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Thread: which atv/utv

  1. #1
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    Question which atv/utv

    I dont want to start a brand war here, and know this horse has probably been beat to death, but would like some opinions on which atv/utv would give me the best service. This purchase is for my 13 year old son (big boy....6 feet tall 180 lbs.) He is responsible and won't abuse the machine. My only experience has been with Honda atv's and the John Deere Gator utv. I drove the Honda's at work for years and they always provided good service and got me in and out of places that I probably shouldn't have been in the first place. I am interested in the Honda and the Arctic Cat atvs (400-500cc) and need opinions on both. I am wide open to UTV suggestions. I liked the Gator, but it is more of a farm type/ construction site utv and I don't think it would serve us well here in AK. What are your thoughts. Thanks!!

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    Im a Yamaha guy so I would say get a kodiak or even cheaper a big bear. I had a friend that bought a new Arctic cat a few years ago and fried the tranmisson the first time he took it out. I have never heard anything bad about them except for that one time. There is a lemon with every brand I'm sure. They are all good. I have heard form a good friend that rides a lot that Honda's start really good in the cold. I wouldn't know I dont have one.

  3. #3

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    I suppose the best question to ask you is....what would he use it for? and what kind of budget are you looking at?

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    Default DVD's

    If you haven't already go visit all of the dealers in your area. Most all of them offer a free dvd comparing "Ours to the competition". Although they all claim to be unbiased, this is not exactly the case. I'm sure you won't have any trouble weeding through the B.S. and will enjoy watching them. Who knows, may help you choose the right machine for you needs.

  5. #5
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    It will be used for an all purpose vehicle. for fun, for helping out around home and hunting.

  6. #6
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Default

    When my son was still a bit young, but too old for a mini and needed a solid reliable 4X4 I got him a 400 Honda Foreman. Low slung (CG) and stable. Great machine.

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    There's a nice Yamaha Griz for sale in the swap and sell forum. I have an 02 Griz and know other guys who have them. Great machines.

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    Default 4x4 vs. 3x4

    I am in love with Polaris. When I lived in Georgia a lot of us would go riding and there is some thick, nasty mud down there. I rode with Grizzly's, Big Bears, Foremans, Arctic Cats and about anything else you could think of. I always ended up pulling them out of the mud. Most ATV's only have three wheel drive or you have to push too many buttons and hold too many levers to lock the front diff. I ride a Polaris Sportsman 800 and love it. All you have to do is slide a switch and you get true 4x4 when you need it. The Sporstman 500 EFI would be a great choice also. As for UTV's, I would go with the Yamaha Rhino.

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    The Rhino 660 and Griz have the same engine and running gear. You can lock the front diff with the push of a button. Full lock. Works good.

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    Default Suggestion

    The larger two passenger, side-by-side units like the Rhino, Ranger, Prowler, etc. are quite expensive. Eagle River Polaris & Such gave me a DVD to watch on the Ranger. I've watched it a couple of times and it's fairly impressive. All of the comparisons reflected well on the Ranger. Granted the DVD is produced to sell the Ranger, not it's competition. Suspension, Steering in tight quarters, cold start tests were most impressive to me. On the DVD, they didn't drive anything through the muck or in water. You just can't get there from here without driving through muck & water in Alaska.

    I'd like to watch similar DVDs produced to sell the Rhino and the Prowler. Then make an informed decision.

  11. #11
    Member akndres's Avatar
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    Default satisfied arctic cat owner

    Can't go wrong with a Honda...Foreman's are fine machines. Rode them for years.

    I have a 2001 A/C 400. It's been in mud bogs in Louisiana to muskeg bogs in AK. It's full-time 4WD, Hi/Lo range, manual shift. It's ugly. Doesn't go fast. Doesn't look cool in the back of $40K pick-up. However, it's been bulletproof. No mechanical problems. Starts up when asked to. Goes where it shouldn't. I've pulled loaded meat wagons through muskeg, and didn't burn a hole in the ozone with gas consumption. It has been jetted, upgraded valve springs, lift kit, upgrade exhaust, (all by Highlifter in Shreveport. LA www.highlifter.com). I only had $5.5K in it total, buying it brand new (with these add-ons). Now your not going to get a new one in AK at that price, with upgrades, but A/C still seems to be cheaper than the competition, with out being a "cheap" machine. My only regret is that I didn't get the 500 (2wd/4wd selectable would be nice too, but wasn't offered then). They have only improved this model (including the 500) since i purchased mine, and when it comes time to make this one my back-up, I'll probably buy another A/C only in the 650 or 700 diesel.

