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BobT

What's the advantage?

31 posts in this topic

Yesterday a couple neighbors and I were horsing around on our ATVs and the topic came up about the size of the units. I have a 300 Kawasaki and they each had Polaris, one was a 400 and the other a 600. In our discussion we came to the conclusion that anything more than a 400 is over-kill and a waste of money.

I've had this conversation before with other riders and it seems that for the most part, the consensus is the same. So what is the thrill or why are machine's in the 600 - 800 range so sought after?

My machine does a lot more than just carry my fat butt around. I use it for farming purposes including pulling a small trailer around the field picking rock in the spring. That trailer gets to be quite a load for it but it hasn't failed me yet. I've even used it, very carefully of course, to pull my gravity box, hay racks, and manure spreader around on occasion. Okay, it's a really small spreader.

Is there some advantage in owning the big machines aside from the macho attitude one can display?

Bob

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The bigger machines put a bigger smile on your face! grin You can wheelie,turn bigger more aggressive tires better, and ride more sportingly. I know what your saying though as the smaller wheelers will do just about anything the bigger machines will do.

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The only good side to a bigger engine is that you can go faster. I have a 400 Sportsman, my dad has a 700 Sportsman, now he likes the 400 more than the 700 besides when going down the Soo Line trail because the 700 goes alot faster(actually not that much faster 700-65mph 400-55mph). Plus when going down the Soo Line we usually curse at 40-45mph. But as far as getting from point A to point B and pulling a small trailer all you need is a 300 or 400. Some people, like me, like to run oversize mud tires and then you need the big engines to spin them tires in the mud. My dad uses our Arctic Cat 300 from hunting because its quiet and has 15 gears and can pull pretty much anything with those low gears. Also haveing a bigger engine is fun if you like to go hill climbing our 700 can out hill climb our 400, with the 400 you have to put it in low range alot to get up the steep hills. If I could get any quad I'd get a Can-Am 800 even though I know its over-kill but I wanna go fast-as Ricky Bobby would say. Plus I like me big tires even though theres hardly anywhere you can mud any more.

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Same as anything else, except that a bigger atv can actually do more things.

Cars for one example. All get you to the same place, the same way, but some are cooler than others. smile

Snowmobiles, motorcycles, anything.....How many people buy into the Harley name and have no idea what they are really buying. How many people buy a big powerful boat just to go out fishing on the same lake that a 12 ft aluminum can go.

Besides all that, each manufacturer has a flagship model. That is the model that normally gets all of the good features that a person may like.(EFI, power steering, digital gauges, a certain 4wd feature, bigger racks, more accessory options....)

For me, I go ATVing more than anything else. Besides that, it is work, hunting, and some camping. I don't waste money on big fancy trips or cruises. With that said....I want to have a very good atv. I like to have the best that is out there (IMO) at a given time. This may change in my life, but that is what I have been doing for a long time now.

If you go riding with bigger machines, you would see the advantages on the trail.

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True mnexpoler on the speeds, but top speed doesn't matter to me that much. 55 is fast enough most times. I just want to get to 55 in 2.1 seconds! smile It is fun having a utility machine that can act like a sport machine when you want it to.

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I made the switch to an 800 as it was neccesary to properly power a set of tracks, I was happy with my 500 it just didn't have what I needed. It is nice to have the extra power if you come across a situation where you need it. For the price difference it is minimal to get into a larger machine.

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I drive a Kodiak 450 and my next machine will either be the same or smaller. Wife says I will have to drive it if smaller as she loves the Yami, but I haven't found many things that I cannot do with a 450. 55 mph is plenty and it is still small enough for the kids to sit comfortable on. Having been raised on 250cc honda's and suzuki's, I feel like this thing is a horse. Family still has the honda and suzuki after 20 years of service and still running strong.

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Personality must have a lot to do with it. Fifty-five plus on an ATV? Forty is frightening enough for me. Maybe those that I hang with just don't have what it takes to be speed demons. I much prefer to take my time and enjoy the ride rather than get from here to there as fast as possible.

As far as hill climbing, I haven't hit a hill yet that I couldn't make. But then, maybe I haven't got the cohunas to really test the machine either.

Bob

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You could be right Bob.

I've had machines in the past that would do 85 mph plus. There is a level of exhiliration that tends to draw people to these machines.

Hill climbing is an experience to be had. I have relatives with gravel pits that used to have some great hills to drop the hammer and see if you can make it to the top. Once you reach the top and you look back to see what you just accomplished is the icing on the cake.

