I picked up my wife's new Big Bear 4X4 IRS this evening, and of course I had to take it out for a spin. I ordered the winch and plow, but as mentioned in another thread, the plow mount had to be fabricated a bit to fit the 07 model due to the new IRS.
I'll be picking up the plow and mount tomorrow. I'm glad the plow wasn't already attached though, I think. I had the chance to take the ATV out and get a feel for it without the extra weight. And that plow hanging off the front would have made it impossible to go where I went.
First of all, I should mention this is the first time I've ever bought a new ATV. It's the first time I've ever bought ANY ATV, for that matter. I've ridden my share though, including an older Suzuki King quad - 350 CC I think, a Honda 250 R, a Kawi KFX 400, and two Yamaha 660 Raptors. One of the Raptors had about as much horsepower as a top fuel dragster. (Okay, maybe a little less.)
My goal for this purchase was to provide for my wife a way to maintain a clear driveway, and make her gardening easier this year. Also maybe a little fun for her. (Can a woman with three children under 8 really have fun?)
Well, It has already provided plenty of fun for me. Here's a scenario for ya: A soldier comes home from Iraq and sort of unwinds for a couple of weeks, enjoying his time at home, with his family. Something remains though, just that little edge that won't go away - a remnant of the constant awareness required in a war zone. He wants to be rid of it, to completely relax, but there's too much activity around him.
Enter an 07 Yamaha ATV. The soldier jumps on the ATV, under the premise of "breaking it in" for his wife, and he rides it for miles, as the stress of war gives way to the splendor of an Alaskan moonlit view. The Knik Arm slowly passes by, as the soldier finally unwinds. He is at peace now, knowing he has provided a useful tool for his family, and his wife will enjoy having this blue four-wheeled chunk of her husband around still, while he's away at war.
Okay, enough of the "touchy-feely reminiscing". Onto the meat of the review. First of all, I was immediately impressed by the stability of the ATV. Maybe it's because this was my first experience with a four-wheel independent suspension unit. This thing was PLANTED though. Even in the warm-weather-softened snowmachine trails, I had to throw my weight around in two-wheel-drive to get the thing to slip at all.
There are trails here bordering most highways, and I covered about 8 miles each way, over hills, "whoop-de-doos", just about every condition you could fathom along a well-traveled trail. The most common vehicles during this season are snowmobiles. I saw five of them. I was the only four-wheeler out tonight. The ITP Mud-lite tires work quite well in loose snow. The suspension soaks up even the most uneven terrain admirably. I plan to get buy an ATV for myself when I return for IRAQ this fall, and I was thinking about something in the 600+ CC range, but honestly, I'll be seriously considering another Big Bear 400. It's THAT GOOD.