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Thread: What's really the best ATV 4X4 for Alaska?

  1. #1
    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Default What's really the best ATV 4X4 for Alaska?

    I have some long waited money coming in next month and of course pricing ATV 4x4's. Me like a dumb ars sold my Arctic Cat 2000, 500 a little over a year ago, cuz I was broke and needed the money badly. Now things are coming back into play for me now again. My son wants me to get a Honda (But I hate those puny axles on em sticking out the differential) but I'm leaning toward another Cat maybe. I know hondas run forever, but what good are they with bent axles is my idea. Sorry, I was an auto mechanic for almost 30 years and the honda axle system just doesn't add up for me for strength.
    What I would like to get here is the pros and cons of all 2005 and newer machines and maybe some info on the Can Am 4x4's also. Overall width is critical if you hunt the Ferry area and need to get a wheeler across the bridge. 45" will rub going across and 46" will start tearing your fenders off if you don't drill holes in your fenders and wire em into the frame before you cross the narrow bridge. I've been seeing tons of machines for sale that are 3-4-5-6-7 years old and they want way too much money for the used crap. My son just bought a brand new Honda 420 last year for $6100 with the 4 year extended warrany from the dealer. How in the crap can people try to sell stuff on Craigs List that is 5 to 6 years older and want $4500 to $5900 for basically the same crap, with no 4 year extended warranty.
    I got off track, I really could use some good input on what you folks think about the different brands of machines except maybe Polaris anything and Argo type crap...
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  2. #2

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    Right up yer alley: Grizz 700 with EPS and EFI.
    Big improvement over the Yammie 660 and I think top of the line. You can find'm used on CL; I did. Mine had 150 miles on it.

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Right up yer alley: Grizz 700 with EPS and EFI.
    Big improvement over the Yammie 660 and I think top of the line. You can find'm used on CL; I did. Mine had 150 miles on it.
    I been looking at the Yamis, but the 700's you think are the best? I can cut the fenders and rivet em back in a inch or 2 maybe as long as the wheels aren't over 45" wide to clear the bridge, but even 45" is gonna scuff the bridge rails hear and there.. I'm kinda leaning that way rather that buy a Honda. I just hate the rear axle on those things....lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

  4. #4

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    I've not been across that bridge with mine, so take this with a grain of salt:

    1) I thing the dimensions fit, stock.
    2) the independent suspension people (like 700 grizz) have been ratcheting their the suspension tighter together to get across that bridge (making you narrower).

    Lets hear from a 700 Grizz owner that has made it, and how. OK? Chime in now?

  5. #5
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Default I'd also highly recommend the 700 grizz eps

    However I have no idea where and what this bridge is so I don't know if you'll fit. I've had mine since September bought new. Never had any troubles and I IDE it a good amount.

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    +1 for Yamaha Grizzly 700 EPS. I don't know the "Ferry" area but I know a stock Grizzly can make it across the bridge at Talkeetna but it will rub.

    Positives for the Grizzly: Reliable motor, the battery doesn't drain when it sits for a few months, plenty of power, diff lock, engine braking, power steering, seat is comfortable, LIGHT WEIGHT in comparison to other big bores, the belt drive is bomb proof. Air box is right under the seat and so it can be driven quite deep into water with no problems. High ground clearance- I believe it's about 13". There are some newer ATV's that have higher clearance than the Grizz but I have yet to wish my Grizzly was taller so I'd say it's enough.

    Negatives on Grizzly: Body panels riveted together with plastic rivets that have a tendency to break, weak spot in the axles that allows them to shear...but the only circumstances I've seen it happen is when the rider is hard on the throttle spinning the tires and then the tires all of a sudden hook up with traction. Location of oil filter is kind of a pain when it comes time for an oil change.

    I'm a woman and have no problems riding my Grizz 700 all day long. The EPS makes it fun to drive and I don't feel beat up at the end of the day. We've ridden in every possible condition, terrain and time of year (including -20F) and I never fail to be impressed with what a Grizzly is capable of.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    I don't like the taller chassis of the 550 and up Yammies. That's why I like the 450 Grizz! And the 2011's have EPS - just picked up my wife a blue one.

    Only negatives are I don't like how the body panels snap/lock together. They easily pop apart, and I wish it had EFI during the winter - it doesn't warm up for 20+ minutes!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Cat has a new line of more budget minded wheelers. They have a 450 with EFI that WILL fit across railroad bridges with no modification. All independent suspension, low range, etc....
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    I got off track, I really could use some good input on what you folks think about the different brands of machines except maybe Polaris anything and Argo type crap...
    So after ripping on Honda's, Argo, and Polaris, you ask which ATV 4x4 is the best for Alaska? I've heard good things from friends in the military about John Deere's Gator.

