ATV What do you recomend and why

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Greg Duerr, May 13, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    A good friend gave me a 12 year old Honda 300 4x4.................I let my son keep it at his home outside of Quincy California and he loves it ...................said it takes him where ever he wants to go.

    The only 300 I could find was a Kawasaki...................................$4200 compared to $7000 for the bigger ones.....................I rode the 300 a little and im 6'4" 210 and had no complaints..........................

    what do you guy have and what do you like about them

  2. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    I have a 2008 Yamaha Grizzly 700. It is a beast. I like it because it is automatic. All other atvs I have used have been manual and it is convenient to not have to shift (lazy). I have hauled out a whole elk on it (gutted) with no problems. The hardest thing was tieing it on there so it would stay on.

    My biggest thing about it is it has a locking differential. You will not use this feature often but it will be a life saver when you do need it. I was in the mountains in New Mexico and went down a really steep trail. When I was ready to go back up the trail, I flipped it into 4x4 and with all te loose rocks and it bein so steep, I could not get up it. There was no way that I was getting a truck down there to get my atv out either. I flipped the switch to lock the differential and it was like magic. The atv went right up the steep trail even with all the loose rocks.

    So now any atv that I buy will have a locking differential switch. It's like an ace in the hole.

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    1) 2003 Honda 350 4x4 ES, a great little machine I got cheap for the kids to come along. Some of the adults prefer it now, tough little machine, uses between a third and a half better gas mileage. It can be a bit confusing to get reverse etc.
    2) Polaris 2005 500 4x4, very comfortable to ride, very intuitive to operate. A big point for me when I bought it was liquid cooled to hunt Nevada antelope. Not having been there with the Honda I can't say for certain the liquid cooled is a must. You likely have a better picture of that.
    3) 2001 Polaris 6x6 500. A great ride, noticeably more stable on extreme vertical runs. Hauls moose, or multiple guys to drop points for drives and such. Pain in the --- to transport if you go with other folks, doesn't really fit anything. My partner put tracks on it, and will it ever go through snow.
    4) Girlfriends Polaris 800 4x4, snowplowing mostly it does well. Major glitch in design is the amount of heat it transfers to your right leg is ridiculous. OK snowplowing but a desert location no way. Great ride though, noticeably better than the 500. Seriously check the net about the heat to your leg, no real solution to it, and summer rides aren't fun.
    5) I hunted Wy antelope with a friend that uses a 750 Yamaha. Another sturdy big machine with no complaints.
    I need 4x4, and prefer liquid cooled. The 500's are probably more comfortable if you double up at times. The newer ones built for 2 riders intrigue me with the extra length.
    I really like the storage boxes with the backrest on all the machines I have. Makes more comfortable glassing and rest stops, and yeah we use it as a seat. The 300-400 range 4x4's are great machines when you find them, but after you load, basic tools, rifles, spotters, lunch, rain gear etc. the 500's give more comfort with a bit more payload.

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    I've owned suzuki,yamaha,honda,polaris, etc. 250's/400's/500's/600's/700's, but now use only can-am. like 'em because of power to weight , and has a quad-loc feature that locks axles automaticly if req'd. more expensive (little bit) but worth it. I use the 650 currently (2010) and the next one will also be 650, but with "power steering" that power steering is nice on trips involving rocks/ruts,etc.

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I had a Yamaha 400 4x4 got it for 850, it was great had everything I every wanted from the time I was a kid. But it was insufficient for my needs, I sold it to my father in law. My needs were a machine that I could use for farm work, hunting and a little play time. I traded an old Harley on a 2008 Polaris Ranger with 100 hours on it, walked out the door at 2500$ got rid of an old machine I had for sale for 3 years and I was pleased.

