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Old 10-09-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Utility Quad advice (engine size, model?)

Hi guys,

I searched and read through one thread which was informative but didn't answer all my questions, so I figured I'd start a new thread. My Taco isn't 4x4, and some of the trails and areas on my deer lease get quite muddy, narrow, and are brush & cactus ridden. I don't doubt my Taco's ability, but out in the middle of nowhere I don't want to be stuck in the mud alone, and I'd like to spare my paint and tires from the cacti and brush.

So I want to get an ATV (plus I think it'd be a lot of fun). I've never even been on one, and don't know anything about them or what size engine I need, what brands are reliable, what a fair price is, etc.

What I'm looking for:
- Money is a consideration, I'd like something less than $1k, under $2k is a must (used is fine)
- I just want to carry myself (200#) and some gear (>25#)
- 4x4, mud capable, winch ready, rear storage rack, quiet is good
- Range over 15 miles or so, returning to a gas can in the truck is no problem
- Fits in the bed of a Tacoma is a big plus but not a must

I guess my first question, is it even possible to get what I want for less than $1k (used)?

How large of an engine do I need to carry 225#s around comfortably? The area is mostly level, but there are a few minor hills and a number of areas that get muddy and troublesome even for a 4x4 pickup. I was thinking maybe 300-350cc, but that's just from a quick google search. I know the local BPS sells 500-700cc quads but they're all 7k+ and look built to climb mountains. I don't need to do that. Although, if I could throw the occasional hog or deer (100#) on the back to jaunt back to the truck that's good; 95% of it's use would be carrying less than 225#s.

Any information or advice you guys can offer as to what brand, what engine size for my intended use, and any specific features I need to look for, would be very much appreciated! If anyone knows of or has something suitable they want to sell that info is welcome as well.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
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It's gonna be tough in that price range to get what you want; it will have to be real old or high use/hours.

I own a Honda Rancher 420cc, it's a great little quad and goes anywhere but if I load more than 30lbs on the rear rack it wants to wheelie, and weight in the front can overload its suspension. It has to be packed balanced. Somthing like this this will meet your needs. And the little thing is bullet proof. Take it through the Rubicon no problem, never had to use the winch (just for messing around).

For work I ride occasionally ride a Suzuki King Quad 600EFI. It's bigger but handles great, is very comfortable, and carries loads alot better. The suspension is also much more forgiving (The Suzuki is full independent, My Honda is a straight rear axle). It's alos got full fron/rear lockers; not that anyone aver needs it.

If I were in the market to buy again I would go for one of the big dogs, 600cc+. More stable platform, handle more weight, better ride. But don't get me wrong, I never regret getting the Honda 420... but don't go any smaller than that.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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What he said^^ about the price. Its gunna be really hard to find anything near that price unless its an old ranch quad or something. Which actually would probably suit your needs nicely. Your gunna be looking at something at least 5 years old for that price. Youll want a 300cc and up sized quad. a 300cc quad will move the weight you described but its probably not gunna be comfortable. You would be better off with a quad thats a 400-500cc. You probably wont really need any of the extra stuff like winch or 4x4 unless you have a specific need for them(Ive ridden more than a thousand miles in ridiculous terrains, And only had to use 4x4 once. Definitely make sure you get electric start. Also try to get a four stroke.
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:24 PM   #4
slick_711 [OP] slick_711 is offline
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That was sort of what I thought after looking around online a bit more. I'm going to have to save up and spend more to get good quality. Something the size of your Honda sounds like it would be perfect for what I want to do. I don't really need to haul much other than myself, a small backpack, and a rifle. I think I'll look into it a bit more and keep an eye on craigslist while I save up.

Not knowing much about them I assumed I would need 4x4 and a winch for dealing with mud, but I guess they are much lighter and more capable than a pickup. Not to mention able to maneuver around mud in some of the spots that my truck is too wide to cross.

Thank you both for the input!
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:25 PM   #5
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Your price range is pretty impossible IMO, but I'd recommend looking for a good used Honda Rancher 350 4x4, an early 2000's model would be the cheapest. They're midsized, torquey, easy to ride and VERY reliable and easy to maintain. I put 2800 miles on one in a year and a half a few years back before I upgraded to something larger and all it needed was basic maintenance and a CV boot replaced here and there that got caught by a stick. It would haul what you need as the the racks are rated at 66lbs front, 133lbs rear, but I know it can handle more, and its also rated for 850lbs towing as well. It should yield you around a 75-100 mile range on a tank if you arent just crawling around and actually run down trails/logging roads at 25mph or so.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_711 View Post
That was sort of what I thought after looking around online a bit more. I'm going to have to save up and spend more to get good quality. Something the size of your Honda sounds like it would be perfect for what I want to do. I don't really need to haul much other than myself, a small backpack, and a rifle. I think I'll look into it a bit more and keep an eye on craigslist while I save up.

Not knowing much about them I assumed I would need 4x4 and a winch for dealing with mud, but I guess they are much lighter and more capable than a pickup. Not to mention able to maneuver around mud in some of the spots that my truck is too wide to cross.

Thank you both for the input!
It depends on where you ride but for me, here, it has to be 4x4. I have mine in 4x4 at least half the time... but 2wd utility quads still go many places.

