Go- any­where Sherp

Hun­ters and fish­ers wowed by Rus­sia’s lat­est go- any­where util­ity ve­hi­cle

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - CC WEISS

WHEN we ini­tially saw the Sherp ATV rolling its way around the In­ter­net, our first thought was that it must be the work of a de­signer, not a real ve­hi­cle.

The compact body tucked be­tween gi­nor­mous off- road tyres just looked too odd to be real. But the Rus­sian ve­hi­cle is in­deed real and it’s one hell of a way to drive over any­thing short of a sheer cliff face.

Led by tech­nol­o­gist Alek­sei Gara­gashian, the minds be­hind the Sherp ATV — minds that are al­most cer­tainly a lit­tle twisted — got to­gether in 2012 to de­velop a ve­hi­cle with supreme ter­rain nav­i­ga­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

They fin­ished up the de­sign last year and are now show­ing the ve­hi­cle at ex­pos like the up­com­ing Hunt­ing and Fish­ing in Rus­sia show.

The Sherp ATV isn’t just an off- roader; it’s an off- track ve­hi­cle de­signed to nav­i­gate over ter­rain that hasn’t ben­e­fited from even the most ba­sic hu­man clear­ing — through the heart of brush fields, into swamps, over dead­fall- strewn for­est floors, and up and over talus fields.

Its pos­i­tively mas­sive tyres stand 160 cm tall and pro­vide the size and trac­tion needed to roll over and through vir­tu­ally any­thing in the way.

With nearly 60 cm of ground clear­ance, the Sherp un­der­body glides over ob­sta­cles that would eat up lesser ve­hi­cles. A tyre- in­fla­tion sys­tem helps the ve­hi­cle ad­just to the vary­ing de­mands of the ground below.

And the Sherp ATV even swims, with the ter­rain- grap­pling ridges on the tyres dou­bling as pad­dles. Drainage valves shed wa­ter af­ter the Sherp ATV gets back on land.

If you think the ul­tra- rugged, 340 x 252 x 230- cm, Lx W x H Sherp ATV re­quires some kind of mas­sive en­gine to shove it for­ward, you’ll be rather shocked to learn that the whole thing is pow­ered by a 1,5- litre, four- cylin­der tur­bod­iesel with just 33 kW ( 44 hp) on tap.

Though mas­sive to the eye, the Sherp ATV weighs as lit­tle as 1 300 kg, and that small en­gine and the five- speed man­ual trans­mis­sion can get it go­ing up to 45 km/ h on land and six km/ h in the wa­ter.

Sherp driv­ers also rely on skid steer­ing, whereby the two wheels on each side are locked in syn­chro­ni­sa­tion, and can be driven in­de­pen­dently of the pair on the op­po­site side.

The Sherp ATV seats four peo­ple in­side its steel body and even has two seat belts. It can carry up to a ton.

The St Peters­burg- built Sherp ATV soft- top base model starts at $ 65 000, about R1 024 400.

Op­tions in­clude an on­board gen­er­a­tor and 50- litre in- wheel fuel tanks to aug­ment the 58- litre fuel ca­pac­ity.

The Sherp AV is also avail­able for lease, though what we’re re­ally hop­ing for is day rentals.

Watch­ing the Sherp ATV in ac­tion is ab­so­lute magic — it speeds through the swamp, pulls it­self out of the wa­ter onto ice af­ter a swim, and slices through tall brush.

Af­ter watch­ing the video on­line, we’re al­ready re­serv­ing it a spot on our off- road ve­hi­cles of the year list for 2016.

The Sherp is the brain­child of Rus­sian tech­nol­o­gist Alek­sei Gara­gashian, who built it to im­press even Rus­sia’s Dakar win­ning truck­ers with the big- wheeled ve­hi­cle’s abil­ity to run over deep mud or float over deep wa­ter ( below).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.