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View Full Version : Getting an ATV. Any recommendations?


speedster
09-15-2010, 07:40 AM
I'm looking for a utility quad and I plan to keep it in the 400cc to 500cc class. I want 4WD and an independant rear suspension.

My main uses will be for recreation, hunting, and trail riding and I also plan to use it in the winter to plow snow in my driveway.

Right now the ones I'm considering are:
Yamaha 450 Grizzly($6899 msrp)
Polaris Sportsman 500HO ($5999 msrp)
Suzuki Kingquad 450 AXI ($6999 msrp)
Honda Rancher AT 420 ($?)

All of these seem to fit my requirements. I have an Arctic Cat dealer near me but I've heard some pretty bad things about them. I also have a Kawasaki dealer but they seem to have no quads with my size requirements. I also have several Honda dealers but I can't reall seem to find what I'm looking for in my price range. I absolutely will not pay over $7k. Thats one of the reasons the Polaris peaks my curiousity. I'm be able to get the plow and wench and still be under the cost of the others.

In my heart I prefer the Yamaha. I spent a weekend offroading on my buddy's 660 Grizz and I loved that thing. But this will be my first ATV and I want to make a wise decision.

I stopped by my Polaris dealer yesterday and test drove the 500HO. It had a good feel to it maybe slightly soft. (Maybe not a bad thing as I get a bit older). Also has a true automatic diff locker. The Grizzly has a manual locker while the Honda does not offer a diff lock. Dealer offered me a 2010 for $600 off MSRP ($5399) and the Snowplay/wench/install for cost $849. Total out the including taxes out the door was $6680.

Anyone have comments or recommendations?
What are you all riding?

RussellB
09-15-2010, 07:57 AM
Have you thought about a used quad? I have a 08 Can am renegade 800 and love it. My son has an 09 can am max lt 800 and it is a beast. The renegade wouldn't meet your requirements for plowing/hunting but the outlander/max would. You can pick up a used outlander (08, 09) in the price range stated. Look around. Alot of used atvs' are on the market with low milage/hours.

speedster
09-15-2010, 01:59 PM
I've actually looked into the Outlander 400. It looks super nice but is on the expensive side of things. I've heard those Rotax engines are true beasts. Thats what they use in ultralight airplanes.

The used quad scene around here sucks. Lots of older 2WD quads but most of the newer late model quads are prices at or near what I can get a new one for. Paying an extra $500 for a new quad vs one thats 2-3 years old is money well spent in my mind.

cgaengineer
09-15-2010, 02:18 PM
If you plan to do lots of trail riding and sliding, consider something with a sold rear axle...they handle better. See if you can find a new 2009 model, they don't like sitting on old stock. I picked up a 2007 Suzuki Vinson 500 that had almost zero hours and miles, factory warranty...its a beast. I'd shy away from used if you could...people beat the crap out of some ATV's...buyer beware.

The Vinson came with the wiring front and rear for a WINCH...not a WENCH. :) I also hate belt drive quads and prefer a wet type clutch, almost zero maintenance and no slipping if the quad is taking a mud bath.
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AI Inc
09-15-2010, 04:48 PM
Im a polaris guy. Always rode their sleds and only 4 wheeler Ive ever owned is a polaris.
Keep in mind , if Im not mistaken . The new Canams are made in Mehico.

LawnTamer
09-15-2010, 06:16 PM
From the list you gave in your original post, I'd go with the Sportsman 500, great ATVs, just gotta do the maintenance on them, a bit more maybe than, say a Honda, but Polaris makes a great machine, and the Sportsmans are awesome machines, great on the trail and able to work.

speedster
09-16-2010, 07:49 AM
Test drove a 450 Grizz last night. I liked it. Size wise it felt similar to the Sportsman. But had a different ride feel to it. I kind of liked it. Felt a little more responsive. The dealer I drove it at would sell for $6599 however a volume dealer a little further away that I've heard great things about quoted me $5850 for the same quad. So right now that would make teh Grizz $450 more than the Sportsman 500 HO.

Also looked at the 550 Grizz. I realy liked that. It's the same size as the 700 only with a smaller displacement engine. Cool thing about it was that it had both Fuel Injection and EPS. Priced at $7100 though :(

The volume dealer quoted me $6250 for the 450 with EPS so that would be a $400 upgrade to Power steering which would come in handy for snow plowing.

Decisions decisions................

