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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a new (for me) ATV. I will use it for on average 1-2 hunts per year, ice fishing, and some summertime riding out in the desert and at the in-laws down in rural 435. My daughter also likes to ride and may use it some. However, I have come to realize that I don't know diddley squat about them. Since I don't project to use it for enormous numbers of miles annually, I was figuring on going with a gently used one, but what would be the price range for one? I also assume I should get a 4X4, although I see a number of 2 wheel drive ones around too. (My F-I-L has 2 of these) I also don't know much about brands either. I've ridden on both a Honda and a Polaris, as well as my f-I-L's "mule", but what brands have you guys had good luck with? I read the recent post on ATV miles and it was helpful, but what should I expect to spend for something that will serve the above needs. Finally, any deal breaker issues that I should watch for when buying?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I would watch KSL to get an idea about price for what your looking for. Many people of course want more than they are really worth. I prefer Hondas and you could pick one up with a little searching for anywhere from 2000-5000 depending how new(used) you want. It's always good to check the oil when looking to make sure it's not low or dirty because that can be an indicator of abuse. I also like to look closely at the skid plates underneath to see if they have been used much. It is amazing how many people claim easy miles on their quad, but the skid plates are beat to...... Good luck in your hunt and check out the Hondas and stick with the 4x4. If you have any specific questions about Hondas let me know.
 

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You want one that has 4x4 and if it is 10 year old or less one that has a locking front end. The 4x4 in a ATV is a lot like 4x4 in a truck. You won't use it that much but when you need it you need it and it may save you a long hike out.

I have a 2000 Yamaha Kodiak that will go anywhere that I have ever thought of taking it. The skid plates are beat all to hell and I have pounded a few of the deeper dents out of them but it has been taken care of. The skid plates are there for a reason and I wouldn't mind buying one that had some that look like mine if the rest of the machine was taken care of.
 

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I have owned almost every brand of atv out there. After years of abuse I would very strongly recommend the kawisaki brute force. We had two of them and they were the best riding and by far the most comfortable atv we ever had. We got about 8000-10000 miles on them and sold them. But no major problems ever.
We did have a Honda rancher that had over 20,000 miles on it as well.

Then we got a couple utvs and never rode an atv again.
Second I would recommend a the Honda then the Suzuki
 

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Now is the best time to look for a used one. Come spring and summer prices will go up on used ATV. I got my first a couple years ago . I liked Honda and Polaris. I ended up with a Polaris .
 

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I am sure that I will get some grief for saying this, but I am going to say it anyways: Avoid Polaris.

If you do some digging on this forum and several others, you will see why.

My personal suggestion would be to get a Honda or Yamaha. They seem to have the best lifespans with minimal maintenance required and are very dependable.

Since you will be using them on the ice, a nice set of heated grips would be a nice addition too.
 

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I am sure that I will get some grief for saying this, but I am going to say it anyways: Avoid Polaris.

If you do some digging on this forum and several others, you will see why.

My personal suggestion would be to get a Honda or Yamaha. They seem to have the best lifespans with minimal maintenance required and are very dependable.

Since you will be using them on the ice, a nice set of heated grips would be a nice addition too.
I did a lot of research about two years ago when I was looking to get an ATV and I came to the same conclusion about Polaris. I've never owned one myself so I can't comment based on personal experience. I ended up getting an older Honda Foreman and have loved it so far.
 

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Polaris are AWESOME... for polaris mechanics, they make soo much money keeping those things rolling.

I did a lot of research about two years ago when I was looking to get an ATV and I came to the same conclusion about Polaris. I've never owned one myself so I can't comment based on personal experience. I ended up getting an older Honda Foreman and have loved it so far.
I'd put my 97 Foreman up against any new machine, there are places I can go the bigger / heavier / wider machines just cant. Pack an elk? Pack two elk? You betcha. I've had 1000lbs of concrete on my foreman with zero issue. Its a tank.

