Jump to content
REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UPLAND JOURNAL Read more... ×

Recommended Posts

terrym

So I’m getting the bug to replace my ATV. It’s a 1999 Yamaha Big Bear that has been extremely reliable. Has an electrical/charging problem right now but a new stator or regulator should fix that. This is a dinosaur of a machine. Full time 4wd only, no power steering and carbureted. It has dragged my oversized butt, countless deer, bears and moose out of the bush. It actually has low hours as it’s not used for recreational riding just hunting. 
I’m looking at a used Kodiak 700. Independent suspension, power steering, fuel injection. My concern is the belt drive. I have been a shift type of guy since a child when I got my first mini bike and progressed through competitive motocross and lastly on to street bikes. 
We had a guy come to deer camp with a 660 belt drive and I remember having to drag him out of a mud hole with my little 350 Big Bear and tow him home. His belt sucked in water. Our deer camp is crazy wet and the bikes go through water 2 ft deep or deep mud every 5-10 minutes. 
So, I realize I’m a dinosaur too and the reliability of belt drives had to improve right? Anybody here have ATV experience to share?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

That sounds like my mid 199O ish can’t remember, Kawasaki Prairie 400. I bought new. It had the full time 4WD too. This one was belt drive. I didn’t have any issue with that but I never submerged it either. It was a great rig and also dragged out its share of critters and provided hours and years of enjoyment for me and my kids for the 18 or so years I owned it. I stored it too long with ethanol gas while changing houses and it became a PIA so moved it along. Anyhow just commiserating, I have no idea what’s available now. My days of ATV’s are over but sure enjoyed the one I had. Most people seem to be getting the SxS UTV’s these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

The SxS would be useless at our deer camp. Trails are too narrow and nasty. You wouldn’t get 1/4 mile from camp. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

I’m surprised more people haven’t commented on this thread. I figured this group were high users of ATVs. I guess we’re too wrapped up in the plague. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScenicRoute

I have a 2017 sportsman 570 with power steering.  Would never buy another ATV Without power steering! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markbrit

I have a 2000 Polaris Magnum 325. I think it a bit smoother than your model as I can switch 2-4WD. It does have an independent frame which makes the bumps a bit easier. I use it to run the dog around a farm with trails, not really hard use. It does have a belt but it is sealed and do not see it wet or full of water during check ups.

 

I am going to run it into the ground until it dont make sense to fix. I like reliable :)

 

I will say power steering is nice in some of the newer models I rode!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flush

I'm like you, a motorcycle guy that likes a transmission you shift and just dont like belt drive systems. Just seen too many issues with them over the years. I think they have indeed gotten a lot better,  Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Polaris couldn't use them almost exclusively if they weren't reliable in ATV off road use.

 

With all that said Honda does NOT use them. If I were in the market for a newer ATV, I'd probably be looking at Honda for this reason. They have a dual clutch system in some models that I'd have to research to see how people find them (I'm not sure if they are stone reliable or not) They also have a fairly new automotive style torque converter auto in certain models. Lastly they still offer an "old school" 5 speed (I believe in the Foreman model).  I believe you can get a new machine from Honda with a 5spd manual shift, fuel injection, power steering, and fully independent suspension. I believe this would be a Foreman Rubicon model.

To me that would be ideal.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym

My budget won’t allow a new machine. The Rancher 420 with power steering would work but up here you’re into $10k by the time you add a winch. I think reality is unless you buy a Honda it’s now belts. The Kodiak I’m looking at is $7500 has some expensive accessories. And only 700 miles on it. That bike would be $12k new. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marsingbob

The Yamaha belt system is bulletproof.  I had a 2000 Kodiak 400 I used on my farm constantly for 18 years.  Never a problem.  Same with my 2016 Yamaha Viking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ScenicRoute

If you don’t bury it in the mud or water belt will be just fine.  If water or mud gets into a transmission you’re screwed anyway.  
 

never seen anything other than a belt drive snowmobile.  And those are high horsepower and frequent high throttle machines.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
terrym
5 minutes ago, ScenicRoute said:

If you don’t bury it in the mud or water belt will be just fine.  If water or mud gets into a transmission you’re screwed anyway.  
 

never seen anything other than a belt drive snowmobile.  And those are high horsepower and frequent high throttle machines.  

Yes but they don’t normally get run through deep water or mud. Apples & Oranges really. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bloodhound

We have 2 ATVs but my experience isn't much use if you are looking at newer machines.  Mine are a 2003 Arctic Cat 500 and a 2008 Polaris Sportsman 300.  We looked at newer machines 2 years ago when we bought these, but couldn't justify the cost.  We spent $6000 for both machines and they have low hours and aside from needing tires, they are in great shape and are reliable.  The new stuff is cool but too pricey for me to justify for the way we use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MAArcher

I have two 2004 Honda Foreman 450 ES's.   It never once occurred to me me "darn this is hard to steer, whish I had power steering".  The machines have been mistreated.  Left out uncovered for the first few years of their life, then without regular maintenance and mostly intoxicated trail riding while I've had them.  Brush guards are bashed in, some broken plastic.  Forget to drain the carb bowls for the winter?  No problem, brand new carbs off eBay are $20.00.   Big bag of the plastic doohickeys that hold the the plastic body parts together are like five bucks for fifty.   Change the oil once in while if i think of it.  With ITP Mudlite tires these machines still go anywhere I dare to.  Forded knee high streams.  Straight up and down the rocky face of an old ski hill.  Right over old rock walls.  The only thing that slows them down is mud up to the floorboards, but even then they are light enough to winch right out if you get stuck.  I just can't imagine needing more machine, never mind buying a new one that would cost you six times what it would to pick up a decent used one.   I like having a machine where it doesn't ruin your day if you get a few scratches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hub

I have a 2007 Polaris Sporsman 500 EFI.  I use it to run bear bait, drag deer and bear, ice fish, collect maple syrup, plow the road to my shack and cart the dogs and myself back to remote grouse covers.  I have never had a single issue with it and find myself standing on the rack to float it through rivers and mud holes etc.  I have pretty great luck with just about everything with a combustion engine, but I buy new, don't beat the piss out of my stuff, and do all the service work when I am supposed to.  I was a raised around a lot of folks that would act like it was the engines fault if caught on fire if it was ran without oil.  I feel like most manufacturers put out a pretty good product if the user does their part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GLS
On 3/22/2020 at 8:03 AM, terrym said:

 Anybody here have ATV experience to share?

Over the years, I've had more than one turkey hunt ruined by others on ATV's.  They are the jet skis of the woods.  Fortunately their use has been banned on a few public places I now hunt. Gil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×