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Posted: 4/27/2015 7:58:00 PM EDT
I'm considering getting a ATV for use around the property.
It would be used for some fun and for light duty work like plowing my feeder plot and towing a small trailer.
I think something like a 450-550cc ATV should be able to do what I was planning.
My first priority for the vehicle is reliability.  Is there one particular make/model that has reputation for reliability?
Don't care about speed or look or capacity...reliability above everything else.


Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:02:11 PM EDT
Honda or Yamaha period. You can't go wrong with either and both will last unlike Polaris.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:04:18 PM EDT
Yeah, I've heard I should stay away from Polaris.  Can-Am too.

Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:04:56 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By UPbearhunter:
Honda or Yamaha period. You can't go wrong with either and both will last unlike Polaris.
View Quote

Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:17:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2015 8:19:35 PM EDT by EXPY37]
Whatever I own and am a Fanboy of...  


Oh Wait!!!


We use a 6x6 Polaris all the time, no issues...

Easy to maintain too.

Also a big Suzuki, not used much, it's new, and is a hell of a machine.

Nothing wrong with the rest of the major brands, probably the key issue is nearby support for whatever you go with.



Reliability and the ability to service and repair it yourself, go hand in hand.


Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:45:23 PM EDT
Plowing?  Like actually turning sod upside down?  i can't see one doing that with an ATV, too light for traction.  Maybe some rake or tined device but that's not a plow.

I'm still running my 98 Polaris 500 Sportsman.  It's fairly stout and has given me very few problems.  I need a carb kit as my bowl flows over due to a hardened rubber tip in my carb.   Not that big a deal if I remember to shut my fuel off.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:49:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
Plowing?  Like actually turning sod upside down?  i can't see one doing that with an ATV, too light for traction.  Maybe some rake or tined device but that's not a plow.

I'm still running my 98 Polaris 500 Sportsman.  It's fairly stout and has given me very few problems.  I need a carb kit as my bowl flows over due to a hardened rubber tip in my carb.   Not that big a deal if I remember to shut my fuel off.
View Quote


When I read "plowing" I understood it to mean, like pushing snow off a driveway.  then I saw that he was in Florida...now I'm even more confused.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 8:51:22 PM EDT
Honda. 2003, only time it didn't start was when I let the battery run down. Pulled on the pull starter once and it fired right up and recharged the battery.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 9:10:40 PM EDT
Honda has always been good to me.



Link Posted: 4/27/2015 9:25:32 PM EDT
I've had a couple of Yamahas and no problems out of either.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 9:28:27 PM EDT
I have a 2014 Honda rancher 420, and a 2001 Honda recon 250..

Both have been absolutely bullet proof. And the kids beat on the recon regularly. But I only paid $800 for it.


Link Posted: 4/27/2015 9:28:47 PM EDT
Anything Honda or Yamaha will make you very happy
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 9:35:35 PM EDT
I have had 4 Hondas over the last 20 years.  Still have 2 and my brother has my old one.  One was stolen.  They have been great ATV's.  They aren't the biggest or baddest out there, but you can always count on them starting and running.  Only thing I ever had to do was rebuild a carb on one of them other than routine maintenance.

Have a new 2014 Foreman with the locking differential 4x4.  Played in the snow and pulled a trailer in the snow with it this winter.  Very impressed with it over my 2013 Foreman (stolen) that didn't have that option.

Hondas have the reliability sewn up I think.  Yamaha is probably a close second.

Whatever you do, stay away from Artic Cat.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 10:07:35 PM EDT
LoL..."whatever you do stay away from..."

Buy which brand you like best or can get the best deal on and take care of it so it lasts.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 10:24:59 PM EDT
I like and own Honda.  I would probably recommend Honda for longevity.

I have had Yamaha and Polaris in the past...  All good as long as you take care of them.

Every one is going to have their favorite brand, just like Ford vs. Chevy.

