Ive had good luck with my Honda 400. Depends on what you want to do with it I guess, work it or play with it. Mine I plow a little snow and the rest of the time it's just trail riding, not real strenuous so maybe that's why there has not been much trouble. When I did have a problem the dealer was great and repairs reasonably inexpensive.
i ride my 07 grizzly 700 5-6 times a month during the warm season and 3-4 times in the winter in groups up to 25 people. our main group consists of 7-8 guys with 2003 and newer yamaha, polaris, honda, and artic cat quads. 4 of them have yamahas and they NEVER break down or cause any problems while the others are always having problems. polaris is by far the worst you can choose besides the cheapo chinese knock offs.
3,600kms on mine without a single problem and i beat on it like its stolen. a half dozen roll overs, many water wheelies in 4-5ft of water, a few collisions with trees, and just beating the crap out of it hasn't caused a single issue. i thought for sure something would be screwed after nailing a stump with the front left tire while going 45km/h around a bend causing my bike to take air and roll twice. somehow, the alignment is still perfect and only plastics were damaged. it probably has 150-200 zip tie "stitches" on it for repairing plastics...lol.
i've seen a LOT of quads get abused and beat on and i'm very rough with my stuff. i'll never buy anything but yamaha simply because of the reliability. it can't just be a fluke that 4 of us (5 grizzlies total, one buddy has two) are never doing mechanical repairs on our quads...
as for starting in -20 weather. it's as dependable as your new truck/car and starts just as fast, if not faster. EFI rules
I have had my polaris 700 sportsman since 2003 and no issues, starts easy, goes through just about anything,true 4X4, no complaints at all. Had a yamaha before that and nothing but problems. Yamaha is definately my least fav. Nothing bad to say about Honda or Suzuki either.
I have a Suzuki Kinquad 700 and it is a excellent machine. It has fuel injection, no messing with the choke is nice. It is a one cylinder and goes everywhere the bigger quads go if I was to ever buy another quad it would be a Suzuki
Thanks for the inquiry Wisherman, I too am looking into a first machine. Possibly a side by side though with a dump box. I want utility so I don't care for speed so much8D, just torque. Will be mostly used for bush work/woodcutting duties and the fall deer/moose hunts. Yes sir, keep the info flowing folks, we appreciate it.
I have a Honda TRX 450 Honda I bought new in 02. I have 7500 hard kms on it. When I say hard, I mean hauling logs out of the bush that I have to take a running start on with a slack chain, sometimes a dozen hits before I get them moving, through mud, cornstalks, frozen ground, you name it. Pulling a 10' seed drill over rough ground. Loaded with seed its probably 12-1400lbs. Pulling icehuts through slush, flogging it as fast as I can get it to keep moving. I replace ball joints and bearings as needed every couple of years, replaced CV joints once, a shift speed sensor in the transmission, a brake cable and a choke cable. I put oversize (27" Mudlite Radials) tires which is harder on ball joints and bearings. These tires turn it into a workhorse. I work this machine hard. With these tires on it will climb and go through amazing amounts of mud and crap. I stud the tires for icefishing. Its not the fastest or the biggest, but I can put my 11 year old on it and he hauls 700lb loads of wood on a 40"X 7foot tobogan with it while I pull logs with the tractor. It starts in cold weather no problem. I change the oil once a year and the diff oil every 2 years or so. Its been a good machine for me, and most of the time I drive it like I stole it.
I drive honda and would have a hard time switching to something different.
I have an '03 Foreman 450es. Mind you, its not fast, but it will go through the thickest stuff out there.
My friend has taken an interest in the Arctic Cat diesels. You see them on the cover of Auto Trader for $6999 for a 700cc machine, which is A LOT cheaper than what other brands sell 700cc machines for. They seem to run nice, have a LOT of power and its a bonus for him, because he is a farmer (so he can put his coloured fuel in there).
