UTV thoughts

Jim/Wa

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Dec 4, 2015
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SW Washington
I'm looking at UTV's strictly for hunting/trapping use. The last time I used an ATV was a Honda Big Red 3-wheeler which a farmer let us use for running traplines almost 40 years ago. Since then I've had no use for one but I find myself increasingly hunting places in Idaho/Oregon where full size diesel trucks don't fit but the road continues for miles beyond. I'm mainly looking at the Honda Pioneer 500 because it is more compact and fits on 50" designated trails. I'm hoping for some real world insight from people who use UTV's. What's important? What's not? What do you wish someone had told you before you spent the money? Two seats vs four, chassis width, dump bed, etc. Thanks!
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Honda would be my first choice, although I own a polaris but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. Nothing against the polaris ice just always found Honda to be hands down dependable.
 

npaden

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I have a Polaris 570 Rzr that is a 50" machine and really like it. The 570 sips gas and with a 8 gallon tank can get me 150 miles before I need to fill up. It has more suspension travel than the Honda so it rides much smoother, but by most accounts the Honda should be a little more dependable over the belt drive of the Rzr. With that said I've never had an issue with the Rzr and I've owned it for 4 years now.

I'm not aware of anything that is a 4 seater or anything with a dump bed that meets the 50" width requirements.

Can Am has a new 50" machine that is supposed to be really nice as well.

Not sure you could go wrong with any of them really.
 

npaden

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Here it is loaded up with enough gear for 2 people for a week on an elk hunt in Montana a few years ago. We were back on an ATV trail 10 or 12 miles when we set up camp.

B01816FD-4171-4170-809B-2F50F37505D0.jpg

Going through a 50" trail restriction.

0C5B50F2-7F0D-4DDD-AE47-205F8E6C160E.jpg
 

choc dogs

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boise
I've got a pioneer 500, I tend to leave it on the trailer, go hunt like I always did, and when I need to recover something, I use the network of atv trails that are open in the area I tend to hunt. I did make a drive on an atv loop this week when I was supposed to be hunting, but I got to see some country I wouldn't have otherwise, even though it cost me an afternoon when I could have been in the field, napping. In the year I've had it I've had no problems, and driven all the places I've needed to go. The rack on the back is convenient, like an atv rack, you can strap or tie almost anything to it. I've got a harbor freight strapped to that, so I can just throw a some things in, and not tie down. I like the bench seat, because it's easier for me to get in and out of. If there's something specific you would like to know, feel free to send me a pm.
 

Dan O

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Seeley Lake, Mt
I don't own a SXS but do have a ATV "Yamaha 660". One thing I've learned from a friend and his 50 inch RZR is that the roll cage sometimes will hit the tree's when your on a side hill on a narrow trail. I've encountered that same thing with my gun case in the upright position on my ATV. For my needs a ATV works better, just depends on what your going to use it for.


Dan
 

belshawelk

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Aug 27, 2015
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Oregon
a Polaris Ranger 900 with Power Steering. yes its wider than 50" but I have yet to find a trail or place to narrow. I have a hard cab, glass windows front and back, heater, power windows, LED lights, winch, brush guards, frame rails.There is nothing like being in the snow or cold weather and having a cab with heat. I am shocked the places it will go. Too me I will trade the little width for the power. I drove the 570 and so glad I didn't buy it as where I hunt is very hilly and rocky. If you buy a new one they downhill asst, which is awesome. Both my quads have it. I put larger rims and ties for more ground clearance without having to lift it. It is my best single hunting purchase ever.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
'14 Yamaha Viking. 3 seat, EPS, dump bed. Does all I need with comfort.
I've added a front fold window, roof light bar, two rear brights, street legal package, has a 4500 Super Winch.

Been a champ.
 

T Bone

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West Slope, CO
'08 Yamaha Rhino. It's never been anywhere but 4x4 roads. When it's rough roads, mud or snow, it comes with. I park the truck and out comes the Rhino.

