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Thread: ATV or UTV?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    ATV or UTV?

    Just looking for random thoughts on various brands and configurations.

    My post will be more of an exercise in getting my thoughts down on paper, so to speak, to help me decide which way to go...

    In Arizona, I had a Yamaha Kodiak 450 that I used to ride around the woods and desert and it was great. Bought it brand new in 2002 and all it ever needed was tires and oil changes. My ex took it in the divorce to be spiteful.

    Then I moved up here and eventually bought an old 2001 Polaris Sportsman 500 for $800 from a neighbor that had neglected it. Put another $700 in it getting the carb rebuilt new fluids, new tires, etc. Ran good but I only took it out 3-4 times in the past couple of years. Main reason was my dog refused to ride in a trailer for it and he's too old to keep up with for more than 100 yds.

    I felt guilty going into the woods without him.

    So I bought a Jeep Wrangler and the dog loved riding in the back of it in the woods. But, the Forest Service and the timber companies own the land out here and put thousands of metal gates across the logging roads leaving only enough room for an ATV or 50" UTV to go around. Many gates have enough room for the larger UTVs to get around them but I was told they are cracking down on wider UTVs by writing tickets.

    I took the Polaris into the woods last week and rode it for a good 15 miles. I discovered that it needed a new drive belt, the starter was going bad, and the front brakes were shot. My local ATV shop told me that 70% of their business was from Polaris products...

    So I sold it Tuesday for $2200 with full disclosure of the work it needed. I had 4 people in line to buy it.

    So now I just have the Jeep, which has been for sale for the past two weeks without a single bite.

    Jeeps are hard to find for under $10k around here and mine is priced at $6500 or best offer for an `89 Jeep Islander Edition with all the goodies like a lift, big tires, bumpers, hard top, half doors, 6cyl, 5spd, etc.

    So, once the Jeep sells, I will be in the market for an ATV. Or a UTV.

    I originally wanted a UTV (side by side) because they have a bed on the back that my dog could ride in so that he could come with me into the woods.

    There is a Cub Cadet dealer nearby that had a bunch of their re-designed Challenger UTVs. I was impressed by the quality and the price. Did some research and they are really highly rated. The Challenger 550 is $9999 and comes standard with the hard top, doors, windshield, and winch. Other UTV manufacturers list those as options and they will cost you an extra $2k to $3k.

    But, the Challenger is 61.6" wide. Forest service and logging companies restrict vehicles to 50" wide.

    So they make UTVs 50" wide. I know Honda makes the Pioneer 500 and Cub Cadet has the Challenger 400. I believe Polaris also has a small Razr that is at the 50" width.

    Of course the Honda is $9k and the Cub Cadet is $7500. And the Honda doesn't have a bed; it has a rack. The bed is a $300 option.

    But I don't know if my dog will fit in the bed of the smaller UTVs. He's a 100lb lab/Great Dane mix.

    And I don't know if I'll fit, especially with a passenger. I wear a 54" suit coat and am 6'2" and 300lbs.

    And one of the trails I took last week my ATV barely fit on and it was super steep and technical. No way I would take a UTV on it.

    So I don't know. I live in town and don't need a UTV or an ATV for chores. I don't have any friends with ATVs or UTVs that I would go riding with on weekends. I mostly go and park at one of the gated roads and hike in with my dog.

    My family will use ATVs during hunting season to scout and haul out game, but that's just a month or two in the Fall that one would be pretty essential.

    The smaller UTV would be perfect for that.

    We also have a family cabin in the mountains about a mile from a giant lake and there are no gate restrictions on the roads around there, so the larger UTV would be perfect there for running around the woods, doing chores, running down to the lake, etc.

    Maybe I should get a boat instead...
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I am on my second Kawasaki Mule....the new one seat four people or fold the back seat down and the bed almost doubles in size. It is fuel injected and a great machine. I have an active ranch and use it all the time for fence work; wood hauling; moving orphaned calves, etc. I really love the utv as it fits my needs....my better half has a atv and it is good for spraying fence lines and hunting.....but my pick is the Mule....if you have good finances I would consider the Kubota utv in diesel but it is very pricey. Good luck on your quest....Paul
    When guns are outlawed only criminals and the government will have them and at that time I will see very little difference in either!

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    My experience is with a 2014 Honda Rancher 420...I have a rack box on the front that would hold a grown lab and could build one for the back if need be. I don't know how much you haul, and if you would need the rack space for other things. It has plenty of power for my purposes, and while I can get it stuck...the winch helps.

    The Honda has been dead reliable. I still have the original battery in it. It only gets used Sept-Jan. for hunting. If I had it to do over again I would get the manual shift instead of the electric, not because I have had problems but because I am afraid I might. There is an Artic Cat ATV and was a Polaris in the group I hunt with. The Artic Cat had some rather expensive stator issues but has been a good machine otherwise, and it is used for snow plowing all winter as well. The Polaris was a 500 Sportsman an was a real POS. It spent more time in the shop than running.

