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  1. #1
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Need ATV Learnin'

    Recently moved to a sizeable chunk of property and walking around isn't practical. Need some sort of small mechanical transport. Started looking at used ATVs and am surprised by the cost. I imagine it is because they are in demand around here, but most are over twice NADA, which leaves me wondering if that is expected.

    Maybe I am going about my search wrong. I am looking for a rancher/hunter style ATV (with the racks front and back). Needs to be big enough for a grown man, no downsized knee crunchers. The property is dead flat, so 4x2 should be ok, although 4x4 would be preferred. What size engine should i be considering? Is there any correlation between the model number (ie 300, 600 etc) and horsepower or anything, it doesn't look like it to me, but what do I know. I am fine with previously owned provided it is reliable and parts are fairly common. I see several either no-name or some off brand names that I don't want to roll the dice on.

    Other info, I have an 8N tractor, so I won't be using the ATV for any farming, just transport or to pull a small utility trailer with tools and such. Any guidance or input?
    Proudly un-offended.

  2. #2
    Your experience matches mine - for the price of an ATV you can have a fairly nice "farm truck" that may well be more useful.

    Decisions, decisions.


    Good Luck!
    Don't tell me violence doesn't solve anything.

    Look at Carthage.

  3. #3
    70jimmy's Avatar
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    For the price of an ATV you can also get one of those little 4x4 trucks with fold down beds that aren't street legal. flip forward cab engine underneath.
    I suffered trail rejection from a carb infection and after futher inspection fuel injection was my election for proper correction and now I want some gear selection, any question?

  4. #4
    Atv's are in season right now and will be cheaper in nov-feb. I would wait to purchase. Watch Craig's list for price comparison on all brands, but I have had great results from honda's and decent results with Polaris.

    Get a 4x4 as it will be easier to sell if you change your mind with little to no loss. Buy a group of them from someone getting out of the sport at a group price during the fall winter and hold the ones you don't want until spring when you can sell them off individually for more and reduce the cost of the one you keep.

  5. #5
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70jimmy View Post
    For the price of an ATV you can also get one of those little 4x4 trucks with fold down beds that aren't street legal. flip forward cab engine underneath.
    What is it that are you describing? Can you link a picture?

    Deere gators seem to be rare and therefore expensive. Golf carts, even gas powered, I don't think they will get around in the weeds and ruts. Also been considering an old mini-pickup, but haven't seen any banged up super cheap options yet. Don't need a title since it won't leave the property.

  6. #6
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impaired View Post
    Atv's are in season right now and will be cheaper in nov-feb. I would wait to purchase. Watch Craig's list for price comparison on all brands, but I have had great results from honda's and decent results with Polaris.

    Get a 4x4 as it will be easier to sell if you change your mind with little to no loss. Buy a group of them from someone getting out of the sport at a group price during the fall winter and hold the ones you don't want until spring when you can sell them off individually for more and reduce the cost of the one you keep.
    Great ideas!

  7. #7
    My neighbor has a 2014 Polaris Scramber 850 for sale. Electronic power steering, on demand 4-wheel drive, Fox suspension, winch. 572 miles/63.2 hours. He paid $12K and is looking for $8500. He's got a Jeep now and just doesn't ride. Let me know if you're interested and I can pass on the info.
    2001 2.5L TJ, HPD30/D44 with dual OX and 4.88, full armor, X20-8 winch, 35" STTs on TMI beadlocks, 1" BL, 1" Brown Dog MML, 4.5" suspension w/ fully adjustable control arms and tie rod upgrade, OBA, Novak Shifter, PS hood louver, Teraflex ESS SYE, UCF UHC tummy tuck, Adams Driveshaft

  8. #8
    Ace's Avatar
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    I'd recommend an old Honda Foreman. Reliable as an anvil. I bought mine new in '98 and it's only needed batteries, a set of tires and oil changes. Gear drive -vs- belt drive for a farm "tractor"

    I've plowed snow with mine, surprisingly capable... If that's a possibility for you you might want to put 4x4 higher on the list of priorities. My plow is an old garden tractor plow that I fabricobled up a mount for. $80 winch raises and lowers it.