    The Ranger is leaps and bounds ahead of any 4 wheeler, It seats 3 grown men and will haul over 800lbs in the bed not to mention towing (1k plus). Its only a 500 4x4 they make an 800HD. I slapped a winch on it and am putting a power lift in the bed this week. I have the intention of adding a shooting platform like another member here did. It will truck along at 50 mph if I want it to, it will NOT get stuck its amazing. I will never own another wheeler!
  6. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
    My first ATV was a Honda Foreman back in 1998 (?). Getting it into reverse was a b****. However, it was a very solid machine, no problems I just sold my recent ATV an '09 550 Polaris. It had lots of power and pretty fast. However, I felt I was always fixing something on it. My opinion (FWIW) is... The Honda ATV are not the prettiest, fastest or coolest. But, those things are built like a tank! Out in the boonies I will take reliability over looks or speed any day. My brother-in-law lives in Wyoming and has 2 Honda 300's he's had over 15 years. He's used them to haul elk, deer and whatever. These 2 ATV's have been really used. Point is...To me this reveals long term reliability.
  7. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I've been on or around pretty much all of them. They all have their pros & cons.

    I started with sport quads, light stupid fast very smooth ride & pretty much useless after that. My last estimate on invested capital on my '03 Z-400 is somewhere in the $12,000 range (factory price of ~$5600)... that was a good idea :rolleyes: But power wheelies on the pavement @ 55mph is always fun. (2 concusions & 2 broken ribs & a fractured wrist later). I still have it but it doesn't come out much.

    My second machine is an '07 Suzuki Kinquad 700. 2" lift, 27" Swamp Fox tires.... Much more versatile :D Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3K miles on it now & still kickin butt. My father has an identical machine & they are both damn good. Cons, battery will die if stored for too long which sucks ---- No power steering which makes it difficult to operate in rocky/rutted terrain but still manageable. Pros- The KingQuad will out run the 700 Grizzly (my uncle ran the Grizz)- They float!- it's been rolled over backwards twice & keeps on tickin... - We use our ATV's to pull custom made trailers into our hunting area & they handle the extra weight (read overload) very well- The KingQuad also comes with the pull rope starter (thank god), some quads don't.

    Sheep Mountain Lookout North View.jpg

    Newest addition is a 2013 Polaris Ranger 900xp. 1000lbs bed capacity- 2000lbs towing capacity, bench seat & the new 900cc engine will push speeds up to ~70mph. WAY quieter than the Can-Am Commander & a hell of a lot more room.

    Ranger Pic.jpg

    My folks just picked up a Can-Am Commander 1000. The Rotax motor is a friggin beast, serious power. Noisy as hell, both the drive train & the motor. Power steering, I really don't like the feel of the powersteering, it's kinda like steering under water; maybe it'll be better in the rocks. Lots of heat in the cab, they were cooking in there while riding yesterday (family ranch).

    Most of my family runs Polaris, for the most part they're good machines. Plush ride & ergonomically friendly. Usually underpowered & don't perform with the imported machines. The twin cylinder machines sound like Craftsman lawnmowers, I can't stand it. The starter always sounds funny but functions well.

    I've rode thousands of miles via ATV & can tell you this. There is NO such thing as too much power. I've seen far more people get in trouble when there itty bitties power out than I've ever seen folks get in trouble from too much power. YMMV

  8. 7mmSendaro

    7mmSendaro Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    I have a Honda 450 Foreman ES and couldn't be happier. As others have stated, extremely reliable and dependable. I have not owned any other ATVs but would buy another Honda is a heartbeat.

    I did buy a Kubota RTV 500 utility vehicle two years ago and have been extremely happy with that as well. Not fast, but I have yet to find a hill it won't climb or anything it won't tow or haul.
  9. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Living on a ranch and doing chores every day I probably put 10 miles a day everyday on a quad. This is definitely Polaris country as I rarely see anything different. I plow a 4 mile road downhill during the winter and pull a trailer during the summer. My currant quad is a 2007. I don't really like the new ones as they went to all plastic in the front so my custom built snow plow won't work with them as it fastens to the front quad metal and raises up onto the deck when running in deep snow. I really don't like the power steering can't feel the trail.