I was in Monarch Honda recently picking up oil and filter to do a change, looked over the new machines... I just do not like all that plastic. I love the big exposed metal racks on the old ones that protect things / haul things. I cant see me doing my "tip up elk loading trick" on any of these new all plastic machines.

Need to find another Foreman, just missed out on that one in Loa that was on KSL last week.

-DallanC
 

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I have owned almost every brand of atv out there. After years of abuse I would very strongly recommend the kawisaki brute force. We had two of them and they were the best riding and by far the most comfortable atv we ever had. We got about 8000-10000 miles on them and sold them. But no major problems ever.
We did have a Honda rancher that had over 20,000 miles on it as well.

My Brute Force is the best ATV I've ever ridden. Polaris I owned for 9 months was the worst. I have a Honda at work that gets abused and we've never done anything but change the oil in the past 12 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all for the input so far. Very helpful! :)

Price / Budget?

-DallanC
Ideally, I'd like to finish the deal for 2-4 thousand, but am willing to go more if it insures I can do the things listed with decent reliability.

One somewhat related question, I assume there is a Kelley blue book to refer to on ATV's and price?
 

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One somewhat related question, I assume there is a Kelley blue book to refer to on ATV's and price?
There is just do a search for it.

Also before I would buy a used one I would get the owner to let me take it to a shop or have them take it, where they could go over it just as a inspection like you would do a car. You would need to pay for this but it would be well worth it.
 

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polaris are not only high maintenance pretty sure they all still have no engine brakes. snowmobile tranny, so let off of the gas and you go flying down the mountain as it shifts into neutral...ridiculous.

Love Kawi, they are ugly, but great. Honda and Yamaha both great, Own a King quad also great, but the pull start is useless way too much torque even in a 450 to ever get it to start. Bottom line, anything but a polaris.
 

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I have a suzuki vinson 07 it has 5300 miles on it and the only problem I've had is this winter the original battery finally gave out. I do have alot of accessories hooked to it though, handwarmers, aftermarket lightbar, winch. This machine has done everything imaginable without problems. It looks beat up, still has elk blood on it, but will start with one push of the start button or one pull on the pull start.
I would say Hondas are probably the best bang for your money though those buggers run forever.
 

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I have owned a few different brands but when I wanted something for two people to ride comfortable it is the Arctic cat TRV I have a 2003 and an 2006 the both run 500 cc's and are heavy and slow but two months ago I had me (220, my son 200 and my daughter 130 pounds on my 2003 and we were cutting tracks in snow up to 20 inches yes the tires are great but it is an American company with some of the best NEW inventions ATV'S have you really cant buy a bad ATV.
 

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As you sift through the multitude of for sale ads on ksl you'll notice some patterns...You will find a TON of polaris sportsmans on there and I feel it is safe to assume that there is a reason nobody wants to keep them.

Google searches will turn up a lot of reviews but some are written by people/companies paid to write them, so take them with a grain of salt. I did my research and ended up with a Yamaha Grizzly 700...not even a hint of problems with it yet but it's fairly new.

One suggestion is to keep your motor size above 400cc as it will hold it's resale value better than the lower HP ones. 4x4 is a must have in my opinion.
 

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How tall are you catherder? I'm 6'1" and bought a rancher in 01 and loved it but picked up a 04 foreman 450 and it was much more comfortable and allowed me to stretch out a little more. So the size of the machine may be important as well. Depending on how much you want to spent you can probably pick up a really nice used machine between 2000-5000 dollars. You may even be able to pick up a 90's model for under 2000. I would say avoid the early rancher models as they had a ton of recalls and mine was in the shop more than it was out for the first year I owned it.
 

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One other thought I have:

I find that newer machines tend to have a softer ride. If you have a bad back like I do, a smoother ride is much appreciated.

There are some decent older machines out there for a good price, but they may beat you up on a ride.

Just a thought for consideration mostly.
 

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The only big pro to new machines IMO, is fuel injection. No more carbs might be worth it. My 1997 Foreman just cracked 3,000 miles this past Deer season. Its still got a heck of alot of life left in it and I dont see anything in the new machines that makes me really "need" one.

-DallanC
 
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