TGB 600 ATV Review – the quantum leap

TUMELO MAKETEKETE

The year 2021 did not see many ATV (all-terrain vehicle) launches, unless my memory is failing me, which it sometimes does. And, just as we were not expecting any media launches in this regard, the Taiwanese ATV manufacturer took a leap of faith, preparing its own table in the presence of its enemies (competition).

Yes, the known brands in South Africa may have been somewhat relaxed and relied on good old-fashioned reputation and a little bit of existing market presence, for their sales, Taiwan Golden Bee (TGB) saw it fit to disrupt their peace and launch the TGB 600 ATV in two variants. The TGB 600 SE.X EPS and TGB 600 AR EPS are both aimed at either the recreational user or the agricultural or commercial user respectively.

Export Trading Group Logistics is the authorised distributor of the TGB 600 ATV in South Africa, with more branches being rolled out in the near future in our neighbouring countries. So, what does one wear on such a launch? I had no idea what the actual launch would be like, but I knew deep within my soul that I was taking my trusted water boots with me. And I did.

 

Appearance and Styling

When the bikes were eventually unveiled, after the usual business session, it was love at first sight. I did not get any impression that these were cheaply put together. A lot of time and effort had gone into their creation.

Both bikes are chunky, they stand tall and intimidating like a weightlifter on steroids. The sporty styling is evident in the high-brightness LED front headlights, nestled in an aggressive front body panel and LED strip indicators, giving this nimble all-rounder a contemporary and edgy look.

A clear give-away as to the recreational suitability of the TGB Blade 600 SE.X EPS 4×4 can be found in the comfortable rider and pillion seat, complete with backrest. The fact that the TGB Blade 600 is the only ATV on the local market fitted with standard rear-view mirrors to assist with difficult reversing tasks and to keep an eye on the rear passenger, further reinforces its recreational credentials.

It is not common to spot mirrors, indicators and number plate holders on such off-road vehicles, but in some countries these can be licensed for road use, and in my opinion are much safer than the Tuk-Tuks we often see wobbling on our roads from time to time.

Fitted with chunky Kenda all-terrain six-ply tyres on sporty, 12-inch matt black aluminum rims, these ATV’s not only look the part but also make light work of severe off-road conditions, given its class-leading 320mm of ground clearance.

The most noticeable differences between the two models are that the recreational version is fitted with an elongated seat that can carry a rider and pillion comfortably (thanks to a back rest fitted as standard) and front and rear load carrying racks (50kg at the rear and 30kg on the front end), while the farmer brother has a tipping load-bin capable of carrying loads up to 200kg, the sides of which can also fold down for ease of access onto the load bin.

 

Engine and drivetrain

Behind the removable front cover, lies hidden two separate radiators that help keep the single cylinder 561cc, electronically fuel injected four-stroke engine cool. The rider has the option to engage either 2H or 4H, with the option of a differential lock.

A peak power of 33.4 kW is available at 6 500 rpm and the 46.5 Nm of torque will help you make mincemeat of any tough terrain. A CVT gearbox makes sure that the solid diff’s to either the rear or front axle are continuously helping the chunky wheels’ flip mud or sand with confidence.

Both models come standard with a front winch, capable of pulling 1 360 kg without a single sweat, while a rear-fitted tow hitch is not ashamed to pull a class leading 830 kg braked load. Clearly, the TGB 600 ATV means business.

 

Pricing:

Pricing (inclusive of Value Added Tax – VAT) is as follows:

TGB Blade 600 SE.X EPS 4×4:      M 183,500

TGB Blade 600 AR EPS 4×4:  M195 500

Competition:

Should you be in the market for such a utility vehicle, the market offers the following in terms of rivals:

Brand

Model

Tow Hitch

Ground Clearance

Mass

Retail Price

 

Suzuki

750 AX 4×4

450 kg

270mm

304kg

M171 900

Yamaha

YFM700 Grizzly

280mm

293.9kg

M249 950

Honda

TRX420 FA6

290mm

M174 300

Polaris

Sportsman 570 EFI

612kg

290mm

My final thoughts:

The new kid on the block is not just good looking but a hard worker too. When playing on the 4×4 track during the launch, at no point did I need to engage 4WD, the TGB 600 is a capable ATV in that regard.

Whilst its rivals are mainly recreational, the addition of an agricultural version will expand the horizon of the TGB in other sectors, especially agriculture.

None of the competitors come standard with a winch, nor a class leading ground clearance of 320mm, let alone the fact that it is ready to be licensed for roadworthy. The idea that it can also tow a much heavier load, makes it stand out even more.

With good marketing, an awesome after sales service and a wide dealer network, there should be nothing it the way of the TGB 600 ATV. Maybe the Taiwanese were not just taking a leap of faith, maybe they know something that the rest of us do not know. Maybe all of this, is calculated.

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