    If your property is mellow, you might consider an old gas golf cart... I bought an old 2 stroke gas one for neighborhood duties and they are really awesome for getting in and out of, and with a little work you can mount up a bed where the clubs went. Really useful for hauling tools around the property.

  9. #9
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace View Post
    Gear drive -vs- belt drive for a farm "tractor"
    Please expound upon this concept.

  10. #10
    Ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    Please expound upon this concept.
    Alot of atv's are belt drive, like a snowmobile. Excellent for haul'n butt but not great if you want to pull a heavy trailer 3mph up a steep hill or push snow. They are MUCH better than they use to be but I'll take a gear drive any day for a farm duty atv.

  11. #11
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    So I am guessing that the Foreman is a gear drive?

  12. #12
    Ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clod Hopper View Post
    So I am guessing that the Foreman is a gear drive?
    correct. 5 sp and 1st is kind of a granny low.

  13. #13
    If the point of the ATV is strictly for utility uses- just use the tractor.

    If you "want" the ATV, you'll have to swallow the expensive pill.

    ATV's are fun- we have some- but useless compared to an 8N ford for real ranch/acreage work.
    If you cross thread a bolt, there is no need for loctite.

    Run whatcha brung... And hope you brought enough.

  14. #14

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    My tractor was used way more than the ATV, and now that I have a Ranger the ATV hasn't been started for almost a year.

  15. #15
    I have a 2010 Polaris 550xp I use to work my property down south. It has a hitch so I can tow my little harbor freight trailer around and a contraption used for brush removal. I also ride the crap out of it in Woodland park on the trails. One thing i have heard is steer away from Polaris and get a Honda (as mentioned above). Have not had any real issues with mine except a ball joint came out and killed the knuckle, but I ride that thing like i stole it. If I was informed back then I would have got a Honda. In my opinion, ATV=Light duty farm/Land work/tons of fun --- Tractor=Heavy duty farm/land work/ehhh, depends how you define fun
    Red 1st gen 4Runner, White Buggy

  16. #16
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Had given up on looking at ATVs as they were all too much money. Last weekend, while off purchasing a backhoe, I stumbled into a 2001 Polaris sportsman 400 for $600 that included a snow plow. Doubt I will ever use the snow plow, too small. No battery, so I will have to get one at some point, but it pull starts on the first yank of the cord and runs like a champ. Has some little issues like the hand brake doesn't work (needs to be bled?), has duct tape around one of the front hubs (cracked?), speedo is crushed. The guy rolled it and then lost interest. I will run it as is for now and mess around fixing things later this winter when I have more time. It has been pretty handy so far.

    Anyone want a Polaris snowplow?

  17. #17
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    The tractor isn't practical for transportation around the property. It is either very slow or beats you to death from lack of suspension. No way to carry anything unless I find a trailer for it, but I usually have something on the 3point, mower, box blade, plow or something. Also, it isn't very easy to climb on and off of. If I had to, I could use it for transport, but it just isn't practical. It is pretty thirsty too. Oh, not an 8N, actually a 600, but most people are familiar with the N series and the 600 is essentially the same with minor improvements.

    The Polaris is much easier to hop on, quick to start, uses little fuel, soft suspension, front and back racks for carrying, and at the price I bought it for, have absolutely no concerns with leaving it out regardless of weather. Which means it is more likely right nearby instead of put away to baby it.

    Besides, the boys are getting good use from it bombing around making mom nervous.

    Anyone know a source for budget minded ATV tires? I could use some fronts.

  18. #18

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    Backhoe huh! What could this mean? Mud Pit?
    92XJ on 30s!

  19. #19
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    You will get opportunity to use the mud pit if you assist installing new seals on the leaky cylinders.

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