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I've been avoiding this, but...I need a quad.

Post in 'The Gear' started by Beetle-Kill, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,635
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    At one time it was a pretty easy sell when it came to popularity and longevity . . . there was Honda and then there were other ATVs. Nowadays most all the manufacturers (other than some off brand Chinese brand clones) have come a long ways and I would wager that most are pretty decent in terms of being tough . . . although Honda still has a reputation for being built Honda tough.

    However, while I am an unabashed Honda lover I will also say their reputation for being tough in terms of not breaking comes at a price -- most models are not particularly cutting edge. Honda ATVs tend to adapt new tech long after other companies have adopted the new tech . . . and I would even go as far as to say Honda ATVs are often not the best ATV for trail riding as they started out as working machines on the farms and ranches . . . and in many ways they haven't strayed far from those routes with solid axles (not such a cushy ride), lower center of gravity, transmissions that shy away from belt driven, etc.

    Again . . . for what you described though . . . I think most any make would work. If I was to buy an ATV today I would personally look at Honda, Yamaha and maybe CanAm . . . but again . . . I am also biased.

    4WD: Most manufacturers have this . . . selectable 4WD is nice if you are planning on doing some trail riding. Many folks get hung up on true 4WD . . . my own experience is that unless you are really working it or doing some serious mud bogging most 4WD systems are good . . . I have personally seen ATVs of all ilk with all sorts of transmissions and 4WD systems get stuck . . . and/or break.

    Used: This can be a hit or miss proposition. It really depends on the past user and what they did with their machine. Some quads are beat up pretty badly . . . and sometimes they may look nice. Other times you can get a steal of a deal when someone buys an ATV and then only uses it for ice fishing or hunting a few times each year.

    Parts: Prices for parts can be pretty pricey sometimes . . . I would guess more so for the Japanese models . . . but honestly I don't know what the costs of Polaris or Can Am parts are these days.

    Dealer: Having a local dealer is handy . . . but not always completely necessary. I drive 45 minutes to one dealer when another brand dealer is 5 minutes from me.

    What I do . . . plow snow, trail ride, haul wood, etc.
    Beetle-Kill likes this.

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  2. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
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    Loc:
    Colorado- near the Divide
    Thanks Jake, good stuff to keep me on track.
    YES, I'd love a tractor but not in the budget. I need a quad, or I should state-"I want a quad". My budget is 3K for an outright purchase, 5K if I can finance.
    I only need the plow blade and a hitch. A winch would be nice. Even better would be the plow and harrow. I have small trailers, but another would be OK.
    A quad would save wear-n-tear on the truck/jeep during hunting season, but that's not a big deal (can't get a vehicle where I go anyway).
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
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    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I would not want to take a 2wd drive tractor up or down a 35* slope on a routine basis. I've done it on my dad's 8N and it is white knuckle. Rule those out.

    You're not going to get a lot of 4wd CUT for $5k. Maybe something in the 15HP-18HP range with a front blade (not a loader). Those are good little machines, but I'd personally rather save my pennies for a larger tractor that can handle a FEL capable of picking up 1000-1500 lbs.

    If your neighbor has an ATV that is capable of plowing the snow on your driveway then an ATV can plow your driveway. Don't need a tractor, but agree tractors are much more multi-functional than an ATV.

    500CC is the sweet spot for ATVs, in my opinion. They have plenty of torque for pulling and plowing and cost much less than the twin engine models. I plowed with mine over the winter and could easily push 8" of slop at 20MPH, and I routinely pull 1000lbs of firewood at a time out of the woods.

    I think prices vary quite a bit by location, but you don't have to look hard to find a very lightly used (under 200 hours) machine around here for about $4K, and some with more hours for $2K-$3K. As for brands, they're all pretty good and it really comes down to personal preference.
    Beetle-Kill likes this.

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