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    I own two quads and use them for everything (Hunting, Fishing, Trail Riding) and all year round. I have a 2009 King Quad 400 and a 2010 Honda Foreman 500. The King is auto and the Honda manual. The Kings clearance is a little higher than the Honda's, but both run very well and clear objects pretty good. The Suzuki starts up a heck of lot better than the Honda during the winter when we go Ice Fishing out to Figure 8.

    I am kind of torn on which one I prefer, I really like them both. I purchased the King brand new at Team CC in Wasilla for about $4,900, GOT A SMOKING DEAL, and the Honda we picked up at Seward for about $5,800 brand new.

    Agree with others on people selling their quads for way over price and a few years old on CL. For that much you can get a new one, and you know for sure it hasn't been dumped in Jim Creek or rolled at Maud Road trails.

    PS
    About those snap panels. Zip-ties do wonders while holding them together while in the bush!
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    you ask an open ended question about wich atv it best for alaska and knock out 4 brands of machines in one swoop. You don't want to know anything about "best machines for alaska" You want to know what people think about grizzlys and can-ams thats it why don't you ask a question comparing the two machines. Or take some time and look through the threads and find out for yourself the question has already been answered a number of times.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

  13. #13
    Member Floridascuba's Avatar
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    I like the King Quad and Can-AM.

    I have a Can-Am 500. I am either getting the King Quad or the 6x6 Ranger for the wife.

  14. #14

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    The best is relative and impossible to measure. Make sure it has 4WD, winch, mud tires, IRS, and at least a 500cc. With that you'll be able to do most everything except float across a pond.

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    There all pretty good runners these days, especially the new ones. There are subtle differences between them. I have a 550 & 700 grizzly and I could absolutely not be happier. If I never drove these and bought Honda's or A/C instead, I'd probably be saying the same thing. Like 1S1K said, the best is impossible to measure. Don't get caught up in the brands.


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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I like my 700 AC but if I was strictly going to be practical on a budget then the Yamaha big bear would be the hands down winner. If I were to trade up it would be for a new PoPo 6x6. As far as the Ferry trail, I heard it burned to the ground this year and if true your rig will be 10 years old before the moose get back in there thick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGONUT View Post
    you ask an open ended question about wich atv it best for alaska and knock out 4 brands of machines in one swoop. ... You want to know what people think about grizzlys and can-ams thats it
    It's difficult to take the title of the thread seriously. I also had great expectations to learn what ATV is truly the best, although the reasons may be certainly subjective and the Ferry area is only one location in Alaska. Aren't the narrower ATV's a bit tipsy? (Example: Yamaha side by sides) but may satisfy his refined requirements.

    In my experience, one can buy things once or buy things twice, and so on until they buy what they should have bought originally. Since he's familiar with buying/selling ATV's, its time for a new one (or a repeating of the same experiences). Perhaps he just wants something that will plow snow from his driveway or look pretty on a trailer, or resale on Craig's list later.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    So after ripping on Honda's, Argo, and Polaris, you ask which ATV 4x4 is the best for Alaska? I've heard good things from friends in the military about John Deere's Gator.
    Here are a 3 things i noticed about the new gators when i went to look at one that turned me away from them unless they redo them. The air inlet and the tranny and diff vents are all way too low and i see alot of problems with water even without deep mud. The second major concern i found was that they weigh 1630 lbs dry (JD rates "dry" as truely dry, no oil or fluids of any kind). Add fuel, oil, coolant, a winch, a tool kit, survival gear, and misc gear, and 2 riders and you can easily be over a ton. with this much weight on 4 tires i see it getting stuck alot. the third thing i noticed is it is VERY wide, their stated width is 62 inches which could cause problems on atv trails that are just not trimmed for something that wide. to me there are better machines out there for my needs. i hope these observations helped

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need a rokon! Also if you think about used prices up here on craigs list, they kinda of do you a favor when it comes time to resale your machine. You get top dollar up here. Me I like that. Who wants to buy a four wheeler then sell it for half price a year later? not me.

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    There is an ATV rally (open to the public) towards Petersville (a parking lot that is about 11.5 to 12 miles from the Parks Highway on the Petersville Road) this weekend with overnight camping and BBQ. They scheduled to meet at the parking lot Saturday morning at 9am and return on Sunday. Look for a group of ATV's and a few ARGO's also. If you want to see how the various machines compare against each other, then bring your favorite ATV and have some fun.

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