The locking diffs are handy for mud and snow. The dump bed is nice for gear.

The Pioneer 500 is a cool little machine. I almost got it, but it's not for taller people.
 

yoda

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Apr 1, 2015
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I own a Polaris ranger its fits all my needs and has been problem free and is a great trapping rig.Hondas are bullet proof no question
 

Jim/Wa

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Dec 4, 2015
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SW Washington
Ya, I've been wondering about the need for the 50" vs a usefulness of the larger size. The Pioneer 700, for example, has a bed plus folding seats for the rare occasion when I'm hunting with a 3rd person. The footprint and cost aren't that much more. The only time I've run into the 50" trails were while Elk hunting unit 76 (CO) but I know they exist in other places. I've just never paid attention since I'm usually on foot or on a mountain bike.
 

npaden

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For sure you need to decide where you plan on using it before deciding on 50" or not. A 50" machine is more tippy than a full size machine no doubt.

Where I've been in Wyoming less than 5% of the ATV type trails are restricted to a 50" machine. In Montana there are hundreds of miles of 50" trails. Same with Utah. I think Colorado is another state that has a lot of 50" trails.

I had a Polaris Ranger and sold it to get a 50" machine.

P.S. - I use mine a lot more for recreational riding in the summer in those places than I use it for hunting.
 

T Bone

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Truthfully, after owning one, I think a small 4x4 pickup like an older Yota with a few modifications would better suit my needs. A heater is nice when it's cold .
 

Don K

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Mar 14, 2011
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Northern Illinois
The Pioneers are nice and quite, and some of the Polaris ones are also. What ever your looking at make sure you hear how loud the machine is. Some of the SXS I have seen are so loud you can here them miles away....................
 

Pagosa

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Nov 13, 2011
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Montana
I have a Polaris 570 mid-size 2016 that I have put just over 2000 miles in work and hunting. In hindsight I would buy a Honda Pioneer with a cab, especially for winter use. I use my mine for hound hunting and portable plug-in heater will keep it warm. It can go well in 12-15 inches of dry powder, but anymore and you need a snowcat.
 

ol_spark

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Feb 3, 2011
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NW Pa
Whichever one you decide to get is a matter of preference as previously mentioned however, I have a 900 Rzr and hunt alone. I just installed a rear winch to help load game. Even with that I need a ramp of some sort to help in putting game in bed. I would opt for a tilt bed version of whatever you choose just because of ease of loading an elk, if that is your intended purpose. Wider machines are more stable, power steering is a plus as is an engine brake for down hill heavy loads.
 

Elite7

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Apr 14, 2016
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I don't think you can go wrong with a Honda. Great dependability. I went with the 700-4 so that i can always have the option to have more people in it. Another option that I like is that the your roof will cover your equipment in the dump bed. Cost wise you arent looking at much difference from the 700-2 or 500. Downside to the Honda 700's is the height when you install a roof. You will need a open trailer or cargo trailer 7' opening.

If you know youll have trails that require 50" or less then stick with the Honda 500.
 

Hudge76

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Sep 26, 2018
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I have a Ranger 900 XP, and I love that machine. In the near future I will be putting different tires on it and maybe some portals, but I really don't want to pay the price for the portals. Granted it's bigger than the 50" width you are asking about. I hunt in Alaska, and it hauls our bear bait setup in and out no problem, along with equipment needed for a back country moose and caribou hunt. I have a friend that has the Can Am Defender and he loves it as well. The Honda Pioneers and Yamaha Wolverines are nice as well. About the only Honda I don't like is the 500 Pioneer. Those things are just too small for me. I also have a Polaris 570 Sportsman that I use when I go out by myself hunting, and I'm not looking to bring a lot of gear with me.
 

Richardbell

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Aug 8, 2014
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Hanna WY
I have had many brands in the past, but now I am strictly Honda. I am usually by my self and miles from others. I am happy to trade a little less power and suspension travel for the piece of mind in reliability. Have a pioneer 700, just right size for me. Power steering is worth every penny.
 
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