Link Posted: 4/27/2015 11:04:16 PM EDT
We have a pair of mid 90's Polaris Magnum 425s at the farm. Over 10k hard miles each. Been good machines. They are getting about dead, but have provided many years of hard service.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 11:19:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2015 11:21:44 PM EDT by GlutealCleft]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By UPbearhunter:
Honda or Yamaha period. You can't go wrong with either and both will last unlike Polaris.
View Quote


I don't know about Polaris or Can-Am, but one of my cousins has a bunch of Yamahas that he bought used, then they have been abused, neglected, and loaned out to be abused by various members of the extended family.  He's had them for 10-15 years, depending on the ATV, and they're still going.

One of my buddies rolled one down a hill twice.  The dude's kids have wrecked them various times.  Other people in the family have rolled or wrecked them. One person overheated one pretty badly, let it cool down, and kept going.  They've been taken to the dealer for a tune-up a few times, and had batteries replaced, but other than that, they just get abused and ignored, and keep on going.
Link Posted: 4/27/2015 11:39:16 PM EDT
I own a 98 grizzly 600-I bought it "abused" (not used) last year-New battery, new lube, New bearings,

I pulled a trailer of wood in the snow, ran it hard, flipped it, and the thing hasn't missed a beat--every time I have "needed it"

Storm, or snow it wanted to work
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 12:07:26 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
We have a pair of mid 90's Polaris Magnum 425s at the farm. Over 10k hard miles each. Been good machines. They are getting about dead, but have provided many years of hard service.
View Quote



Same thing here, '95
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 12:25:28 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PreachermanMATT:
I own a 98 grizzly 600-I bought it "abused" (not used) last year-New battery, new lube, New bearings,

I pulled a trailer of wood in the snow, ran it hard, flipped it, and the thing hasn't missed a beat--every time I have "needed it"

Storm, or snow it wanted to work
View Quote


My Grizzly 660 was tough as nails too.  I wish I never sold it.    Used Grizzly's are expensive for the same reason used Tacoma's are.  They are reliable.  I bought a 2005 model in 2008.  Sold it in 2010 for the same price I paid.  I wish I still had it, but I don't go hunting anymore in the spot I needed it.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 1:01:45 AM EDT
I have a 1998 Polaris sportsman 500 that has been trouble free except for general maintenance since new.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 6:20:13 AM EDT
I would stick with Honda or Yamaha.  Have a 2002 Rancher 350 and it's been very reliable.  Change oil, change spark plug, new air filter, and fresh gas is all it needs.  It's got around 1700 hours on the engine and still has all the factory parts in it.  I've known several people who own Yamaha atvs and all they did was check oil and keep gas in it.  Most of them lasted 10-15 years at that rate and were sold still running.

Can-Am is in the performance market,  I would stay away from them unless you want to race.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 7:29:25 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By UPbearhunter:
Honda or Yamaha period. You can't go wrong with either and both will last unlike Polaris.
View Quote



+1

Link Posted: 4/28/2015 7:37:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2015 7:39:51 AM EDT by rzrsedge]
I'm going to say Honda Rancher or Foreman. They are on farms everywhere around here and they seem to go forever. I can't get excited about anything with the CVT since my family has some Polaris's, we've had to go through the CVT clutches on them and they just don't take hard climbing or light towing very well. For sport bikes I like Yamaha (I have a Raptor) best but Honda has the best work model IMO.
 
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 7:54:10 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KC45:
Yeah, I've heard I should stay away from Polaris.  Can-Am too.

View Quote

If you are comparing Can Am to polaris, you are either being funny, or you are stipud.Either way, op,,dont listen to this advice.Can Am makes some of the best Atv's on the planet.The only brand more reliable, would be honda, but they lack both power, and features.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 8:20:56 AM EDT
Honda really makes the best ATV?  Honda has fallen way out on most other power sports.  I mean they make decent stuff still, but no innovation.

Link Posted: 4/28/2015 9:44:25 AM EDT
Honda
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 10:09:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2015 10:28:14 AM EDT by Bubbatheredneck]
Whenever this comes up, it almost always is Honda and something else.





But Honda always seems to rise to the top or near the top of the list.

















I have friends that farms huge areas in the MS delta.  Hondas last much longer than Yamahas or Polaris for farm use.  But the Polaris 4wheelers have a nice ride.

















