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Engine Braking and Power Steering; who needs 'em?

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  • Engine Braking and Power Steering; who needs 'em?

    Looking at my first ATV and trying to decide what's important?

    Some brands offer Engine Braking and/or Power Steering, and some don't.

    Some brands offer EB/PS on their quads, but not on their side-by-sides, or vice-versa?

    Don't want to start a brand war, just wondering about the actual features.

    Is engine braking and/or power steering a "must have" or only a "nice to have"?

    Does it matter more on SxS or quads?

    Thanx, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  • #2
    I have never had a quad with power steering but I can certainly see the benefits. The first 20+ years of ATV's sure didn't have it so I don't see it as a "must have". Certainly a very good feature though that should make riding a lot less tiring. I definitely like engine braking though and after owning an old polaris without it do consider it a "must have". It is just a lot safer to have more than one system to slow you down when riding in the mountains.

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    • #3
      Polaris made a big deal out of their engine braking system because they needed to, their transmission design just free wheeled when not on the throttle. The other brands down-shift their auto tranmissions well enough that it's not an issue.

      As far as power steering. It's definately not a "must have" but it sure is nice.
      Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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      • #4
        Both are 'Nice to have' IMO....

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        • #5
          They are both worth the extra money, IMO. My Grizz 700 has both engine braking and power steering, and there are some trails we've ridden that I'm so sore at the end of it that I can't imagine not having power steering. I definitely can ride farther in a day and recover faster afterward because of it. We have people ride with us that don't have P/S and I see how much faster they get beat up and tired, so to me it's worth it.
          "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
            They are both worth the extra money, IMO. My Grizz 700 has both engine braking and power steering, and there are some trails we've ridden that I'm so sore at the end of it that I can't imagine not having power steering. I definitely can ride farther in a day and recover faster afterward because of it. We have people ride with us that don't have P/S and I see how much faster they get beat up and tired, so to me it's worth it.
            All Yamaha's come with engine "breaking" free of charge. It's the engine "fixing" that costs ya!!

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            • #7
              why wouldn't you?

              Engine braking...think of anti-lock brakes...rolling wheels have more steering control than non-rolling. Ever ride a non-suspended 1980's vintage mountain bike down a mountain? It gets very exciting when you miss time the application of brake pressure, i.e. when the tire is momentarily airborne after skipping over a rock, the wheel is locked, back on mother earth it's now sliding. And not in the direction you want it to be. You learn very quickly about feathering the brakes or how to pick bark outta your teeth. With EB, brake fade from over heated disc and pads, is not a concern while descending from, say a visit to B-29 site up off Schrock Road.

              Power steering...it just makes it easier...easier translates to less fatiguing at the tail end of a long ride. Less fatigue means I am less likely to make a mistake where I don't need to screw-up, potentially turning a perfectly good outing into a nightmare.

              Do you need either? No, but why wouldn't you want 'em?

              From the Yamaha website...550 Grizzly w/PS $8,699 vs. non-PS $7,999. 7% difference...heck, that's the sales tax in most places.

              Plus with PS...I can ride really, really fast, one-handed, with my hair on fire and not spill any beer.

              I meant root beer of course:-).
              Natural Selection begins with you!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by partychief360 View Post
                I can ride really, really fast, one-handed, with my hair on fire and not spill any beer.

                I meant root beer of course:-).
                That 's funny right there, I don't care who you are!

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                • #9
                  Just on resale value alone you come out ahead with the goodies !

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
                    Just on resale value alone you come out ahead with the goodies !
                    Mostly have ridden manual transmissions growing up so engine braking was up to how much I wanted to slow down going down a hill by choosing which gear I wanted to be in.....unless I wanted to go SUPER slow and accidental down shifted my way all the way to neutral....YIKES!!! In fact most of the wheelers I drove growing up and up to 3-4 years ago didn't really have breaks after a couple seasons. They breaks would simply wear out and we'd rely solely on downshift to slowdown.

