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Thread: polaris vs yamaha vs arctic cat

  1. #1
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    Default polaris vs yamaha vs arctic cat

    I'm planning on buying a new machine and have narrowed it down to 1 of these 3.

    Criteria:

    4-500 CC's
    independant rear suspension
    rack and towing capacity
    easy controls (ie:dash, control placements)

    It will be mostly for towing over rough terrain, and maybe 5 % wide open running. Most of the time hauling a meat wagon over rough trails.

    I would like some hands advice on this. It will probably be a couple of months before I buy but I want to start looking. My machines now are starting to get kinda old and its time to start replacing them.

    Thanks
    Joel

  2. #2
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    Default 4 Wheeler

    Joel
    While most of the 4 wheelers built today are good, they all have their short comings. We have owned Arctic cats for many years now and really like them. We just bought two new Arctic Cat 500's last week. While I am still not sure about the automatic drive system, problems with my wifes knees, make the auto the way to go. I like the disc brake system, and some of the minor other features they have. Any more with the independent suspension systems they all tend to ride good. Get with others that have the type of 4 wheeler you are looking and see about riding them. The question you have is like asking which is the better vehicle, Chevy, Ford, Dodge! The other thing that figures into everything is 'who is willing to deal'.
    Good luck and have fun!

  3. #3
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    Bearcat, Yeah it is kinda ageneral question but I'm looking for real world expieriance (like yourself with arctic cats) vs the "I read in a magazine....".

    I would like to hear the pro's and cons of the ATV's. for instance riding this weekend at jims creek, a guy had a relatively new bombarier 400 (one I was thinking about) and when he crossed jims he almost had to be pulled out cuz of belt slippage while wet. Grant it it can happen to any belt driven machine and I dont know the history of the machine but it kinda pushed me away from that machine. I do know this guys job evolves around ATV's and it failed on him.

  4. #4

    Talking

    I have a 2003 Polaris 500 and 700, I perfer the 700 twin vs. the 500 single, it idles and starts smoother. You would need to buy at least a 600 to get a twin cylinder engine. Both have been trouble free and have over 350 hours use, mostly hunting and trail riding. I would not get a machine without a engine braking system.
    Frank

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    Default ATV's

    Joel
    We are going to Euraka this weekend and I will be able to give you a better report on our new cats. While I am not completely sold and the automatic, they are nice to ride. The first thing I did notice is that I can not idle and putt along on a trail like I could with our 2000, 500cc cats. On what hills we did have to go down so far, the EBS seemed to work fine. While I have not work on a lot of different brands of ATV's I have on older King Quads and Arctic cats. I sure like the way the cats are put together. Between the three we have owned, I would guess that we have put over 15,000 miles on them and not had any mojor problems that left us stranded.
    I will pass on another report early next week.

  6. #6
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up you will love...

    the Yamaha 450 Kodiak. Automatic, great disc brakes and a tough and adjustable fully independent susp.
    The engine is a stove bolt setup too.

    Go forth and buy, grasshopper....

  7. #7
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Default for your needs

    I would buy a Honda Rancher. Cheap (if you catch them on sale) reliable and solid on the trails. I have heard a couple people say that they tow a trailer better than their big bore machines.

  8. #8

    Default Dig in your pocket

    Sort out the major features you want.
    In my case last year it was
    650+ cc's (just to try a big bore)
    SRA vs IRS was not an issue
    Selectable 2 or 4 WD
    Lockable diffs
    Seperate front and rear brake controls

    Then go to the dealers and see what deal you can make.
    All the manufacturers are pretty competitive, I think individual machines differences cover the differences in models.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  9. #9
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    Default

    After owning Honda's, Polaris, and Suzuki atv's I would suggest you go with the Poalris 500 efi. It is Polaris''s most bullet proff engine they ever designed. EFI only made it better. Unless you plan on adding 27 in tires you simply do not need any more power.

  10. #10
    Moderator Snyd's Avatar
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    Default

    I have an 02 Yamaha Griz 660. The Griz is 150 lbs lighter than the Polaris 500, has a better tranny and 4 wheel engine braking. I have done quite a few mods to the machine like tires, clutch kit, etc. and really like it. The Kodiak doesn't weigh much less than the griz, not as much ground clearance, different brake system. I think the Griz is a better value. I was leary of the push button 4wheel drive but it works great and sure is nice to be able to go from 2 to 4 wheel drive at any speed. Plus when in 4x4 you can push a button and lock the front diff ( at a stop obviously). Low range is great and the 660 with 5 valves has plenty of power. I have put my machine to the stress test many many times and it just plain works.

    Go to www.atvfrontier.com. My friend SilverTipGriz is the moderator in the yamaha and Alaska forums and lives in the Anchorage area. He also has an 02 Griz that is totally tricked out and rides with guys that have other quads. Lots of good info there. I would stay away from the AC with the Kaw engine/trans. I think it's the 650 vtwin. The engine is great but they have had some problems with the Kaw auto. The AC is a great machine but get either the 500 or the other, I think it's the 650 H1? I think the AC's have the best suspension of all the machines on the market bar none. The AC Duramatic and the Yamaha Ultramatic are much better belt trannies than the Polaris. The Polaris trannys seem to eat belts. If you do some research you'll find that a lot of Polaris guys even carry an extra tranny belt. I say take a hard look at the Griz 660 or the AC 650 H1. Great values and you can't go wrong with either one.

    My .02
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  11. #11

    Default Why not consider a Honda?