People in mud bogs experience the same thing. Sad as it is, these activities aren't always done in a legal area. But where else are people going to go. Not everyone can afford to travel across 3/4 of the state to get to Babbit or even purchase their own land.

We need to have an easier means of obtaining the funds that we put into gas taxes and registration fees. Not all of the clubs out there have the funds available to purchase 200 acres of alnd to establish an ATV park.

Sorry for kind of straying off here a bit. Much of this pertains to the other thread, but yet, it shows there is a market to be had with the larger displacement machines.

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Bob T, I agree with you to an extent. As far as using a machine for work like you seem to use yours, a 400 class machine should work fine for most. The reason for the larger machines, is that they are more fun. They have more power, go faster, handle larger tires, and have more features(sometimes). I don't see it as a waste of money though, if it makes the owner happy, then it's not a waste. Do most of us need rods and reels that cost over $50? Probably not, we could still catch fish on a $12 combo, but it's a hobby and there are benefits to spending more money for many things in life. It's all preference and the "waste is in the eye of the beholder."

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Yeah. I guess the waste thing is relative. Sort of like the saying, "One man's trash is another's treasure" or something like that.

Bob

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Good topic. We have been trying to down size for bear guiding/baiting. The 500 and up is to much machine. To clumsy in the woods, to heavy and steers like a mad cow, basicaly like driving a small tank around. So I bought a 366 instead of another 500 or bigger ...well smaller and lighter is smaller and lighter evrything. The machine did not make the first month. The thing absolutely blew apart. 17 mechanical failures in the first 500 miles. We are talking leaking gas, engine stalling, won't shift, brakes hung up, lights don't work, ball joints going out, fenders coming apart, skid plates shatterring. All I got was "It is what it is, I don't know what to tell ya" from a rep after my fifth phone call to their Consumer affairs. Along with "you need to have a 500 or bigger to get a machine built heavy enough to use for work." What the heck!? It is back at the dealer along with another 1500 clams when traded in for a bigger one that is built heavier and built in America, yes sir they are now assembling them off shore. Thank god my dealer is one of the best, the manufacturer left him hanging to handle it and he did. But to market a ATV as a sport utility that has zero utility ability past the front yard then stick the dealer with the problem made me take a hard look at getting another one of these big machines...

I understand the bigger is cooler bit for some but for guys like me that spend 10-12 hours a day on these things making a living we are tired of big clumsy machines with power that does nothing but spin holes and burn gas. I wish somebody made a 300 that was built like the old ones. Tough, light and could carry a load all while steering with one hand. If you got hung up on a stump you lift it off, not spending an hour winching and chain sawing 650lbs of ATV back free. God forbid if you tear a wire loose and lose your four wheel drive, transmission or the unit won't start from a dead battery since they don't even have rewinds anymore? The ATV industry has truly gotten out of control and forgot about the guys that actually take their ATV across all terrian everyday. Everything is is BIG BIG BIG so Mr. Jones can have the new 1,000 and look down on Mr. Johnson who only has the 800 and neither of those machines will most likely leave the improved trail. Meanwhile the the guy trying to tread lightly going cross country for guiding, farming or work related reasons is stuck driving a chromed out 700lb monster that doesn't fit between two trees four feet apart. How I miss lifting the old 185 Suzuki into the back of the truck, and to think it was the big dog in its day.

My opinion, zero advantage to the big machines unless you need to plow 40 acres. The ATV companies no longer make All Terrian Vehicles, they are now over sized All Trail Vehicles.

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When I read your post, Jonny, I get a little confused about where you stand. One minute you're saying that you're down sizing and bigger may not be better but a lot of what you say gives the impression that you were writing to support the larger machines. Maybe a different manufacturer builds their smaller machines more durable or maybe you happened to get one of those Monday or Friday lemons? Don't know for sure, just a thought.

I know that my Kawi has been a good machine so far. As far as the weight, it is my understanding that the bigger machines aren't all that much heavier than the smaller ones. My 300 weighs 605lbs. empty and I believe my friend's 600 CanAm 2-up weighs only about 50lbs more.

About the only thing I have read so far that really makes much sense is the added power giving one more options in tire size and aggressiveness. Aside from that, I haven't read anything that convinces me that bigger is all that much better.

Bob

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JohnnyP............

Besides all that, each manufacturer has a flagship model. That is the model that normally gets all of the good features that a person may like.(EFI, power steering, digital gauges, a certain 4wd feature, bigger racks, more accessory options....)