    There are bigger, better, more expensive ATV's out there, but for your son, I wouldn't hesitate putting him on one of the new hondas foreman/arctic cat 400/500's. I keep wanting to get one of the new M1 Abrams heavy, status symbol, real-tree endorsed, atv's, but my A/C hasn't let me down or given me a reason to upgrade yet.

    Overall, the quality of the machine --- regardless of manufacturer --- is how you treat and maintain them. It's a competitive market and the big names all produce quality machines with pros and cons to each. It's the Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge vs. Toyota debate. The best machine on the market, is always the one you just bought.
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    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cghuntcms View Post
    The larger two passenger, side-by-side units like the Rhino, Ranger, Prowler, etc. are quite expensive. Eagle River Polaris & Such gave me a DVD to watch on the Ranger. I've watched it a couple of times and it's fairly impressive. All of the comparisons reflected well on the Ranger. Granted the DVD is produced to sell the Ranger, not it's competition. Suspension, Steering in tight quarters, cold start tests were most impressive to me. On the DVD, they didn't drive anything through the muck or in water. You just can't get there from here without driving through muck & water in Alaska.

    I'd like to watch similar DVDs produced to sell the Rhino and the Prowler. Then make an informed decision.
    http://www.yamaha-motor.com/assets/o...door_46c6a.swf

    You can get the free DVD here. Have not seen one for the Prowler out yet. I've watched the Rhino one, and it's probably the same as the Ranger video. No water and designed to sell the Rhino.

  13. #13
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    Default Rhino Promo DVD

    Mayormack,

    Just registered so they'll send me a 'free' DVD. At one point on the Ranger DVD, a fella' uses a yardstick to measure a mud hole, but you never see 'side-by-side' drive through it. I'll be interested to see what features Yamaha is promoting vs. what Polaris touts.

    Thanks for the address.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cghuntcms View Post
    The larger two passenger, side-by-side units like the Rhino, Ranger, Prowler, etc. are quite expensive....
    The Rhino 450 is the deal. 7500-8000 bucks. That's less than a lot of atv's. Geared 20 percent lower than the 660. Otherwise they are identical. With the lower gearing it actually does better from what I have heard. Better low end. Especially with larger tires. No need for a clutch kit. Better in reverse also. If I was going to sell my griz and buy one that's the one I'd buy. It's not worth 1500 bucks for the 660 and the higher gearing imo. At least not for putting around 4bying. Maybe for flying around the sand dunes or something.

  15. #15

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    Why don't you stick with what has worked for you in the past? You can't go wrong with a Honda Foreman or a Rubicon.

  16. #16
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    Default Cont'd discussion

    Snyd,

    I've got an old '93 Yamaha Big Bear and it still runs just great. It still has a straight rear axle and 3 wheel drive. It was as good as they were built in '93. My son's using it right now getting ready for Bear Baiting.

    I watched the Ranger DVD with an open mind. The head-to-head comparisons between the Rhino & Ranger suggested the Rhino didn't have the ground clearance with the addition of weight in the cargo area, the suspension couldn't support the weight in the bed without causing the front end to go 'squirrelly,' especially in tight turns. The front end would actually slide forward, rather than turning. Then the Rhinos didn't start in the cold where the Ranger with EFI started every time. Yes, this DVD was generated to sell the Ranger. That's why I've asked for the Rhino DVD, to watch it.

    I'd like an ATV with servicibility as a larger hunting vehicle as well as a launch vehicle. There's gonna' be some problems with the size as the height of the vehicle's gonna' cause problems when the ATV leans near trees and such in mud holes. I've got retirement property overlooking Deep Creek Recreation Area and wanna' be able to drive directly across the Sterling Highway, launch an inflatable 16 ft boat with this same ATV. I'll wake up, look out, and see if the water's flat, take a thermos of coffee or cooler of beer, depending upon time of day and go fish. I'll rarely go alone, so I'll need room for one or two others as well......