I know a friend that has a 660 grizzly, and have not seen him have problems with it at all. Its got a lot of power can pull wheelies etc and is a nice looking machine.
Another friend has a Suzuki king quad 700. While it looks nice, it seems to have a lot of problems with the radiator getting clogged with mud, etc. when we are out on the trails.
I have seen Can Ams in action on the trails. They are the Ferrari of ATV's, but are priced the same as Ferrari's too (almost literally haha).
Another friend has a 500 Polaris. He has not had any major problems with it. For a 500 it has some raw POWER. But I have heard too often of belts getting wet and slipping. Another friend with a polaris got a little unlucky and has a lemon for a front end. Lots of repair work, lots of $$$.
There are some other things to consider. While it may be nice to have the big, powerful 600, 700, 800 cc machine, they certainly slurp gas a lot more than the mid sized 400-500cc machines.
Another thing to look at is radiator placement. Some of these machines, for how nice the plastic looks, have the radiators in pretty bad places. You may have them damaged fairly easily by trees, rocks, etc.
If I were to recommend an ATV to a new rider or a friend, I would suggest one of two choices. Both happen to be Honda.
The first is the 420 rancher. This machine has a little bit of a sporty look to it, but a lot of utility. It actually runs very quick, topping out at about 95km/h. Being a smaller engine, the ATV has a very light weight. I have 2 friends that ride these machines, and when they go through mud holes, what would be the end of the line for a big bore machine doesn't stop them. The lightness of the machine allows them to bounce and rock the machine out of most ruts. Maintenance is easy and repairs have been few and far between.
The second would be the 500 Foreman. I have one friend that just bought one, and one friend that has a 2004. The style of these machines is very similar even with the 6 year difference in age. Foreman has been the staple of Honda's ATV lineup, and for good reason. Again this is a fast machine, especially the new ones.
Both machines are very good on fuel consumption. It may not seem like an issue with ATV's, but over a weekend/week of riding, the gas bills can pile up. Especially in the bigger machines.
One Honda ATV I would NOT reccomend is the Rincon 680. It isn't a terrible machine, don't get me wrong. The 2 main issues with it are that it only has 3 gears, so in any kind of hilly/rocky/mountainous terrain it does not perform well. The other thing is that the way the gearing works, it performs almost at a 500cc class. Other manufacturer's 700cc machines perform much better. For the difference in price, the 500cc Foreman is a much better decision.
Regardless of the machine you choose, there are/may be a couple of upgrades you want to consider that will improve your performance/versatility drastically.
The first would be tires. Most machines stock tires are functional for general trail riding, but they do not perform well in mud/snow etc. There are 2 types of tires I would recommend. The first would be a Mud Lite. Great tire, doesn't hinder ride quality at all. Most of my friends run these and they tear through the mud. You are probably looking around $600.00 for a set with tax.
The other tire is called an STI Mud Trax. It is similar to a Mud Lite, but the lug pattern is a little different and a bit more aggressive. These are what I run. They are cheaper than Mud Lites- I paid $600.00 for my set, WITH very nice rims. The tread life on them is great and they do not affect the ride quality either. (If anyone would like to know where to get Mud Trax, I can let you know).
The one thing to make sure of with tires is that they fit your machine. Typically machines come with 25" tires. The stock lugs do not add too much height to the tire.
When you are choosing new tires, if you want to go bigger, the most you would want to go is 1 or 2 inches. Anything more than that, and you will need to add spacers and probably a lift kit. Mud Lites and Mud Trax come with either 3/4", 1" or 1 1/2" lugs, which are ON TOP of the tire measurement. Bigger tires also require more power to turn in mud/goop etc., so you may also have to look at putting a clutch kit in to compensate.
The other thing is a winch. Some machines already come with them installed (which is great). Some dont. It is definitely worth the investment.
