DRAKART SCORPION 4WD

DRAKART SCORPION 4WD: WHAT IS IT?

A street-bike-engine-powered 4WD UTV built in the United States with 75-percent U.S.-made components. Drakart has been building UTVs in California for over 20 years using various drivetrains and seating options. The Drakart Scorpion 4WD is Drakart’s first 4WD machine, and it’s available as a two- or four-seater.

DRAKART SCORPION 4WD
By popular demand, Drakart has come out with a 4WD version of their Scorpion, making it a true ultimate terrain vehicle.

DRAKART SCORPION 4WD
The Drakart Scorpion 4WD’s 1340cc, four-cylinder Suzuki Hayabusa engine puts 212 horsepower to the crank. The result is a top speed pushing 100 mph with stock gearing. The sprockets are easy to change for more bottom end or top speed.

HOW DOES THE COST COMPARE?

Out of the box, the Drakart Scorpion 4WD’s $52,000 price tag is almost double what would get you into a turbo RZR, base Can-Am X3 or LE Yamaha YXZ1000R SS. The price is closer to what you would pay to add upgraded suspension arms, good shocks, aftermarket seats and a set of tires and wheels to one of those big name-brand cars; however, when we go through the details and talk about the components on this rig, you will learn that with the Drakart, you get what you pay for.

DRAKART SCORPION 4WD
The high-end Elka Stage 5 shocks do an excellent job controlling kick or bucking. The wheelbase is 110 inches, which is 8 inches longer than a two-seat X3. The Drakart Scorpion 4WD is 78 inches wide and weighs under 1600 pounds.

WHAT POWERS IT?

Lately, Drakart has been using the Suzuki Hayabusa powerplant that comes in exotic 1340 street sport bikes. The complete powertrain is used, including the four-cylinder four-stroke and the six-speed sequential gearbox. To make it work in a UTV, Drakart builds in-house a chain-driven gearbox in the rear that transfers power to the rear tires, and, after flipping a lever in the cockpit, transfers power to the front differential, too. To shift between gears, the driver pulls a short throw lever between the seats. The clutch pedal is on the floor.

DRAKART SCORPION 4WD
The Drakart Scorpion 4WD has beefy A-arms. Notice that the shock is mounted to the lower A-arm, and the steering rack is forward of the spindle. The old Arctic Cat Wildcat has this setup, and it steered very well just like the Scorpion.

HOW FAST IS IT?

Plenty. With 212 horsepower on tap and no CVT-belt power loss, takeoff is strong. You do want to rev the DOHC, four-cylinder engine to a singing level to break the tires loose. As with the original Yamaha YXZ, you want to rev it more than you think to keep it from stalling. Don’t worry, the Japanese engine can take it, and it prefers to be revved over being lugged. During our first test, we got the Scorpion up over 90 mph. The builder claims the machine will get close to the 100-mph mark in stock trim. The beauty of this manual system is that you can change sprockets to suit any speed requirements you have, add a larger rear sprocket for rock crawling or add smaller ones for more high speed. The gearing ratio is virtually endless. It uses a huge 530 O-ring chain.

Seventy-five percent of this car is handmade. Only the tires/wheels, lights, shocks, axles, chain and engine are sourced. That chain is a 530 O-ring and doesn’t require chain lube.
The bold fiberglass bodywork can be painted in your favorite colors, or you could wrap it to give it a more custom look.

HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?

The suspension looks like the same design as a long-travel Polaris RZR. It has dual A-arms up front and trailing arms with two radius rods out back. Drakart has been using this proven setup on its buggies for decades. Elka’s 2.5-inch shocks have been outfitted for all four corners. They are Stage 5s with high-/low-speed compression and rebound adjustments. Travel numbers are equal at 20 inches on all corners. Furthermore, when the shocks do bottom out, the car still has 5 inches of ground clearance underneath. So, the frame doesn’t drag when you go through deep rutted holes like it does on all other UTVs. This suspension travel, along with a 110-inch wheelbase, helps the car float over the bumps. There is no kicking or bucking like you feel in a RZR or YXZ. The Elka shocks are night-and-day better than the Fox shocks that come stock on most cars.

