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Quad or ATV recommendation?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Trickle, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Trickle

    Trickle New Member

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    All,

    I've never bought an ATV before. I'd love to have one with a winch and tow wagon for pilling and gatering trees and wood. What are good things to look for and what to avoid?

    Thanks,
    Trickle

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I have had a Honda Rubicon 500 4x4 (loved it) and still currently have a Yamaha Big Bear 400 4x4 and a Honda 400EX (with 440 kit, hot cam, exhaust, etc).

    Most 4x4's over 400cc's will get the job done. One nice feature on the newer models, is the selection of 2WD or 4WD.

    But my 400 Big Bear skids out some pretty nice sized trees/logs.

    Any particular models you looking at? Any manufacturer that you have a preference over? I have always loved Hondas.
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I like being able to select 2 or 4 wheel drive on my Yamaha 400 Kodiak, Automatic, Low & high range, Disc brakes.

    Look at the towing setup. Some have just a ball, some have 2" receiver.
    Wish mine had the receiver, would get or make a log skid attachment.

    Lots of new features since I bought in 01. :)
    All of them are pretty good. I like Yamaha.
    Go kick the tires at a Yamaha & Honda shop.
    Then look online & at the brochures at all the sizes & options.
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    For a capable wood getter, these will be your minimum requirements:

    4x4. Select-able is nice feature because the steering tends to be quite a bit "lighter" when you aren't in 4x4 and you don't need 4x4 all the time...just in the slick stuff or when pulling something really heavy.

    400cc +. Don't be fooled....you don't need 700cc to get a cart load of wood out of the bush. My FIL has a 350 Honda Rancher that has more than enough grunt.

    Hi/Low range. Low range gives you some extra granny gears for hauling the heavy stuff.

    A good set of aftermarket tires. The stock tires they put on ATVs, for the most part, suck. They don't get great traction and are puncture prone which is really important in the woods. You can add these later.

    Other than that, it comes down to brand preference. I'm a Honda guy but, in all reality, the major brands all make a pretty good machine. I have a Honda Rubicon 500. I bought it used. It was 6 years old and had under 500 miles on it. I paid about $4K for it. Other than the price being right, it had all the features I listed above. The other thing I like about it is that it has a hydrostatic transmission that was meant for towing and hauling. It will go anywhere I'm brave enough to point it and will haul out 1,000 lbs of wood without breaking a sweat. It is slow compared to a lot of newer bikes, but makes a ton of torque so it feels pretty snappy. Enough about that.

    If I wasn't riding a Honda I'd probably be on a Yamaha, Polaris would be my last choice (not counting the crap they make in China).

    If you are looking to be used, that's a tough market and you really have to be careful. There are a lot of good deals to be had. Some have been lightly ridden for hunting a couple times a year...but for every one of those there are probably 2 that have been in a mud hole every weekend...rode hard and put away wet. Buying new is good because you know exactly what you are getting, but now you're talking big $.

    A winch is an easy aftermarket install and if buying new a lot of dealers will install one for less than list price.
    DexterDay and kingquad like this.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Good info from Lukem. The world of 4x4 quads has taken big leaps in the past ten or so years so it comes down to personal preference. They all have their own little features and so fourth and if maintained should last. Up side is this is a good time to be shopping because the dealers are running the old stock out to make room for new. I bough my 550 Griz(Yamy) at this time of year. It was the floor model and had 20 or so miles on it. Work with the dealer as they will likely throw in plow/winch/cover, etc.. to sweetn' the deal.

    - Honda is known for durability but lack comfort - not a big issue for a work bike and really only come into play if you are riding all day and trying to keep up with the pack. Kind of a riding fatigue thing
    - Polaris is know for comfort but lacks durability - there is a trade off for smooth ride(see above)
    - Yamaha is supose to be the best of both worlds but I do not have enough experience to verify this.

    All that is just industry research - all quality brands will have a machine that will satisfy your needs - you just have to narrow down what you want the machine to do. Do your homework outside the dealership. Each dealer has their preference and will steer you accordingly.

