View Full Version : ATV s

08-16-2005, 12:05 PM
Audrey said I could buy a ATV. Which models are decent reliable and so on. I heard the polarises are really crappy. Any suggestions. Thanx PS later i will machine stuff for it so this topic stays within the HSM parameters. Thanx Again

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-16-2005, 12:20 PM
Your post is totaly off-topic, unless you change "buy" to "make" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif I'm starting to build an ATV (buggy) myself. I think we should get a group build going. No need to race eachother on them because that would be too predictable. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif


08-16-2005, 02:14 PM
Hey madman, don't know much about other atv's but I have had 2 polaris 4 wheelers and had nothing but great performance and reliability out of them. Also had friends with them without any problems I ever knew of. Also don't let the variable speed trans worry you, never had to put a belt on mine and I noticed Honda has a setup like it now too. I used mine mostly for trail riding. It depends a lot on what you want to use it for as to what kind to buy. All of the manufacturers have work atvs and some made mostly for riding with a good mix in between.

08-16-2005, 02:15 PM
When I bought mine (1998 Honda 450ES) I looked at what I saw on the trails. If an very old ATV or motorcycle happened by it was/is almost always a Honda.

IMO the Hondas (at least then) where simpler with less features. Mine has gas and brake and gears. Other brands had diff locks, 2wd/4wd, lo/med/hi range levers etc stuff I've seen break on others.

I've been very happy with mine.

Your Old Dog
08-16-2005, 03:01 PM
I had a 1994 Honda Fourtrax 300 and loved it. It was not 4x4 but that never seemed to slow it down and made it more responsive with Dirt Devel tires on it. It carried my fat arse (260 lbs) up a 100 yard 45 degree incline at breakneck speed http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I was airborne at the top! I did put a Warn 2500 winch on it because I stuck it in heavy muck twice! I liked it because it was light enough I could horse it around when I had to. I'm told the 4x4's are a bit heavier and harder to horse around due to the weight.

I sold mine because I wasn't getting enough use out of it and I wanted to finish off my machine shop with a mill.

Would I buy another Honda Fourtrax Utility? You betcha!

08-16-2005, 03:21 PM
I bought a Honda 300 4x4 myself some years ago. I liked it because I knew of several others that are dependable and cheaper to maintain and nor repair. If you ride em like they are suppose to be rode, things will wear out and break on you. Mine has had all the maintenance done each year and it has been rebuilt, just goes to show that anything 12 years old does wear out eventually.

Here are some pros and cons of most of the atv's I know of.
Honda: cannot be cranked in gear, is a pain in the butt if you are in 4th gear when you stop and turn the engine off on a slope. About the only problem I have ever run into with a Honda though.
Yamaha: can be cranked in any gearby pulling in on the left break. Expensive as all get out when you have to replace bearings. About as dependable as they come though.
Kawasaki: work horse, but can be a tad expensive to fix as well. I would buy one any day if my Honda ever gives up the ghost.
Polaris: if you take good care of them, they have all the go power you will ever want. As far as Polaris goes, for years if it wasn't broke, it was soon to be. They have improved over the years though. I have a buddy that is a Polaris dealer so I hear about all of the things that can and do go wrong with them. In the mud though, there is nothing that will outpull it. I like the push button shift they brought out a few years back, everyone else did too which is why most have that feature now. The only thing is, if you rely on an electric shift, it can and will let you down one day.
Suzuki: they have come a long way over the years and are about as good of a ATV that is out there. If you can keep it running, it is very hard to beat. I said if, because there are a good many folks that I know that bought em and they have to baby the heck out of them at times because they do break often. Suzuki makes a very good powerplant, it's the shifters that usually break on them.

Here's something else to consider as well. If you ever have back trouble or hip trouble, riding the ATV can and will become a problem when it comes to swing your leg over the seat. I like the ones that you can step through to get on. I can't remember the name of them right this second, but I almost bought one here while back. It's the one that uses the rotary engine. The company that bought out OMC is the one I am thinking of. I have heard some good things about it, but it is like Polaris in that regard. Good luck with the decision. When I bought mine, I bought used which can be a trap in itself. I knew the guy who had mine. I knew he was a logger and didnt take very good care of it. He had taken it all apart and had the frame painted which made it look a lot better. He also cleaned up the palstic fenders and made them look brand new. The only thing was the bearings and brakes were shot and the rear end had had water in it. I pretty much knew this going into the sale and knew I could replace all of the parts myself so I went ahead and bought it. If yo buy a used ATV, make sure you go into it knowing you may buy a 4-wheeler with the same type of problems. They can be fixed, but it will cost a pretty penny if you have to rely on someone else to do the maintenance.

08-16-2005, 03:25 PM

Your Old Dog
08-16-2005, 03:41 PM
I'm toying with the idea of another dirt bike in the 250 class. Is the insurance cheaper for a 60 year old on a dirt bike?

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-16-2005, 05:24 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Your Old Dog:
I'm toying with the idea of another dirt bike in the 250 class. Is the insurance cheaper for a 60 year old on a dirt bike?</font>

I don't know of anybody that has actually insured a dirt bike... But if you plan on going riding with these guys, your mental health insurance will probably go through the roof http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif



jim davies
08-16-2005, 06:23 PM
I had an XL Honda for years and it could be licenced and insured. At that time, it was legal to take a licenced motor vehicle into quite a few remote places in BC during hunting season, while quads etc. were not allowed. Great way to cover long distances, compared to a 4X4...the suspension wasn't as good as a true dirt bike, but more than enough for that terrain. I never felt the urge for any fancy hot-dogging because no one except the crows and coyotes would ever find you if you crashed 60 miles from the nearest town.

