Never owned one, but my wife and I want to buy a used one to cruise around our mountain road, no rough trails. A camp neighbor has an 04 Honda 2 wheel drive with a solid rear axle in very good condition that seats 2 (not side by side) for $1500, which fits out budget.
We won't be riding it in ice or snow, and we realize it won't ride as smoothly as an independent ATV.
Anyone with experience with this type of ATV? Down side and up side of a solid axle on relatively smooth dirt roads? Anything else I should be aware of? Will 2 wheel drive be OK (they use it on the same roads we will, and already told us it isn't good in ice and snow)? What about muddy hills?
Sounds as if the machine will fit your purpose . Muddy hills ? How steep and how muddy ? It should be OK , but since it's an 04 , if the tires are original , you may want to put new tires on it . More aggresive tread if you plan on being in mud .
I have two 4wd ATV's and two 2 wheel drive ATV's.The 2wd ATV's go pretty much anywhere the 4wd one's go unless it's deep mud or snow more than a couple of inches.If you don't ride in the winter,a 2wd will serve you just fine.
There's nothing wrong with solid rear axles.You generally get less groud clearance but I findthem to be less tippy.
GOB has a very level farm with no mud......kind of like a golf course......
I agree with them, the 2wd Honda your neighbor sounds like a great starter machine if it fits your budget.
You can always upgrade down the road should you see a need for something different. In the mean time, it is hard to believe you could loose money on the Honda at that price.
Personally, I am a fan of independent suspension, both for ride and traction. But for the money, the Honda sounds like a great place to start.
If you need support for your backs, you may need to consider a side x side, or look at some type of 2 up ATV with back rest.
As far as ATV's, the independent suspension rides a little smoother, but the biggest difference is the off road traction they get over the straight axle.