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Discussion Starter #1
I am far from knowledgeable on these things but I am buying a new 4WD ATV....It must get through snow, be able to push a plow, traverse difficult terrain,haul deer, etc. and most of all, be reliable............What brands/models do you guys recommend and why ?..What brands/models do you stay away from and why? What features should I look for?..At the moment I am looking at the Polaris Sportsman series, mainly because the dealer is about two miles away and that's what most locals buy, not necessarily because it's the best one...I'd like as much input from you guys as I can get.....Thanks in advance!.......Ken
 

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I have a artic cat 4*4 400 I and love it. I got it in 2003 and at the time it had the most ground clearance. It takes about 3 minutes to put the plow on it. I don't know much about other ATVs but artic cats are great runners and workers. I think they are a little cheaper then Polaris also.
 

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your gonna get a thousand awensers as to why this one is better or why this one is not any good and the replys that state a buddys "insert name here" quad is allways breaking down. I have rode with all brands. and all of em are good. what differs is the amount of maintence done to the bike and if it is kept in good working condition. I know one guy that rides polaris all the time and never has any issues. last ride I was on we had a polaris that wouldn't start because the starter was froze and then he couldn't move it because the rear diff was filled with water and froze up also. was the one guys polaris bad because it had problems? no it was bad because he did not maintain the bike.

make sure you do your homework on what you want in a quad. Do you want Independent rear suspension? do you want engine braking? low gear? locking diff? Horsepower? automatic or manual? How is your local dealers to deal with? believe it or not that might sway you to go with another brand.

Now I ride a honda rincon which I love. It has no low gear or engine braking. it also does not have a diff lock in it. but I Do not have a problem with my quad and doubt I would ever trade it. Everything about it I love. I have over 2000 miles on it and have replaced minimal amount of things even with the crap I put mine through. If honda ceased to exist I would probably end up with a grizzly.

Another thing I can tell ya is try a few out. See which ones you like. for instance you might like how quad A sits you further down in the quad compared to being up on top the handlebars with quad B do your homework and try a bunch out because that is a lot of $ to sink on something you might not want because it doesn't appease to your needs.
 

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I have a 2004 Polaris 500 H.O. that I use almost daily all winter (hauling fire wood, plowing snow,hunting) the only thing that i have replaced is the battery. I would not hesitate to buy another one.

Have had it since new.
 

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All the major manufacturers (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Polaris and Arctic Cat) make good quads. Hondas probably have the best reputation for reliability. Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha tend to have more features than the Hondas and are faster than a comparable Honda utility quad. I don't know much about the other two. I have owned Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki and all have been very good.
 

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I have 700 Grizzly and I love it. Everyone has their own opinions but for what use my machine for(riding,working,hunting) it works great for me.
 

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I just bought a Polaris 550 with a plow; the power steering was great working around our road and driveway. Just wish I had bought it before the first big snow !
 

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To add my 2 cents to the discussion. I have owned Kawasaki Prairie 650, Brute Force 750, Polaris 300 Explorer and Phoenix, Suzuki King Quad 400, and a Can Am Outlander 800. I agree with bigben that regardless of what people will tell you all of the manufacturers make very good bikes. They are all just a little different. I think anyone buying one should try to ride them all. Ask friends, dealers etc. to try them. They all have their own good points and bad. Find the one that fits you.
 

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I currently am riding a 2005 Suzuki King Quad. I have a little over 6500 miles on it now. No major issues at all. Only thing I've done to it besides change the fluids and filters is I had to replace a couple little plastic bushing in the rear a-arms. I would highly reccomend a Suzuki to anyone.
 

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thats a good many miles on a quad.
 

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bigben said:
thats a good many miles on a quad.
Yep, and it runs as good as the day I brought it home!
 

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Suzuki 750 King here.... but the Yamaha Griz. was a close 2nd. I opted for the Suzuki only cause I had previously owned one years ago and never had a problem with them, I also liked the style better, I prefer the headlight and console on the handlebars rather than the console on the other side of the bars.
Just my preference though.
The Yam. Griz. is a good choice too.

I do not like Polaris anymore either, Owned a Polaris Sportsman 3 years ago and had a bad experience with it. Was nothing but a money pit for me. Everything broke on it.
 

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All are good except Polaris. Haevn't seen one that holds up to rough riding and excessive use. I'm not talking about riding around the yard or using it 1 week a year. If you ride and ride hard I would stay away from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the opinion on the Polaris since that's what I had been leaning toward.

One question about 4WD....Polaris claims to be the "Only true 4WD"......<span style="color: #000099">Is this true?..</span>And can it go places where the others can't because of this?...Thanks again everybody, I am taking everything you guys say into consideration, and I value the input!
 

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well not really on the only true 4wd. there are several bikes that have lockers in the front now and there are people that claim to say the honda has 3wd and the front won't lock up. well heres a video. http://www.jandpfabricationllc.com/Honda_Front_Differential_Test_0001.wmv

in the end every company claims their bike is the best. most quads have 4wd and the claim to having true 4wd is to sell quads.
 

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seems big ben knows what he's talken. i've noticed at riding places it's mostly the yamaha's doing all the hot dog stuff. the older ones still hard to beat. suzuki, and honda also good. i have a 450 kod. dose anything i want it to do. very good trail riding, plows snow good, and any 4x4 will hall a deer. what ever a guy rides is what he thinks is best just like me but i'ed tell any body stick with yam.,suz,or honda can;t go wrong imo...later
 

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The only thing I would add is for what you want to do you don't necessarily need a big machine like a 700+. For plowing snow I wouldn't go below a 400cc but if you don't have much to plow a 300 or 350 would do fine. If you want the extra speed/power and don't mind the extra cost, and a larger machine, then that's fine. But its probably not necessary. Some who do tilling of fields say the only way to go is the bigger 650-700's
 

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Big Ken said:
Thanks for the opinion on the Polaris since that's what I had been leaning toward.

One question about 4WD....Polaris claims to be the "Only true 4WD"......Is this true?..And can it go places where the others can't because of this?...Thanks again everybody, I am taking everything you guys say into consideration, and I value the input!

Ken,
Some more comparisons for you.

Regarding 4wd....
On my 2008 Suzuki King, it has 4wd, high range and low range in addition to Differential Lock, which is what I would call super low granny gear.

As far as turning radius.
When I had the 2003 Polaris whenever I pulled into my backyard and into my garage, I needed to do a K turn in the middle of the yard just to get it into the garage.

My Suzuki swings right in. Really tight turning radius on it. Great on the trails and around the trees.

Just comparing apples to oranges here.
 

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Polaris makes a good bike. The Polaris sportsman 500 is one of the most popular atv's of all times. I have to disagree that they break a lot. I ride the hatfield mccoy trails and they are probably the most popular bike down there. The engines on all but the big bore are built by Fuji in japan and are very reliable. I drive a can am, but have a lot of repsect for them.
 
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