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Thread: What to look for/look out for in a used ATV?

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    Member Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Question What to look for/look out for in a used ATV?

    I am in the market for a used ATV, but have time and am patient. I plan on using it for trails rides and hunting, not looking for a racing/jumping machine. If you were buying a used ATV how many mile would be your max? What are common signs of abuse? I understand options like winches, heated grip are always nice, are there any not worth getting? Not to start urinary olympics, are there any brands to avoid? I am not tied to a single seat or side by side. I may buy new if I can find a deal on last year's models. Right now, I am just trying to get smarter on what to look for and what to avoid.

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    Member alaskankid13's Avatar
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    First off whats your budget?

    Second ill see if I can scrounge up some of the past forums that can be helpful for you when looking on Craigslist or similar sites.

    Aftermarket parts on an atv don't add value in a sense, but they can be selling points. Look at it this way, if you buy a bare bones atv and get a winch that's another $200-500 aftermarket tires $600 to get them to Alaska, etc. so keep these things in mind for things you might want on your future atv.

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    Member Another Kevin's Avatar
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    I did a search of the forum and most of the used ATV questions turned into "buy a new one instead". I am not against a new one, but want to maximize what I get for my dollar. I am looking for something around $5,000.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    I did a search of the forum and most of the used ATV questions turned into "buy a new one instead". I am not against a new one, but want to maximize what I get for my dollar. I am looking for something around $5,000.
    It's true. I was going to buy a used one as well. But with the price most ask, and not knowing how it's been run, UNLESS you find somebody with an exceptionally good deal, it's really not worth it........to maximize what you get for your dollar.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    There are some great deals available on quads that were barely used if you are patient and picky. I have 4 that get us around great and the total price for all of them is less than one new 700 class utility quad.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Stay away from chain drive, and don't buy into "bigger is better." If my 400 gets stuck, I can lift one end at a time up and over into the willows or whatever and continue on my way. It'll haul a half a huge moose or a whole small one, no problem.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Stay away from chain drive
    and others would say... stay away from belt drive.
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    and others would say... stay away from belt drive.
    I certainly would Shaft all the way, and foot shift if you can get it!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    If it doesn't have a pull start, I won't own it.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    I did a search of the forum and most of the used ATV questions turned into "buy a new one instead". I am not against a new one, but want to maximize what I get for my dollar. I am looking for something around $5,000.
    I bought both my ATVs off CL and got screamin' deals on both. Both had only a couple of hundred miles made by one owner, and both were 30 percent or more off retail. I'm very prejudiced against young people when I buy; I just plain think that older people treat their ATVs way better. This last criteria of mine certainly is unfair, but it works for me.

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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Not sure how long you want to wait or how big of bike. But I'll be picking up this years fleet in May and will have 4 2013 Yamaha 350's and 5- 450's for sale at the end of Aug. still under warranty with option to buy a 1-3 year extended warranty. I usually sell the 350's for $3800 and the 450's for $4500- 4800
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    Anything that has the plow mount holes egged run away from... It is hard to abuse a quad until you work the snot out of it pushing snow.... It is hard on all parts that spin!!!! (Same with trucks too!)

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    Check all the cv boots! Their a p.i.a. to change, and if its gone too long it can get expensive.

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    I dont know if there is a mileage cutoff for me..I think the dealers offer a service were they will look it over for you.
    I would d a compression check, look at the cv clutches if its belt for any abnormal wear.
    Look at all the cv boots for tears or craking
    not really sure how to check the shocks other than compare them to a new wheeler
    tires are personal referance, for what people usually ask they should be 90% or more
    Belt drive is fine, its a simple system thats very proven
    dont know alot about shaft drive...
    The 550 and smaller machines do great, i see them keep up with the big 1000's NO problem.. and like was said, ALOT easier to get unstuck
    It is easy to put 100 miles a day on a atv in some areas of alaska, so mileage is a little relative.
    good luck and keep us updated!

  15. #15

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    Some good tips in comments here. Also: worn shafts, U-joints, wheel bearing, brakes - they take a real beating (especially if run in glacial silt) and add up to big $$$ real fast.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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    Member Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, and keep the thoughts coming.

    Roger, PM on the way.

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    For Polaris check the 4WD over real well. I know many people who have had the magnetic hub system fail. Open the air box cover, a little dust is normal, if it is full of mud run away.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member Another Kevin's Avatar
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    I am leaning towards a Big Boss. I like the idea of the extra traction, hauling capacity, and difficulty to flip; now if they have only figured out the suspension bolt issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    For Polaris check the 4WD over real well. I know many people who have had the magnetic hub system fail. Open the air box cover, a little dust is normal, if it is full of mud run away.
    Air box is a first for me then I look at the oil to see if its murky from being wet or swamped...

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    Open the air box cover, a little dust is normal, if it is full of mud run away.
    What if it's full of mice? For some reason the mice were carrying sunflower seeds from the bird feeder, up and into the air box ...there were three dead mice along with the seeds when we checked the air box in the spring. Strange but true.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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