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Posted: 9/27/2014 5:20:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 5:21:54 AM EST by Bhart89]
I would like to purchase an ATV primarily for trail use but also to use around our property. From a SF perspective what should I be looking for? Does fuel economy trump engine displacement? What about power steering? Is that just a luxury that adds unnecessary complexity?

Honda or Polaris/Can-Am? Or something in the middle like Yamaha/Kawasaki/Suzuki?

ETA: I definitely want 4x4.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:38:05 AM EST
Polaris Sportsman.........
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:48:06 AM EST
The biggest Polaris sportsman I can afford?
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:58:59 AM EST
I have owned Rancher 350 ES, Forman 450, Polaris 400, Kawasaki 360 and currently own Yamaha Kodiak 400 and Grizzly 660 and this is my take.

Polaris machines have the best ride in my opinion, but I was always fixing it. Little stuff would break on trail rides and it spent too much time in shop. My dad has the largest Ranger and same thing is has been in shop three times once for recall and twice for sensors going bad so I would not buy a Polaris again. Also thought their engine breaking is weak.

Kawasaki 360 - Fine machine lacked power to do any work in my food plots, but for trail riding it was great. I like the locker level for more traction in 4x4. Good Engine breaking on hills. Only downfall was the ride which wasn't bad, but solid axle isn't as good in independent.

Yamaha - Bullet Proof machines - The 400 Kodiak (2000) has enough power to pull my small field disc for plowing. Only thing I have had to replace on it was a battery and brakes. This one is Solid Axle so ride is a little rough on bumpy trails, but not too bad. Don't really need this machine, but it runs like a tank so I hate to sell it. Great spare when friends come to ride.

My 660 2005 has almost too much power for what I need, but rides great. You will have to watch not giving it too much power going up nasty hills, because the front end will want to pull up on you if you give it too much gas. This machine I have had to change out the battery and the front axle boots. Handling is great and the independent suspension makes it the smoothest ride. I actually was thinking of selling this machine and going with a new Grizzly 550 with Power Steering. I ended up getting a 2012 Rhino instead so I still have it. Not sure you really need power steering on an ATV, but was going to give it a try.

My dads new 900 Ranger has power steering and it is very nice to have in 4x4 over my Rhino. My Rhino is so small that you can still man handle the machine pretty easily in 4x4 mode, now locked 4x4 mode is pretty tough. I don't like how the Rangers are set up with no tension on the belt. They don't take off as quick and roll back real easy when you move your foot from brake to gas on a hill. My Rhino doesn't do it and my Yamaha's Engine braking is way nicer than Polaris.

I have had experience with Honda ATV's also. I had a Rancher thumb shift and Foreman foot shift. Very dependable machines, but both were solid axle and the ride was okay. I only sold them to go to an Automatic and at the time the Rincon and Rubicon were the only options. I didn't like the Rincon I always felt like it was in the wrong gear. The Rubicon at the time was full time 4x4. One dealer locally had Ranchers with Power Steering for $5,300 and I thought about getting one and when I went back after a few weeks they were gone. I then decided to try out a Rhino.

I rode a cancer fundraising ride one time in Greenville, KY. I bet there was 90 Hondas and most were Foreman. Guys all said they had no issues with them. I was on my Kawasaki and went with two guys with Polaris ATVs. The 500 Polaris went through a mud hole and water got in his belt. 10 min fix and the Polaris 700 broke an axle. Non of the Hondas had any issue on that day.


If you want a general use ATV I would go around the 500 CC Range. Power Steering is a Nice To Have, but don't think you need it. I would look at Yamaha or Honda first. Never been on a CanAm, but the dealer is two hours away like so I was worried about service. If you are doing a lot of riding where you need 4x4 mode then ditch the factory tires. I run Swamp Fox or Mudlites and most of the time I don't need 4x4 mode and they are 6 ply. Some of the factory tires are 2 or 4 ply and puncture easier and traction sucks, but you get great fuel economy. I have never run out of gas so a tank of gas so never been in a situation where I needed gas after a day of riding.