Do yourself a favour with a winch and buy a WARN. There are winches out there all the time for cheap, but they are cheap for a reason. Most are not sealed against water. Warn are. Check out youtube, there are videos of warn winches being run under water. You will not see that with other winch manufacturers. Warn are fairly expensive, but trust me it is worth the extra money when you are bogged or sunk knowing the thing will still work when you need it.
Thats my 2 cents. Actually, its more like 25 cents lol. Started typing and didn't really stop. Hope some of that info helps.
Some great insight forsure... Nice write up fergy...
Whatever a guy rides he will recommend...
I have owned quite a few bikes... Honda's, Kawasaki, Suzuki... All were good... Alot of it boils down to maintenance... i ride a 2005 Suzuki Vinson 500 now... Its been bullet proof... Comfortable ride and lots of power...
If i was you i would take a trip to Davidson's in Norwich... Talk to one of the sales guys... They are knowledgable and will help you pick which bike is right for you... They carry Suzuki, Honda, Artic Cat...
The nice thing about Davidson's is they have a test track out back where you can try a bunch of machines and see which one feels comfortable...
My only SOLID advice is agreeing with Fergie... Get a winch and make it a WARN...
Treat your new machine like a machine and not a toy and enjoy it... Be well... Jammer
I agree with Jammer....Davidson's is great to deal with.
Bought a Suzuki 400 and the kids beat the crap out of it. It seems to be able to take it. Got a Yamaha that is good too. Next quad will be a Suzuki 450. Light machine, nice riding, lots of power. Got a few friends that have one and they don't have any issues with them. I take it easy at my age, but what I see my kids and their friends do compared to other quads in the group, Suzuki wins.
I'd suggest Honda for every day light use, Yamaha and Suzuki if you are going to ride the rough.
i dont have much to add, all the bases have been covered. i personally drive a 07 yamaha grizzly 700 w/ eps w/ up graded rims and 27" swamp lite tires no clutch or engine work done. and i love it to death. i still have a honda four trax i think its a 1999???? still going but hardly used now since the grizz came home. had a older kodiak that i bought used years ago and it finally gave up the ghost an i scraped it.
i agree w/ the winch part if your buying new the dealers usually have a winch deal at the time of purchase installed by them (the right way lmao) todays bikes will go thru amazing crap but if you get it stuck chances are your REALLY stuck and dead in the water without a good winch!!
i would try get a bike w/ fuel injection especially if your planning on winter use .also once youve rode a bike with the power steering you'll wish yours had it......especially after the 80th km on a ride.
many dealers have tester bikes, i would make a few calls to all the different brand dealers and take some test drives and see which you like best.your comfort and likes are the one that really matters here.
preventitive maintance is paramount no matter which brand you pick checking your fluids (oil,diff oils) espescially if you ride a lot of water and extreme cold temps
on picking the best brand , that is a loaded question with everyone saying theres is the best one lol. i would check the magazine racks for atv mags they will give various class comparisons giving pros and cons. to help make your choice. one other thing you can do is pick up a few tri ads or auto traders for bikes and pay attention to the late models and brands that are up for resale or more importantly pay attention to which brands and late models that are not up for resale !!! ive never sold or wanted to sell a piece of mechinery or equipment that was working well for me only the pieces of crap that were a pain in the arse to use or keep running!! lol
good luck in your quest, the hunt is 1/2 the fun.
i get all my exercise..pushing my luck!!...Alex Van.
Best all around quad is by far the Honda Foreman. Buddy up north has 33,000km on his 2002 and previous bike had the same mileage on it before he retired it. He uses the bike for everything from skidding logs to hauling moose out of the bush. Only maintenenace he does is change the fluids. Have another buddy down south here he had the same good things to say about his foreman so I picked up a 2007 with the foot shift. We put this thing thru hell up north at our camp and it just keeps asking for more. Not the fastest machines but will get you where you want to go and back home everytime.
