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ice_it_06

First Time ATV Buyer Help

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Looking to get a used 4 X 4 for ice fishing (pulling 1,800 house) and light plowing.

Never owned a ATV before so I'm not sure of what make or model best fits the bill. EFI or not, IS or not (been told no for pulling/towing)

Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki are of those in my mind. Should I be looking @ 500 cc and up ?

Any thoughts and recommendations greatly appreciated.

Looking @ a $3,000 budget and what to look out for in a used purchase.

Many popping up for sale now day's.

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Straight forward, the best bang for the buck would be a Solid Rear Axle (SRA) machine like the Kawasaki Brute Force 650. Tons of power, SRA, good 4x4 system.

Another good option would be a Polaris SP500. Although it is an IRS machine, there's after market products out there to absorb the tongue weight of a large wheel house and the machine is only pulling the house, not supporting the tongue weight. The downside to the product I'm thinking (I can't recall the name) is you almost need little to NO SNOW in order for it to work properly.

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Really look over a used machine. ATVs are notoriously abused and so you'll want to be cautious with used machinery. Some dealers may offer a 30 day warranty if they go through them.

Check the joint boots, brakes, final drives for damage.

Bob

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I had gotten same advice from Friends like BobT is advising. But due to the fact of too much Uncertainty, I decided to Buy new. Now I will be the first to admit I don't know what is best for the use you are descibing.

I do know that Yamaha is running some super deals right now on getting an ATV . No matter if you are looking at 350 up to the 750. I have no doubt the others do to. I would look at their programs and see if the financing is something that you might be able to swing to get a new Machine with a warranty.

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if you are going to do any trail riding or snow riding or mudding i would get a irs i have a 2006 arctic cat 400 irs it will pull anything but i need to crank my suspension up all the way same thing with my 08 king quad 750

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Lep, is that something that goes on the fish house?

"hooks"

It's like a 2 wheel dollie with a ball hitch on it and a hitch that connects to your ATV. My brother in law has one and I can't think for the life of me what it's called. I have to step away from the computer for a couple hours but will do some searching when I get back.

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I actually was looking @ a New 650 Brute Force (Camo)4X4 Solid Axle with full 1 year warranty for $5,600.. Just not sure if that is a good deal, or if I want to drop another 3g in financing just for a ice fishing rig. confused

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The 1800 pound fish house won't be the problem. It's the tongue weight that is the problem. A solid rear axle has the hitch mounted on the axle, A machine with IRS has the hitch mounted to the frame so the weight goes to the suspension then the axle. Any machine bigger than about a 350 will have enough power. That's not even an issue. Either way the tongue weight is probably more than the machine is rated for. But that wouldn't stop me. These things are tough. There is a clamp on device you can use on an IRS machine to lock out the rear suspension and make the springs solid to handle more weight. The dollie that LEP is talking about sounds like a better choice. Go shop all the machines and take your best deal. For what you are after any of them will be a good choice.

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I received a call back from the brother in law this evening. I guess he fabbed up the dollie himself.

He bought a hitch, mounted it onto a piece of steel tubing, welded that onto a piece of 4x6 steel tubing and mounted a couple wheels like you'd find on the front of a lawn mower. Topped it off with a ball and hooks that to the fish house.

This way there is little to no weight on the ATV. The only thing the ATV needs to do is pull. If a guy really wanted to be creative, he could mount a ski under the dollie instead of 2 wheels to allow it to ride over the snow easier.

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Me neighbor told me that is more or less what his son did.

He welded a tongue jack on the fish house trailer tongue with a 12" wide steel framed ski that was about 12" high @ the curve.

He attached heavy duty plastic off a 55 gallon drum to the ski frame.

Curved part of the barrel for the front of the ski frame and another foot of flat stock for the under side.

Told me he would lower the house just until the tongue weight would start to stress the ATV suspension, back it off a bit and away he went.

Worked slick he said and it would climb over 10" of snow no problem.

