We Interview Philip Jhant with Bad Boy Off Road
We jumped at the chance to interview Philip Jhant about Bad Boy Offroad and the launch of the Stampede 900 and his plans for the fall hunting season.
Philip, tell me about yourself and your role at Bad Boy Off Road?
I currently serve as Director, Channel Development and Recruitment, for Textron Specialized Vehicles, which includes Bad Boy Off Road. I’ve been with the company since 1998, working with both the Bad Boy and E-Z-GO brands. It’s been exciting to be a part of the recent transition from Bad Boy Buggies to Bad Boy Off Road, and the launch of the new Stampede, our first all-gas, four-wheel-drive, side-by-side. I’m an avid hunter and have used Stampede and other Bad Boy vehicles extensively for deer and turkey hunting. That’s why I have this job, so I can make a decent living and do what I really like to do, which is be outdoors.
Bad Boy Off Road just launched the Stampede 900 4×4, what was the inspiration for this vehicle?
Our inspiration was to create a side-by-side for the gas market that would be the future of Bad Boy Off Road. We were also inspired by our owner, Textron, which is a multinational company with other brands like Bell helicopters and Cessna Citation jets. Our goal was to build a vehicle that lives up to the performance and quality of other Textron-owned machines that have earned a great reputation all over the world.
What separates the Stampede 900 from the field?
Although new, it is the result of three years of design, engineering and testing. It is truly a full-ground-up, brand-new machine, created to lead the industry on the side-by-side features that drivers told us matter most: power, a comfortable ride, and the ability to haul and store everything they need. No other vehicle in the class has more horsepower (80hp) or storage space. Stampede has an extended cab, just like the four-door, extended-cab trucks that many hunters drive. Stampede is actually an extended-cab version of a side-by-side, where the extended-cab portion is designed for storage and carrying gear. It has the capability to carry a lot of things. We have an integrated gun mount that goes inside the extended cab, so you no longer have a gun laying across the seat or in a horizontal rack that you buy separately. The integrated gun mount is vertical and locks in place behind the seat. We also have a bow mount that works the same way. There are coolers designed to fit in the back, storage bags, dry storage….In total, Stampede has 24 cubic-feet or 680 liters of storage space. There’s just a whole bunch of additional space that you can tailor like you want it. Stampede is a high-performance hunting machine but you can work with it as hard as you would like as well.
Bad Boy Off Road went to a German-engineered engine for the Stampede, what about this engine makes it a great fit for a side-by-side offered machine?
We purchased a manufacturer out of Germany to provide the engine for Stampede. They’re a tier one supplier for Audi, Mercedes, BMW and others, so Stampede’s engine is precision-tuned by the same hands and minds that make engines for high-performance sports cars. It’s a great fit for a side-by-side because it gives you every ounce of torque, horsepower and acceleration. That’s a good thing when you’re off road, in the woods and dealing with various conditions and terrain on hunts. Our liquid-cooled, 846cc engine puts out 80 horsepower. It’s a real beast of a motor and with 59 lb.-ft. of torque, you can quickly accelerate down trails and make steep climbs. And with forged internals (crankshaft, connecting rods and camshaft), the engine is extremely durable.
I read that the Stampede has an amazing amount of ground clearance, how does this effect rideability in this new machine?
Yes, it has 11.25 inches of ground clearance, which gives the suspension room to work over rocks, fallen branches and other obstacles that hunters commonly encounter. The ride is smooth due to high-quality springs, performance shocks and a four-wheel double A-Arm suspension with 9.5 inches of travel in the front and 10.5 inches in the rear. Front and rear sway bars help keep all four wheels on the ground when cornering for great traction and handling.
I read that Bad Boy Off Road did over 6000 miles of extensive testing on the Stampede before releasing it to the public. What were some of the conditions you put this machine through?
We ran Stampede for 800 hours in temperatures from 0 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, over 6,000-plus miles of all kinds of terrain. In addition, each component was separately stress-tested to strict standards. We build Stampede in our state-of-the-art facility in Augusta, Georgia, so we control quality and consistency throughout the production process. We back it with an outstanding two-year warranty.
Is it true the Stampede can tow a true 2,000 pounds and over haul 600 pounds in the bed?
Yes, you can get a whole lot of heavy-duty work done with Stampede. It comes with a 2-inch receiver hitch and has a unique Fast-N-Latch™ System that utilizes specially designed connection points in the bed. With Fast-N-Latch, you can securely haul a variety of accessories while maximizing bed space. Each component is quickly and easily interchangeable using a simple hand tool that comes with the vehicle.
I saw with interest that there is a hunting package specifically for the Stampede 900. What does the hunting package include?
Our hunting package makes Stampede even better in terms of driver experience while pursuing and hopefully transporting game. It includes a hard-top roof, split windshield, plate brush guard, plate rear bumper, gun mount and bow mount, WARN® ProVantage 4500 winch with wire rope, hood rack, light bar mount, 42-inch LED curved light bar and two 6-inch flush-mounted LED light bars. The package really helps you out with many aspects of the hunt and just makes you more comfortable in the woods.
What is the MSRP on the base model Stampede 900?
It starts at $13,799. You can build and price your own Stampede, find a dealer and even take a virtual test drive at www.badboystampede.com. You can kick the tires on Stampede right now at Bad Boy authorized dealers.
Our last question, what and where will you be out hunting this year with the Stampede 900?
My best friend, hunting buddy and son is headed to Clemson this fall so this year is going to be the first time in 16 years we will be apart during hunting season. That’s going to be tough. Our deer season in South Carolina starts on August 15 so I will be hunting locally but I also have an archery whitetail trip planned for The Grigsby in Illinois, which is a bucket list hunt for me. I’m also planning another trip to go back to one of my favorite spots in western South Dakota with my friend Mike Stroff from Savage Outdoors. More importantly, I will have a Stampede with me every time I go in the field this year.