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Old 12-09-2006, 10:04 PM
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Default Question on 1986 230 Suzuki Shaft

Hi I just joined because I am looking at a 1986 230 shaft drive 4 wheeler. The guy wants 900 and I haven't talked to the guy yet. I wanted to find a forum and ask if this machine is good bad or what. I've never owned a 4 wheeler and am looking for a small one to ice fish with. Not really looking for it to go thru the woods. I live in michigan and fish on lake St Clair. There can be 2 ft of snow but you don't have to cut your own path there is usually a path to follow. How is the shaft drive? And what should I look for when buying it? Like i said I have never owned a 4 wheeler or motorcycle so I really don't know what to look for. I stopped and looked at it and the tires felt soft but I'm not sure if that is normal, how much air pressure goes in them? It has elec start (don't know if it works) and it has a pull start also (probaly standard I would think). The sign says orig owner the tires have screws in them probaly for traction on the ice because it has a board on the front and bukets bolted to the board so he probaly used it for ice fishing. It looks like it has been taken care of, it is not showroom but it is not all dented up or beat up, it just looks like an 86 model older and used. Are parts expensive and are parts readily available? Any info would be great. I did a search on 230 Suzukis and am in the process of reading the results right now. Thanks in advance for any info and input.
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:24 PM
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Default Question on 1986 230 Suzuki Shaft

Lmoore, I am going to guess this model has the dual range tranny and no rear suspension? My dad has the same one, original owner since '86. The shaft drive is a great feature for low maintenance. Tire pressure is usually around 4 or 5 psi, so they should feel fairly soft. Lacking rear suspension, that thing will beat you up at any kind of speed. If you have ANY aspirations of trail riding forget this unit as it will dissapoint you in that respect. That model is in the 500 pound range, and the little 230 has to work on hills and such. It will be fine for ice fishing though. You could definately pull a decent sized sled with it in low range and studded tires. I have daisy chained a heavy log splitter and a trailer with about a 1/3 face cord of wood plus saws and what not with my dad's. As long as I had traction it would do decent sized hills IN LOW RANGE. Parts are still available, Suzuki had a few models with that same basic engine mated with a few different drive combos in the mid to late 80's. I'm not saying you will be getting stuff off the local dealers shelves, but you should be able to get most things that would wear or break on that one. The main things I would look at on it would be that it starts and runs smoothly, no burning oil, all the controls work. Do a real good inspection on the frame, especially look for rusted through spots on the bottom of the lowest frame rails, and any flaking paint at welded joints. Seeing that the suspension is abyssmal or nonexistant on these, make sure the wheels and axle are true. The little plastic levers for low range and reverse are pretty weak, I probably have busted about 6 each over the years. That problem is worse in the winter, although it wouldn't be real hard to rig something more functional if need be. Bring a small phillips head screw driver and check the air filter to see if it is oiled. Personally, I think 900 is probably to much for that machine. I don't think I would go over 750 regardless of condition. Good luck!
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