GOOD LUCK.......................
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 6:24:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 6:26:01 AM EST by jrtatonka]
Arctic cat 700 Diesel. There are a ton of mods you can do for it, including a turbo setup, and you will use a 3rd the amount of fuel in a days worth of riding compared to a gasser.


Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:41:35 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jrtatonka:
Arctic cat 700 Diesel. There are a ton of mods you can do for it, including a turbo setup, and you will use a 3rd the amount of fuel in a days worth of riding compared to a gasser.


View Quote

Interesting. I wasn't aware there was a diesel option.
http://arcticcat.com/atv/model/DIESEL700SD#green
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:45:46 AM EST
My wife and I both have Polaris Sportsman 500s, and have had no real issues with them in over 12 years with mine, and 4 years with hers. We bought them used to boot. I recently bought an older Kawasaki Mule, and have been redoing it. It seems to have allot of promise, but I haven't used it quite a year yet. I had a Polaris Sportsman 400 briefly, but I didn't care for the chain drive. It always needed adjusting.

I would say that tires are a big key with them, as well as good regular maintenance, just like a car requires.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:50:02 AM EST
I have the can am 800xt max '09 no power steering.

it hunts... only I wish there was a manual start feature JIC.

Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:51:50 AM EST
moreammo pretty much summed it up.

I have a 2002 Yamaha Grizzly 660 that I have rolled twice, have 3K mile on,
and all I've done is regular maintenance and a replaced a fuel petcock. It is almost
overpowered but is built like a tank.

I have a 2012 Polaris 550 and its ride quality is unreal. It feels very underpowered
but most anything does compared to the Grizzly. The Polaris is a lot more noisy and
weird rattles and squeaks and shit, and has been in the shop once for minor seat/trim
type things. The Polaris shift selector is not good either compared to all others I've ridden..

I'd love to put the Yamaha engine in a Polaris chassis.

I've rode Hondas and Kawasakis and all but I think you really cant go wrong with any of
them. I'd look for something with independent rear suspension just for ride quality. Used
prices are pretty high from what I've seen locally. Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:58:01 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jrtatonka:
Arctic cat 700 Diesel. There are a ton of mods you can do for it, including a turbo setup, and you will use a 3rd the amount of fuel in a days worth of riding compared to a gasser.


View Quote



How loud is the diesel???

I have a Polaris Ranger UTV in diesel and it is a great machine but it is VERY loud.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:03:37 AM EST
Gator for utility. That or Polaris sportsman 500.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:08:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 9:09:00 AM EST by vanquished]
I say a UTV is what you want to be in... Pick up a can am commander or maverick
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:19:57 AM EST
Have 3 Hondas. 2 Ranchers and 1 Foreman. One I had to rebuild the carb due to bad gas. That was super easy. Other than that only oil changes and batteries. Been great.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:47:44 AM EST
I have 5 Honda recons, two 500 Foreman's 1 with PS, a rancher 420, a 350 rancher, two older 450's (model escapes me), and a 300 fourtrax 4x4. Hondas are great, all you gotta do is put oil in them and keep tires on them. The 350 rancher I'm riding right now has ~12k miles and 1552.5 hours on it only trouble has been I rebuilt the starter.qa
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:52:54 AM EST
I have an old as hell Polaris Sportsman 500, a 1998.

I don't trail ride often, it's truly a utility machine for me. Plows, carry all for cutting wood, I've hauled, towed tree boles for barn timbers. It took me years to figure out that she's not really cold blooded and hard starting. For some reason they tend to get water in the fuel and will fill a large portion of the bowl with water and will almost start. 40 seconds with a screwdriver and drain the bowl and she's an easy start. Wish I knew that in the first 10 years. .