    EFI is a nice feature and all the big names offer it. An EFI machine will cost more on the front end but eliminates carb issues and I am really happy with it. Other opinions may vary for many reasons but I am happy with mine.

    There are tons of aftermarket parts for all of them and if you have access to a welder it is rather simple to fab up a hitch receiver and build all kinds of attachements for it. If you build or buy a receiver make sure it attaches to the frame in 3 or more points and is not just bolted on to some flimsy piece of steel on the rear of your bike. With a lot of the factory hitch points they are poorly attached and, although the bike can handle the tow weight, the hitch can pull right off. I have lots of pics of my reciever and attachments I built for home owner logging if you want to see them after you buy.

    Depending on your price point don't count out a side-by-side - they are sweet and can get into almost all the places my quad can.

    I love my Yamy and it replaced an 26yr old well used Yamy that never had a major repair - ever.
  6. CaperCat

    CaperCat New Member

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    Hi Trickle,
    The Polaris 550 X2 is my choice. It has a bed in the back that can convert to another seat. The suspension is heavy duty and can handle carts and cargo. It has a 1 1/2" receiver in the back. The motor is fuel injected. The transmission has high /low setting. You can easily switch from 2 wheel to 4 wheel and it also has a turf setting and active descent control.

    http://www.polaris.com/en-us/atv-quad/2-up/sportsman-x2-550-indy-red/features

    I bought mine one year used with less than 50 miles on it for $6600. Call the guys at Motor Sports Super Store in Hamilton, Alabama. It's worth the drive.

    Steve
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I test drove a Can-Am outlander 1000. It was scary fast for a utility ATV. A lot of fun, but too much for the ATV novice IMO.
  8. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    I've got a Suzuki Kingquad 750 and I love it. I have lots of friends that ride too. They mostly ride Suzuki and Polaris. No problems with either. All the main brands are nice. I've ridden the Can Am 1000 too. "Scary fast" is a nice description, but it's completely unnecessary. I got a friend that bought a sub 500cc for his wife and he regrets it. To me, 500 is the cut off. I won't own anything lower.

    Items to buy immediately-
    PPE
    Brush guards for your hands
    Winch
    Skid Plates

    Pay cash. You can get well under MSRP. Demand discounts for all additional items purchased(I got mine at half price).
  9. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    The "comfy" ride on the IRS bikes makes them feel not as "solid" to me. Feels like the are going to tip over when going on a side hill....my SRA bike feels (and rides :p) like a mountain goat. Actually the ride is pretty not bad.

    Something else to keep in mind.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hauling logs 3.JPG Hauling logs 4.JPG Scrounge-2.JPG

    Splitting pile 12-29a.JPG

    This is the Yamaha Grizzly 700. More than enough power and traction is not a problem even with the tires that come on it. As for the winch, ours is used mainly for snow plowing. We rarely use the winch for pulling anything. I think they are over-rated for that. In addition, when you read up on the winches, most want you to use them only a few minutes to a time and then let them cool. We've heard of many burning up the winches and this usually turns out to be why they go bad. If I have to pull a tree, I'd much rather wrap a chain around it and pull.
    Trickle likes this.
  11. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Nice trailer Dennis - I want one.

    I upgraded my winch to a warn 2500 when I bought the bike from the 2000lb whatever brand that was going to come with it. I have only used it a couple times one was a self-recovery life saver and the other was towing telephone poles across the drainage ditch/creek out back building my bridge - priceless!!

    Mostly it is there for those "just in case" situations and plowing. The plow has not been on the bike since I bought it so that is moot.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Bob. I got that from Cabela too. My winch I think is 3,000 but would have to look to be sure. Warn. For sure I wish I had remote control on it for winding up the cable but I don't.
  13. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Mine may be 3000 too?? I will need to look if I think of it. A remote would be a great feature when winding in the cable and much safer when there is a lot of strain on the system - wish I had one.
  14. I know the op asked about quads. But I have a kawasaki mule 610. It's about the same size as a quad and will go pretty much anywhere. The bed holds a fair amount of wood -- about the same as most carts. It's been great for around the yard and firewood duty. Easy to throw your tools in the back and go.
  15. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I recently looked at some atv's and quads for wood hauling, and quickly diverted and got a garden tractor instead. The used atv's and quads were all ridiculously priced $5k and up, and half of them were not running. Then I herd the stories of parts costing a foretunate for them. Then when I went to a local dealer, and found they were priced around most small cars! And worse, they look more complicated to maintain and work on than modern cars.

