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Thread: Who makes the best utility quad?

  1. #1

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    Who makes the best utility quad?

    In the 500cc-750cc range, who makes the best utility quad and why?

    Thanks,

    Pete

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Depends on what you want. Automatic, manual, shiftable auto? 2WD, 4WD, selectable?
    Mainly for all around riding, trail riding, workhorse?

  3. #3
    phobiaphobe
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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    My brother in law swears by his 660 Grizzly, though he has snapped a few driveshafts.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Which brings a few more questions:
    Do you want a reliable one? One that is guaranteed to have drive issues in the wet and mud?

    I can tell you between the three Honda utility models I have owned recently that the Rubicon is the best workhorse, but not really that comfortable to ride. Very stiff, strong suspension and frame.
    The Rincon has gobs of power and an interesting tranny. It is very comfortable, almost luxury car like. The tranny, while great for all around and trail riding, isn't up to the Rubicon's standards as a worker. It has no low gear, and doesn't offer much in the way of engine breaking while going downhill. It does have a ton of power, but the suspension is a bit softer to aid the ride. However, it plowed snow with no sweat and could be used for medium duty work and occasional heavy-duty work.
    The Rancher AT is currently in the garage, and sits right in the middle of the two. Slightly less power than the Rubicon, but not really noticed. Still a very comfortable machine to ride for extended periods. Haven't used it for plowing just yet, but with it having plenty of power on tap and a good tranny it will do it with no problems.
    The Rincon and Rancher had / have the selectable 2WD / 4WD switch, and it is VERY obvious when the 4WD is engaged. In 2WD mode you have a sportier feel with lighter steering. When needed, flip it to 4WD and it engages right away.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by BDA116
    Depends on what you want. Automatic, manual, shiftable auto? 2WD, 4WD, selectable?
    Mainly for all around riding, trail riding, workhorse?
    Mainly a workhorse, with the ability to tow a 5x8 trailer loaded with 500-1000lbs. 4wd (aren't most of the 4x4 models selectable?). I think I would prefer a shiftable auto.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by BDA116
    Which brings a few more questions:
    Do you want a reliable one? One that is guaranteed to have drive issues in the wet and mud?
    Absolutely. I plan to snorkel it, as it will likely be fully submerged at times.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Thanks for all the input BDA. It definitely sounds like the Rubicon is the one that would suit my needs best, if I were to go with a Honda, and if the displacement is large enough.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
    My brother in law swears by his 660 Grizzly, though he has snapped a few driveshafts.
    How did he snap them?

  10. #9
    phobiaphobe
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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    How did he snap them?
    Well I think the story he gave Yamaha was that he was towing building materials but truth be known I'm pretty sure he was pissed drunk having a tug o' war with his buddy's ATV. Twice.

    Supposedly they make the driveshaft out of aluminum and engineer it to have a relatively light failure point so that you can't pile up your tranny or diff.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
    Well I think the story he gave Yamaha was that he was towing building materials but truth be known I'm pretty sure he was pissed drunk having a tug o' war with his buddy's ATV. Twice.
    Either way, that's not good news considering how I plan to treat this one.

  12. #11
    phobiaphobe
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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Personally I like this one:

    http://www.brp.com/en/Products/Bomba...gory=Outlander


    or the 2-up version:

    http://www.brp.com/en/Products/Bomba...erMax800XT.htm

    They're fuel injected and can tow 1300 lbs.

    But I would take any Honda as well. Up here in the oilpatch it's Honda country. The Foremans and Rubicons seem to be very common. My uncle just bought a Foreman.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Of the Hondas, you would definitely be best off with the Rubicon. It is "only" 500cc, but the overall package with the tranny, frame and drive system work very well together, and is plenty powerfull. When I had the Rubis they didn't have the selectable 2WD/4WD system, but they do now. Most utes are going that way.
    If you plan to do a lot of submerged riding it pretty much counts Polaris out. I like their ATVs, and they have done a lot to seal the belt drive tranny. But it is notorious for being their weak spot. Polaris owners don't like to admit it to other riders, but they have problems when doing a lot of stream and/or mud crossings.
    A lot of the new big utes are going more the way of the comfort/trail riding frame and suspension, like the Rincon. That doesn't make them bad, but takes away from the workhorse functions some. The new big Bombardier and Arctic Cat ATVs are very good in their own right, but are better known for their power and handling out on the trails and in the open than their work capabilities. Pretty much all the IRS models are that way - except the Polaris', but they still have that one weak spot.
    With the Yamaha, you may want to look at the Big Bear, even though it is "only" 400cc. It is more hardcore worker than it's bigger brothers, and has the low gear as well.
    As for the KawaSuzuki models, it's pretty much the same. The smaller one has the low gear, and the bigger ones are more geared toward the overall riding.
    There are a TON of choices in the ATV world. I've stuck to Honda because I think their stuff is more solidly made, as well as the fact that I have a good relationship with a dealer.
    I really think that the Rubicon is the best workhorse ATV on the market right now. It's not a bad machine for trails and overall riding, just not nearly as pluch as the current big bore IRS machines are. That said, the current big bore IRS machines are great at trails and other riding, and aren't bad at hardcore working, but they aren't quite as good as the true workhorse machines at that function.
    Whew, that was fun. Of course, that's all just my

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by BDA116
    There are a TON of choices in the ATV world.
    I'm just now finding that out!

    I had just assumed that the bigger displacement machines would be the ones geared more towards being the workhorse type.

    Thanks for all the useful insight!

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
    Personally I like this one:

    http://www.brp.com/en/Products/Bomba...gory=Outlander


    or the 2-up version:

    http://www.brp.com/en/Products/Bomba...erMax800XT.htm

    They're fuel injected and can tow 1300 lbs.

    But I would take any Honda as well. Up here in the oilpatch it's Honda country. The Foremans and Rubicons seem to be very common. My uncle just bought a Foreman.
    Thanks phobe.

    What's the word on Bombardier? Reliable? Are they the ones that use Rotax motors?

  16. #15
    phobiaphobe
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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Thanks phobe.

    What's the word on Bombardier? Reliable? Are they the ones that use Rotax motors?
    Yes and yes. From all reports I've heard they are bulletproof.

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
    Yes and yes. From all reports I've heard they are bulletproof.
    Probably not the best choice of words for "Pete", as he'll test that theory.

    Oh, and use this link for Bomber products available to the U.S.: http://www.bombardier-atv.com/en-US/Vehicles/2006/

  18. #17
    phobiaphobe
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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    So what'll it be Pete? Red, Yellow, Green or Camo?

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by BDA116
    Probably not the best choice of words for "Pete", as he'll test that theory.
    Should I take that as a dig?

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by phobiaphobe
    So what'll it be Pete? Red, Yellow, Green or Camo?

  21. #20

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    Re: Who makes the best utility quad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Should I take that as a dig?
    Yes. Or no.

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