4x4 quad advice wanted

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by nick112207, May 9, 2008.

  1. nick112207

    nick112207 G&G Regular

    which hondas/kawasakis/suzuki/yamaha/polaris quads in the 400cc to 500cc engine sizes are the best? in terms of what i would be riding on around here it is about 1 or 2 inches of dirt over slippery as hell clay. it will have to be 4x4. any other kind of riding would be with my buddies when they go on trips to places like the smokey mountains and such. i am about 5' 10" and weigh somewhere around 240lbs. doesnt have to have anything fancy like gps or EFI. is powered steering on quads good? my buddy doesnt have power steering and idk anyone who does so no experience with that. his is a honda 400 and it has the 5 speed auto tranny that you can switch so that you can shift it when you want rather than the tranny does it. i kinda like that. so what suggestions do you guys have?
  2. Seabeescotty

    Seabeescotty G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The only off-roaders I'm experienced with are upholstered in hair, and run on hay. I've been a hardcore horseback hunter for years, the main reason being there were huge tracts that only allowed foot or horse traffic. You could go for days, on horseback, and see only one or two other people. They didn't allow anything with a motor. I guess that didn't help much. Someone will be on, who knows quads.

  3. killer

    killer G&G Newbie

    In 20 years I have owed 3 different machines (Honda Foreman 350, Polaris 425 6x6, Polaris 700 MV7) and my daughter owns a Yamaha with a 450 engine. I have been using them in Northern Minnesota.

    The Honda Foreman with the smaller engine (350cc) did fine. You might even be able to get by without 4x4 too. I can get through stuff like this in 2 wheel drive fine. Would save a couple thousand dollars probably.


    I only had a hand winch (come-along) on the first two machines and rarely did I need it if I remember right.
  4. AKHunter

    AKHunter G&G Newbie

    The one I like best and own, you can't get anymore, at least not new. It is a Suzuki King Quad 300 1995'. 3 gear ranges with a locking front differential, 4wheel independant suspension and smaller than the typical wheeler these days. It goes through the muck better than anything I have ever been on a trail with except for a Polaris 6x6. And there is serious muck in Alaska !

    Hondas, were, ( not sure if they changed now) geared too high and had difficulty getting through the muck unless one hit it at speed and could stay "alfoat" across it. My Suzuki could just grind on through.

    My experience with a Yamaha Big Bear was bland, it was a 450 I think. It could barely get out of its own way in the muck and it is heavy as typical of anything Yamaha.

    Polaris scare me due to the chain and sprocket hanging out in space I would never own one for that reason alone. I go hunting on my wheelers back in the alaska bush and I will 20-30 miles in. Coming straight down on a rock against a spocket means a long *** walk out. If I have a moose or caribou on the rig, I am doubly screwed.

    I dont care for belt drive transmissions, I prefer manual shift particularly for going down hill. Although CVT transmissions have improved where engine braking is concerned. I dont know if anyone else does but, Polaris warranties their drive belts for life, or did. That may lend piece of mind but, it wont get you back to the truck if the belt breaks and you dont have a spare.

    Bombardier (BRP) get through the muck well (as well as my Suzuki) and are comfortable to ride. My buddy that owns one is your size and he has a 400. I have never been in a situation where any bigger engine would get you out of something that a 300 or 400 cant get out of, bigger engine makes for a heavier machine, lesser fuel economy ( so now you carry more fuel increasing weight again). I haul a large trailer with our camp and my wife drives a 250 Quad Runner. I can haul camp and a large caribou with my 300 ( though there are times my wife has to hook up to me to pull me out of the middle of a mud hole :) but thats the fun part ).

    So in a nut shell I would recommend getting a manual transmission, 4 wheel independant suspension, shaft driven, 300-500cc engine, 4x4 with a winch if you go mucky places. I would look first at Suzuki and BRP. Also get good tires, the typical knobby tires on new machines are about worthless in the mud, good tires make a huge difference.

    On a regular basis when out wheeling, the group I ride with contain 1 or 3 Polaris 6x6, a Yamaha Big Bear, a BRP 400, a Suzuki King Quad 300, a Suzuki 250 Quad runner all 4x4. One guy even gets his 6x6 stuck, we are still trying to figure out he does it :09:.

    I hope that helps and have fun !
  5. nick112207

    nick112207 G&G Regular

    i think im gonna get a honda. everyone i know has one so the knowledge of fixing it is there. also my buddies did pretty well when going down a hill on slippery clay/mud. the engine brake worked quite well i think. and i do believe i'm gonna settle and just get a 500cc though idk which model exactly

    actually i have decided on the honda foreman series. idk if i want the 500 class rubicon or i will just go with the standard 4x4 foremans with the 475. which of the two would you guys suggest?
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  6. cubbieman

    cubbieman Guest

    just to add to AKHunter's post, Bombardier has changed it's name to Can-Am for 4 wheelers
  7. I own a Honda Foreman 400 and as far as power it's got more than you'll ever need.
    Plus it's seems unbreakable. There makeing them to powerful 350 and 400 are all you need in my honest oppinion.
    Honda would be a good choice "BUT" I think Suzuki has surpassed some models of Honda's per an ATV show I watched regularly on the OutDoor Channel.
    Thats the only 2 I would own.
    In my area though you'll see more Honda's and some Polarus's than any other Brand.

    EDIT: Pertaining to getting through Muck LOL I've never had a problem with swamps and Gumbo like we have here in So.Arkansas
    That's the only time I like getting Muddy is when I'm on my Hog !!! Thats my Hondas name, HOG !
    I'd love to go down that road killer postted on my HOG.
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  8. deadman03

    deadman03 G&G Addict

    i have a kawasaki bayou, it is over 10 years old. its only a 2 wheel drive, but the rear differential is lockable so it does allright going up slick hills, but as for mud if it gets deap enough the front tires will just drive in the ground.
    but mainly i posted to say that in all that time, all that has been worked is it was in a shop once for something i cant remember and, the carbarator, i think that is mostly leting it sit all winter. my dad and i have pulled out the carbarator 3 times i think, blew it out with a aircompressor and just put it back on. (thats 3 times in 10 years) also has a pull start on side, so when battery dies you can still start it, its nice.
  9. Seven©

    Seven© G&G Evangelist

    My Polaris has a shaft drive. A 2000 Magnum 500. I've seen a few older Sportsman models that had chains. But about all the newer (2000 and up) Polaris I've run across were shaft driven.

    That is a nice feature. Saved me one time on a camping trip. Wish my mower had that. I have used my ATV to jump start my mower.

    Another nice feature is a handle bar mounted light. It sucks to make a quick turn on a tight trail and your lights pointing one way while you're headed another. :34:
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  10. roadie

    roadie G&G Newbie

    Must be nice to have enough precipitation to actually get real mud to ride through, I could only be so lucky.

    This is not a 4x4 but if you're going to get one, why not get one of each...this is my Polaris Predator 500, ton's of fun. And notice the Desert National Wildlife Range sign that has been shot up by dumb ***'s, they're the ones that make us all look bad.
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  11. nick112207

    nick112207 G&G Regular

    i can only afford 1 quad. and thats barely. i wont even be getting one till next summer and even then my car will still have 1 grand left on its loan

    EDIT: i have actually decided i am going to get a Honda Foreman Rubicon. i like the idea of the constant variable transmission and the other features it has over just the basic Foreman