Just this last winter I changed out the OEM belt due to failure while plowing. about 16 years on the belt isn't bad. I never had a problem with the belt until the last season when I knew she was slipping and mostly likely cracked and glazed. That was neglect, abuse, delayed maintenance and she still took it. 500 is all I ever needed for most normal snow plowing. Way more than enough for trail riding. She is a little front end heavy (even without the blade on) and the effort for slow speed steering in noticeable. Would I spend the extra money for power steering and one more thing to go wrong? Nope.

I've ridden lots of machines for work, Arctic cats, Kawi's, Yamahas, and Polarises. And I've been on other people's Hondas. I'd likely pick one of the yamaha's or a Honda if I was to change. For a trail rider I wouldn't go over 500.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 9:53:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 9:57:51 AM EST by IAMLEGEND]
A buddy of mine was telling me about a Kubota side-by-side that has PTO. That would be awesome if you wanted to spend an extra grand for a 15kW PTO generator for emergencies. I assume it could run a generator...I haven't checked it out.

(AC, heater, defroster, cab...diesel)
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 10:31:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 10:34:18 AM EST by bhintz10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jrtatonka:
Arctic cat 700 Diesel. There are a ton of mods you can do for it, including a turbo setup, and you will use a 3rd the amount of fuel in a days worth of riding compared to a gasser.


View Quote

Terrible idea, who's going to service it for you, Bass Pro Shops.


OP I just picked up a Polaris Sportsman 800 for $6100, OTD, to replace my Honda Foreman, actully I gave it to my wife. Awesome machine, so much nicer than the foreman. That Foreman was a turd, rode rough, brakes sucked, and being 3 wheel drive really lacked in the offroad stuff. Now I did beat the shit out of it, severely. It mainly served as farm use, I pulled 1k-2k trailers and plowed with it constantly, flipped it 3 times and it kept on rocking. So the only thing the polaris needs to show me is longevity and Ill be more than pleased.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 10:40:48 AM EST
The Kubota diesels are big. We have the 1190 4 seater and its the size of a small pickup. We have the 400 gasser that is about the size of a golf cart. Its good for moving people and some cargo but not enough power to tow. The big diesel will tow, it will pull 1500 lbs up a hell of a hill pretty easy. In my opinion the side x sides are great but they aren't a 4 wheeler.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 10:44:23 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bhintz10:

Terrible idea, who's going to service it for you, Bass Pro Shops.


OP I just picked up a Polaris Sportsman 800 for $6100, OTD, to replace my Honda Foreman, actully I gave it to my wife. Awesome machine, so much nicer than the foreman. That Foreman was a turd, rode rough, brakes sucked, and being 3 wheel drive really lacked in the offroad stuff. Now I did beat the shit out of it, severely. It mainly served as farm use, I pulled 1k-2k trailers and plowed with it constantly, flipped it 3 times and it kept on rocking. So the only thing the polaris needs to show me is longevity and Ill be more than pleased.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bhintz10:
Originally Posted By jrtatonka:
Arctic cat 700 Diesel. There are a ton of mods you can do for it, including a turbo setup, and you will use a 3rd the amount of fuel in a days worth of riding compared to a gasser.



Terrible idea, who's going to service it for you, Bass Pro Shops.


OP I just picked up a Polaris Sportsman 800 for $6100, OTD, to replace my Honda Foreman, actully I gave it to my wife. Awesome machine, so much nicer than the foreman. That Foreman was a turd, rode rough, brakes sucked, and being 3 wheel drive really lacked in the offroad stuff. Now I did beat the shit out of it, severely. It mainly served as farm use, I pulled 1k-2k trailers and plowed with it constantly, flipped it 3 times and it kept on rocking. So the only thing the polaris needs to show me is longevity and Ill be more than pleased.


That's the key, can polaris hold up to what a Honda can. I don't have too much polaris experience but I will tell you I never see anything but Hondas on the farms were I am at.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 11:44:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 12:42:55 PM EST by EXPY37]
Regarding the wet Polaris belt, there is a sealed cover that contains the belt and two centrifugal 'clutches' on many [most?] Polaris's.

If the belt got wet, then it's likely the cover was installed improperly and no fault of the machine. The cover requires some paying attention to its reinstallation.



