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Need Input - Gonna start the search for a 4 wheeler

Dannmann801

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,374
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Springboro
#1
I've been holding off starting this thread until I'd done some of my own research, but time is running short and I'd like some input. Time is running short because I've been working on the wife to get me one for Christmas...maybe getting everyone else in the family to kick in a little instead of buying other gifts...I've been wearing her down for 3 months and she's now accepted that a 4-wheeler is gonna happen...now she says "but I don't even know how to go about getting one"...:smiley_clap:progress, progress.

Here's the deal - I believe that using a 4 wheeler to help me access more remote parts of the properties I hunt is going to have a significant impact for me next season. One property has it's best hunting areas at the top of a 400 foot hill on which there are old logging trails suitable for 4 wheeler use. I climbed it this weekend and felt like a Muslim seeing Mecca for the first time. Like to killed me gettin up there. 4 wheeler is a must.

I don't want a mega-machine. It ain't gotta be purty. Room for one passenger would be nice, but not critical. But I know that if I can't carry a passenger I'll regret it.

I live in the area between Dayton - Cincinnati. If you have any dealer/contact suggestions they'd be appreciated.

I wanna hear about brand preferences - options I should make sure I get - how much machine do I need to haul my fat ass up a hill - minimum ground clearance I should look for - anything you've learned you wish you'd known when you bought a machine, I need to hear it.

School me boyz, school me....
 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
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2
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SE Ohio
#4
Honda. Nuff said...

I've rode Hondas my entire life and you will not invest in a better quad for your needs. Dad has a 2001 Rancher 350 and a 2008 Rancher 420. I own a 2007 Rancher 420 with ITP Mud Lites, HMF fuel optimizer and FMF pipe. I made the mods so I could get more low end power for hauling loads up hill and for putting in plots. Both mods were worth every penny. I also believe replacing the stock tires is a must. As fast as size goes, I'm 230 pounds and I would never buy anything under a 400cc model and 4x4 is a must. I used to think all 4x4 would do is get you in places you didn't need to be. But trust me, you want one with 4x4...

The new Ranchers a fuel injected and I will never buy another quad without it. Our 2001 is carborated and it is a cold natured SOB. Hard to put a price tag on hoping on and firing up a quad the first try in 20 degree weather. I have absolutely abused and beat the dog shit out of mine and she still runs like the day I bought her.

Definitely stay away from Artic Cats, Polaris, and Kawasaki. The Suzuki King Quad is not a bad ride, neither is a Yamaha Grizzly. In fact, if I were to ever stray away from Honda, it would be to buy a Grizzly.

 
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Dannmann801

Senior Member
Supporting Member
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Springboro
#5
Yeah, 4x4 is a given.
What's wrong with Polaris and Kawasaki?
Price range? Hell, I don't know...would like to stay between $3-5K, but I have no idea what that would get me.
 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
0
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SE Ohio
#7
I'll add some more thoughts. I am not a fan of the AT models. I've driven both AT models and the manuals and I would rather have a manual shift. You'll also pay out the ass for an AT model and frankly, there is no reason for IMO. Same with the ES models I have been around. The buttons get dirt and mud down in them and then you have an additonal part to maintain. The plain old manual quads have the foot shifter and in all the years I've riden, I've never had an issue with one. (We also had a 1986 Honda 250 Fourtrax with manual shift. The transmission is still in good shape!)

Depending on your budget, the next move I would make would be to something with independant rear suspension. The Yamaha Big Bear 400 has differential lock, IRS, and is 4x4. But she'll run you $1K more than a Rancher. If you are not going to be trail riding a lot, you can live without IRS, but it sure does soften the ride.

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outdoor/products/modelfeatures/537/0/features.aspx

Now if I had the money to do it all over again, this is how I would roll...

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outdoor/products/modelhome/593/0/home.aspx
 

Riverdude

The Happy Hunting Grounds Beyond
Supporting Member
10,256
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Ashtabula, Ohio
#8
Dan my Man..............

Kawasaki all the way bro.

I have a 4 x 4 750 Brute Force, fuel injected, twin V's and a big ole winch on the front. No matter what you buy invest in a electric winch, the first time you get stuck it wil pay for it's self.

Good Luck Dan.

Oh, CJD bought the same one I have and loves it. :smiley_bike:



 
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formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
0
2
0
SE Ohio
#9
Yeah, 4x4 is a given.
What's wrong with Polaris and Kawasaki?
Price range? Hell, I don't know...would like to stay between $3-5K, but I have no idea what that would get me.
Polaris should have stuck with building snow mobiles. And Kawasaki has half the options for 20% more cost. Not to mention neither brands are built to last from what I have seen. I ride a good bit and I know a ton of people that ride. If you go on one of our big rides, you won't find a Polaris or Kawasaki one unless it is a Razr. Everyone I know rides Honda, Yamaha, or Zuki. And no one I know that is a serious ATV person, owns a Polaris quad...

I forgot to add that the Rancher is liquid cooled. Having rode both air and liquid cooled bikes, you want one that is not solely air cooled! Especially in August putting in food plots!!! And get a damn winch!!!
 

Dannmann801

Senior Member
Supporting Member
9,374
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Springboro
#11
I am not gonna be doin' any recreational riding or sport riding or riding for the sake of riding.
I don't see myself going fast for any reason....I'm seeing myself strictly prowling and scouting and going from truck to stand area, going slow. Strictly utilitarian
 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
0
2
0
SE Ohio
#13
Case in point. All Hondas and Yamahas. Then one dip shit on an Arctic Cat and a nimrod on a Suzuki sport bike!!! :D That Acrtic Cat is a POS. Just ask the guy that gave it away after riding it for a few years. He was just ready to get rid of the damn thing. My uncle borrowed it for deer season this year and you talk about a contraption of a bike. It steers like a drunk homeless guy pushing a shopping cart and runs like it's on it's last breath...

Mine would be the one with all the beer strapped to the front! LOL!!!

 

formerbowhunter1023

Now Posts as Jesse..
0
2
0
SE Ohio
#17
Anybody have a Rancher AT ? That's the one I was thinking about getting last year when I was looking.
Tracie's grandpa has one and I ride it whenever I am out there helping with hay, cows, or crop damage. IMO, it is not worth the extra cash unless you have a lazy right foot! LOL! Seriously though, I would rather be able to shift when I want to shift, than let the bike do it for me. There are lots of times I'll run a gear out past the RPM the AT would want to shift. Yes, you can use the EPS as your shift on demand feature, but then you have those buttons that will wear out, get clogged with dirt, and stick over time. It is one more electrionic thing to go wrong on an tool that doesn't need a lot of bells and whitles. The only reason I would consider one is for the IRS and power steering. I'd have to run one through it's paces on my terms before I could commit to one...
 

Buckmaster

Senior Member
13,194
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Portage
#18
Food for thought after 10 years of ownership......
My first bike was a Yamaha, my next 3 were Polaris. I liked the Yamaha the best.
My next bike would be a Honda Rancher or a Yamaha Grizzly based on my infinite wisdom.
Like Jesse said, go 400 cc or bigger and get the 4x4.
Good luck and safe riding.
 

Gordo

Senior Member
5,543
186
91
Athens County
#19
I bought a used kawasaki prarie 4x4 350cc last spring and have no complaints.

I think its an 07 model. Got it for under $2000. Looked hard on craigs list and finally found a deal.

Pretty much use it as a workhorse. Cant believe i never bought a quad prior as it sure does come in handy