Again, with the winch, I've never had to use it to get unstuck. I mostly just use it to drag out firewood or as an anchor-strap on the trailer. The one time I really could have used it was to remove a downed tree across the trail but it was too heavy and just pulled the quad towards the tree. Also fun at camp is to hang your ATV from a large branch . This winter I'm gonna get a snowblower for the front of the work quad and that requires a winch to lift it up and down... but otherwise a winch on a ut quad isn't an absolute necessity unless you do some serious mud bogging IMO.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_711 View Post
Hi guys,

I searched and read through one thread which was informative but didn't answer all my questions, so I figured I'd start a new thread. My Taco isn't 4x4, and some of the trails and areas on my deer lease get quite muddy, narrow, and are brush & cactus ridden. I don't doubt my Taco's ability, but out in the middle of nowhere I don't want to be stuck in the mud alone, and I'd like to spare my paint and tires from the cacti and brush.

So I want to get an ATV (plus I think it'd be a lot of fun). I've never even been on one, and don't know anything about them or what size engine I need, what brands are reliable, what a fair price is, etc.

What I'm looking for:
- Money is a consideration, I'd like something less than $1k, under $2k is a must (used is fine)
- I just want to carry myself (200#) and some gear (>25#)
- 4x4, mud capable, winch ready, rear storage rack, quiet is good
- Range over 15 miles or so, returning to a gas can in the truck is no problem
- Fits in the bed of a Tacoma is a big plus but not a must

I guess my first question, is it even possible to get what I want for less than $1k (used)?

How large of an engine do I need to carry 225#s around comfortably? The area is mostly level, but there are a few minor hills and a number of areas that get muddy and troublesome even for a 4x4 pickup. I was thinking maybe 300-350cc, but that's just from a quick google search. I know the local BPS sells 500-700cc quads but they're all 7k+ and look built to climb mountains. I don't need to do that. Although, if I could throw the occasional hog or deer (100#) on the back to jaunt back to the truck that's good; 95% of it's use would be carrying less than 225#s.

Any information or advice you guys can offer as to what brand, what engine size for my intended use, and any specific features I need to look for, would be very much appreciated! If anyone knows of or has something suitable they want to sell that info is welcome as well.
I'm in the same boat as you. I want to get back into hunting soon and I would rather not use my PreRunner for it. For the price range you set, you are going to be looking at a rather old 4x2. Everyone that I know that has a four wheeler swears by 4x4 models.

I think i'm just going to save up and try to get a Yamaha Grizzly 550 4x4 fuel injected model. While not cheap, it will do everything that I want it to do. My sister has a Grizzly 400 (I think its a 400) and it seems to have plenty of power for hunting/general use.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvdeserted View Post
It depends on where you ride but for me, here, it has to be 4x4. I have mine in 4x4 at least half the time... but 2wd utility quads still go many places.

Again, with the winch, I've never had to use it to get unstuck. I mostly just use it to drag out firewood or as an anchor-strap on the trailer. The one time I really could have used it was to remove a downed tree across the trail but it was too heavy and just pulled the quad towards the tree. Also fun at camp is to hang your ATV from a large branch . This winter I'm gonna get a snowblower for the front of the work quad and that requires a winch to lift it up and down... but otherwise a winch on a ut quad isn't an absolute necessity unless you do some serious mud bogging IMO.

no offense but you're not tryin hard enough if you've never had to use the winch to get un stuck
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:59 AM   #9
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I think your price is low for what you want. I don't agree with others about the size. Honda made an older 300 that was bulletproof and had more than enough power to haul you and your gear. The 500cc+ range is overkill 99% of the time. I'm not doubting for a second that extra power isn't nice to have but I don't think you can argue that it's a necessity for your needs. The smaller ATV's are lighter, easier to maneuver and burn less fuel which would extend your range. Also, if you're going to put a winch on the ATV, have you considered a 2wd? I'm not sure how rough the trails you ride are but ATVs are very capable machines, even in 2wd, due to the short wheel base, extremely aggressive tires, light weight and solid rear axle. Good luck with your search!
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:30 AM   #10
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i just got a new rancher 420 with IRS and put a set of maxxis zilla's on it, it's pretty hard to get stuck, i could have got a bigger CC but didnt really feel the need for more, all of my buddys have big bores, i think that much power isn't really neccesary, that being said the rancher with these bigger tires does need just a hair more power, since it's FI i'll be looking to get a powercommander for it in the near future, it can bog down in the really really deep stickey mud

honda atv's are about the best out there IMO
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #11
slick_711 [OP] slick_711 is offline
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Yeah, the more I looked the more I realized my price range was unrealistic. I just didn't (don't) know much about ATVs. I'm still keeping an eye on craigslist, but I'm going to save up a more realistic sum and look from there. Problem is, everytime I save up a few bills I buy something else. I still need a new AR, and now that I bought my 5100s I need to level the rear end. ;-)

Thank you guys for the info/advice.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:59 PM   #12
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suzuki king quad 450. hands down the best atv in its class has all the features the bigger boys have and plenty of power.

EFI, Liquid Cooled, IRS, LCD display, sealed and oil packed rear brake, and a locker...no brainer
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