One other quote I got was for a Suzuki Kingquad 450 AXI for $6100. Cool thing about that would be that I'd get both FI and EPS for only $6100. Admittedly though I don't know much about Suzuki quads and I'm kind of hesitant.

cgaengineer
09-16-2010, 07:56 AM
Suzuki makes a great quad. Suzuki has been in business for a long time. They got their start making weaving looms. They also had one of the first powered bicycles which we now call motorcycles.
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cgaengineer
09-16-2010, 08:00 AM
Oh and regardless of what you buy, make sure its a full size. And contrary to AI and LT, I hate Polaris...I have never seen one that would hold up...parts are expensive too. All of them I ever rode were junk.

I currently own a Suzuki and a Honda, but had a Yamaha Quad several years ago.

Suzuki makes some of the power plants for Arctic Cats
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RussellB
09-16-2010, 08:48 AM
I don't know what type of transmissions are in the Honda 420s but the Rancher 400 has the hondamatic. One of mine is being used for a parts bike because the trans blew. $1800 plus labor for a new one. They are tough but watch the Hondamatic trans. My other Rancher 400 runs great. The Can ams air and belt intake is low so you have to watch deep water and snow blowing into the intake or snorkel them. Also check radiator location on whatever bike you look at. When plowing the snow will cake and block airflow to the rad leading to overheating. Personally, as long as I can ride......ALL of them are good.

kilgoja
09-16-2010, 11:24 AM
from my experience over the years i would get a honda(i currently have a honda trx400ex)...i know people that have the 400 engine on dirtbikes that are 15 years old and they've never had a problem out of them.....second choice would be a kawasaki and third would be yamaha or suzuki...i've owned or had friends that owned all of the brands...maybe polaris has gotten better but the ones i've seen are junk once they are 5 years old or more....i'm sure artic cat or can-am are ok but i've never owned one so i can't say

banksl&s
09-17-2010, 12:06 AM
I have a 2005 arctic cat 4x4 500 which I use for hunting and recreation riding along with plowing all winter. I absolutely love it and would not think of anything else. I did a lot of research before buying it. I had it narrowed down between it, a suzuki and a polaris. A buddy of mine told my to stay away from polaris and I am glad I did. My cat has a suzuki motor and it runs good. My dealer is awesome too, which is nice. Dealer support is very important to me. Just my .02, hope it helps.

cgaengineer
09-17-2010, 12:11 AM
Another Polaris basher...like I said before, I have yet to see a Polaris hold up like a Honda, Kawi, Suzuki Or Yamaha. Artic Cats are good too...I like the dual rider option. Arctic Cat makes a diesel if that is of any interest to you.
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Puddle of Oil
09-17-2010, 02:20 AM
Don't get a rancher if your using it for plowing! They suck at pushing snow. Anything over 3" and you can forget about!
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land_scaper70
06-09-2011, 04:10 PM
dont get anything but a honda there the best look at the rancher 420 with manual shift and 4 wheel drive dont get the electric shift bad things goin on with that or look at the foreman with manual shift both pretty affordable but if thwey are arent spend the extra and get it there super reliable. for more info on hondas go too hondaatvforums.com

retrodog
06-09-2011, 08:18 PM
Hands down article cat, they have the biggest meanest quads for less. Saw a dealer on eBay selling new 750's for $6700 out of Indiana somewhere and will ship for 250...
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FLAhaulboy
06-09-2011, 08:23 PM
I'm looking for a utility quad and I plan to keep it in the 400cc to 500cc class. I want 4WD and an independant rear suspension.

My main uses will be for recreation, hunting, and trail riding and I also plan to use it in the winter to plow snow in my driveway.

Right now the ones I'm considering are:
Yamaha 450 Grizzly($6899 msrp)
Polaris Sportsman 500HO ($5999 msrp)
Suzuki Kingquad 450 AXI ($6999 msrp)
Honda Rancher AT 420 ($?)

All of these seem to fit my requirements. I have an Arctic Cat dealer near me but I've heard some pretty bad things about them. I also have a Kawasaki dealer but they seem to have no quads with my size requirements. I also have several Honda dealers but I can't reall seem to find what I'm looking for in my price range. I absolutely will not pay over $7k. Thats one of the reasons the Polaris peaks my curiousity. I'm be able to get the plow and wench and still be under the cost of the others.

In my heart I prefer the Yamaha. I spent a weekend offroading on my buddy's 660 Grizz and I loved that thing. But this will be my first ATV and I want to make a wise decision.