    So, I saw the thread on hear about tractors, and checked around and quickly found a old Wheelhorse tractor that drives and pulls like a tank. It was $600, and is as simple as can be, so there is no worry about parts and maintenance.

    Having said all that, if I had a fat enough wallet to get an atv's without having to hesitate about it, I would do so! Always wanted one of those...
  16. kenskip1

    kenskip1 Member

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    Well I may as well dive in.I just purchased a 2013 Polaris 400 Sportsman 4X4. It has a high and low range, IRS.And yes it does ride good however,it has grease fittings on the rear and the front.About 12 in all.This machine is built. It is the HO that is actually a 450 CC engine.The quality of this thing is first rate.The welds on the frame are flawless.How do I know this? My neighbor is a welder.It has 2x4 and 4x4 with differential lock.In low range it will pull. How much is the question.It is still getting broken in.My $$ is on the Polaris line, Ken
  17. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Great Trickle. Now your thread has me wanting an ATV again.;hm Many years ago I won, that is right, won an ATV in a raffle of all things. I paid 2 or 3 dollars a ticket for a couple of tickets and ended up winning a Yamaha Grizzly! It had a bigfoot package on it and everything. What a beast. That was a long time ago. Probably around 2000, lets see, about 13 years ago. Man you guys are getting old. ;lol Anywho, I enjoyed it for about 4 or 5 months, but I was in a tough financial position at the time and had to sell it to pay some bills off. ;sick

    I was going to get another one recently but I knew a tractor would do so much more when it came to heavier work. So I could justify getting a tractor/loader/backhoe because it would move snow, wood, and lots of other materials, dig stumps, ditches, rocks, etc.,etc.

    But now I want an ATV as well. :eek: My wife would ........................ Nevermind. That ain't happening.

    Good bye! And good luck on your decision Trickle. Good bye. And thanks again. :rolleyes: Bye.
  18. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Can I ask how much that beast ran ya?
  19. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    ATVs are expensive for sure. If it's only job was a wood getter, I probably would have gone the tractor route as well. But I use mine for a lot of other things. They are legal to ride on the roads in my county too.
  20. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    What I don't get is, I see these guys on TV in swamps, in backwoods Alaska..... trying to survive, burning wood cause they have no heat, no electric, no water..., and no income..... but yet they have 2 or 3 brand new quad ATV's! Where did they get the $30 or $40k for these?? ;)
    Gasifier likes this.
  21. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Probably part of their compensation. A new quad is like a new Porsche for us country folk.
    Gasifier likes this.
  22. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Would somebody please "compensate" me with one? ==c
    Gasifier likes this.
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The used market has quite a few good deals. You just have to strike while the iron is hot!

    I picked up my Big Bear 400 4x4 for $1,300 with a 60" plow and an extra set of tires. It will skid out a nice size log (10'-15') without worry...

    I just sold my 00 400EX this weekend (bought it new July 99) for $2,000... I'm gonna miss it. Lots of good times had on it. Fully rebuilt a lil over 5 yrw ago w/ 440 kit and numerous other performance upgrades (450R front shocks). Time to let someone else have there turn :(

    If you have the cash and your checking CL daily, sooner or later your gonna get lucky.

    Click to enlarge
    2013-02-17_13-05-09_354.jpg 2013-02-17_13-04-10_169.jpg 2012-04-15_11-50-57_601.jpg
    Gasifier likes this.
  24. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    I found this 1 owner gem for $500 2013-02-24 11.16.05.jpg
    Gasifier likes this.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    That may be my Buddies Ol "Zuke" (as he called it). :)

    The Quadsport 230. Big enough to have fun on. To little to contend :(
    Gasifier likes this.

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