    AKHunter45,

    I'm not that brand loyal. I've also got a '99 Polaris Sportsman 500 that's done everything I've asked it. Generally, I really don't think there's that much difference between brands or models. I have a specific use in mind for this next ATV and will select the unit that best fits my anticipated needs. I'm also considering an Argo iff'n I can find a suitable price. The Polaris 6X6 oughta' do well pulling an inflatable out of the water. I like the King Quad. I developed some kinda' unfounded phobia about Hondas when they first hit the US. I doubt I'll ever own anything with the word "Honda" on it.

  17. #17
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    Default Ranger XP vrs. Polaris 500

    I just recently purchased the Polaris Ranger XP (700)

    Last weekend my hunting partner and I went out for a test ride through the trees and swamps here is my opinion of it in comparison to the 500.

    Wider and longer, seemed to help in the swamps, the general test seemed to revel that 2nd man through was stuck!

    Cargo capacity is Awesome! No problem in carrying a full moose. I used to own a ARGO 8x8 and am used to being able to carry a lot of gear. I think the Ranger XP soaked up more gear than I used to carry in the ARGO. This is due to the multiple compartments, and tie-down options.

    Part of the trail to my property is 38 to 40 vertical degrees measured on a inclinometer. The Ranger climbed it. I will say that I was afraid that I was going to tip over backwards on the first run with the cargo box loaded with water, beer, ice, and camp gear. On the return trip I was able to descend fairly easily. That all being said, I will be cutting a less steep trail into my property due to safety and equipment concerns.

    The biggest difference is the 4-wheeler turns slightly sharper, and is narrow in the trees.

    As far as comparison between the two machines here is my observations;
    • The Ranger is wider, and has a somewhat larger turn radius. This is a handicap in the woods.
    • In the swamp there was very little noticeable difference.
    • The Ranger can easily haul 3 to 4 times what the 4-wheeler can.
    • The Ranger is dryer.
    • The 4-wheeler’s axis of movement for the rider is better. The center of all of the action is centered better for the 4-wheeler rider.
    • The suspension of the 2006 Ranger was better than the 2003 – Polaris 500. (Go figure)
    • The Ranger occupies most of the space on a 8x10 trailer.
    • The weight of the Ranger and cargo seemed to help it in mud.
    At the end of the day you will have to decide what is your predominate riding style, hauling people and gear, or just recreational riding. If you’re going to mainly use the vehicle for hauling material, cargo, supplies, game, and people, then the Ranger may be the best option. If you tend to just to ride for the day with buddies that are also ridding 4-wheelers, then 4-wheeler may be your better option. It will all boil down to your riding style!

    As far as the difference between the Rhino and the Ranger… based only on what I have read it seems it becomes the same choice, riding style. Ranger is more of a work machine, and Rhino is a fun ride with opportunity to do a little work in-between.

  18. #18
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    Part of the trail to my property is 38 to 40 vertical degrees measured on a inclinometer. The Ranger climbed it. I will say that I was afraid that I was going to tip over backwards on the first run with the cargo box loaded with water, beer, ice, and camp gear. On the return trip I was able to descend fairly easily. That all being said, I will be cutting a less steep trail into my property due to safety and equipment concerns.

    From watching these ranger and rhinos the most surprising thing to me was how WELL they do climb. As well or better than reg atvs but I guess it's all on how fearless the driver is.

  19. #19
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Honda 1988 350D

    Here is my 88' Honda Foreman 350D still running strong!
    Alaska

  20. #20
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    Rider ability is the number one determining factor in how well a machine performs. A person that knows how to get every last ounce of performance out of a piece of equipment will out-ride a person who has twice the machine!

    Four years ago we were hunting on the rex trail with three other hunters. I was driving the ARGO Conquest, one of the guys had a 6-wheeler, and the others were riding 4-wheelers Throughout the day we winched out of holes and slogged through muck… except a 70-year old man that had an old beat-up 4-wheeler, he never once got stuck! (He did have a few mechanical issues… but was able to fix those while waiting for us to winch out of a hole.)

    As I read these forums everybody has their favorite choice in rigs, it would seem that the key to finding the “perfect” rig, is knowing what you expect of it. After that it’s more of a mechanical reliability issue

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