                    As far as power steering it could be nice for sure. Never felt like I go my butt kicked too much even with 30+ mile days off trail bouncing around the tundra. However load your front rack up with a hind quarter of a moose and try to pick your way through an alder patch and it could be REALLY nice then. Is power steering worth another $700....probably not for me, just need to hit the gym a bit more so my dinky T-Rex arms are up to the task.

                    I really only drive a polaris 6x6 around anymore the weight on the front tires is never as much as a four wheeler to begin with so turns is always a breeze and even more so with a moose in the back.

                    In my experience when selling used toys you rarely get the money out of the "extras" that are put on it. Sometimes they help sell it quicker. For example on the used market a used wheeler with stock tires that is priced at $4000, rarely will you get the exact same wheeler with aftermarket tires to sell for $4500.

                    Which puts me in the camp of if you have the money and would rather spend it on power steering that gas for your truck and wheeler for more trips go for it if its worth it to you. Otherwise spend it on a winch and gasoline

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                    • #11
                      Having owned a Polairs 500 X2 with engine breaking it was nice to have and I miss not having it on my 2010 Ranger 6X6. I have never felt the need for power steering and IMO power steering takes away from the feel of the trail. If you're having to fight or muscle the steering you should consider how the wheeler is approaching the obstacle and see if there is an easier way. Power steering will help you "force" the tires, front suspension, cv's, etc. into potentially damaging situations, whereas you would not physically be able to make the steering components hold that line or you'd at least notice there was an issue and either decide to power through or do something else.

                      If I had to rank them #1 Engine breaking #2 Power Steering, but neither would be a deal breaker if there was a wheeler that I liked for other reasons.

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                      • #12
                        1S1K, since you drive a Ranger 6X6, here's a follow up question:

                        Why doesn't the Ranger 6X6 (or any of the Rangers, for that matter) have the engine braking feature?
                        When the Sportsman 6X6 (and their quad models) DO?

                        Polaris has me scratching my head, Dave.
                        "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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                        • #13
                          I have a couple of Grizzlies, one with power steering and one without. I love the power steering. As far as engine braking goes, either of them will creep down a remarkably steep hill without ever touching the brakes if you start out slowly and don't let it get going too fast. On a hill that you are actually looking right down over the handlebars you might have to touch the brakes a little to keep it from building up speed. My brakes last forever on these machines because of that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PugtSounDav View Post
                            1S1K, since you drive a Ranger 6X6, here's a follow up question:

                            Why doesn't the Ranger 6X6 (or any of the Rangers, for that matter) have the engine braking feature?
                            When the Sportsman 6X6 (and their quad models) DO?

                            Polaris has me scratching my head, Dave.
                            I have no idea. I'm not a gear head. I only buy them and drive them. I do know that most guys on the Polaris Ranger Club forum use rpms to "brake" the Rangers. Basically, if you practice you can find a sweet spot where the rpms are at minimal engagement without the Ranger going into freewheel. I think its around 1700 rpms. This helps with braking and in most spots, like Monument's decent you can keep a steady pace without having to hold the brake down the whole way. Also, there is talk that most aftermarket clutch kits usually decrease the rpms even lower before free wheel is achieved.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 1S1K View Post
                              I have no idea. I'm not a gear head. I only buy them and drive them. I do know that most guys on the Polaris Ranger Club forum use rpms to "brake" the Rangers. Basically, if you practice you can find a sweet spot where the rpms are at minimal engagement without the Ranger going into freewheel. I think its around 1700 rpms. This helps with braking and in most spots, like Monument's decent you can keep a steady pace without having to hold the brake down the whole way. Also, there is talk that most aftermarket clutch kits usually decrease the rpms even lower before free wheel is achieved.
                              Me too i would like to know.. If you find out, I have a EBS, clutch set,& belt,
                              that came off a 500 4stroke sportsman 6x6.Like new 60 miles on it..I didn,t like it couldn,t get used to it.Every time i let off the gas throw me forward I,m guess i,m old school after the first 4 machines i had didn,t have it i set up the new one like the old ones. Anyways if find out it would work on your machine?I would make a good deal on it I,m a flatlander swamp kinda of guy anyways, just not much need for it..
                              Remember, Mother nature has no forgiveness for stupidity.
                              If you don't care where you are, your not lost

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