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Discussion Starter #101
... but perhaps it varies widely depending on load, terrain, driving habits, etc.
Another bingo.

If one is hotdogging in mountainous territory, it'll burn more fuel. I have no interest in that.

I'll haul some load -- even for going downtown, I'll carry an extra 10 lbs (more coming back).

And if it's a week away from base camp, it'll be closer to 150 lbs.

But I'll be ... riding? ... driving? ... like I would on an Interstate highway.
Responsibly at a speed suitable for the terrain and trail.

Why, I could even get 30 mpg. :coffee: It's a testable hypothesis.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
Since so many are bored out of their gourd from staying at home, let me provide a tiny slice of distration for the weekend.

I'm starting to research security for my ATV. Because of my living situation, I won't have an enclosure that I can lock it up in ... like a garage. It'll have to live outside for three seasons. (I've already identified two options in my new town that I can use for winter when I can't use it. I expect to find other options in an area that is so ATV-oriented.) For most times when I'm at home, it'll have to be secured near the apartment -- more on that in a minute -- then covered by an ATV cover. (They are not very expensive.)

But I also have to pay attention to security when I'm in camp. I'm not the kind of person that sets up a base camp and stays in it for the duration. I set up a base camp then take lots of day trips away from there by walking. That means I need to lock up the ATV while I'm away from base camp, even if it's remote.

After some reading, it appears that the best options for securing the ATV itself is to use a chain or cable with a good lock, and wheel locks. I have a 12' cable lock by Master Lock bookmarked (not very expensive and there will be LOTs of trees where I am), and likewise a couple of wheel locks.

But I'd love to read advice.
 

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My Deere Dealer installed a waterproof hidden second key switch along with a waterproof hidden battery kill switch. It draws just enough off a second battery to keep the electronics functional when powered down. It also has door locks if I have he full cab on for winter use.

Bottom line. If someone really wants to steal it, they'll get it regardless of how you secure what ever you get.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
Here's a new unexpected twist in my search. I've now spoken with three Yamaha dealers within about 70 miles of me. One claims that he may not even be able to get a 450 EPS, only a 450 EPS SE (winch, and more expensive). The other two say that they "might be able to get one" from another dealer or Yamaha, but neither sounded confident or even eager to try.

I've asked both to please look into it for me and get me an estimate of total costs (MSRP, destination charges, taxes, and other fees) because I want to have that total figure for fundraising. I asked one of them last Wednesday, and have no word back yet. The other I spoke to a while earlier, and he said he'd do what he can.

I can't entirely understand the issue of availability. I mean, Yamaha sings the praises of their machines, but they're hard to get? I must be missing something. Could this be related to Covid issues?
 

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Get the winch. It only takes one time to be glad you did it.
 

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Here's a new unexpected twist in my search. I've now spoken with three Yamaha dealers within about 70 miles of me. One claims that he may not even be able to get a 450 EPS, only a 450 EPS SE (winch, and more expensive). The other two say that they "might be able to get one" from another dealer or Yamaha, but neither sounded confident or even eager to try.

I've asked both to please look into it for me and get me an estimate of total costs (MSRP, destination charges, taxes, and other fees) because I want to have that total figure for fundraising. I asked one of them last Wednesday, and have no word back yet. The other I spoke to a while earlier, and he said he'd do what he can.

I can't entirely understand the issue of availability. I mean, Yamaha sings the praises of their machines, but they're hard to get? I must be missing something. Could this be related to Covid issues?
One of the things you are up against is everybody is buying side by sides now. The single rider ATV's are just not a big demand product from the dealers currently.

Mine does not have power steering and I do not think I really need it. If you leave an ATV stock and do not stick big tires on it, power steering is needless complexity. I would trade independent rear suspension for power steering any day, everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
Get the winch. It only takes one time to be glad you did it.
Max, I don't doubt your wisdom there. But since I don't know what the trails are like where I'll be living next, my thinking is that I want to explore the main areas where I want to go first and see what trail conditions are like, talk to some locals to get a sense of how bad things can get. Both the 450 and the 450 EPS are already wired for a winch, so I could always add one. I've owned enough 4x4's (including my very first vehicle) to know what I can do, what I can go through, and when to turn around. So given my financial status, I'm likely to start without a winch. If things were better for me financially, I'd go with the winch to start for sure.

