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Thread: Advice about ATV

  1. #1
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Advice about ATV

    A co-worker of my buddy has a 1998 Polaris (don't know the exact model) for sale at a reasonable price. I haven't looked at it yet, but it has 1500 miles on it and is supposedly in excellent condition and well maintained. I am a little sketchy about a belt driven, liquid cooled machine though. Can someone put my mind to ease or confirm for me that it is better to stay away from such a machine?

    (I have heard that belts on belt-driven machines tend to slip when they are wet/submerged and tend to break. I also think air/fan cooled is better because its one less thing to go wrong-like cracking/hole in the radiator.)


    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2
    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Default

    I am not that up on belt drive machines but I don't want to ever go back to an air cooled machine.

  3. #3

    Default

    If the belt breaks you are dead in the water, won't have that problem with shaft drive machines. It all depends on your riding style and what you are using it for. I have never had a single problem with an air cooled machine, i've run them so hot you couldn't touch the motor but the overheat lights never came on once. The disadvantage I see towards liquid cooled machines is puncturing the radiator, again if this happens you are dead in the water. A lot of people will try and talk you into buying big with all the bells and whistles, in my opinion they are really uneccessary if all your doing is riding trails or using it for hunting, working around the cabin, stuff like that. IRS is nice for a comfy ride but you have 2 more axles and 4 more cv boots to worry about. If your looking for a machine to ride in deep nasty mud then go with an IRS but if you ride what i mentioned earlier, then an SRA bike is all you need! There's lots of great choices out there and personally I think you can do better than an older model Polaris. Just my .02

  4. #4
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default

    AK45,
    Yeah, the older Polaris isn't my dream machine. You have confirmed what I suspected; its better to stay away from the machines that have the belt drive/liquid cooled.

    With that said, would you have a recommendation regarding a machine that has the above qualities and a straight axle (vs independent suspension)?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  5. #5

    Default ATV choices

    I would look at either the Honda Foreman 500 or the Yamaha Big Bear 400. I am partial to Honda's but i have to say that I don't care for their new look but they are about as reliable as they come. I don't know to much about the Big Bear, though I did rent one a few years ago and it was a nice machine. I don't know to much about the Suzuki's but I would definitly give them a gander, the Vinson or the Eiger are both SRA. If you look around you can usually find a used machine at a decent price or you can spend the money and buy one new and know exactly what your getting, well to a certain extent anyways. Also, a lot of the manufacturers are offering incentives, like a winch for $69 or a free extended warranty. Check them out all though, your bound to find something that has everything you need! Good luck!
    Last edited by AkHunter45; 05-08-2006 at 15:05.

  6. #6

    Question Arctic Cats?

    Any info on the new Arctic Cats? I have watched all the manufactures videos etc... but still would like some opinions, things to look for (good or bad) Im leaning towards the 2 up type (to ride with my 10 yr old son) with interchangeable dump bed on the AC and the Polaris 500. I would mostly use it for hunting, camping, riding around scouting, fishing etc... I like that the AC has many options for attachments, allthough they are plastic (breakage??)
    Any info would be great!
    Thanks
    <*)))><

  7. #7

    Default

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of Arctic Cats or Polaris but the manufacturers have come a long ways these days so i'm sure improvements have been made to their machines. If it's going to be you and your son riding together then a 2 up seat model is probably a good choice since riding double on a single rider machine is dangerous. You'll have independent suspension both front and rear with either model which makes for a nicer ride and a little more ground clearance than an SRA machine. You might want to take a gander at the Bombardier machines, they have been getting good reviews and i believe they also offer a 2 up machine. My biggest thing with these machines is that they are belt driven and if they get wet, your machine will not move, same if they break a belt so carrying an extra would probably be a good idea though I am not sure how easy they are to change in the field. For me, simple is better, i'm not big on gadgets or heavy add ons, it's just more stuff to break in my opinion. I would go down to the dealers and see them for yourself, it will make things a lot easier when decision time rolls around. Good luck and have fun!

  8. #8
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Arctic cat

    My bro-in-law just bought the AC 500 last year and LOVES it. He is very much impressed with the power and comfort it offers. He and I both have had Suzuki's, Polaris, Honda and now the AC. I personally haven't ridden the AC yet but it looks impressive (big).

    Our Suzukis were air cooled. I had the quad runner 250 and he had the king quad 300. They were great machines but a little small and underpowered. The small size is nice for when you get stuck. Being able to lift the rear end out of a mud hole can be very handy.

    We both then went to the Polaris 6x6. These don't compare with 4x4's by any means. They are an entirely different animal. As for the belt drive, Polaris has fixed most of the belt soaking problems and now if I get the belt wet I am in gas tank deep water and probably have other problems. I have friends with belt driven Polaris (as well as other belt driven brands) that have 1500+ miles on them and have never had a belt break (still running original belt) or any other belt related problems.

    I have a Honda Fourtrax 300 which is shaft driven. It is pretty much bullet proof. It has been used and abused since '92 and is still going. A smaller, light weight bike as well which is nice in some aspects.

    I guess it all boils down to what you are going to do with it.

    my $.02
    AKmud
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  9. #9
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default 6x6

    How do you like the 6x6? Does it get stuck easier than a 4wheeler? What are the advantages/disadvantages of a 6x6 compared to a 4wheeler? Like fishgirl said, I've seen some of the promos and don't know what I want to buy, but I'd like to know a little more before I go to the showroom.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  10. #10
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default 6x6

    I love the 6x6! It is not a sport rider by any means, but it will go places most 4x4s won't even think about. One of the downfalls is that the rear drives are chain which require a bit more maintenance (check tension occasionally and clean and oil after wet rides). It rides across the tundra bumps amazingly smoother than a 4x4 due to the long wheel base and will go through all but the worst swampy areas easily. Deep ruts will hold it up just like a 4x4 if it high centers but for the most part it is awesome. The rear dump bed is factory rated for 800#'s which is great for just about anything. I've hauled topsoil, rocks, my complete hunting camp, kids (check out photo below), whatever....
    Climbing steep hills is much more comfortable with the extra axle too, you don't get the front end coming off the ground and I'm not sure what you would have to do to get it to flip over backward. I posted a couple of pics in the ATV forum under thread "my ride" if you want to see what I have done to mine.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  11. #11

    Lightbulb 6x6

    I have seen them tip over before, looked pretty painful! The one thing your forgetting about the 6x6 is that the turning radius is not as tight as a 4 wheeler, so if your riding on trails through timber it might be a little difficult to get through it. I would carry an extra master link just in case the chain breaks, it would suck if it broke and you got stuck out in the boonies 10-20 miles from the nearest road. Are those things still 2 stroke or have they started making them in a 4 stroke now?

  12. #12
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default 6x6

    It's a 500 4stroke. Agreed about the master link. I have a tool kit that I carry no matter what machine I'm riding and the master link goes right in. They don't tip over any easier than a 4x4, the only problem is if they do go over they are quite heavy to get back up. Dry weight is almost 900#. Turning radius is a fair amount wider than with a 4x4, which means you just have to pick a different path sometimes or use reverse to line it up. I always carry a little 14" chainsaw with me so if I have no other option, I just make the trail a little wider and get some firewood along the way.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  13. #13
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    Default

    The belt drive supplies the power from the engine to the transmission. It has nothing to do with chain or shaft drive to the axles.
    Reliability? How many utility machines are made now that have manual transmissions? Very few.
    I had one belt related problem since 1995. That was when I tried to climb over a serious bump right at the end of a mudhole pulling a trailer with about 500 pounds of moose meat in it.
    I thought the trannie was in low range but it was not and the belt slipped. It still got me out of the woods 20 miles later.
    Don't forget all those huge snowmobiles also use the same type belt set up.

  14. #14
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    Default Buy a honda

    I have owned many diffrent bikes over the years and the one lesson I have learned the hard way is BUY A HONDA. If you can't afford to buy the new Honda you want buy a used one or a less exspensive model. Most people I know who brag about there bikes that are not Honda's never work them hard or ride them enough to know if they are tough or not. I put an average of 3,000 miles a year on my honda and 75% of that is hard work. What I mean by hard work getting drug by a dog team at -30 because there is not enough snow for a sled. Hauling 10-15 cords of wood a year out of the bush in the winter, plowing snow or draging a harrow over broken ground and my Honda Rubicon has never let me down. I use the thing like a tractor

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