x3 on warn. but, the plastic housing is a very stupid idea and i'd like to at least see all metal on the inside. sure the gears are steel, but you're relying on plastic housing/teeth and it just doesn't cut it when maxing out the winch. i'd say there are probably 12-15 plastic "teeth" that have been sheared off. it's only a matter of time before they're all gone and the winch is useless.
also, scrap that old school steel winch cable and switch to synthetic. it's lighter, floats, much easier to work with, no more steel slivers, no danger to anyone if it breaks and you can get colors to match your quad. be sure to get a new roller fairlead or hawse when switching to synthetic...
tires...i have mud lite XTR's (extreme terrain radial) and am very happy with them. smooth ride, much better traction than standard mud lites, and the wear is unbelievable. 2000kms+ later and they've only worn down an 1/8" or so. that includes more riding on the road than i'd like. stay off the roads and they'd last a VERY long time. tire pressure is critical for optimal handling and tire performance. DO NOT inflate to the max pressure on the tires sidewall. INFLATE TO WHAT YOUR SPECIFIC ATV CALLS FOR.
radial tires are awesome. i'll be upgrading to pitbull growler II radials this year sometime, so make sure you watch for my current XTR's in the classifieds
hey brave1s, if you think you love your grizzly now, try putting on an HMF swamp series exhaust, dynatek programmable ignition dfs7-29, and dynatek dsrp-1 fuel/timing programmer. no more limiters, literally tap the start button to fire her up, and overall better performance. now i'm just waiting on a wide band o2 sensor and warm weather for some fine tuning.8D
a 2" lift kit from rubberdown customs was a nice addition as well...
rear protection. strap = no more digging in mud to hookup winch.
zip ties are your friend
lastly, why i never ride without my helmet. hit my head on the rack so hard that i was knocked out and woke up on the ground. don't even want to think how bad it would have been without my brain bucket on...
that rear tow strap is for pulling out popos and hondas right??????
i get all my exercise..pushing my luck!!...Alex Van.
i beat on my quad, but i don't like the idea of stressing the drivetrain/axles to pull others through mud. that's what the winch is for. "given er" and jerking people through mud is probably the best way to damage any brand of ATV (and yourself). that goes for trucks and 4x4's as well.
the strap is meant for pulling me back out of deep and sloppy mud when i get stuck as i usually lead the way. it doesn't get used very often
on the other hand, the winch has pulled out too many polaris' and hondas to remember. probably the reason why my winch is about to take a dump...
Great info guys. Does anyone have information on any of the "side by side UTV's" out there? Lots of 'em out there and they seem to be getting more popular, but I don't know much about them. I'm looking at a Kawasaki Rhino, but have heard repairs on all kawasaki's are more expensive, which is a huge consideration, at least for me.
This is a little off topic but I noticed the Tyrap stitching in ch312's pictures and and wanted to indicate that there is an alternative. I have had numerous plastic ATV parts over the years welded back together by
Plasco Plastic Welding & Fabrication Inc
4268 Dundas, Dorchester, ON N0M 2P0
There are others that do this but this is who I have used.
They usually charged me in the twenty dollar range.Recently I even had them weld up the plastic spoiler off the wife's Equinox and after sanding it out and painting it looked better than new for a total cost of under thirty dollars verses over two hundred plus for a new one.
In my case with the ATV parts I sanded them out and repainted them but you could just leave it as is and it would still look and work a heck of a lot better than the "Frankenstein stitching" and its a minimal cost especially when compared to new.It also makes the bike a lot more presentable for resale as well.Just thought I'd put this out there.
good tip hotruc. buying a plastic welder is an even better option. from what i hear a good unit can be had for $2-300. but, i like the look and character of the zip tie stitches.
big guy, yamaha makes the rhino while kawasaki makes the teryx. the side by sides are great fun, but it can be a real pain in the butt on tight trails especially when you have roof/roll cage clearance issues. a chainsaw is a must if riding on trails that arent maintained.
i ride with a few guys that have rhinos and rangers and its not very often they choose the UTV over ATV...