Mine does not have power steering and I do not think I really need it. If you leave an ATV stock and do not stick big tires on it, power steering is needless complexity. I would trade independent rear suspension for power steering any day, everyday.
It's seeming increasingly like I just need to get to a dealer and do a test drive. The dealer down on the coast said if I can get there, he's got both (in Polaris, at least) that I can try out. That'll tell me whether I need PS or not.

Problem: I don't own a motorized vehicle, and in the age of Covid, getting down there is very challenging.
 

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Discussion Starter #109
Corndog, a question for you. Are you an average sized person or larger? Or a smaller person?

I'm an older, smaller guy without great upper body strength. I've always been smaller (skinny as a kid) but with reasonable upper body strength. But at 69, I developed a cardiac arrhythmia, and it's cut my work outs back substantively. (Treating it with beta blockers, but can't get to a cardiologist due to Covid.) So I'm concerned about being able to control an ATV without it.

The other consideration for me is, I'm NOT a hotdogger. I'm not into speed; I like slow. I have no interest in seeing how fast I can ride over rough terrain. For me, it's just an off road truck to get 150 lbs of gear and food to camp. But I'm also reading and seeing (in videos) that loading the front rack makes steering harder in rough terrain. So I don't know since I have no previous experience with ATVs. This will be my first.

I don't anticipate doing 100 miles a day. My style is more like 20 or 30 max.

I can rent a car in my town from a local car dealer for ~$40/day. I think after payday, I may need to rent one and drive down to the coast to do a test drive.
 

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Corndog, a question for you. Are you an average sized person or larger? Or a smaller person?..............edited by Corndog
I am 6-2, about 250 lbs, and 58 1/2 years old. Average build for my size I guess. However; my wife is much smaller and a few years older. She has no problem with not having power steering when she uses it for yard work.

My ATV is a 650 Rincon, the largest Honda makes. I have stock size, radial, all terrain tires on it. This helps the steering quite a bit, compared to large mud tires. When I put weight on mine, I carry it on the rear rack. The main advantage of power steering is it reduces the kick back in the handlebars when you hit something in the trail you did not see.

The Rincon also has switchable 4WD on it. I use 2WD most of the time because it is easier to steer and has less kick back. When I need 4WD, I flick the switch. My last Honda was a Foreman and had a straight axle and full time 4WD. It would wear me out in no time. I can ride my Rincon all day long.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
That's really helpful data. Thanks.

Off on Netflix on a Saturday night (watching Extraction with Chris Hemsworth, the most violent yet deep thinking action adventure film I've watched since Aliens II), but I'll get back to this soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #112

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A little food for thought. It can be very helpful if you can contact the previous owner and ask them about the machine and why they traded it, how well they took care of it and what it was used for. They should be more than willing to be truthful and tell you all the details. You don't want to buy someone's wore out piece of junk that's been beaten to death and just looks good because it was cleaned up with a power washer. Take it for a ride and see if it develops any leaks, starts making weird sounds, any vibrations or other quirks before you lay down your hard earned money. Ask about a short warrantee (In writing) from the dealer.

It's kinda like buying that off brand cheaper mower from Lows because it's color is cheaper than the real one at the Factory Dealership.

My equipment might be a little more expensive in the beginning, but it's always got me home and cheaper in the long run because it is better built.

I'm the same age as you, 6' tall, 185 lbs and have same + heath issues too.
 

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Discussion Starter #114
Max, I'm glad you posted that for readers who are going to buy used. I originally started this thread thinking "used", but soon transitioned to new after some research. There's just so much potential for abuse of ATV's, and even though you're right that former owners should be willing to tell the tale of their ATV, there are enough dishonest people out there to make me distrust a bit.

Plus, two other factors. One, after I started here and determined that I wanted either Honda or Yamaha in the 450 range, I started searching for used ones online, both at dealers and on Craigslist. I found not a single unit -- except super old ones which I don't want.

Two, since I've now narrowed down to Yamaha Kodiak, I'd rather get a 2020. If I'm understanding correctly, they still had belt issues in 2018. It was better in 2019, but it seems they're got it nailed now, and are offering a 10 years belt warranty.

At least with a new one, I start with full warranty and automatically know its history. I'm thinking of this now as the one I'll use for the remainder of my life (remember, I'll be 70 soon), and I want to start with a clean slate.

On the EPS issue, I've decided to rent a car soon (could be week after next due to weather concerns) and drive down to the dealer on the coast who currently has both a standard Kodiak 450 and a 450 EPS SE that I can test drive. I don't want the latter, but at least I can compare EPS to non-EPS. I'm going to carry down a heavy backpack to load the front rack on both. That'll help me decide.
 