I stopped by my Polaris dealer yesterday and test drove the 500HO. It had a good feel to it maybe slightly soft. (Maybe not a bad thing as I get a bit older). Also has a true automatic diff locker. The Grizzly has a manual locker while the Honda does not offer a diff lock. Dealer offered me a 2010 for $600 off MSRP ($5399) and the Snowplay/wench/install for cost $849. Total out the including taxes out the door was $6680.

Anyone have comments or recommendations?
What are you all riding?




My brother has the Yamaha Grizzly 4x4 & it is sweet ride. Awhile back, I took it to deer camp to ride the trails & logging roads all day long. I've gotten it up to 50 mph on gravel roads, though I'm sure it goes faster. The grizzly gets excellent gas mileage also. I think he bought it last yr new for around $7500. I'd recommend the Grizzly because I've used it but the other models might be just as good.

Oh and this is the second Grizzly my bro has bought so it must a good one.

bugsNbows
07-05-2011, 09:42 AM
700 Yam Grizz with the power assist steering. It's the bugs nutz.

Mark Oomkes
07-05-2011, 06:56 PM
Oh and regardless of what you buy, make sure its a full size. And contrary to AI and LT, I hate Polaris...I have never seen one that would hold up...parts are expensive too. All of them I ever rode were junk.

I currently own a Suzuki and a Honda, but had a Yamaha Quad several years ago.

Suzuki makes some of the power plants for Arctic Cats
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I have to echo cga's comments and dislike of Polaris. (BTW, I have an '05 Sportsman HO I'd be willing to sell you).

The ride and power is awesome, however, I have spent more repairing this POS then I did purchasing it. From front end problems to the chain in the tranny breaking and wiping out the tranny and both driveshafts to the belt blowing to the ECU frying, you name it, it has broke.

I have Polaris sleds and I love them, no real problems like their ATV's. Local dealer told a friend they picked up the line to keep the service dept busy, which I can believe.

Asked the sales rep when I bought my Outlander if I had a lemon or if Polaris ATV's were crap. He used to sell them and said 10 years ago when he did, they were problematic. Went to a different dealership and went from pissed off customers after owning one for 2-3 weeks, to never hearing complaints.

I'd buy a Polaris sled, but will never, ever buy another Polaris ATV. Despite the ride and power.

ALC-GregH
07-19-2011, 10:08 PM
I'm looking for a utility quad and I plan to keep it in the 400cc to 500cc class. I want 4WD and an independant rear suspension.

My main uses will be for recreation, hunting, and trail riding and I also plan to use it in the winter to plow snow in my driveway.

Right now the ones I'm considering are:
Yamaha 450 Grizzly($6899 msrp)
Polaris Sportsman 500HO ($5999 msrp)
Suzuki Kingquad 450 AXI ($6999 msrp)
Honda Rancher AT 420 ($?)

All of these seem to fit my requirements. I have an Arctic Cat dealer near me but I've heard some pretty bad things about them. I also have a Kawasaki dealer but they seem to have no quads with my size requirements. I also have several Honda dealers but I can't reall seem to find what I'm looking for in my price range. I absolutely will not pay over $7k. Thats one of the reasons the Polaris peaks my curiousity. I'm be able to get the plow and wench and still be under the cost of the others.

In my heart I prefer the Yamaha. I spent a weekend offroading on my buddy's 660 Grizz and I loved that thing. But this will be my first ATV and I want to make a wise decision.

I stopped by my Polaris dealer yesterday and test drove the 500HO. It had a good feel to it maybe slightly soft. (Maybe not a bad thing as I get a bit older). Also has a true automatic diff locker. The Grizzly has a manual locker while the Honda does not offer a diff lock. Dealer offered me a 2010 for $600 off MSRP ($5399) and the Snowplay/wench/install for cost $849. Total out the including taxes out the door was $6680.

Anyone have comments or recommendations?
What are you all riding?

Yeah I love mine too. :) I took the queen seat off and use the racks for sand and salt bags to add weight. The thing pushed through a 5ft drift 2 years ago going downhill. :) I only ate a little snow. :laugh:

I'd look for a used one if I was you. Call all the dealers in the state, check local papers, Craigslist and other for sale sites. If you find a clean low hours 660 you'll get it for way less then you'd pay for a new 450. Chances are, it will already have a winch and some accessories. That's my vote. :)

http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/americanlawncare/DSC00781.jpg?t=1311123608