    If I had it to do over again I would buy what I have and save a few bucks on the electric shift. Under $6,000 new.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I had a rzr 800. It was the 50 inch unit. It was ok but they did have motor problems from dust those first 800s. Drove both a 570 and a 900 since. the 900 is FAST. The 570 was a nice unit. Every bit as much power as my 800 had. Thing is with the rzrs is there small but have probably the smoothest ride in the industry. My old lab just loved my rzr. Id go out in the morning and hed be sitting in it waiting for a ride! Theres another good option. Can Am is making a 50 inch side by side and artic cat is making a 50 inch wildcat now too. I'm sure youll get lots of advice here from the old men about mules, cub cadets, kobotas ect. There nice work machines but if you ever find yourself wanting to ride with a group of buddys on there 4 wheelers or side by sides your going to be sucking dust. No matter which you go for ill say this. With 50 inch side by sides available its about silly anymore, at least in my opinion, to buy a conventional 4 wheeler unless the major factor in your purchase is money. They will go anywhere a 4 wheeler will. With a real seat and a back rest are a heck of a lot more confortable and you can actually take your wife or grandkid along and even hold a conversation going down the trail. ME? I sold mine and bought another jeep. It wont go where a 50 inch side by side will but it handles the 2 tracks just fine and I can drive it to town and get grocerys and use it as a second vehicle. Id like a side by side again. Personaly the 900 or 1000 full sized ranger is what would call me, but I'm sure not giving up my jeep to buy one.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  5. #5
    Boolit Man 06ackley's Avatar
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    My wife and daughter have the 50in rzr 900 and love it. I have an atv for myself that I use for trail riding and hunting but if I had to do it over would probably get a utv.My atv is a kawasaki brute force and I haven't had any problems with it or the rzr
    Last edited by 06ackley; 06-08-2018 at 05:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Had the Polaris 570, only thing I didn't like was not being able to disengage the posi track, tore the yard up bad when working with it. Have to 900 now and have no complaints. I do all my own maintenance.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
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    Have a 2017 Polaris 570 EPS (electronic power steering) that has a "shift on the fly" transmission. Choice of two wheel, four wheel or single rear wheel. Most of the time, it's operated in single wheel drive, on my acreage. Bella the Boxer, sits with me in the cab.


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    Winelover

  8. #8
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    brings up a real good suggestion. Ive owned many atvs and the one utv. I had one, a 700 Yamaha grizzly, that had power steering. I wouldn't own another atv or utv without it! It takes way about half the beating the body takes on a long ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by winelover View Post
    Have a 2017 Polaris 570 EPS (electronic power steering) that has a "shift on the fly" transmission. Choice of two wheel, four wheel or single rear wheel. Most of the time, it's operated in single wheel drive, on my acreage. Bella the Boxer, sits with me in the cab.


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    Winelover
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have a 2014 Ranger Diesel that I use for my trap line and hunting and use for the off season. The belt to drive it I had got stuck in the mud bad and had it fix other then that I get in more places then I use to with my pick truck and also it dose not use much fuel also.It works for me.I have some people already ask that if I sell it that they want to buy it from me.I have a cab on it and also heater and wrench on it.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    I have a four seat 2016 Honda Pioneer 500, single cylinder thumper. I do not go fast, so 45 mph is enough for me. No belts, a "real" transmission. The rear seating area converts to a bed. I like it.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  11. #11
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    How about an ATV with an off road trailer for the dog? With the width restrictions a Jeep will go most places a UTV can legally go.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Idaho Mule's Avatar
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    Honda. JW

  13. #13
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I'll try to make this short.
    I use a ATV for getting firewood out of the woods and for some snowplowing and it's gets used for misc yard duties (moving stuff) that a person might use a lawn tractor for.

    My first ATV was a used and bused '90 Polaris 250 4x4 . I got it cheap, but wound up putting so much money into it. I liked the size and it's nimbleness to maneuver in thick woods with no trails...but lacked power to pull a trailer load of wood.
    I sold it and decided I'd never buy a "used" ATV again.

    I then bought a NEW a '03 Polaris 700 Twin 4x4. That thing was built like a pickup (shaft drive front and rear) and dangerously fast. It was too large and NOT nimble at all. It had aggressive tires that tore up the lawn...I hated it. I traded it a year after I bought it, and lost my shorts on the deal.