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[U]Katahdin-1022,[/U]
Sounds great and you are on the right trail. You might get lucky and get the dealer to deliver it for no charge, but I wouldn't mention that until you have already settled on a good price. Reason being, he might give you a great price knowing he can get his money back on the delivery charges. "Might" even be cheaper to rent a pick-up and trailer from a rental yard and do it yourself. Or, if you have a good friend, they might haul it for the gas money.

I know a ton of people that beat their 4 wheelers to death out on the trails and they still look good when they trade them on a newer one. But I wouldn't buy any of them second hand knowing what they've gone through over the years. Way too long between oil changes, using the cheapest oil on the shelf, never changing gear box oil or using the wrong weight, haven't seen a drop of grease in years... The list goes on and on.

What ever you choose, be safe and have fun !
 

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Discussion Starter #116
MMax, thanks. Your words are encouraging and supportive.

I've already broached the topic of delivery with the dealer on the coast. He has quoted me a price for the Kodiak 450 of $7050 out the door with all fees, taxes, etc. I asked about delivery (mainly because I need to estimate it for fundraising among supporters). He said normally they do free delivery, including to my new town (75 mi east of him), but said it may depend on what's going on in a month or two since we don't live in "normal times". :oops:

But I've got another delivery backup in the mechanic that will likely (well, at least may be) the one to work on my ATV at least initially. He does mainly high end truck upgrades (and gets excellent reviews on his page), but he owns and works on ATVs. He said if all else fails, he can deliver it for $100. I'm good with that.
 

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[U]Katahdin-1022,[/U]

Another thought that may come in handy. I like to order the parts manual with the equipment I buy. It shows nice blow up diagrams that come in handy doing any maintenance and getting to or taking things apart, along with part numbers for your model and year. "Usually" the price isn't too expensive on those. Makes it a lot easier down the road finding the right part, dealer would also be able to find any changes in part numbers for your machine with the old numbers. That parts manual will also show any add on accessories optional for that machine, like hitches, racks, fender extensions, lighting too.

Myself, I also get the shop manuals for specs and rebuilding anything. Those are/can be a bit more expensive. Once the warrantee is up, I do all my own work rebuilding and fixing anything that might break. Shop time can get expensive. My time is free and I have all the tools, space and enough experience. It helps to know your limitations (haven't found mine yet). Well, my truck dealership does get all the electronic stuff.

My wife has come home more than once asking me "what blew up in the garage, there's parts all over and tools everywhere".
 

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Discussion Starter #118
My wife has come home more than once asking me
"what blew up in the garage, there's parts all over and tools everywhere".
🤣
 

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We have hot humid Summers (that rival Florida), Spring can be up and down for temps, wet can be rain-ice-snow, fog. Fall, close to same as Spring, Winter can make Alaska sound nice, can get snow by the foot and high winds (blizzards) sub zero for weeks. I've seen 100+ in the Summer and -30 below Winter. Closest big Cites (3) are an hour away. Have more Hogs than people for population (Total State population 3.4 million ?), might be close to double that for Hogs, Beef Cattle are right up there too. Milk Cows, Chickens. Corn or beans as far as the eye can see in every direction. And we have the country smells to go along with the Hogs and Cattle, especially in the Spring and Fall as the Farmers get ready for planting season. We're also one of the worlds largest food producers for meat, cereal (Quaker Oats ring a bell ?), and animal feed. Also have nice wooded and lake areas for recreation. Very handy having AWD if you live in the country and snowmobiles are a must if you have to get anywhere in the winter. We have miles of groomed trails in the winter for snowmobiling.
 

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Discussion Starter #120
M'Max, what part of the country are you in?

We have similar climate here in Maine, but rarely over 90F in summer -- I've never seen 100 in ten years I've been here -- and we don't go much below -20F anymore. (-30 was common just decades ago, -40 more rarely.) We can also get snow by the foot. Most years up here this far (central Maine) I've seen 3'-4' base most years, but this year was lighter.

In other news, I talked with the dealer down on the coast today. They hope to reopen for normal business next week with distancing, face coverings, etc, doing most demos outside, etc. But regardless, if the governor doesn't lift the stay at home order, they're still offering visits by appointment. So I'm renting a car one day next week -- depends on the weather, which is being wet and squirrelly this spring -- and drive down to test drive a regular 450 and a 450 EPS.

I sure hope the basic 450 works for me. Price is $7000 vs $8000, easier for my funders to swallow.

I'll keep you posted on my experience.
 
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