- Feb 3, 2011
- N. Texas and S. Africa
Dad still has my old 2000 Yamaha Wolverine 350 4x4, and it still runs like a champ. We got it used (about 6 months old) back in 2001, and I've rode the hell out of it over the years. Ran it so hard, back in early 2007 I had to rebuild the top-end because it was getting tired. Punched it .040" over and put a 10.75:1 Wiseco flat-top in it, a hot cam, jet kit in the carb, HMF pipe, K&N intake kit of the air box, and an Outlaw clutch, and it spins all four 26's like it's nothing. I love that old 4-wheeler. I hope he never sells it, and that I inherit it again someday.
Back in 2014 I bought a used 2009 Can-Am Outty 800R... Guy sold me a cobbled-together previously-sunk and well-abused 4-wheeler (he did a great job of hiding all the issues), and it ran good, idled good, but then it crapped-out on the 2nd long ride...Fried the ECM and the top-end. It took everything I had not to drive to Pass Christian, MS and whoop his ---. But it's been in the fixing process for a few years (tight on funds, and not a priority) and should finally be up and running before deer season. Put a MrRPM 840 Big Bore kit in it, and now all that's left is replacing & custom-tuning the $1000 ECM. Should be putting down nearly 100 RWHP when it's done. I don't blame Can-Am for that, as that abuse and damage was all done by the previous owner, not a testament to the machine itself. Every other Can-Am i've ridden, been around, know the owner has been an excellent machine.
Between me and dad, we've had Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, Kawasakis, and a Can-Am, and they were all good. But the power of the Can-Am, the IFS & IRS and ground clearance, and the offroad capabilities are just insane compared to the rest of what we've owned. That little Wolverine is the 2nd best 4-wheeler I've owned. It's light, agile, and with all the upgrades it's pretty powerful for it's size. Back in 2005, It outran a brand new Polaris 700 Twin in a drag race...Before mine had any engine work done to it.
I had a new 2003 Honda Rincon 650, and while it was strong, and really nice for trails and rocks...It was carbureted and cold-natured & ornery. Once it got warm, it was good to go. It was heavy, and it got high-centered all the time. It just had no real mud capability (and in Alabama, it rains ALOT during deer season). It was so heavy it would sink, and even with IRS and 28" 589's on it, it would still just sink to the bottom, frame-out, and dig, and not go anywhere. Break-out the winch... That brand new (at the time) fully-automatic transmission was super-smooth and really nice...Shifted fast, like a dual-clutch supercar. If you stuck to farmland or ranching or property repair and doing actual heavy duty work with it, it would be an awesome machine. The weight and power had no issues pulling my 16' tandem trailer with 2 other quads on it. But for a mud toy or hardcore offroad machine, I wouldn't recommend it.
Those are just a couple of the ones I've owned, typing the rest would be a whole page. So, I'm not going to do that.
I prefer simple and as close to non digital as possible especially with offroad equipment. The more reliant you are on electronics the more expensive and complex repairs are.
The Suzuki is like our old 69 Landcruiser, a pair of pliers, a spark plug, and some bailing wire will get you out of just about anything.
I'll keep running that bike as long as I possibly can.