    Getting around a ranch gate....forgot the key.


    But bottom line Polaris builds a good quad which will run for thousands of hours if maintained properly. I would like to have another brand new 2007 setting in the shop just waiting till this one wears out.
  10. wyowinchester

    wyowinchester Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    My first one is an Artic Cat 500 great torque. It will pull anything. Bought it for the clearance underneath, logs rocks ... Next one is a Can-am 800. Love it. All the power you'll need for any kind of riding. The newer ones have a steering assist, Haven't tried that yet, but all day on 2003, Can-am works the arms. Check out the steering assist on all breeds.
  11. azmetalman

    azmetalman Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2012
    My 2005 Honda Rincon 650 is bullet proof. Direct drive with no belts to replace, great torque for my purposes and low maintenance. I have 8,000 very hard trail miles on mine. It is used exclusively for back country riding and rock crawling. I installed High Lifter springs front and rear and it really improved the handling in the rocks. I replaced the tie rod ends myself and avoid dealers like the plague. Most of my riding partners own Polaris machines of various configurations. They ALL agree that their cost to maintain is excessive compared to mine and other Honda Rincons. The only knock I have on the Rincon is that Honda doesn't offer power steering on this model. As with any mechanical device proper and continuous maintenance is the key to long life.
  12. cholla chomper

    cholla chomper Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    My wife a has a 02 polaris 335 magnum bought when a couple years old starts and runs excellent most of all very stable and quiet, I bought a 05 yamaha 450 new starts and runs excellent also but is a louder machine and is not as stable as her polaris I have tipped it on it side a couple of times, and going down steep ravines at an angle it feels tippy and adjusting the shocks dont seem to help I have ridden some of the bigger polaris machines and if I ever buy another 4 wheeler it will be a polaris. The front diff lock is great and wont buy a machine without it, it has gotten me out of a few tough places and a winch is a must.
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    All of these machine have a weak link of some kind, we sell and service kawi and get a lot of polaris and Honda in for repair. The small kawi is not very good, the 650 and 750 are awesome machines but a couple of the sensors can give a guy some issues. The polaris is a pile, I know that someone will get their panties bunched about that but you could not give me one after working on them and trying to service them. Hondas are my favorite for all round.
    We've had the power steering models out a couple years now and I don't think think they are safe, more guys have hurt on them because they flip so easy, a lot of them have been traded back in on regular steering machines.
  14. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2011
    I too have a UTV, a Kubota RTV 500. I chose it specifically because it was the least expensive hydrostatic transmission model available. The RTV 400 is belt driven.

    Initially, it was available with a cab, but when the time came and I inquired, the cab had been discontinued, which really sucks. I did get the plastic roof and have a soft rear and front window, but I will be making my own doors this summer. In winter it really helps to be able to keep wind driven snow out the cab.

    The RTV 500 rides very hard. I don't know if it is to provide "feedback" to the operator about his speed over rough terrain (land rover style and I am referring to the old leaf spring models). Certainly if it will spend a lot of time on hard terrain, the spring rates or spring preload would have to be backed down.

    Yes, it is slow. But it was never going to be a racer. The engine is fuel injected and starts reliably in any weather. The layout is weird with the engine in about the least accessible spot possible. Good thing it is not too hard to remove things to get at it. Pretty much all the space in front of the toeboard is completely wasted, its not as if they put a trunk under the hood, although they should have.

    You have a similar transmission system as a jeep. 2WD high, 4wd high and 4wd low as well as rear diff lock. I had no problems getting around this last winter in snow on top of sloppy clay. I would probably not have tried towing too much under those conditions since it does not have ice studs... but it did haul out all the deer we got on a sled.

    I paid a little over $6000 for it with 93 hours on the meter which I felt was a good deal. A set of doors with soft windows, a rigid windshield, a trunk under the hood in front and a cover for the load box at the back are things I will add to it.