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Bob what I am saying is so many sit in the corner of the sandbox and cry because they don't have the biggest ALL the machines have become 600lb big to satisfy the market.We are stuck with these 600lb plus gorillas and if you buy a smaller one it is built like a Yugo. So I am stuck driving a big tank around or I spend every third day in the shop fixing the little one.

Basically what I am saying is I as many are looking for an alternative to the ATV industry since Cat, Honda, Polaris etc etc have gotten so big they have become useless to us. Not to mention the six thousand dollar price tags? Ya the industry is out of control.

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If you go riding with bigger machines, you would see the advantages on the trail.

That is fine if all you do is haul the machine from the city to a network of improved trails, ya you can go fast on the trail. Now take that monster and try to retreive a downed bear, heard up lost cattle, run a trapline, look at logging stumpage before bidding on it, run up a old brushy ditch grade to unblock irrigation water and all you will have is a machine that is to wide, to long, spins out at the drop of a hat and so heavy it basicaly thinks it is a soil submarine.

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The increase in power only causes more stupidity and machoisim. Kind of like the guy/gal on the big sleds that spin their tracks at ever stupid stop sign! Wow..I'm impressed!! Not to get off track but if everyone could afford what we really need versus want this economy may not be as bad off as thought??

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I was shocked when I went into the Honda site to see how heavy their smallest ute is.

The Rancher 420 has a wet (including fluids) weight of 600 lbs while my Rincon tips the scales at 648. The basic Rancher 4x4 is 584 lbs.

I expected the Rancher to be closer to 475-525 lbs.

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I have owned a 2000 400 kodiak for about 5 or 6 years. I trail ride a few times a year, ice fish with it, plow my snow and other chores. The only time I have ever wished I had a bigger machine was trail riding when the going gets tough on wet, deep, muddy trails. Actually its not even so much the extra power that I would need in these instances, it's more ground clearance. Maybe more aggressive tires would make me go further, but I would need the extra power to turn them.

Most guys who like to mud think that getting stuck is part of the fun so I just get to have my fun sooner and more often than the guys with the bigger machines that I ride with.

The rest of the time I prefer my machine(although IR suspension would be nice)it rides a little sportier and I can turn on a dime compared to the other machines. I have never had any problem plowing or anything else with it.

With anything else it's all in what you personally want. I am economy minded so I couldn't pass up the deal I got on this unit, but that's not to say I wouldn't buy a larger machine in the future.

I thought my old 185s honda 3-wheeler had plenty of power in the 80's.

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So far for me, power has never been an issue. Ground clearance and drive train have.

My machine doesn't have independent rear suspension and this reduces my ground clearance. This has nothing to do with engine size or power.

My machine has a front differential that under certain conditions will allow the slipping wheel to spin. As a result, there has been a few times when my buddy has driven circles around me because he had a CanAm with limited slip in the front. Again, nothing to do with power and everything to do with the type of drive system.

So far anyway...

Bob

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Originally Posted By: Roofer

If you go riding with bigger machines, you would see the advantages on the trail.

That is fine if all you do is haul the machine from the city to a network of improved trails, ya you can go fast on the trail. Now take that monster and try to retreive a downed bear, heard up lost cattle, run a trapline, look at logging stumpage before bidding on it, run up a old brushy ditch grade to unblock irrigation water and all you will have is a machine that is to wide, to long, spins out at the drop of a hat and so heavy it basicaly thinks it is a soil submarine.

You can't be serious. I have used atv's to build stands, build bridges, build cabins, haul wood, pull fish houses, haul deer and bear out, etc....

We were building a bridge once. We were pulling telephone poles back to where the bridge was going to be. There were 3 atv's....a Yamaha Kodiak 400, a 400 Polaris, and my 650 Prarie I used to have. I pulled 3 phone poles to their one. Is that an advantage? I would say so.

Maybe you need a dirt bike for an alternative for some of your tasks, and an atv for hauling.

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I hear Johnny p's point. I've seen a need for a lighter machine since the old three wheelers went by the wayside. The four wheelers continued to go up in weight and power but not wheel width. The limiting factor was the wheel well of the pickup that hauled them, so as they got bigger the tires got narrrower. We went from eco friendly balloon style turf tires that actually floated the machine if you went through the ice, to agressive lug tires that rutted the trails so much that a public outcry ensued getting them banned in many places.

Make a lighter rig with wider wheel base and sell a trailer with it and just maybe we will be allowed back in the woods with these things. If we keep going bigger we will be religated to the street. Just my thoughts. Hans

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Make a lighter rig with wider wheel base and sell a trailer with it and just maybe we will be allowed back in the woods with these things. If we keep going bigger we will be religated to the street. Just my thoughts. Hans

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