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View Poll Results: "Best Buy" 350-400 4x2 footshifter?
Yamaha Big Bear 2x4manual 5 15.63%
Honda Rancher 2x4manual 19 59.38%
Kawasaki Praire360 2x4 (auto only) 2 6.25%
Suzuki Eiger 2x4manual 6 18.75%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2003, 09:55 PM
Allison Allison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Georgia
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Question 350-400cc 4x2 ATV

The Situation : Have been researching trailering and trailworth 4x2 manual shift ATVs for months now. Purchase date is going to be in about 4 weeks from now. I know I like 5 speed for simplicity and durablility. Don't need 4wd as I'll be on logging roads and hardpack 90% of the time and ocasionally turf. Need a powerful but lightwight and manuverable machine to run in and out of the shed and brushyard with. Also this will be my first ATV, and experience outside of a vehicle that isn't a golf cart or lawnmower. Towing ability is a definate factor, as this unit will spend alot of it's life hooked up as opposed to bobtailed.

The Contenders: Suzuki Eiger 400 2x4manual, Honda Rancher 2x4manual, Kawasaki Prairie 36? 2x4 (I know this one is an auto but it's still worth consideration), Yamaha Big Bear 4x2 manual. It amazes me that even most new entry level 200-250cc utility units come with the availibility of auto trannys. Alot of systems have gone to automatic exclusivly, like Kawasaki, Polaris, and Bombardier. I still want to ride a foot shifter, and am eager to learn.

The Questions: What kind of tools will I be able to attach to these rascals asside from a ball hitch? Will they be able to scratch the soil with a plow bit or pull trailing bushhog/mower units? When the work is finished how much fun can you have on a ORV trail with these "contenders"? When/how often/and what type of regular mantainance will I need to be proficent on to keep my quad up to 100%?

I have alot of the hard facts and reviews infront of me already, I've found out fantastic things about the Zuki, and as always the honda, even though those two don't really compare that well . . . as they are somewhat different machines considering their similarities. The larger Polaris quads (for example) seem to fit me like a shoe three and a half sized too large, I feel like I'm going to get lost on there. I like plenty of room to manuver on, but a oversoft seat and slippy tank make me feel a little unplanted. Comfort is always good. Maybe someone who is looking into one of these quads and has done some footwork and fingerwork already can help me out.

A cowgirl who rides around with bigiron (my ruge'.44) on her hip needs a true and steady mount. Here's to finding a great horse. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide.

Aim for the head . . . shoot for the top.
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Old 06-10-2003, 08:58 PM
blacktail blacktail is offline
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Location: Southern Alberta
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I think it comes down to personal preference.
I have always been more of a Honda fan so if it were me I would go with the Honda as a first choice and then the Yamaha as a second.
I have never been thrilled with Suzuki or Kawasaki anything.

Honda makes a 250 and I think a 350 2WD manual shift which should be all you need.They have lots of snot in power and will tow a bit too as well as not being too bulky for you to handle.
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:07 PM
Lablover Lablover is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Southern Wisconsin
Posts: 25
Take the Honda


I have to go with the Honda. I have a 350 Rancher 4x4 and had a 250 Honda Big Red before that. They have both been very reliable and low maintenance. I think the choice of a manual shift is a good choice as well. The beauty of selectable gears is that the engine doesn't have to get up to a certain rpm to engage the tranny. This allows for cruising at low speeds and low engine noise.

How big of stuff are you planning on pulling with this machine? I love my Rancher because it is so light. It makes it easier to get out of nasty spots than some of the larger ATVs on the market. But coversely it just doesn't have the weight on the tires for traction that some of it's 500cc brethern have.

Hope this helps your decision some.

Let us know what you end up with.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:31 AM
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Dom Dom is offline
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Allison, if you're planning on pulling anything with a bit of weight you might consider a 4x4, because with 2x you don't have the weight and will just spin the rear end all day -- especially if your talking ground work (tiller, harrow, etc). Wide variety of attachments, but are mainly limited by the size of your pocketbook. Maybe look at the 4x4 Honda Foreman -- that model you can run in either 2 or 4wd. Hate to see you get something that won't do what you intend to do, Waidmannsheil, Dom.
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Old 06-30-2003, 04:32 PM
BigJohnson BigJohnson is offline
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Location: Friendswood,Texas
Posts: 48
I'll have to go with lablover, I just bought a new Honda Rancher 350 4x4 this past Christmas.(02') I looked at all the brands and all the sizes. The Honda has the best reputation by far. Even the salesman at the Polaris dealer agreed. My father-in-law has a '86 Model and it runs like a champ. I didn't really need the 4x4, but when you think of the money that your spending, might as well get one. I mounted a Warn Winch on the front and it goes everywhere..
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Old 07-01-2003, 03:20 AM
gd357 gd357 is offline
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I'll throw in my $.02. I'll give another vote for Honda. While I've never driven that model, I've been on a ton of them and they get the job done without missing a beat.