    Take a look at the Rubicon, lots of options with those bad boys and they are just plain tough. If your going to be doing a lot of towing and slow riding then there's no reason to get a bike with a bunch of extra stuff on it. I basically use my Foreman the same way you intend to use your new quad and it works great. 2 years ago I towed a PakRat trailer fully loaded with 3/4 of a moose and our entire camp gear wihtout a hitch. I would also take a look at the racks on these machines to make sure they will do what you want them to do. The new Polaris quads are butt ugly with those plastic pieces on the front but everyone has their own preferences. Check them all out and decide for yourself.

  12. #12
    Moderator Snyd's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    When you think about it it's really awesome that we have such a wonderfull wide choice of quads to choose from. Life is good in the USA!
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  13. #13
    Member GWHunter's Avatar
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    Default 03 Griz

    Everyonbe one of my friends drives a different ATV. It is nice since someone who is buying a new one can ride all of them and get a feel for it. Here is my take on my ATV:
    I LOVE THE GRIZ!!!!! NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!

    This machine rocks! Yes it is bigger than you are looking for but it rocks! I've never had a problem with it. I haven't done any mods and have been completely happy with the stock features. It is atough machine that has gotten me many places. The ground clearance and independant susp is great. You do have to be careful though because it will be reach for the ground....a straight axel will bottom out. So when driving on a side hill or in ruts be sure you remember that! As for towing and rack gear....I've put a ton of junk on it and also towed a good size trailer and it has worked fine. Having the ability to switch from 2 to 4 on the fly is nice and also the lock diff is a great asset. It is nice to switch to 2wd on the gravel roads (saves gas).We ride our ATVs for several hours when we go out and only those who have independant susp don't complain.

    Do your best to ask around to see if anyone that lives around you has one and go for a test ride. If they won't let you they are either hiding something or just love the machine too much!

  14. #14
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    Default Which one

    Joel
    Last weekend we took 19 Four wheelers on a trip to Eureka. We had just about everything from 120 CC 2 wheel Blasters to an 800 CC Outlander. We had new riders, experinced riders, young (11years old) to older riders. As has been said there are NO bad four wheelers, and it showed on this trip. Everyone did well and there were no major issues with any of the machines. So, look for the features that YOU want and go for it. See who will give you the best deal and rider like the wind.

  15. #15

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    I saw you guys on the way out, we were perched on the top of Monument lassing for bears when we spotted your gang headed out. I thought I was seeing things at first and I started counting, i came up with 18 but i must have missed one. That was an awesome wet ride on Saturday!! How far back in did you guys go?

  16. #16
    Member Jason in Anchorage's Avatar
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    Default

    Wife, I and a buddy was out there as well. Wet and muddy saturday. Stayed at one of the old moose camps back in there... made a big fire, some chow and a good nights sleep. Wife had a blast and was rocking in the mud holes. She wants to go again!
    Jason

  17. #17

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    Jason, did you go across the Monument crossing? We rode to the old mine that is along Tyone Creek and had a blast, I know the wife would have a great time riding back in there and fishing for grayling. We will probably go up there the 4th of July weekend and ride/fish.

  18. #18
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    Default polaris vs. yamaha, vs Arctis cat

    Here is what I love about my Arctic Cat 500

    although all of these may no longer be true it was when I bought mine new in 06

    True 12 inches of ground clearance
    10 inches of travel on all 4 shocks
    of course independent rear suspension
    6 gallon gas tank Which means on a long 100 mile day trip my buddies with V-twin 700 polaris machines had to carry extra gas I did not"
    The tank fill is on the rear fender not between the seat and handle bars because the gas tank is located in the rear between the shocks.
    The air filter sits high and you can go through deeper water because it sits where the others gas tank is located.
    Where the gas cap normally is located is a great glove box to keep small things within very handy reach.
    The speed rack system is great. easy on and off things like chain saw holder, extra racks, tree stand/bow case carriers and many many more.

    My top speed is about 53 which is plenty for me. I have hauled out many elk with it and use it heavily in the rocky mountains. When I need extra pulling power, 4 low and then with the flip of a lever front locking differential if in really nasty stuff. All I have ever had to do is change the oil and I am now ready for a new set of tires. I have never had a single problem with my Arctic cat 500.

    So I guess you know where I stand. I hope this helps...!!!

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    Default polaris vs yamaha vs arctic cat

    One more item that I forgot. Artic Cat is no longer using Suzuki engines. They make their own now and they are supposed to be faster and have more torque. Ithink they stared that in 09. But don;t quote me on that it may have been 08...!!!

    Good luck to you...!!!!

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blink View Post
    Bearcat, Yeah it is kinda ageneral question but I'm looking for real world expieriance (like yourself with arctic cats) vs the "I read in a magazine....".

    I would like to hear the pro's and cons of the ATV's. for instance riding this weekend at jims creek, a guy had a relatively new bombarier 400 (one I was thinking about) and when he crossed jims he almost had to be pulled out cuz of belt slippage while wet. Grant it it can happen to any belt driven machine and I dont know the history of the machine but it kinda pushed me away from that machine. I do know this guys job evolves around ATV's and it failed on him.
    Belts get a bad rep up here. It's super easy and inexpensive to snorkel a Can-Am. Mine wasn't snorkeled when I brought it up here, my belt got wet just like you're describing. I snorkeled it properly and ran my vents up high too and drive in the wet and mud with impunity.

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