Need advice on which quad to buy for my wife

4 replies to this topic
  • Pooley

Posted September 20, 2002 - 06:01 AM


Ok, I know what most will say, "Forget the quad, get her a bike." That will not happen, the only thing she wants to ride (besides me :) ) is a quad.

She is a beginner/novice rider and has been on the automatic Polaris quads recently and liked not having to shift. The last time she rode was 10 years ago when she was 19. I think that she would do fine with a standard shift but whatever.

I am partial to 4-strokes and have been looking at 3 models although any other suggestions would be welcome. I want something that will not be way to much for her but decent enough to be able to get through all the sand and whoops here in Michigan.

The first is the Yamaha Warrior. It is more expensive, has a bigger motor and would match my bike (important to her, not me.)

The second is the Kawasaki Mojave. Slightly smaller & less expensive by about $900.

Last is the Honda 300EX in the middle of cost.

Anyone have experience on either of these machines. Pros and cons or any other issues.

Thanks a bunch.

  • motometal

Posted September 20, 2002 - 08:22 AM


KX 100...weighs 140 pounds, which is about 1/3 of what those power couches weigh. Yea, I know she says she wants a quad.

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  • qadsan

Posted September 20, 2002 - 09:34 PM


Originally posted by Pooley:
Ok, I know what most will say, "Forget the quad, get her a bike." That will not happen, the only thing she wants to ride (besides me :) ) is a quad...

My wife came from a 2 stroke background and her favorite ride was a 1986 Yamaha IT200 when she rode more seriously years ago. Over the years, we got away from riding and recently got back into it again, except this time we're mostly a 4 stroke family. Most of my friends wife's have Honda TRX quads which is what my wife originally wanted, but I introduced her to a 1987 Honda TR200 FatCat and she loves it! The FatCat is kind of a compromise between a quad and a bike. My wife also has a new 2002 XR200 and likes that too for more serious riding (unless her other friends get on the Banshee & 250R and then she gets out her IT200), but when she's going out with the girls or smaller kids for a leisurely ride she takes the FatCat and its does real well on all kinds of surfaces including the sand. It's also a great pit bike to putt around on. More people end up riding our FatCat than any other bike just cause its such a good putter and starts up with the simple press of a button. The FatCat's have wide tires like a quad, electric start (majic button!), lights, a rack to put things on (lunch, drinks and other mommy stuff), an ignition key to keep people from running off with the bike, a mount for a whip antenna and while you still have to shift, there's no clutch lever to mess with cause its an automatic clutch. Just press up on the shift lever to get into 1st and you can sit there and idle in first while relaxing at a stop until you twist the throttle and then you'll be off - very simple. The bike has a fairly low center of gravity and while its heavy, its easy to ride unless your on the pavement and then the larger wheels tend to pull in the direction your turning, but they're fine in the dirt. It practically stands straight by it self and with the low center of gravity, its fairly easy for my wife to maneuver. My wife is only 5'6" and 125 lbs, so she's on the small side compared to some ladys, but handles the FatCat well on trails and usually leads the girls on their quads when they go out. I'm 6'5" / 255lbs and also like riding it for fun and so do our kids, our friends, etc. Honda made these for only two years (1986 & 1987). They're kind of hard to find and when you find one, people want a good deal of money for it. Finding one for $1000 is a good price if its in good condition and you'll see them up to $3000, but $1500 - $2000 seems like a fairly average asking price.

Yamaha also made a similar model called the 'Big Wheel'. Yamaha Big Wheels came in 50cc, 200cc and 350cc versions. The Honda FatCat's only came in 200cc versions and I think the Honda's look a little nicer in the blue & bhite color scheme. If you've never seen a FatCat, here's some pics I found on the web so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

It's by no means a mx bike and doesn't have much in the way of suspension compared to an mx bike, but its a great general purpose trail bike if you want a fun and easy to ride two wheeler that has electric start, automatic clutch, wide tires, etc.

  • FooBarr

Posted September 20, 2002 - 07:00 PM


I'm in the same boat. Wife has shown some interest in learning to ride something. I figured I'll just send her down to the local DMV for the beginner motorcycle class. I'm a firm believer in the fact you can't teach your spouse jack, so might as well pay a professional to do it. Just too much bickering when they don't pay attention, screw up, and blame you. After she completes the course, I plan to borrow a bike and a quad and let her decide on which one. The Fat Cat option does show promise though.

Hey Qadsan, anything to watch out for when buy the Fat Cat? My luck the 16 year old tranny would crap out.

  • qadsan

Posted September 20, 2002 - 08:01 PM


Originally posted by FooBarr:
...Hey Qadsan, anything to watch out for when buy the Fat Cat? My luck the 16 year old tranny would crap out.

On the positive side of things, if you keep an eye out you can probably find one with little use because its not your average type of person who bought something like this and many times they've just sat for years on end doing nothing. I've seen several for sale that probably had less than 25 hours on them. There's a guy on selling an almost new one in Colorado for something like $2500, but it looks super sharp and I think he also offers a guarantee as well. This guy must buy and sell them because I've seen him selling almost new FatCats in the past. I've even seen FatCats for sale on Ebay, so that's another source to keep an eye on. There's still parts available for them from Honda and you can also still get a factory service & operators manual for it as well. If you find one that's mechanically sound, make sure the plastic is in good shape cause nobody makes aftermarket plastic for it and the OEM plastic is very expensive. I've seen quite a few FatCats that had their plastic all cracked up (lots of spider cracks) from sitting in the sun, age, etc. I bought all new plastic for our FatCat and it ran me something like $600-$700 and that's with 30% discount if I correctly recall for the fenders, side panels & front headlight plastic - ouch!

They're a well built machine and seem to be very easy to service. So far, I've been really impressed and it seems to be a hit with most people who spend time on it to play. My wife also has other bikes to choose from, but she spends more time on the FatCat than her other bikes just piddling around on trail rides with the kids and other women on their quads. When a group of a dozen or so smaller kids in our group go off to do single track, my wife takes the FatCat where the other girls with quads can't go because the quads may not fit where they ride. On steeper hills like winding goat trails with sharp turns, my wife can putt through those trails where the girls with quads won't even attempt it because the turns are too sharp and narrow for them. It's an interesting bike and something I also enjoy when I'm not riding my XR650R or IT490.

Here's the link to the ad from CycleTrader that has the real nice FatCat for sale.


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