Advice on Quad Research Please - ATVConnection.com ATV Enthusiast Community



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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 11-23-2016, 12:57 PM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default Advice on Quad Research Please

Hi all, I'm new to this forum. I'm researching quad ATVs and considering acquiring one. I'm having difficulty assimilating information that is important to me. You folks may know where I can find objective information. First, here is what I think I want in an ATV:

1. I want to trail ride in Colorado up to 11000 feet. I live at 8300 feet. There is less air up here.

2. I want to plow voluminous Colorado powder snow falls. And I will tug dead trees and slash out of my property.

3. I want a 2 up machine, and I like the extra wheelbase length they provide.

4. My friends around here have big bore machines. They say desirable due to the altitude and hauling two people plus lunch. But I won't use high speed capability. I just want to lug up steep grades or through sandy soils. So a transmission that can harness all that engine power into torque at the wheels is important to me. I'm a "low range" guy.

5. Trails are rough going around here. I need a good suspension system.

6. I'll likely buy a new machine.

What will sell me on a sport / utility ATV is durability and reliability. A breakdown 20 miles up a trail would make me cuss. Where can I get objective data on ATV reliability? I think we all know Toyota, Honda and Buick are known for reliable vehicles. My Audi of years ago wasn't so reliable. JD Powers keeps data and publishes data, usually in problems reported per vehicle. I can find plenty of anecdotal "stories" by dissatisfied folks who say Toyotas are junk, but I want to look at objective data. I understand I could end up with a "lemon" no matter how much data I find and be very dissatisfied, but I want to reduce the chance I would end up with a lemon.

Who in the ATV world is known for a reliable machine and who says so with objective data to prove it?

Thanks,

David
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-23-2016, 06:24 PM
hydrex's Avatar
Pro Rider
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Penobscot, Maine
Posts: 835
Default

I don't know why you need a big bore , I'd think 500 cc on up would be fine.I use both of my old Arctic Cats to skid out large logs. Even the 400 pulls like a mule. I'd say Arctic Cat ,Can Am or Polaris all make good 2 up machines. From what I see Can Am and Polaris are generally geared to be faster, Arctic Cats are more of work horses. I'd suspect everything that you'd be looking at will be EFI, so loss of power at high altitude should be less of an issue. At 1,000 ft and under, even my little AC 400 will top out at 57 mph and the big bore guys, maybe 65 or 70 mph. Not sure I'd ever need to go that fast. As far as reliable, funny thing, around here, lots of old Arctic Cats still working, yet they never sold a lot of ATV's, like Polaris did. Just saying, I've owned only one Polaris, it was a nightmare, my AC's are reliable as a hammer.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-23-2016, 08:19 PM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default

Thank you kindly for your reply hydrex. You are right, my intended use may not require the 75 horse engine. I'll be lucky to get to 30 mph. I know when I trail ride on a snowmobile, I am usually in the 20 mph range, but I do enjoy the acceleration and speed across a frozen lake. I don't know, but maybe a quad on a rough trail might be quite unstable at 20 mph. Bouncing all over the place.

My friends here both have Artic Cats and like them. Both are 700s, and neither are sport riders, just trail riders and utility work.

I'd just like some objective data on reliability to help avoid the "lemon" or "nightmare" machine. Reliable as a hammer is a good thing.

David
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-23-2016, 08:55 PM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default

Just for fun I took a look at the Arctic Cat website. The Alterra TVR XT 2 up machines range from "500" , '700" and "1000" engine sizes. Comparing the three sizes it appears the chassis, suspension, transmission, and other specs stay the same across the three engines. I'm sure the output of these three engines vary from 40 horse to 90 horse, although no power specs were seen by me. That is a huge difference in engine size for the same chassis.

So will a transmission, a differential, or a suspension wear out quicker with the big engine? Or will the machine last much longer with the smaller engine? I just don't know how these ATVs are made.

David
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-24-2016, 12:48 AM
Pro Rider
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,518
Default

A good value in a 2 up 4x4 atv would be either the Can-Am Outlander 450L max or 570L max. The 450L has a 450cc single that puts out good power for a single, 38 hp, more than some 500cc machines. The 570 has a 570cc twin that puts out 48 hp, as much as some 700cc machines. Either of them would be among the least expensive 2 up 4x4 atvs and are a great value.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-24-2016, 05:46 AM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default

I appreciate your input greg74. I have read many of your thoughtful posts on these forums already. I have started to review the Can Am Overlander 2 up. BRP has made a lot of different motorsports "toys" for many years. The Rotax engines appeal to me. I think of them as being more sporty than utility.

I'm going to review the Kawasaki line up too. There are numerous manufacturers of quad ATVs. I worked in a little factory 45 years ago that was making a 6 wheel skid steer anphibious ATV with a berkley jet pump in the back. It would neither travel rough ground, climb hills or propel itself in the water. But it was a pioneer in the industry. The machine got a lot better when we fitted a two stroke snowmobile engine in it. Except for the fact the transmission couldn't take the additional power.