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Old 07-04-2003, 02:46 PM
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HogginHank HogginHank is offline
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Location: Canyon Lake Tx, Comal County
Posts: 187
I go with the Honda 350 2-WD Rancher. Myself and 3 other Firemen that I work with have them and I put Honda at the TOP of the food chain when it comes to ATV's. I tried their 4-Wheelers out prior to buying mine and thats what sold me. Mine is just 2-WD and I have been in some pretty sloppy-muddy areas and it has done just fine. As well as pulling my hickbuilt plowing implements that I use for my food plots and my 4' x 6' trialer that I pull behind it to haul wood out of the pasture and to take 50# bags of feed to my feeders. I think a Honda Rancher would be my choice if I had to do it all over again. Adios'

They were MSRP'd at $4,399.00 and I got the fella down to $4,034.00 out the door.. (thats without tax because of Ag exemption)I'm very happy with it.
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Old 07-07-2003, 09:09 AM
buckhunter buckhunter is offline
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For most of my hunting and running around the woods I always just used a 2 WD and never got stuck. Well things changed and I buried the sucker one day. Taught me a good lesson. Chances are I would have been able to get out no sweat with a 4WD but it took a couple of hours to pull, dig, sweat, cuss and get out o the swamp. Then again I should have never gotten into that position.

If I were to buy a new one I would look at a Honda in the 250-300 cc range in 4WD. They are small enough to handle and get in and out of tight spaces plus big enough to work. However normally and if you stay out of bad places a 2WD will work just fine.
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Old 07-07-2003, 11:57 AM
topturretgunne topturretgunne is offline
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For my money you can't beat a four wheel drive--If you ain't got it and need it you are hurtin---I have a Suzuki Quad Runner 250 7yrs old and never had problems with it--Selective 2 or 4 wheel with foot shift ----Most Dealers will let you take a trial ride then you can check handlin for your self---
If you ride a 4 wheeler sooner or later you will need 4 wheel drive
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Old 08-03-2003, 12:25 PM
topturretgunne topturretgunne is offline
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Hey Allison---What have you decided on??? don't leave us hanging-----
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Old 08-03-2003, 07:43 PM
remingtonboy remingtonboy is offline
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Well since you didn't give me the choice of Polaris, I'll say this. I've asked a few mechanics that work on these things and show no favoritism to any one brand the same question. The answer has been consistant. In short they all said "If I were to buy a quad for myself it would be either a Polaris or Honda, nothing else". I have a Polaris 300 4x4. I'm quite demanding of it and very pleased with it. Whatever you get - enjoy it. They make life so much easier!
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Old 08-23-2003, 09:51 AM
maxiball maxiball is offline
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Location: Durango, Co
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I own one 2002 honda foreman & two 2002 Suzuki 500 quanrunners. I like the Suzuki better. two reason is I live at very high altitude 7500 ft And do alot of riding to 13,000. I have had trouble with the honda, had it in the shop several times to get it to run right at high altitudes. Also when changing the oil and filter,
Suzuki has a spin on oil filter where the honda doesn't. The Suzuki is my choice. I have heard alot about Polaris but never owned one. What ever you decide be sure to install a wench on your ATV thay weigh a average of 600 pounds and when your stuck your stuck!
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Old 09-07-2003, 01:45 PM
trophybear trophybear is offline
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I have owned all different brands of quads for racing and hunting. My personal favorite is the suzuki for dependability and ease of mantiance. They have tons of power as well. The next choice would have to be honda they have a very good reputation and are known for being reliable machines. I really think that you a quad that is selectable between 2wd and 4wd. This will help with towing and plowing in 4wd then put it in 2wd and blast the logging roads.
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:56 AM
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EncoreBilly EncoreBilly is offline
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Nothing but 4x4 for me if you spend the money might as well have what it takes to bring that big buck out of that nasty revine and across that creek.I have a 96 polaris 400 auto,and am thinking about upgrading to a new 500cc model.Also have yamaha Big Bear,400,but like the Polaris much better.
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:02 AM
sthelensbull sthelensbull is offline
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Location: Washington State
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The Honda Rancher TRX350FM 4X4 would be a good choice for you. Warn makes an aftermarket adapter that would allow you to go from 4 wheel drive to 2 wheel drive, it is called the Warn 4-2-4, I have it on my Rancher 350 4x4 and it works excellent! The Honda Rancher 350 4x4 is a manual shift with yer foot, as I also like! It is small and you wouldn't have any problems manuevering with it.

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