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Which is the best American Made Sport Quad and Best American Made Utility Quad and how do they compare to the Japanese Made stuff? What I am after is Quality of Construction, Durability and Performance! To break it down even more how about Manual Transmissions and Automatic Transmissions?
there are only 2 companys that made/make quads in the US.
Polaris and Cannondale. Polaris is still going strong, they lead the pack as far as the best suspention in the utility department, even better than the BRP 800. the Polaris Sportsman 800 is the second fastest Utility quad in production and has the highest towing and rack capacity. its not the sportiest, but the best compairison to give to it would be an old Muscle car.
Cannondale went out of business several years ago, though the few quads that are left are the best you can buy, pricey at that. if you can find them atleast.
the top american sport quads are the Polaris Predator and Outlaw, however, their heart isnt american, the high performance motor in it is built by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan, is, well japanese.
as far as comparison to the japanese equipment, there really is no such thing because each quad excells in a different section. for raw speed the BRP 800 is the fastest, comfort is the polaris 800, unbridled power is the Kawasaki 750.
I personally would not have a utility machine made by any of the three North American manufacturers (Polaris, Arctic Cat. or Bombardier). The reason is simply one of DESIGN.......they build them BIG AND HEAVY (top heavy).........NEEDLESSLY BIG AND HEAVY! The Japaneese designs just seem so much more thoroughly thought out and refined. In many ways all utilities are fairly dangerous, but the NA designs are worse than the Japaneese.
The Japaneese machines are usually 100+ pounds lighter than the others, plus they keep their weight lower in the frame than the NA designs. Still, a 600 pound machine is to heavy for my taste. When the standard in sport bikes is now 350 pounds, all the manufacturers could certainly be working to get the weight down on all these lard a$$ utilities!
As for automatic vs manual utility transmissions, I prefer the good old time proven gear-on-gear manual! I would not own a rubber band trans, nor would I own one of Honda's very complex automatics.
As far as sport machines, I have no personal experience with the NA manufacturers. Some of the designs look promising, but look like they lack refinement.
And please don't anybody give us the "built in North America" thing. All the manufacturers have plants in the US, so those are jobs that are staying right here at home.
Its not simple to just ask whats american made.
The last time i checked, all the hondas are made in the usa, except the 300ex. And all the single cylinder polaris, and all of the a/c motors except the h1, are made in japan.
So who do want to support? The blue collar workers who turn the wrenches, or the white collar guys who bring home the money?
Id rather buy the quad which is made in the usa, like a honda...at least there are a bunch of happy guys and gals in south carolina, who are glad i did.
As far as trannys go, all the gear type trannys are very similar in constuction and quality. Motors too. There are small differences in the constuction and design on the belt drives, same for the 4x4 systems.
A great deal of the Yamaha atvs are manufactured in the US, while Polaris sources many of it's engines and the entire phoenix atv from acrossed the pacific. Arctic cat is made in the US, but most of their products run suzuki engines. Bomb is made in canada with many part sources.
As the last poster said, it's not a clear cut issue of "which manufacturer is US and which is foreign" anymore. This happened decades ago in automobile manufacturing and it's been going on a while in recreational powersports as well.