Need to purchase one of those iron horses, I won't always have Chambo around! Would like reasons for your choice and problems of certain makes or models you've experienced or heard of! (I'm considering Sportsman 500)
Nowadays it would be really hard to buy a 'bad' atv. Having said that, my personal preferance is for......
...... a Honda. I bought a 300 TRX 4x4 new in '95. 10 days after I bought it, it went thru the ice in front of my house and floated upside down in the water for nearly 4 hours before we got it out. The engine had been running when it went thru, and I was certain I had just ruined the first big new purchase I had made.
I was sick!
I called the dealer I bought it from and reluctantly told him what I had done. He laughed and said it happens all the time. I was instructed to drain all the fluids, refill, get the engine running again, and then once again drain and refill the fluids. So I did, and the little bugger started right up!
I have put over 1000 miles on that machine since and it has NEVER missed a beat. I have towed, hauled, and plowed things I definately had no business doing with that atv.
I just can't say enough good things about it. 'Reliable' is the main word that comes to mind; also no maintenance other than spark plug and once a year oil change.
You can beat the absolute hell out of them Hondas and they faithfully continue to perform their duties.
I recommend the new Honda Rubicon 500 4x4 Automatic shift. It is the ONLY atv with a true automatic transmission. Polaris, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Arctic Cat all use rubber belts and clutches similar to the manner in snowmobiles. Eventually these will stretch and slip and will need to be replaced.
No matter what you decide on, be damn sure you get a winch. You'll never get one unstuck otherwise, plus you'll use the winch for alot of other things.
The only 'true' automatic tranny is the one just introduced by Honda and its only available on the new rubicn 500.
Like I said earlier, the auto shift on ALL the other ATV's incorporates a clutch and belt drive nearly identical to what makes a snowmobile go. Honda, however, uses an actual transmission filled with hydraulic fluid.... no belts or clutch to wear-out, stretch, and need replacing.
Polaris also used a chain-drive system instead of a shaft drive. The chains stretched and were known to break.
I highly reccommend you get auto instead of manual shift. Shifting gets real old real fast, especially if you're going to use you ATV plowing, etc.
As far as 'true' 4x4: Most are now made with all four wheels driving, although some have limited-slip on the front end. Suzuki has a differential lock when you need both front wheels driving.
And remember: Friends don't let friends drive junk.
I like Polaris, with the true four-wheel drive, but from what I hear, Honda is the most reliable. I've got a Kawasaki Bayou 300 that's been through hell, and I've had to dump a lot into it to keep it going. I don't know if any other brand would have held up better, but I'll try Polaris, Honda and Bombardier before I get another Kaw!!!
Thanks Yooper! We all have priorities and I just have not made research a high one as of yet, so I really appreciate your unbiased factory opions!
Hey Chambo, I know which N.C. ride you were referring to, but I think that one was very low maintenence. I think in your case, you would like something that needs constant hands on maintenance!!! (no bubblin')
I am a Minnesota native tried and true. I moved to Kansas City then Denver then Lawrence, ks. then Omaha now..K.C.M.O.
( All self-induced moves to further my career in the last 4 years). I really am looking forward to Miss. season (Jan 4,5,6) as I understand it I can fill my freezer(Thanx Sparkman), with 3 does.Yaahhhh! ya Know by golly fursure!
I hate to bring this up but rubicons are what the folks from North Carolina had.
At least two of them anyway.
I believe Joe, the little guy had an older model honda 300 I think.
Never did spend a lot of time looking at their rides.Ok, maybe one of the rides.
Why buy one when you have friends around that will help you and your bro?
For longevity I would say Honda.
I did look really hard at the artic cat when I bought mine.I think they are a good looking machine.With high and low range to boot.As far as the winch goes,I need one.
then I would have to have a blade so I could play in the snow.
You will be surprised at how much even a small wench can push.
A neighbor of mine has a 500 sportsman polaris and uses it quite a bit spraying his wheat.I asked him about the belt drive and he said to his surprise he had not had any problems with it in two seasons.Something he was also concerened about.
keep this in mind a full four wheel drive , like my honda is much harder to turn than one you can shift in and out of gear!!
I wish Honda would make theirs full four wheel drive and make it part time.
Also I would like to see a company put a p.t.o. out the back for use with ground engageing eguipment like a tiller and or a mower.Enough is enough,I am done now.
OOps,don't forget the windshield and scabbard and floorboards and........
what unit will you be in. basically most anything north of the mo.river you can get three tags for the whole firearms season and use what tags you have left for anterless deer onley.myself i have two tags after i shot my biggest buck yet(green score 174.5)i dident get to serious abuoght does so now i get more time to hunt this year.o-ya i will be in unit 7.
hunting is a way of life and life is GOOD!!!
Chambo, Yamaha use to make one with a PTO out the back. I do not have a quad, but I am on Kawasoki mule #2. The new one they improved the cam by making it all steel instead of steel/plastic. I was on the tird cam on the first one. I had this one a little over a year and like it. This one has 1700 hours on it and no problem. Most of you probly won't put that many hours on one.
I have been researching atv's for the past 3 mo and everything is leading to the new Bombardier. It has been rated the best atv buy most of the atv mag's, it is also a totally unique design being the only one that is a walk through . It has better accessories like headlights , has a true park and access to reverse from any gear . Just go to the Bombardier website and look for your self. They are also built in Canada so one knows they will handle most everything weather wise .
I'll second what Yooper said about the Hondas.
I got one of the early 300's (trx i think)
It has been through pure hell over the last 7 plus years...The only parts i have had trouble with were the spline shaft on the left side......probably had something to do with a big tree at speed....i'm just guessin though.
Some of the relatives have bought polaris....
I think they are 335....brakes don't last too long and neither do the batteries.
The suspension is way superior to the early 90's honda....duhh. Go figure.
I'm sure the new hondas are better that 7 or 8 years ago too.
Hey there is a discount place to buy those 2 brands in Mississippi....may be worth while!
I like the Suzuki King Quad. I've been using
my brothers for afew years. We've take that
thing everywhere from mtn. goat hunting to
hauling bait for the bear stands. It has
hi and low range,,and 3 sets of gears, with
the lowest set locking all 4 wheels in. Its
been a pretty reliable machine.