Ice Fishing ATV with Tracks - ATVConnection.com ATV Enthusiast Community



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Old 01-03-2017, 04:46 PM
Weekend Warrior
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Default Ice Fishing ATV with Tracks

Looking to buy first ATV and I'm struggling to find out what would be best for the application I'm looking for. I want an ATV for Minnesota ice fishing that I will put tracks on. It won't be used for any trail riding, mudding, etc. Strictly ice fishing (pulling a portable fish house, no permanents). I'm wanting to buy new and I'm thinking a 450-500cc 4x4 machine would be good in the $6000-7500 range. I'm not sure what features I would need.......transmissions, belt/shaft, differential locks, hi/low, IRS, etc.

What machine would best suit my needs? Some that I am considering:

Arctic Cat 500
Can-Am Outlander 450/570
Suzuki KingQuad 500AXi
Polaris Sportsman 450/570
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:29 PM
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If that's all you're going to use it for you might be better off with a snowmobile. You can get used ones cheaper than a set of those expensive tracks.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:18 PM
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Those track eat up a lot of HP, and if your going to tow a shanty thru the snow then I think something in the 700 may be in order. If I recall 450 is the smallest size recommended for tracks, then add on additional towing of a heavy shanty.....yep 700 would be a better bet. Once you have the machine don't be surprised to find many other uses for it. Just like Jumbo Frank mentioned, if your only towing the shanty a long track snowmobile might be a better bet and less money....a lot less!
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:21 PM
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Greetings Minnesotaatv, welcome to the ATV connection. I lived in Minnesota over 25 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I certainly understand your love of ice fishing. We moved to Colorado 18 months ago as our sons live here.

I agree with Jumbo, a tracked ATV is a lot of messing around and costs to get you what a "working" snowmobile will do. Folks in Canada and Alaska use snowmobiles all the time to tow heavy sleds. ATVs have similar "continuously variable transmissions", or CVTs, like snowmobiles do. I'd guess a 700cc snowmobile would pull harder on ice than a 700cc ATV with tracks.

Many, many ATVs do chores around the farm or ranch. If you were going to use it during the non snow seasons, then an ATV might make sense for your ice fishing. Think of it as a small tractor for carrying or pulling a small trailer.

I just purchased an ATV for some snow plowing and mostly Colorado trail riding. I am a rank rookie, but enjoy learning all things ATV. It's quite a hobby. So is ice fishing.

David
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:28 PM
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I don't know if this would work for you, but I put "Grip Studs" in my Arctic Cat ATV's tires. My AC 500 has 30" Mudzillas and unless the snow is really deep, I rarely even need 4wd. I suspect the tracks will cut your mpg in half. I also think an ATV with a plow might be welcome on a snow covered lake, if anyone wanted to clear off an area to skate/ play hockey? BTW, studs work great in your boots too. Here is a picture without the studs, but kinda looks like a woods tractor, haha. This model has 10 speeds fwd, 2 in reverse, takes a lot to stop it, I can even drive over good sized trees across the trail.
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Ice Fishing ATV with Tracks-p1010015.jpg  
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:50 PM
Weekend Warrior
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Thank you for all of the responses!!

I've ruled out a sled because a lot of the time the lakes are swept clean of snow by the wind and no lubrication for the slides and I only have room for one sled/atv. And you are right about finding uses year-round for the ATV......pulling a deer out of the woods and putting in food plots.....so I would use it a little year-round.

The track systems are ridiculously priced but I think they would make a great ice fishing rig.....especially dealing with deep snow and/or slush. Much better at hauling gear than a sled. My dream rig would be a Polaris Ranger 900, fully cabbed, heater, and tracks.......but you are looking at $25K+.

You are right about I should be stepping up to a 700 since tracks use so much power. Maybe if I upped my budget to 9000. I'm thinking a single cylinder 700cc, EFI, locking front differential, IRS, CVT tranny, hi/lo might be the ticket. KingQuad 750AXi or Arctic Cat Alterra 700 look pretty sweet. Maybe a Kodiak 700 EPS SE but not sure if I want EPS.....sounds like just another thing to maintain/break. I don't think I want Polaris or Can-Am.......seems like maybe their all wheel drive systems wouldn't be as good with tracks.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:29 PM
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I think a 700 or larger would be a lot better than a 450/500 for use with tracks. I would get EPS to help turning unless someone with tracks tells me otherwise.

P.S. I've seen videos of Polaris ATVs with tracks and they work really well and I think Can-Am would too.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:36 AM
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I have two friends here in Colorado who both have 2014 Arctic Cats Xterras 700. They have had good luck with them.

Sounds like you are in the hunt for a "side by side" utility vehicle. I wanted a smaller, cheaper vehicle for trail riding. But my Arctic Cat friends strongly suggested I consider a side by side as they are more comfortable and practical.

You know, there is a factory in Grand Rapids, MN, called Terex ASV. The man who started this business years ago started by making snowmobile tracks. The business used to be called "posi trak". They now make tracked skid steer vehicles, but they still make special order track systems. Maybe they make them for ATVs.

You have probably already reviewed this. I thought it might be helpful.

Dirt Wheels Magazine | BUYER?S GUIDE: ATV Tracks for the snow!

David
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:43 PM
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minnesotaatv,

Since you have mentioned using the ATV outside of winter, I would absolutely add the Yamaha 700 Kodiak and possibly the 700 Grizzly to your list of ATVs to look into, Kodiak being a bit cheaper than the Grizzly but is considered more the work version of that quad. Yamaha is absolutely at the top concerning reliability along with Honda.

Per your inquiry on the tracks... was out trail riding on an annual New Years Day ride last year in the mountains. Conversation of tracks came up as there was a Rzr 1000 with tracks running the trails near us but without any fellow riders with their own machine. A bit later in the day, we came upon that same Rzr and he had sheared one of the track bolts on his left rear track that held the track in an upright position. That track had spun around out of position. They had the back end jacked up and were pounding away trying to get that track to spin back around into a working, upright position. We stopped and offered help but they said they had it under control. Turned out later they had to removed the track from the back left side, lower and strap the a-arm onto a log to kind of "skid" their way out on the trail back to his truck.

I mentioned about a conversation being spurred because of that Rzr 100 w/ tracks... my feelings were it would be very cool to have tracks as we were limited on where we could go with no tracks. To which an opposing viewpoint said the deeper you get yourself back into the snow covered trails, the worse your situation will be when those tracks break down. So, better make sure you are always riding with another OHV with tracks. That person's experience also noted that tracks frequently will shear off the bolt that positions the track upright. Sure enough, that guy sheared his bolt later in the day as I mentioned previously.

I've kind of lost my desire to buy tracks for my ATV since that experience. For your situation, I would lean towards a separate wheel set with studded ATV tires. There are also chains available to fit ATV tires.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:09 PM
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If you like the Ranger, you should look at an Arctic Cat Prowler. Local dealer has a used 700 Prowler for $7,000. Also, the Kymco is a nice machine, but I'd want the 700 for tracks.
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