Buying a "new to me" Utility ATV
Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:14 PM
I am not super brand loyal but are there certain things I should look out for on certain models depending on the year?
I like the Polaris Sportsmans and Honda Ranchers. I need at least 400cc 4X4 with a differental lock. Any input and ideas will help me out I am pretty much clueless. Also what should I look out for when buying a used ATV? Like Any warning signs to keep any eye out for etc...
Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:46 AM
First thing, a Polaris is night and day different from a Honda. Polaris uses belt drive CVT automatic transmissions (which I hate!), and Honda uses good old time proven gear-on-gear technology in its manual trans models.
I love the Honda Rancher 420 (fuel injected/water cooled), but my old Rancher 350 (carburated/air-oil cooled) is a peach too! They handle more like sport quads, than a heavy clunker utility. These are foot or pushbutton shifted manual transmission models. There is a newer IRS version (out of your price range I am sure), but the older ones are all SRA (my preference). The Honda's have an excellent torque sensing front differential, that sends the majority of power to the wheel that is not slipping. Never felt the need for lockers myself. All I can say is that in yard deep snow, I get just as far up a hill as my friends who are on their 800cc locker equiped 800 pound $10,000 monsters!
Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:30 AM
Several things are established. They are not opinions. They can't be argued about. The number 5 is the number 5, some people will argue its the number 3. In this case, these are established facts backed by sales, JD Powers, mechanics, and yes, I know a lot of owners of dealerships. Honda reliability has slipped significantly in the last 4-6 years. Consumer Reports slams many of their cars; one is even on a "Don't Buy at all" list. The CRF's and other bikes have had a laundry lists of problems. I own several.
CBRs have had numerous problems. These are not ATVs but they denote the brand.
Resale is an excellent indicator of a brand. 2008-2009 CBR1000 are thousands of dollars less than a used 09+ R1. (08" was a different model. The CBR started their new model in 08.) You can't even find used 09+ R1s for sale period. 1 here, 1 there. CBRS litter used bike places. When R1s are available, they are over $9,500. I know 3 people who can't even get rid of their Mint, low mile 08 or 09 CBR1000s. Asking $6,000-$7,000. I am NOT saying Honda's are pieces of crap!! They are a zillion light years ahead of Kawasaki, Suzuki or KTM in reliability and other. But compared to Yamaha, they are in the dust.
What I did is go on the Hunting Quad forums. The same "what should I buy for a Quad" question is met with an avalanche of "Grizzly, Grizzly, Grizzly. "
Go to any service dealer that services all brands and sells them. Talk to the mechanics. Del Amo, Berts, Chapparal, etc. They will always tell you Hondas now have significantly more problems when compared to yamaha's. To my knowledge Honda's also don't have locking diffs.
I have a GARAGE full of Hondas and Yamaha's. Literally. CRFs, XRs, Wr, YZ, R1, etc. Now, as we speak. The Yamaha's are the Mercedes. Hondas the Nissans.
The Grizzly 350's are physically smaller than the 600+. I like the smaller versions. The Big Grizzly's are physically huge like the Can Ams, etc. A personal choice.
I also like BRP (Polaris) But they aren't Yamaha's. Grizzly 350's go for about $2,500 and under. I see one every two weeks on CL.
Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:57 AM
I used my neighbors 700cc Polaris a couple times, and the thing is a TANK. It's wide, heavy, and drives like a boat.
I snagged a cheap little 89 Yamaha Moto4 250 that needed some TLC this spring for $200. Not very wide, not very long, but in the day it was a standard sized machine. In comparison to new machines, it looks like a youth ATV.
But it's easy to hop on and off, will pull more weight than my 4x6 garden cart can handle, will pull empty hay wagons around (just doesn't stop all that well), the hi-low range is great...at least I think the high range is, IDK, never used it...it fits through narrow gates and spaces with ease.
Also, it nearly runs for free-when I got it running, I flushed out the tank and filled it with fresh gas. It gets used several times per week in the garden, yard work, property projects, checking fence and crops, etc and it was at the halfway mark yesterday.
Posted 14 September 2011 - 11:40 AM