I would not be dragging the house thru such stuff so that would not be a issue, but good to know if I went with such an idea !!

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I actually was looking @ a New 650 Brute Force (Camo)4X4 Solid Axle with full 1 year warranty for $5,600.. Just not sure if that is a good deal, or if I want to drop another 3g in financing just for a ice fishing rig. confused

That is actually a pretty good deal! I bought a 650 kawi brute force last fall and LOVE it! Lots of power and is a great ride! Mine is the single rear axle and I actually think it rides just fine and the it tows with no problem. Go with the Kawi, you won't regret it!!

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When Kawi introduced the Prairie 650, it was hands down the best riding SRA machine money could buy.

I had the chance to ride one of the first machines sent out to the dealers who had a demo to get the word out. This machine was just plain sick as far as acceleration and handling. It was that good.

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Here is what I did locks up the rear suspension when needed and nice comfy ride when not needed. Added a leaf spring to the rear that removes easy by pulling one pin and its off. Would post pics but dont know how?

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I actually was looking @ a New 650 Brute Force (Camo)4X4 Solid Axle with full 1 year warranty for $5,600.. Just not sure if that is a good deal, or if I want to drop another 3g in financing just for a ice fishing rig. confused

You will be well over powered for pulling a 1800# fish house. I used my 350 yamaha big bear to pull my 3000# fish house this year.

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Size need is a unknown being I've never owned a wheeler.

Initially I looked @ a Honda 420 Rancher 4 X 4 new for $4,300

but again unfamiliarity with my needs and function is something I need to decide.

From a resale perspective do people gravitate towards "larger" cc machines like above 500 cc ?

This unit will only be a early/late ice fishing unit to access the lake, pull my houses out and around when the truck cant be out there.

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Lep,

The reason that I ask is because I bought a suspenion lock thing for my IRS. I put it on the wheeler when I am pulling the wheel house and take it off when I'am not and have the full suspension back again. The tongue weight of the wheel house is on the wheeler with this set up.

Thanks,

"hooks"

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no such thing as overpowered with a wheeler. Get all the juice u can. Half throttle is always an option. I use a grizzly to pull my light 6 1/2' x 10' house. At some point in time your going to need the power. When the snow gets deep like it did this year it sure helps.

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Why does power make a difference in snow??? I think that weight, traction and clearance would be more of an issue than power when it comes to snow and ice! I had a 350 sportsman that would go through just as much snow as my new 650 Brute Force. Snow and ice is all about traction which is what chains are for!!! As long as the wheeler has low gear, it will pull just fine!

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Why does power make a difference in snow??? I think that weight, traction and clearance would be more of an issue than power when it comes to snow and ice!
I couldn't agree more - my experience has been the same.

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Lep,

The reason that I ask is because I bought a suspenion lock thing for my IRS. I put it on the wheeler when I am pulling the wheel house and take it off when I'am not and have the full suspension back again. The tongue weight of the wheel house is on the wheeler with this set up.

Thanks,

"hooks"

That's the other option to keep the rear of your wheeler from squatting with a heavy tongue weight. The down side is, it might not disperse the weight throughout the machine, thus causing your front end to become light. In that case you risk losing your steering ability.

Personally, that would make me a little uncomfortable with 1800 lbs of fish house behind me.

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I see your point for the weight dispersment but I haven't had any problems steering or anything yet. It has worked really well for me and the tongue doesn't weight 1800 lbs. so it might not be as bad as it sounds.

"hooks"

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I would say anything 200cc and up. Traction is the main concern, none of them are any good without chains or studs. 4X4 doesn't matter much on ice unless you stud the front tires, (its always good to have a few just so you can steer), or if you are going OVER big drifts.

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fishnhooks,

I hope you didn't think I meant the tongue weight was 1800lbs grin

Usually the tongue weight will range between 300-500 lbs.

I hooked up a neighbors camper one day to pull it to his front yard. The camper had a 300 lb tongue weight. Needless to say, I won't be doing that again.

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