 
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 10:12:53 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By w33b8t1:


Honda really makes the best ATV?  Honda has fallen way out on most other power sports.  I mean they make decent stuff still, but no innovation.



View Quote
Most folks looking to keep an ATV for 10+ years aren't looking for 'innovation' which is often code for fad/gimmick, but reliability.

 



Workhorse ATV tech is pretty mature, racing adventure stuff, extreme suspension stuff, etc., not so much.   I agree that is not Honda's target demographic.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 10:21:12 AM EDT
This......2005 Polaris MV7 or a 2000ish foreman 450.




Link Posted: 4/28/2015 10:43:15 AM EDT
I always liked my yamaha's and never had any issues with them. The guys I ran with mostly used Polaris and had some minor issues.

The one thing I liked about the Yamaha was that it was light enough that you could throw it around and yet it could still handle a number of chores without struggling. Hauling deer out, towing a small trailer with wood or BS was no issue. Now the guys that liked the polaris were much bigger guys then me , by about 150 lbs , and liked the size and weight. For me the polaris was way too heavy.



The Honda is a solid ATV , but like others have said they seriously lag behind on the innovation side of things
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 10:53:37 AM EDT
I've owned several Hondas and Kawasakis over the years.  I grew up on Honda 3 wheelers.

I just sold a 1998 Kawasaki 4 wheeler because I was tired of waiting for it to wear out and got tired of looking at it.  300 Bayou 4x4.



I think my next one will be a Honda, just because I prefer the body style and ergonomics of them.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 11:29:32 AM EDT
Yamaha.

Get a Grizzly 700FI and you'll never look back.

Mine is 8 years old and has been great.  No issues to date.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 1:23:41 PM EDT
I agree with the Honda or Yamaha recommendations.  I've owned them all, and currently have a Grizzly 700.

The Hondas, at least the older ones, are pure utilitarian and dependable.  The Yamahas are a lot more comfortable and just as dependable.  

Generally the Yamahas are easier starting.  Sometimes the Hondas take a bit of throttle play to keep running when really cold.

The manual shift Hondas and manual shift or belt driven Yamahas have little to fail, and last a long, long time.  The Yamahas belt is not considered a wear item, as they still have a wet clutch similar to the foot-shifted Honda.  I've not known one to ever wear or break that was not severely abused or flooded in mud.

I dislike the electric shifting Hondas, and stay far, far away from the Rincon.

Link Posted: 4/28/2015 8:09:15 PM EDT
It's really hard to beat the reliability of the old Yamaha Big Bear 400 series. They are easy to work on, air/oil cooled, shaft drive, carbureted, they don't have a lot of electronics to fail and parts are reasonable and available. They are built like a tank and will go damn near anywhere you want. They are not the fastest ATVs, but I think they are some of the best built utility series ATV ever made. Grizzly's are really nice too if you need the extra HP. Keep the oil changed regularly and these Yamaha will keep on running until the apocalypse.
Link Posted: 4/28/2015 8:27:45 PM EDT
I vote yamaha, because I like having a automatic transmission vs the push button on the honda.
Link Posted: 4/29/2015 9:23:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/29/2015 1:51:22 PM EDT
I went hunting for 9 days with five of my friends.  They all have Polaris ATVs, and I have a Yamaha.  By the end of that week, my bike was the only one running right.
Link Posted: 4/29/2015 3:16:37 PM EDT
We've used Polaris, Yamaha & Arctic Cat & all worked fine.  Whatever you decide get bigger than you think you need.  I have a 400 but wish I had a 650 for the power.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 12:48:23 AM EDT
I vote Yamaha. I spent a lot time in thr Honda dealer and the Yamaha dealer. They are owned by the same guy. In the end I went with Yamaha and now I have 2. The Honda salesman actually sold me on the Yamaha.
It's only a 450, but plenty of power and speed (56mph). IRS, true lockers and CVT.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 11:00:41 AM EDT
I have a kawasaki prairie. It's a 98 model, so little things have broken over the years. Had to fix the fuel lines a couple times, and a worn cv boot. It was given to me by father after he decided he's too old for a traditional atv and bought a side by side.

