What is a COOT? (special thanks to www.cootworld.com)
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
separate 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
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
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.
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 out drive, 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!