David
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-24-2016, 09:04 AM
Pro Rider
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,518
Default

I mentioned the Outlander as you said originally you wanted a 2 up model. There is another member on here who recently bought an Outlander 450L max and really likes his. A coworker of mine has the regular 450L DPS model and likes his as well. He's a big guy too(around 280 lbs) and it has plenty of power for him. Kawasaki doesn't make a 2 up Brute Force. That would be a great machine to add to their lineup. The smaller mule models just don't have a lot of power. The Teryx utv would be great but its quite large and pretty expensive. Another option you could look at would be buying one of the smaller utvs. The Kymco 450i utv that Kymco 450 has would probably surprise you with its power and capability for just being a 450cc machine. Its basically identical to the Arctic Cat Prowler 500 except for the plastic, Kymco builds the engines for both. Its price is close to a Brute Force or Grizzly, which also doesn't come in a 2 up model either. Yes its wider than a quad so if going on narrow 50" trails is something you want to do, it won't fit. Its basically about the same size as the older Yamaha Rhino(about 56" wide) but is faster, tops out at almost 50 mph in high range. The Rhino had a speed limiter that made it cut out at around 40 mph. Dumping cargo bed and the ability to comfortably carry 2 people and can still fit it in the bed of a full-size long bed truck bed if you must. High and low range and diff-lock as well. The Honda Pioneer 500 is 50" wide but has noticeably less power. It does have the cool paddle shifters for its semi-auto trans. I drove one once at a local dealer. The paddle shifters were fun but it was just disappointing how sluggish and slow it felt. No low range or diff-lock on the Pioneer 500 either. I guess it didn't help that I drove a Wildcat Trail right before that, a machine that has over twice as much power. Not much utility but its a very quick and fun to ride sport utv.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-24-2016, 01:09 PM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default

Thanks again for your comeback. You are very knowledgeable on the various brands and features of these Quads. Your comments are helpful to me.

Can Am Outlander series looks pretty good. The Arctic Cat and the Polaris seem worthy of consideration. A side by side doesn't appeal to me yet due to the trail width restrictions and the fact I want to push snow around in my long, narrow driveway. A solid, reliable design and manufacturing processes for these ATVs is hard to evaluate.

We have an ATV repair shop close to here. Someday I'll stop in and see if one of the mechanics or the owner can give me any objective insight. I'm always happy to waste someone else's time.

I had forgotten that Honda pretty much started the ATV category way back in the early seventies. And Honda rather developed the farmer, rancher utility market with their quad ATVs as many country folks found them handy. The modern horse replacement. I think Honda ATVs are known for their reliability. I like the idea of the longitudinal engine and more robust transmissions. I read somewhere that Honda makes more engines than anyone else in the world.

But Honda doesn't make a 2 up machine. And the overall specifications of their line up is on the small size in comparison to others, especially ground clearance and wheelbase. Load carrying and towing capabilities also lag behind. I'm disappointed in their product offering especially considering they were the leader in this motorsports category for so many years. Maybe Honda understands the average owner never uses the capabilities of these larger machines. I've loved my Honda S2000 for over 10 years, fun and reliable. I'm a Honda fan.

I've been looking, but I still haven't found any objective data on ATV reliability.

David
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-24-2016, 05:10 PM
hydrex's Avatar
Pro Rider
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Penobscot, Maine
Posts: 835
Default

I should also say, both of my AC's are manual shift, may be an obsolete feature, but, when I drop either one into 1st gear low range, and I hook onto a giant log or slap on a 6' snow plow, the weak link is only tires. I have 30" Mudzillas on the 500 and , seriously, it will pull nearly as hard as my 4x4 QC Hemi Ram. So, for the way I use mine, 1,000 cc's would be a waste. You should certainly compare the Can Am, no doubt, the Rotax motors are way more refined than the Arctic Cat thumpers. Are they more reliable? iF you compare a 2001 CanAm to my 2001 AC, No way that I'd trade, but I think maybe AC hasn't quite kept up with CanAm. Probably why I keep driving 2 Dodges, 345,000 miles on my Magnum, 245,000 miles on my Ram, haha. Here's a picture of my 8,000 mile AC 500 work horse. BTW, I have an excellent mechanic (used to own a Polaris) haha.He works on all brands, so I asked him which were the best, which were the worst. He said worst are the Chinese ones (not Taiwan-Kymco) he said Kymcos are some of the best. Worst=Polaris to best are Yamaha ! He says Hondas are actually nearly as bad as Polaris. What does he own? A Yamaha....
Attached Thumbnails
Advice on Quad Research Please-p1010017.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-25-2016, 05:59 AM
dbj216's Avatar
Back Country Explorer
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Colorado
Posts: 469
Default

Thanks for asking your mechanic about ATV reliability by brand. That's a good data point for me. I think the folks that work on these machines day in and day out develop a good feel for reliable designs. I plan on asking the repair shop in the next town over what their experience has been.

Yamaha snowmobiles have a good reputation for reliability. And I think they were one of the first manufacturers to use a 4 stroke engine in a snowmobile.

David
Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:30 PM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: