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polaris vs yamaha vs arctic cat

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  • polaris vs yamaha vs arctic cat

    I'm planning on buying a new machine and have narrowed it down to 1 of these 3.


    4-500 CC's
    independant rear suspension
    rack and towing capacity
    easy controls (ie:dash, control placements)

    It will be mostly for towing over rough terrain, and maybe 5 % wide open running. Most of the time hauling a meat wagon over rough trails.

    I would like some hands advice on this. It will probably be a couple of months before I buy but I want to start looking. My machines now are starting to get kinda old and its time to start replacing them.


  • #2
    4 Wheeler

    While most of the 4 wheelers built today are good, they all have their short comings. We have owned Arctic cats for many years now and really like them. We just bought two new Arctic Cat 500's last week. While I am still not sure about the automatic drive system, problems with my wifes knees, make the auto the way to go. I like the disc brake system, and some of the minor other features they have. Any more with the independent suspension systems they all tend to ride good. Get with others that have the type of 4 wheeler you are looking and see about riding them. The question you have is like asking which is the better vehicle, Chevy, Ford, Dodge! The other thing that figures into everything is 'who is willing to deal'.
    Good luck and have fun!


    • #3
      Bearcat, Yeah it is kinda ageneral question but I'm looking for real world expieriance (like yourself with arctic cats) vs the "I read in a magazine....".

      I would like to hear the pro's and cons of the ATV's. for instance riding this weekend at jims creek, a guy had a relatively new bombarier 400 (one I was thinking about) and when he crossed jims he almost had to be pulled out cuz of belt slippage while wet. Grant it it can happen to any belt driven machine and I dont know the history of the machine but it kinda pushed me away from that machine. I do know this guys job evolves around ATV's and it failed on him.


      • #4
        I have a 2003 Polaris 500 and 700, I perfer the 700 twin vs. the 500 single, it idles and starts smoother. You would need to buy at least a 600 to get a twin cylinder engine. Both have been trouble free and have over 350 hours use, mostly hunting and trail riding. I would not get a machine without a engine braking system.
        Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins


        • #5

          We are going to Euraka this weekend and I will be able to give you a better report on our new cats. While I am not completely sold and the automatic, they are nice to ride. The first thing I did notice is that I can not idle and putt along on a trail like I could with our 2000, 500cc cats. On what hills we did have to go down so far, the EBS seemed to work fine. While I have not work on a lot of different brands of ATV's I have on older King Quads and Arctic cats. I sure like the way the cats are put together. Between the three we have owned, I would guess that we have put over 15,000 miles on them and not had any mojor problems that left us stranded.
          I will pass on another report early next week.


          • #6
            you will love...

            the Yamaha 450 Kodiak. Automatic, great disc brakes and a tough and adjustable fully independent susp.
            The engine is a stove bolt setup too.

            Go forth and buy, grasshopper....
            Proud to be an American!


            • #7
              for your needs

              I would buy a Honda Rancher. Cheap (if you catch them on sale) reliable and solid on the trails. I have heard a couple people say that they tow a trailer better than their big bore machines.
              I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
              Bill Hicks


              • #8
                Dig in your pocket

                Sort out the major features you want.
                In my case last year it was
                650+ cc's (just to try a big bore)
                SRA vs IRS was not an issue
                Selectable 2 or 4 WD
                Lockable diffs
                Seperate front and rear brake controls

                Then go to the dealers and see what deal you can make.
                All the manufacturers are pretty competitive, I think individual machines differences cover the differences in models.
                There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.:eek:


                • #9
                  After owning Honda's, Polaris, and Suzuki atv's I would suggest you go with the Poalris 500 efi. It is Polaris''s most bullet proff engine they ever designed. EFI only made it better. Unless you plan on adding 27 in tires you simply do not need any more power.


                  • #10
                    I have an 02 Yamaha Griz 660. The Griz is 150 lbs lighter than the Polaris 500, has a better tranny and 4 wheel engine braking. I have done quite a few mods to the machine like tires, clutch kit, etc. and really like it. The Kodiak doesn't weigh much less than the griz, not as much ground clearance, different brake system. I think the Griz is a better value. I was leary of the push button 4wheel drive but it works great and sure is nice to be able to go from 2 to 4 wheel drive at any speed. Plus when in 4x4 you can push a button and lock the front diff ( at a stop obviously). Low range is great and the 660 with 5 valves has plenty of power. I have put my machine to the stress test many many times and it just plain works.

                    Go to My friend SilverTipGriz is the moderator in the yamaha and Alaska forums and lives in the Anchorage area. He also has an 02 Griz that is totally tricked out and rides with guys that have other quads. Lots of good info there. I would stay away from the AC with the Kaw engine/trans. I think it's the 650 vtwin. The engine is great but they have had some problems with the Kaw auto. The AC is a great machine but get either the 500 or the other, I think it's the 650 H1? I think the AC's have the best suspension of all the machines on the market bar none. The AC Duramatic and the Yamaha Ultramatic are much better belt trannies than the Polaris. The Polaris trannys seem to eat belts. If you do some research you'll find that a lot of Polaris guys even carry an extra tranny belt. I say take a hard look at the Griz 660 or the AC 650 H1. Great values and you can't go wrong with either one.

                    My .02
                    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


                    • #11
                      Why not consider a Honda?

                      Take a look at the Rubicon, lots of options with those bad boys and they are just plain tough. If your going to be doing a lot of towing and slow riding then there's no reason to get a bike with a bunch of extra stuff on it. I basically use my Foreman the same way you intend to use your new quad and it works great. 2 years ago I towed a PakRat trailer fully loaded with 3/4 of a moose and our entire camp gear wihtout a hitch. I would also take a look at the racks on these machines to make sure they will do what you want them to do. The new Polaris quads are butt ugly with those plastic pieces on the front but everyone has their own preferences. Check them all out and decide for yourself.


                      • #12
                        When you think about it it's really awesome that we have such a wonderfull wide choice of quads to choose from. Life is good in the USA!
                        A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again


                        • #13
                          03 Griz

                          Everyonbe one of my friends drives a different ATV. It is nice since someone who is buying a new one can ride all of them and get a feel for it. Here is my take on my ATV:
                          I LOVE THE GRIZ!!!!! NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!

                          This machine rocks! Yes it is bigger than you are looking for but it rocks! I've never had a problem with it. I haven't done any mods and have been completely happy with the stock features. It is atough machine that has gotten me many places. The ground clearance and independant susp is great. You do have to be careful though because it will be reach for the ground....a straight axel will bottom out. So when driving on a side hill or in ruts be sure you remember that! As for towing and rack gear....I've put a ton of junk on it and also towed a good size trailer and it has worked fine. Having the ability to switch from 2 to 4 on the fly is nice and also the lock diff is a great asset. It is nice to switch to 2wd on the gravel roads (saves gas).We ride our ATVs for several hours when we go out and only those who have independant susp don't complain.

                          Do your best to ask around to see if anyone that lives around you has one and go for a test ride. If they won't let you they are either hiding something or just love the machine too much!


                          • #14
                            Which one

                            Last weekend we took 19 Four wheelers on a trip to Eureka. We had just about everything from 120 CC 2 wheel Blasters to an 800 CC Outlander. We had new riders, experinced riders, young (11years old) to older riders. As has been said there are NO bad four wheelers, and it showed on this trip. Everyone did well and there were no major issues with any of the machines. So, look for the features that YOU want and go for it. See who will give you the best deal and rider like the wind.


                            • #15
                              I saw you guys on the way out, we were perched on the top of Monument lassing for bears when we spotted your gang headed out. I thought I was seeing things at first and I started counting, i came up with 18 but i must have missed one. That was an awesome wet ride on Saturday!! How far back in did you guys go?


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