    The ATV I traded for was a '04 Honda Foreman 450 4x4. I love it, I still own it today. It's small enough, like that old 250 I use to have, so it's easily maneuvered in thick woods. Pushes snow without problems, I've even pushed gravel with the snow blade...freshly dumped gravel to spread out on a driveway. It has a real transmission instead of a belt drive like most of the others. This one is geared down, almost like a tractor. Top speed isn't too fast, about 30 MPH. Towing and pulling anything is no problem...One thing I do with it, that no belt-drive machine that size can do, is drag large branches...so large you can't move them by hand. I wrap a log chain around 3 or 4 of these large branches and drag them from one end of the property to another (1/4 mile) to the burn pit. We cut the branches up at the burn pit and pile them by hand. I can drag lots more through the woods in one trip than if it were cut up and hauled on a trailer.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Honda ATV (4 wheeler) but I would love to have a UTV (side by side). I am planning on that being my gift to myself when I pay off the house! But, decisions decisions!!! One seat or two? Gas or Diesel? Cab or no cab? What brand? They are probably all good. Most of the farmers and duck hunters around here like Polaris. The ranchers where I Prairie Dog hunt like Honda. My hunting club members have a mix of about everything.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



    jmort's Avatar
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    "One seat or two? "

    Or four
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  16. #16
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    I'd stick with Honda or Yamaha. An older Yamaha Rhino would be a good option if youre looking used. The Kawasaki Mule's lack the off road capability of the newer pioneer 500 and rhino but were very reliable. My old college friend whose grandparents own a 2k acre farm had a mule and that thing had 1500 hrs on it and kept running, but that was a long time ago. The UTV will be a bit more versatile overall but the pure utility ones can be less exhilarating than an ATV

  17. #17
    Boolit Master





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    I gave up in NH. I had an AROG 6 wheel. Started needing an ATV reg, 2 years later also needed a boat reg then to top it off they wanted a snowmobile reg. Said screw it and sold it off .

    I have spent more money in NH for recreation. never MIND THE PITTSMAN/ROBERTSON TAX. STILL NO public owned range in the state. Screw the State of NH F&G.

    I keep complaining to my state reps and senators but no more.

    The live Free or die state is not free at all. They like there TV status on North woods law but cannot explain why no public ranges statewide. When even MA has one on most wildlife management areas.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Outer Rondacker's Avatar
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    The atv's and utv's of late are night and day from the old stuff. Most utv's cost the same as a decent used JEEP. Good atv's drive like a dream and most have more power then you will ever need. I built up a kingquad 750 and with good tires on it hardly ever used 4 wheel drive.

    With that said I am looking to the future Polaris Range midsize 570 with power steering. Its small enough to fit on the trails. Has plenty of power. Does not brake the bank. Gets great MPG for a utv.

    I talked the guy down the road into getting one and selling his old broke down plow truck. He is so happy. Only thing he wants now is mirrors and asked me if I could help him install the heater option if he bought it.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    we had an argo 8 wheeler at work. Biggest pos ive ever seen. It was contantly either broke or chains were out of adjustment and it pulled one way or the other. Road like **** and was loud. Was cool to cross water in though. We had a stretch of powerline that we had to go in and out off he main road 7 times to patrol. First year we had the argo was the first year it was patrolled end to end without coming out. We had a set of tracks for winter and it was about unstoppable in snow too. To bad they don't switch to a hydraulic drive system and a bit better motor then that Kawasaki generator motor ours had on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    I gave up in NH. I had an AROG 6 wheel. Started needing an ATV reg, 2 years later also needed a boat reg then to top it off they wanted a snowmobile reg. Said screw it and sold it off .

    I have spent more money in NH for recreation. never MIND THE PITTSMAN/ROBERTSON TAX. STILL NO public owned range in the state. Screw the State of NH F&G.

    I keep complaining to my state reps and senators but no more.

    The live Free or die state is not free at all. They like there TV status on North woods law but cannot explain why no public ranges statewide. When even MA has one on most wildlife management areas.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  20. #20
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    yup I caved the side of my truck in one night bow hunting. Came home and told the wife I was either getting a razor or a jeep. Next day went and bought a new o9 razor for 14k with the add ons. Two weeks later bought a 2000 jeep wrangler for 8k. Had the razor for two summers and it had 2200 miles on it and I sold it for 8k. Had my jeep for 7 years put 45k on it and my granddaughter still has it and it still is in good shape and runs like a top. I could easily get my 8k back out of it today if I could get it away from her to sell. No brainer that the jeep was a much better bang for the buck. It goes 90 percent of the places the razor would. Has a heater ac a top doors a radio and is street legal so I can use it for a second vehicle. Its not only fun at camp but can get me there vs hauling a razor or other utv or atv in the back of the truck or on a trailer. The last two years have been the first time ive been without an atv of some kind. Sold my last one a 700 grizzly when I bought the new Jeep JK. Would I like to have another? Sure. Man with the most toys when he dies wins!! But realistically id only really need it once or twice a year. think the dog missed the razor and trips to the lake more then I did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Outer Rondacker View Post
    The atv's and utv's of late are night and day from the old stuff. Most utv's cost the same as a decent used JEEP. Good atv's drive like a dream and most have more power then you will ever need. I built up a kingquad 750 and with good tires on it hardly ever used 4 wheel drive.

    With that said I am looking to the future Polaris Range midsize 570 with power steering. Its small enough to fit on the trails. Has plenty of power. Does not brake the bank. Gets great MPG for a utv.

    I talked the guy down the road into getting one and selling his old broke down plow truck. He is so happy. Only thing he wants now is mirrors and asked me if I could help him install the heater option if he bought it.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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