I'd say whatever machine chosen, make sure that service is available from a REPUTABLE shop.

It sounds from some of the posts here that most are dependent on the shop and can't fix their machines. So if you're the kind of folks who can't maintain your machine --expect to budget a lot of dough if you abuse it.


We bought a 6x6 a while back, quite low mileage, used, and it had issues. The previous owner spent ~$2k at the dealers for clutch and belt issues and then sold it to us.

The day we got it -it failed.

Took it back, suspended it from a ceiling hoist and said, crap, let's go thru the whole thing. With the intent of restoring it back to original. The plastic, frame and overall, the machine was excellent, just needed some wear parts replaced.

The belt was burned upon inspection and the drive clutch had overheated so much the plastic pieces in it were melted a bit. I didn't do it. So we took it all apart, replaced both clutches, [Seller paid for those -MOAR $$$] bought parts from the dealers here or there, or on ebay, took our time, now we have a great machine, that get's used all the time in the mtn.

SO just cranked it up...


Oh, I forgot to mention why the clutches failed....

I took all the covers off, removed both clutches, fan, and basically stripped the drive train, and couldn't find any reason for the overheating. My SO was cleaning the covers and found an animal had built a nest in the plastic cooling duct for the clutches and belt and completely clogged it!

All that $$$$ that could have been saved if just one person took the time to look things over carefully. The dealers profited HANDSOMELY!!!

Expect experiences like this and budget or become competent to do much of your own work.



Link Posted: 9/27/2014 11:50:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 11:51:37 AM EST by EXPY37]
A couple things we did to it, the best was buying a pair of LED rectangular 'worklights' and replacing the headlights. $45, china. Incredible.

I just added a small solar panel because the battery was not being charged enough due to a lot of my SO's starting and stopping doing what she does. Now no issue. The panel cost ~ $20 from china, rated at 5 watts, but testing shows 3.




Link Posted: 9/27/2014 11:52:49 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bondryan:
The Kubota diesels are big. We have the 1190 4 seater and its the size of a small pickup. We have the 400 gasser that is about the size of a golf cart. Its good for moving people and some cargo but not enough power to tow. The big diesel will tow, it will pull 1500 lbs up a hell of a hill pretty easy. In my opinion the side x sides are great but they aren't a 4 wheeler.
View Quote

I've only seen them driving past the dealer and I've checked out the specs...they seemed a bit big.

I have a 96 Tacoma for a beater truck and I got to thinking about just how much the size difference really is. And the Tacoma can tow 5K, it's plated, and it's a rock crawling rig that has done reasonably well in Moab.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 12:31:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:

I've only seen them driving past the dealer and I've checked out the specs...they seemed a bit big.

I have a 96 Tacoma for a beater truck and I got to thinking about just how much the size difference really is. And the Tacoma can tow 5K, it's plated, and it's a rock crawling rig that has done reasonably well in Moab.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
Originally Posted By bondryan:
The Kubota diesels are big. We have the 1190 4 seater and its the size of a small pickup. We have the 400 gasser that is about the size of a golf cart. Its good for moving people and some cargo but not enough power to tow. The big diesel will tow, it will pull 1500 lbs up a hell of a hill pretty easy. In my opinion the side x sides are great but they aren't a 4 wheeler.

I've only seen them driving past the dealer and I've checked out the specs...they seemed a bit big.

I have a 96 Tacoma for a beater truck and I got to thinking about just how much the size difference really is. And the Tacoma can tow 5K, it's plated, and it's a rock crawling rig that has done reasonably well in Moab.


I like the big Kubota because they are slow. When you load it up with non-english speakers and send them off to work you don't want a bunch of suspension travel and a high top speed.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 12:33:29 PM EST
We have a big Suzuki, but it's fast as hell and they would likely roll it.

Link Posted: 9/27/2014 1:02:05 PM EST
My votes go for Honda or Polaris but you need to understand the difference in both and why people say different things about them.

