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Thread: looking to purchase a 4-wheeler this spring- what to get?

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    Default looking to purchase a 4-wheeler this spring- what to get?

    I want to get a 4 wheeler next spring. Fairbanks is the closest city.

    Use- getting around town, picking things up at airport, exploring the trails and forest, get out to the big garden, pike fishing hole, looking for black bear, moose, and small game. It's pretty flat out here, but there are some spots with deep, thick mud.

    Since it's going out to the village there won't be an opportunity to take it to a repair shop if something goes wrong. Which brand is the most reliable?

    Any suggestions as to what I should get or consider?

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    All atvs have their good bad. I am a Cat fan. I have a 2004 650 that has just been an absolute flawless machine. I have about 10 thousand miles on it. I use for hunting and to plow snow, many times for many in neighborhood where I live. I picked a Wildcat side by side that has been a great machine too.

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    Honda is the most reliable, best made atv. The Rubicon is on sale (2015 model). Send it down on the barge from Circle

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    Yamaha grizzly is very hard to beat. Plenty of ground clearance and an overall good riding machine.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Yamaha grizzly is very hard to beat. Plenty of ground clearance and an overall good riding machine.


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    Very low maintenance too. Ours has been trouble free.
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    Honda or nothin'....Yammy if you're in a pinch.
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    I chose Grizzly over the Honda's for ground clearance, but now the Honda's are available with independent suspension so have more clearance. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. I know of examples of both that have been used hard with little to no maintenance and still run very well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Honda is the most reliable, best made atv. The Rubicon is on sale (2015 model). Send it down on the barge from Circle
    That's what I'm thinking, send it down from Circle. Seems like Honda is a good bet. Next time I'm in town I'll try and look around and see what's on sale.

    Think I would be ok without getting a 4x4?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longtrek86 View Post
    That's what I'm thinking, send it down from Circle. Seems like Honda is a good bet. Next time I'm in town I'll try and look around and see what's on sale.
    Think I would be ok without getting a 4x4?
    Would you get a pickup truck in Alaska with 2 wheel drive??
    An atv without 4 wheel drive is just as worthless. Any half arsed atv user would not only insist on the 4x4 but would be insisting on the 4x4 with the true lock in on it.
    I have this yrs 550 grizzly and this yrs 500 Honda. Both nice machines but the Honda has no belt(s) on it to cause potential problems. A big plus in my opinion.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Would you get a pickup truck in Alaska with 2 wheel drive??
    An atv without 4 wheel drive is just as worthless. Any half arsed atv user would not only insist on the 4x4 but would be insisting on the 4x4 with the true lock in on it.
    I have this yrs 550 grizzly and this yrs 500 Honda. Both nice machines but the Honda has no belt(s) on it to cause potential problems. A big plus in my opinion.
    Which one rides better??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longtrek86 View Post
    I want to get a 4 wheeler next spring. Fairbanks is the closest city.

    Use- getting around town, picking things up at airport, exploring the trails and forest, get out to the big garden, pike fishing hole, looking for black bear, moose, and small game. It's pretty flat out here, but there are some spots with deep, thick mud.

    Since it's going out to the village there won't be an opportunity to take it to a repair shop if something goes wrong. Which brand is the most reliable?

    Any suggestions as to what I should get or consider?
    Look at what the Majority of you're fellow Villagers are riding..... then get one of those

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Which one rides better??
    I have about 350 miles on the Honda and about 150 on the Griz. To be honest, I've only found minor diff between the two overall and the ride(s) are comparable. The Griz has auto xmission and the Honda (I opted for) manual foot shifter. So that, by far is what seems so diff between them. Pretty much everything else are just little personal comforts that would vary from person to person. (Like height of handle bars, or position of controls etc.) maybe when I get more miles on them I'll see more differences. So far I find the rides to be even.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Every "brand" has its good and bad models. You need to first consider how much weight you plan on hauling on a regular basis, then decide on how big of a machine you want. From what you have indicated, I would think you want something between 400 and 500 cc plus or minus. I have a 500 Arctic Cat it has been 100% problem free. If you want to buy New, chances are you will never be happy with the rubber it comes with. For bogs, peat, and mud I love my aftermarket Swamp Lites, but there are many others that are good too. If you are willing to consider Used, then I would recommend patients as with all the lost jobs in the oil fields this winter, there are going to be a lot of good deals pop up on places like Craigslist as folks start moving south. If you can find something with low miles, it may be better than new as it can often have upgraded rubber that you won't have to but :-) Good luck.
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    I liked my yamaha 450s locking front diff, really could get you through some holes in a pinch. Did really well for a small wheeler, I like mine smaller so i can pick them up a little, 700s are a little more fun to lift.... Only downside to the 450 yammie was the rear brake always wears out quick, but i always just used the front, had no issues. The engine braking was good, a little better than my friends honda rubicon. I like hondas electric shift and the multiple gears though.

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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Just remember if your looking at a new Yamaha they are only making the 700
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    [QUOTE=fishhook57;1514664]I liked my yamaha 450s locking front diff, really could get you through some holes in a pinch. Did really well for a small wheeler, I like mine smaller so i can pick them up a little, 700s are a little more fun to lift....QUOTE]

    That's why I went with the 450 Grizz.... so I could move the dang thing.
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    Since 2014 the Honda's also have a locking front differential. I've had to use mine a number of times.

    Not sure if it's been mentioned yet but whatever you choose....get power steering!
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longtrek86 View Post
    That's what I'm thinking, send it down from Circle. Seems like Honda is a good bet. Next time I'm in town I'll try and look around and see what's on sale.

    Think I would be ok without getting a 4x4?
    no....fuel economy in the bush is important also. The Honda Rancher I currently own, goes an incredible distance between fill ups. I recently put money down on a Honda Rubicon (2015 model) down in Delta. They were more motivated to sell than the " Fancy " dealer with the high overhead in Fairbanks...

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    Another Yamaha vote here.

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    I have had a 400 Rancher since 06. The only time I took it in for any maintenance work was when I rolled it over in the back of my truck while totaling my truck. They bent the handle bars back and that was it. Probably saved my life because it prevented the cab from being crushed flat. I plow with it in Valdez with a slave battery on the back rack to keep the hand warmers and winch all going. The grand kids used it for a week not knowing how to shift it and it still held up to their abuse. They are bullet proof and L48 grandchild proof. Any ATV I buy new should have a pull start besides a battery.

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