Other family members have been riding Hondas since the 80s with very few problems. If and when I have to replace my kawasaki, I'll probably look into Honda.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 11:22:02 AM EDT
Thank you for all your replies.
As you can see I know very little about ATV as I never owned one before.
I have used couple in past to do some work but for only a day or two.
I'm going to go take a look at the basic model Honda 420cc Rancher this weekend.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 11:25:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KC45:
I'm considering getting a ATV for use around the property.
It would be used for some fun and for light duty work like plowing my feeder plot and towing a small trailer.
I think something like a 450-550cc ATV should be able to do what I was planning.
My first priority for the vehicle is reliability.  Is there one particular make/model that has reputation for reliability?
Don't care about speed or look or capacity...reliability above everything else.


View Quote



Bought the wife a Suzuki King Quad ASi 400 a few years ago.  It's been stone cold reliable with nothing but oil changes and one valve lash adjustment at 1200 miles.  Powerful enough to do some work, yet light and small enough to get through tight spots.  I don't normally finance toys but Suzuki regularly offers 0% financing.  Combine that with a "last years model" like I did and you get a good quad for a good price.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 1:05:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/30/2015 1:06:24 PM EDT by EXPY37]
The King Quads are nice machines, with abt 800 cc and 4WD IIRC.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 1:16:41 PM EDT
I work on them almost everyday.
Any new quad with power steering and fuel injection is an awesome machine. Don't buy used if you can help it, they all carry problems.
Polaris and Can-am are the most popular but CV boots and little things can drive you crazy for what you pay for the machines.
I'm a new 2015 Kawsaki brute force fan right now. Closed loop FI system, lots of power and not too big.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 2:21:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BruteForceSteve:
I work on them almost everyday.
Any new quad with power steering and fuel injection is an awesome machine. Don't buy used if you can help it, they all carry problems.
Polaris and Can-am are the most popular but CV boots and little things can drive you crazy for what you pay for the machines.
I'm a new 2015 Kawsaki brute force fan right now. Closed loop FI system, lots of power and not too big.
View Quote


Welcome to arfcom. And well done making your first post in the SF.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 2:34:52 PM EDT
Dont know if they are the best, but Honda seems to be most reliable. I still drive around in an 86 fourtrax that will sit for 6 months and start on first try every time.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 3:00:37 PM EDT
I worked at a local college.  Much of the north east would send its service techs to this college for periodic training, since we were the factory tech training site for the north east.  For polaris.  

As such, we got the inside scoop on a lot of polaris.  What I am about to say is personal opinion, based on direct observation as well as discussion with service techs.  Polaris is less than stellar.

Yup.  You can get good long service from a polaris.  However, over the product line, your chances of getting "a good one" are higher with honda or yamaha.

I cannot speak for their ATV's.  However, when it comes to Motorcycles, I operate a fleet of 17 bikes.  Have done so for over a decade.  Small displacement suzukis are proving to be the most reliable we can find, better than all other comers...
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 3:08:16 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RogueSpear2023:


I have a 1998 Polaris sportsman 500 that has been trouble free except for general maintenance since new.
View Quote




 
I have the same experience with my 98 Sportsman 500.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 8:41:50 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By w33b8t1:
Honda really makes the best ATV?  Honda has fallen way out on most other power sports.  I mean they make decent stuff still, but no innovation.

View Quote



innovation /= reliability.
Link Posted: 4/30/2015 9:22:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KC45:
Thank you for all your replies.
As you can see I know very little about ATV as I never owned one before.
I have used couple in past to do some work but for only a day or two.
I'm going to go take a look at the basic model Honda 420cc Rancher this weekend.
View Quote



Talk them down a little. I got my brand new one (2014) for just over $5k.

And so far the two wheel drive model I purchased has been really good for "farm" work. Pulls a 5x8 trailer full of lumber like it was nothing. I haven't regretted not getting 4 wheel drive as I don't play in the mud with mine. At least not often.

I do like the electric shift also for easy driving while working around the property.
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