I currently own two Hondas. A '12 Rancher and a '99 Foreman. Forman has thousands of miles on it and several hundred hours. Oil changed and basic maintenance goes a long way on any machine. Other then a battery and one electrical component I haven't had any issues with it, and it was used hard on a farm prior to my ownership. While the thing keeps asking for more I try not to use it to hard, that's why I got my new Rancher.

In my experience Hondas are tried and true. I have straight axle models with ES and they are more designed to be your basic long lasting work ATV. Honda does make models with rear independent suspension but I was going to do a lot of long skidding and hauling so I chose for the tried and true straight axle on my newer Rancher. They also have your standard run of the mill semi auto tranny similar to what has been used on the Honda ATVs for years and years. Think standard tranny with an automatic clutch. Polaris uses a completely different drivetrain system that was adapted from their snowmobile design. Think CVT. Uses a driven centrifugal clutch to a drive shift clutch connected by a rubber wear belt. This is why many report they "feel" underpowered because that's the natural feel of a CVT they are however tuned to allow the motor its connect with to operate at optimal RPM for the most torque an HP... Sometimes that's at a higher RPM vs running a wheeler with a traditional tranny.
I also stick with my thoughts on vehicle brand loyalty and the statement that one is significantly better then the other I feel again is a bogus statement. They all have their pros and cons. I have owned almost every brand in the form of ATV or dirt bike and even had a RZR which was a lot of fun, but pretty impractical when you consider the cost of the thing.

I honestly think you should evaluate and sit on a few different brands and models and pick one you are comfortable on and like. Make sure the one you like has a good track record (though you can find bad reviews on anything online.) If you know some one who can work on them all the better. Like EXPY37 said maintaining and working on your own ATV will make the difference in the long run... Power sports dealer work and service can get very costly.

I feel Hondas are tried and true but if you buy a used one that has been beat and poorly maintained it will cause you nothing but issues. Same goes for Polaris. On the flip side a clean looking low millage ATV that has some service records or maybe owned by some one who can turn a wrench is a much better choice.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 1:10:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 1:13:20 PM EST by EXPY37]
Don't own one, but agree with Derrick, that Honda's are good to go and there's no mistake getting one.


If you can do your own work, you can buy a popular one that someone is having issues with and can't fix, ---and DIY and save a lot of $$$.


Link Posted: 9/27/2014 1:45:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 3:54:26 PM EST
Honda is my only choice.

Just bought a new Rancher 420 ES. The electric shift if really a good design.

Also have a 14 year old recon 250 the kids ride. Found it used for $800 and had the brakes redone at a dealer for $300 so I'm in it for $1100. Great for kids and a spare for me.

Honda is a bullet proof design. Buy new unless you have a good idea how to check it out prior to buying used. People will beat on them and you end up buying thier problem.

2 wheel drives will go most places 4 wheel drive will unless your pulling a trailer or a lot of weight up hill. Or really muddy conditions.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 4:55:30 PM EST
I have a 1997 Sportsman 500 I bought new. Only thing replaced are the front CV boots. However, it buying today I'll look at Honda or Yamaha.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:39:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 5:44:46 PM EST by buck19delta]
i had a kawasaki prarie..... it was a good machine.

polaris sportsman 500 1999 edition....... not bad... cam ended up going bad in it. ( was a big problem that year i was told)

polaris sportsman EFI 500ho.... loved it.. started perfectly, 100*- 0*... ran great. awesome. ( sold for a rhino, for safety reasons)

yamaha rhino...... i loved it. small and hauled a ton of stuff..... traded it for a tractor.



my next will be a polaris ranger.. mainly since i mostly use them for work these days.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:42:25 PM EST
honda rancher 350
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 5:53:37 PM EST
i was really impressed with the yamaha kodiak 400cc.. it had everything, auto, dif lock, etc, and was a good price. im not sure what the newer model is, maybe a 450 grizzly?? but it seemed like a great machine.

