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Thread: Quad Bike Advice

  1. #1

    Quad Bike Advice

    Ok, I'm interested in getting a quad bike for deer extraction, but I don't know enough about them to know what I should be looking for. I've ridden motor bikes off, & on for years, so I'm used to changing gears, but a quad is very different, So firstly,

    1) How important, how much easier would an auto be ?

    2) Is power steering worth while ?

    3) Independent rear suspension ?

    Honda seem to give you the option of auto/IRS no PS TRX420 FA, or manual/PS/fixed rear axle TRX420FE, when an Auto with PS, and IRS would seem to be ideal ?

    So, what should I be looking for, what's important, and then I'll have to look for something I can afford !

  2. #2
    Auto - not worth it IMO, more expensive to buy and more complicated to fix. I didn't like the Honda one at all when I tried it and the manual is clutchless anyway so changing gears is no bother.

    Power steering is not required on the smaller quads, I use a TRX420 most days and have never wished for it even with 50+kg on the front rack.

    IRS - not driven one with it and have never wished for it either. Standard axle rides well enough IMO

  3. #3
    IRS is better for hill ground, more stable and we found more durable.
    power steering depends on which make / model. some small quads are a pig to steer, whilst some big quads are surprisingly light.
    gearbox, avoid electric change. yam belt drives are good if you get inexperienced drivers.
    we run yam 450 with IRS, the power steering is a bonus but not needed on it.
    If heavy towing, a manual geargob may be best

  4. #4
    Just been across to the farm got their YAM back last week snapped front UJ and shaft also a bearing had worn and shaft had cut a hole in the sump.
    Buying second hand can be a minefield buy from reputable dealer. they will let you try them out and often give good advice (training course on safe use is needed if working it on others land and some trainers supply quads for course so you could learn and try one out)

  5. #5
    Thanks for the advice so far. Whilst some of the Ebay offerings can be very tempting, unless I was looking to spend "very" little, I'd rather pay a bit more, and buy from a dealer.

    I'd rather find a good used, but I think it's going to be difficult, purely because of the nature of ATV's. That said, once I've narrowed the choice down, I'll see what I can find.

    Any experience with the Polaris range, 400 HO, or Sportsman Forest 570 ? They appear to be well thought out.

  6. #6
    any 4x4 manual box Honda from 350cc upwards

  7. #7
    I have ridden quads virtually daily for the last 24 years (a trike before that). I currently use a selection of three at the moment - one manual and two auto. Auto's are great, with no worry of changing or getting the gearing wrong when negotiating an obstacle. Twin rear suspension is far more stable than a mono shock. Power steering is also the way to go and whether you spend the day or an hour on the quad; you will really appreciate the steering

  8. #8
    Agree with all that Goingback says.

    In general terms, don't go for anything less that 350cc and preferably 450 or above. I would stick with known makes, the usual Japanese four (Honda are excellent, as are Yamaha, Suzuki are good and Kawasaki are possibly the least favoured these days in this market). Or maybe a Polaris or Can-Am as acceptable alternatives. Forget any diesel ones, they're proving heavy and more unreliable at present. There's a lot of other makes come onto the market in recent times that will do the job, but they're mostly aimed at the leisure market and you'll find farmers and others who use quads as part of their business don't go for them, despite being cheaper as they aren't as robust.

    The idea of going for a late second hand one is sound. Many farmers will change their quad each year and as such it's worth visiting the farm suppliers that are agents for them and asking for any late part ex machines. They do get well used often but with a good make and a good hose down, there are gems to be had. I bought a 2008 Yamaha Grizzly 450 IRS that was a year old. The first time I saw it, it had just come in and had that much mud on it I could hardly tell what colour it was, but it soon scrubbed up. I've used it successfully ever since. It's most arduous work is lugging wheat around to inaccessible pheasant hoppers. Generally you'll be kinder to them than the farmers that use them dementedly to rozz around chasing sheep and cows or shunting trailers so one should last a good few years.

    Consider where you'll be using it and if that might involve a little road work, an agriculturally road registered one could be useful. You can also get them registered PLG, but then you have to pay for the tax (at car rates, not bike rates) and of course insurance and MOT, so that is likely not to be worth it.

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