions. Once this process is complete, you could walk into a Polaris showroom and buy the Sportsman 500 and ride it home. Right now, these ATVs cannot be registered and are not allowed on public roads. Also read: Off-road fun with Polaris RZR 800 ATV 

The government is coming up with a new category in the vehicle registration rules – allowing these vehicles to be registered as ATVs, and which can be privately owned. This is unlike the rules that have been drafted for quadricycles, where such four-wheeled modes of transport can only be registered for commercial use and have to comply with a set of norms. ATVs such as the Sportsman 500 are like four-wheeled motorcycles in a sense, and would require the rider to wear protective gear such as helmets (wherever the helmet rule is in force in India).

As of now it’s only one ATV that has been sent for homologation, but expect Polaris to soon follow it up with more ATVs from its range, which could see vast uses in rough terrain such as desert, snow and rocky regions, while also finding use in farms and beaches for short distance recreational transport.

In a related report appearing in the Economic Times, which ties in with this bit of news CarToq got, the government has apparently approved a proposal outlining the safety and emissions norms for ATVs to be made in India. Honda is another ATV manufacturer that sells its ATVs globally and is considering making them in India. Another company that imports ATVs and sells them in India, competing with Polaris is Nebula, whose ATVs are priced from below Rs. 1 lakh up to Rs. 23 lakh. Polaris ATVs currently are priced between Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 21 lakh.

Watch this space for more!

Also watch: Polaris RZR 800 and Sportsman 500 video review