Link Posted: 9/27/2014 7:12:53 PM EST
I just bought a 2014 Yamaha Grizzly 700 without power steering. It is a beast. I bought it for hunting and use around my farm with a pull behind DR mower. I took it hunting this weekend and we went to change some SD cards and batteries out with two grown men sitting next to each other and a child sitting normal pulling steep hills like it was nothing with probably 575 lb load(not usually what we do but we needed to make some time). I can be going up hills slow give it some gas and it instantly kicks in and goes. I've hauled corn, feeders, stands etc with it. I highly recommend this unit.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:00:11 PM EST
I'd vote yamaha or honda for most reliable, I currently have a 450 and 550 yamaha, and a older polaris at the farm.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:15:41 PM EST
If it isnt a can am, honda, or yamaha, it is a ticking time bomb.If you want or need power, can am is the only choice of the 3.I would avoid arctic cat like the plague.
Link Posted: 9/27/2014 8:51:17 PM EST
My Rancher (Honda TRX 350) has been nothing but a champ in the 11 years I've owned it. It's bare bones, foot shift and no instrumentation other than warning lights, but it gets me where I'm going, pulls my utility trailer loaded with firewood with ease In the wood,s yet), and the only time it was in the shop was when it sat for something like 9 months without turning off the gas and the carb got all munged up.

Link Posted: 9/27/2014 11:49:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/27/2014 11:50:51 PM EST by Bubbatheredneck]
You can join in the latest craze or just get a Honda if you want to run it forever.

I have an 03 Rubicon.

Runs like the day I bought it.

Great machine.


Link Posted: 9/28/2014 1:03:29 AM EST
Zuks are good to go.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 7:09:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2014 7:10:32 AM EST by cuttingedge]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By akcaribouhunter:
Zuks are good to go.
View Quote


Agreed. I have a 2003 Vinson 500 and just bought a 2008 Kingquad 750.
They are both great machines. I work my vinson pretty hard doing firewood and it keeps going.
The Kingquad rides much better because of the independent rear suspension and is just a more refined machine. My next machine will either be another Kingquad or a Honda Rancher 420. I have friends with Ranchers and they have been very happy with them.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 8:31:20 AM EST
I appreciate all the responses. Let me ask a different question, what are the features you would want in an ATV that you would depend on where reliability was the number one requirement and the environment was super muddy?
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 8:31:21 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bhart89:
The biggest Polaris sportsman I can afford?
View Quote


This, Personally we went with a Ranger w/EPS.
For property maintenance there is no equal.

We have several different work attachment's for it.

Whatever you decide, power steering is an awesome option.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 10:44:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2014 10:51:28 AM EST by EXPY37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:


Agreed. I have a 2003 Vinson 500 and just bought a 2008 Kingquad 750.
They are both great machines. I work my vinson pretty hard doing firewood and it keeps going.
The Kingquad rides much better because of the independent rear suspension and is just a more refined machine. My next machine will either be another Kingquad or a Honda Rancher 420. I have friends with Ranchers and they have been very happy with them.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cuttingedge:
Originally Posted By akcaribouhunter:
Zuks are good to go.


Agreed. I have a 2003 Vinson 500 and just bought a 2008 Kingquad 750.
They are both great machines. I work my vinson pretty hard doing firewood and it keeps going.
The Kingquad rides much better because of the independent rear suspension and is just a more refined machine. My next machine will either be another Kingquad or a Honda Rancher 420. I have friends with Ranchers and they have been very happy with them.




Our first was a KingQuad and I echo what you're saying. They are damn nice machines and highly refined. Sort of like a miniature vehicle with most of the same systems.

Sadly, it sits on the trailer we built for it, nowadays and hasn't been ridden since 2009 or so. The 6x6 get all the love and it's a 15+ yo machine.


Link Posted: 9/28/2014 10:52:18 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bhart89:
I appreciate all the responses. Let me ask a different question, what are the features you would want in an ATV that you would depend on where reliability was the number one requirement and the environment was super muddy?
View Quote


Well in mud a winch would be the most helpful accessory, not sure if I would call that a feature. They make mounts for every ATV out there so you should be good with that.

