You are currently viewing our forums as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join the ATVConnection Forums community today!
Thanks for the reply. I'll be using it to do biology type work, looking for animals and birds. i just need it to get around in the sand while also carrying the equipment that I need on the back. I have used a honda foreman for this type of work before, but I'm not sure what model it was or engine size.
If you need racks and have to carry stuff, then you will need a ute. How much weight do you actually need to carry???
Here in So. Calif. (we know sand here....this is big time dune country!), lifeguards/rangers and beach LEO's ride a variety of utilities, and a lot of them are 2wd (which means a much lighter front end!), with big balooney tires aired down. I see a lot of Recons, Foremans, Ranchers, and even some old rusted out 300's.
I like the Foreman 500 for a work machine. (The old Foreman was a 450.) It has a solid, reliable manual transmission. I have a Rancher 420 and it is a real peach! It is fuel injected and the engine really winds up, which could be a help in the sand.
Are you looking for something new if possible, or are you prefering something used???
The Foreman 500 is the newer, redesigned model. It has a larger engine than the older 450 and a few other features, but is still a pretty similar machine. Both are air/oil cooled.
For that little weight, I don't think there is any reason to go for any of the big machines. We do a lot of beach/dune riding at Pismo. They rent Honda Recons and 250EX's (little 2wd's) there to the inexperience tourists, and they do just fine as long as you don't try to climb huge dunes or get to agressive. A 250 with paddle tires and an experienced rider, will go almost anywhere!
I would highly suggest you take a look at the Honda Ranchers. The older ones are 350's (air/oil cooled and carburated) and the new ones are 420's (water/oil cooled and fuel injected). The Rancher 420 is the best value for your dollar of any quad on the market, but I don't think you will find a used one!
As for water cooled vs air, I own both and frankly there isn't a lot of difference....and I ride desert! With water cooling, you get more performance out of the same size engine, but as for longevity and reliability, air cooled doesn't give anything up to water cooled. (I would however, always shut the motor off when you stop for a long time with an air cooled.)
Depends. If you are mostly on wet beach sand, it is packed out and 2wd is just fine. 4wd helps some out in the loose stuff, but not like you might think it would. That front end adds an extra 40 pounds (up front where it does the most harm!), and usually a 2wd model is $1000 cheaper than a 4wd. Mostly, momentum and light weight are your best friend in the sand!
If you are going to end up in mud though, you are going to want 4wd and maybe even a winch!
What kind of biological work are you doing??? What part of the country you in?? I majored on Zoology and took some marine classes and limnology. I do medical research now, but we still love to take trips to the tide pools with the kids.......