08-16-2005, 06:52 PM
Our first was a Honda 4 by 4. It was used for chasing sheep and spraying weeds. It was so good some nasty people stole it. We have a Kasawaki 4 by 4 now and it does the same jobs. It carries a 100 litre spray tank and has a spray dome fitted on a boom which reaches under the grape vines.
It does less spraying these days because we have fitted up a 600 litre Hardi tank with nozzles on the Ford 6600 3 point linkage. It is quicker and saves refilling time.
The quad bikes are really getting what you pay for. Polaris and others are good but you will pay for it. depends what you want to do. The John Deere truckettes are good if your hunting results in big deer. Or of course if you dont have a one tonner to drive round the farm boundaries.
go for it,

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-16-2005, 08:23 PM
I've actually been thinking about getting a new Raptor 700R. It's fuel injected, 700cc and has got to be a lot of fun. I was either going to get a new Supercross bike, or a quad this fall. Still not sure:



08-18-2005, 01:12 AM
Insurance for me on a 650 dirt enduro bike is 862 dollars a year on a four wheeler or argo 200 a year. Incredible., I used to pay 300 a year for my 900 ducati desmo super sport. I just wanted something to get me down the trails with perhaps one other person riding with me. Oh well perhaps a homebuilt but that would entail thousand hours labour and so on. We shall see, h m perhaps two up bombaqrdier.

Your Old Dog
08-18-2005, 06:11 AM
3 phase, Great clip! I missed out on something. I don't ever remember being that young. Maybe I was but spent it all in a rice paddy! Looks like fun! Is it my imagination or is that one finely tuned bike?

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-18-2005, 10:02 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Your Old Dog:
I missed out on something. I don't ever remember being that young. Maybe I was but spent it all in a rice paddy! Looks like fun! Is it my imagination or is that one finely tuned bike?</font>

I bet if you think hard enough, you'll remember being that young... Maybe not on a 2-stroke supercross bike, but maybe .. in a a chopped model-T? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

It's easy to get a 2-stroke to run like that... It's hard to get them to idle without loading up with fuel and fowling the plug though... I bet if he let it idle it would die.. My Honda CR125 has instant throttle response, but the powerband is narrow and very peaky. If I tune it to idle perfectly, I loose my top end.. There is too much overlap between the idle/main gets and both affect eachother. 4-strokes are much more user friendly for your average trail rider. 2-strokes are a tinkerers dream.


08-18-2005, 10:59 AM
Having owned over 8 4x4 atv's since 1988 the only one I still own is the original Honda 300 4x4 I purchased in 88. Yamaha? Had two or three, all crap, one just locked up solid on a pal of mine, threw him quite a distance. Kawasaki? Had one, total crap. Suzuki? Same thing different day. Polaris? Better than Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki but still a LOT more maintenance than a Honda.

All of those other bikes have part time 4x4 and all sorts of other features that break. The Honda is dead simple, just the way I like it.

My 88 has no paint left on the racks, been through at least four sets of tires. Replaced the seat once cause I ripped it. I can leave it for 6 months, hop on, set the choke, hit start and boom, off and running. Like has been said, I actually like the smaller bikes better. Much easier to get around on, and get unstuck, not that I have been stuck more than once or twice.

I can't even start to count the deer I have hauled out of the woods with that old girl. If I do ever have to replace it you can bet it will be with another Honda.

08-18-2005, 12:08 PM
I have a 1990 Honda 300 4X4. Bought it used about 3 years ago, and it was well used by the previous owner.

No problems other than it smokes a bit at startup (worn valve guides), and the muffler is rusted through at the tip so it is getting noisy.

As others have said, it does not have all the extra goodies like 2wd/4wd, hi/lo, etc. Its 4wd all the time, so if trail riding is your thing it may not be what you want, but for working around the house and going hunting, pretty good unit for what I do.

I'll never buy a new one now, I'll just rebuild whatever breaks on this one. It would depress me to spend $8-10,000 for something that is going to get all scratched up.

08-18-2005, 02:11 PM
I have a 2001 660 Yamaha Raptor and just love it! I ride with my kids and grandkids,
For what it is worth I am 67! I am thinking that down the road one day I might try a four wheel drive quad so I don't have to attack the hills with as much speed? Might be nice to just idle through the bad parts?
The Raptor has been very trouble free for me.

3 Phase Lightbulb
08-18-2005, 02:46 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Dee:
Might be nice to just idle through the bad parts?
The Raptor has been very trouble free for me.

I'm not sure about 4 wheelers, but on a supercross bike, when in doubt, center your C/G and goose the throttle. Works every time.

See a big rock that you can't avoid? Goose it! See a big hole/rut you can't avoid? Goose it! See a big stump that you can't avoid? Goose it! Especially in soft unstable terrain, always goose it when in doubt.

It's almost always best to accelerate through a bad spot rather than de-accelerate. Every time I've gone down on my Supercross bike, it's always because I grabbed the brakes instead of twisting the throttle. This is hard to do because your natural instinct is to slow down when you see unstable terrain, but it's safer to just accelerate.


08-18-2005, 03:14 PM
I grew up with RM 370 s and 400 yamaha yz dirt bikes. I gues they are now obsolete but they were fast in there days. Then i got into the 4 strokes when they came out had one of all of them. Then dirt riding areas died out and i got the souped up one litre street bikes. Drag racing a bit 8.54 at 154 mph and a little bit of road racing modified ducati 900 ss , Now i just want a 4 wheeler and its gonna be a 300 honda. Ive made my mind up. Thanx everyone.

08-18-2005, 07:23 PM
'98 Yamaha Big Bear 350 over 2000 miles on it and never spent a dime on it,Gas and oil don't count.