Brake pads wear out quick in mud so if you can find one that has rear sealed brakes at a minimum it would help the wear and tear.

Also good fender coverage unless you want to be wet after every puddle.

A good set of mud tires would probably help if you were in deep stuff all the time.

I would also suggest something with IRS because that will give you the most center clearance for deep mud ruts. My ATV as a straight rear axle so if I were following another ATV that had already went through a mud area and that ATV has a bit more clearance then my rear axle will be dragging if I am in the same tire tracks causing more resistance and possibly hanging me up. IRS will give you the most clearance.

What make and model are you thinking OP?

I plow all winter with mine, I also use them for skidding and hauling firewood so they serve more then just a recreational purpose for me. Here are my Honda's:




Link Posted: 9/28/2014 2:40:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bhart89:
I appreciate all the responses. Let me ask a different question, what are the features you would want in an ATV that you would depend on where reliability was the number one requirement and the environment was super muddy?
View Quote

True 4 wheel drive. IRS. EFI.

Again, why I went to Polaris over Honda. Straight Axles have terrible ground clearance over IRS and not having a front locker got me in a bad spot more than once.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 8:28:37 PM EST
Check out the curb weights before you buy one. I can manhandle a 500 Honda and the 420 rancher with efi is easy to pick up. Try man handling an 800 anything it will be pretty tough.

For trail riding and playing around I would get a 420 rancher with the foot shift (although the only problems I have ever had with electric shifters is the shift angle sensor), buy some mud lites or Maxxis big horns (both wear better then any tire I have ran), and a winch. The 420 is super peppy and will plow snow and such.

If you need to work something harder then the 420 will handle get a side x side or a tractor.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 9:01:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2014 9:03:10 PM EST by Southrnshooter]
Love my new Rancher and Foreman. Sold my old one to my brother. Still going strong. My boys use the Rancher around the house for work. Use the Foreman to pull the wood trailer.

Link Posted: 9/28/2014 9:34:14 PM EST
Honda or Yamaha and nothing else.
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 9:41:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/28/2014 9:45:14 PM EST by louisianarebel]
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Originally Posted By Bhart89:
I appreciate all the responses. Let me ask a different question, what are the features you would want in an ATV that you would depend on where reliability was the number one requirement and the environment was super muddy?
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How muddy is super muddy?
I like my rincon. no problems with it. rode hard from day one. It has 2000 miles on it now.
Bought a rhino for 4k and parked the rincon for a year and it cranked right up with a new battery.

Link Posted: 9/28/2014 11:15:01 PM EST
I'll take a CamAm 650 or bigger over anything shown or mentioned here. Had an 09 800. Awesome machine, had I not moved I would still have it.

The swing arm suspension trumps anything from Articat or Polaris as does the Rotax engine. They aren't cheap but they are AWESOME
Link Posted: 9/28/2014 11:27:02 PM EST
We've always used Hondas and never had any problems with them. We've had Honda ATCs way back into the 70s. Hondas (for us) have always been very reliable and powerful.
Now I have three, for myself and my boys.
Honda Foreman 500 and have had it for 6 yrs. zero problems.
I also have my older bike. It's a Honda 300. It's 16 yrs old. I'd love to know how many miles I have on it. Zero problems.
Last year I picked up another Honda 300, this one's now 18 yrs old. It's in great shape and runs like a new bike.

Power steering...meh. I look at it as something else to potentially break. My Foreman has a manual shift which is what I wanted.

I think 420 rancher or 500 Foreman. The Foreman is better suited for heavier duty work.

I have my bikes serviced every summer, only use non-ethanol fuel and I avoid putting the bikes in deep water. If you take care of your Honda, it'll last you a long time.


Link Posted: 9/29/2014 2:48:14 AM EST
I have a pair of Arctic Cats. A 2007 w/winch 400cc and a 2012 550i no issues with either. Low gears and solid motors for farm chores.
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