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Buying an ATV Questions and suggestions about what to buy, financing, insurance, etc.

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:45 PM
Trailblazer
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

I have been going back and forth on the topic of automatic vs. manual. I have spent most of my time on street bikes and dirt bikes. I don't have much experience on quads. However I am looking to buy one.

I think I am going to go with a Yamaha. I like the Big Bear 400, and the Grizzly 450. However, the Grizzly has an automatic transmission.

I am looking for input and opinions from people who have driven both automatic and manual. What do you prefer, and why?

I have heard there is a lag issue with automatic transmissions; especially on hill climbing. But on the same hand I have heard that the shifter can be a problem especially in the mud and water (foot slipping off). The manual is known to give the driver more control; I don't know if this is a concern or not.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:39 PM
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

I have owned Polaris auto machines since 1999. I have had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time on a 1999 TRX 300 at the in-laws farm. My first auto machine was a 1999 Polaris 300 Xplorer 4x4. I very much prefer the auto over the manual. I have only smoked one belt since 1999. That was my fault not the machines. I have three reasons that I prefer auto over manual:

1) I'm old.
2) I'm fat.
3) I'm lazy.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:29 PM
Trailblazer
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>

1) I'm old.

2) I'm fat.

3) I'm lazy.</end quote></div>

Do you do any major hill climbing, or mud-ing?
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:08 PM
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>Originally posted by: hacktorious

Do you do any major hill climbing, or mud-ing?</end quote></div>

No, just some pretty heavy hauling. The weight of the Polaris really comes in handy here. No trouble out of the belt drive when pulling in low.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:53 PM
Red Rider
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

Over the years, I have had to tow way to many belt drives to ever have a good feeling about them! Rumor is that they have improved since the old days, but there aren't any of them that really interest me anyway, so I don't really care....
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2008, 11:58 PM
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

I was a die-hard foot shifter guy when I bought my Eiger in '02. It came in auto or 5-speed and I only considered the 5-speed. That was then.

I bought my current bike earlier this year. Only considered an automatic (although that's the only choice in the size range I was looking at). No regrets, no problems, more enjoyable rides.

If you are truly "old, fat and lazy" then it's a no brainer - go for the automatic.

Jaybee
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:22 AM
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

My best friend broke his leg because he missed a gear on a manual-shift quad and when it popped in he flipped over backward and his quad landed on him. After he got his cast off he rode up it on an automatic, no problem. That's all the reason we need to have automatics.

On other hills when he still had a manual shifter and I had an automatic I would wait until he was almost to the top of the hill then I would nail it and be right on his a$$ at the top of the hill. The automatic was way faster, and it's always in the right gear no matter what kind of riding you do. If there was any kind of lag I never felt it in 11 years except when I had a 250 Trailblazer. I traded that in for a Sportsman 500 and have no regrets about having an automatic. I went through lots of mud, and water deep enough to cover the lights and racks and never had a belt get wet or slip.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2008, 11:22 AM
Trailblazer
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

<div class="FTQUOTE"><begin quote>Originally posted by: OIown12

1) I'm old.

2) I'm fat.

3) I'm lazy.</end quote></div>

I am none of the above. However, this could change. I sure am not getting any younger.

I have been reading up on the belt drives, some good, and some bad things. The biggest issue I have is the reliability factor. I would hate to be 25 miles away from anywhere and have my belt fail. For this reason I think I am going to go with a manual shift.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2008, 04:55 AM
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

I can carry a spare CVT belt and change it on the side of the trail in 1/2 hour. I can't do that with a manual transmission. Both have their good points, just like shaft-drive vs. chain drive. I'm just glad we have so many choices. There's something for everybody.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2008, 10:40 AM
Red Rider
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Default Automatic vs. Manual

In a lifetime of riding dirt bikes and ATV's, I have never has a single problem with any manual transmission from any manufacturer (not even a worn out clutch!). On the other hand, I have towed more than my share of rubber band drives that were stranded out in the mountains!
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