This customer ordered his car with a roof rack since there is no cargo bed to speak of. With a 78-inch width, the added weight of camping supplies or a small cooler shouldn’t upset the handling too much.

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

This car uses big Wilwood brakes on all four corners. The calipers have four pistons in the front and four out back. The rotors are thick to dissipate heat. An adjustable brake-pedal assembly is made in-house, and the master cylinder is from Tilton. The entire system works incredibly well. These truly are race-car components that feel great. You can push the brake pedal hard, and the car “whoas” down as expected.

The brake bias is centered very well. There is no parking brake. The pedal assembly raises and lowers in three positions and moves rearward 8 inches for shorter drivers. The seat and steering wheel are also adjustable.

A three-link trailing-arm setup with huge 930 CVs should amount to strength never seen before in a production UTV. Robby Gordon’s Speed car might have a stronger rearend when it gets released.
The carbon fiber dash and aluminum dual-walled floor pan are what you see in trophy trucks and in the Drakart Scorpion. Attention to detail is helping set this car apart from a normal UTV.

HOW IS IT IN CHALLENGING TERRAIN?

Like its namesake, the Scorpion can rip across the desert as well as it can crawl over most anything. The car we drove liked to be driven fast; however, there was torque to lug the machine around slower, and it only stalled if we came to a stop and forgot to push the clutch in. It’s certainly not as capable in the rocks as a CVT-equipped machine, but you can opt for the Rekluse auto-clutch option. This takes away the need for the clutch pedal when stopping, and it will help prevent stalling everywhere. In fact, the owner of the car we drove installed a Rekluse after a few trips with this machine just to make it a little more driver-friendly at slower speeds.

The passenger has his own space to hang on and have a good time in. The cockpit is very roomy, even for two big passengers. The tall lever to the left is the sequential shifter, and the shorter one activates 4WD.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS?

The fit and finish are good. It’s not what you would expect in a UTV. There is a carbon fiber dash, and the cockpit has a race-car feel. You sit much lower than in most UTVs, but you can still see over the hood better than you can in a Can-Am X3. It has full gull-wing doors, so entering the car is easy, and when closed, they surround you well. In addition, the car sits nearly 10 inches lower than a RZR, so the center of gravity is lower as well. An aluminum skid plate makes up the floor, and a high-end automotive radiator with a Spal fan is behind the driver’s head. Our test car had an optional spare-tire carrier, large scissor jack and roof rack.

Plush Simpson seats and Crow harnesses make the passenger compartment a luxury space for all-day rides.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?

This answer is simple. If you are looking for something different, the Drakart is that. It’s fast and super capable in rough terrain. We would say it’s easily better handling in the bumps than an X3 or Turbo S—just not as easy to drive or quick off the line. Plus, with its Elka shocks and chromoly suspension components, you won’t see fading or breaking at the rate you do with some OEM components. Its chromoly suspension pieces, frame and other handmade components are way beefier than most stock UTV parts. So, again, if you are looking for something different and you’ve already learned a normal UTV is not strong enough for you, look at the Drakart. It might be the perfect fit.

SPECS:

DRAKART SCORPION 4X4

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type 4-cylinder, DOHC, 4-stroke

Displacement 1340cc

Transmission 6-speed manual

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arms, 2.5-inch Elka w/ 20”

  Rear Trailing arms, 2.5-inch Elka w/ 20”

Brakes 4-piston hydraulic Wilwood calipers

Tires:

  Front 32×10-15

  Rear 32×10-15

Overall length/ width/height 132”/78”/64”

(w/o roof rack)

Wheelbase 110”

Claimed weight 1560 lb.

Price $52,000

Contact www.drakart.com, (760) 713-1936

See the new 200 hp 2022 Can-Am X3 here: 200HP 2022 CAN-AM MAVERICK X3 TURBO RR – UTV Action Magazine

Comments are closed.