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TFF Admin posted a topic in Recreational & Off Road Vehicles!I found this write up on my tow Honda ATV's I forgot to post. Many of us own property and in addition to our tractors own ATV of various sorts. Tell us which make, model, and year you own, why you purchased it, how you use it, and your overall perception of it. I own a 2005 Honda Foreman TM 500 and a 2005 Honda Recon 250 ES. I live on and manage a good bit of land that is mostly steep rolling hills and forest. It took me hours just to walk over very small portions of it. The ATV's have opened up an entire new world as far as seeing all of it and what's out there. The Foreman 500 has been great so far, VERY reliable as well as efficient with fuel consumption. It has LOTS of power and room on the seat to accommodate 2 riders. It has the manual shift which I prefer but it was really stiff shifting new. The 1st oil change over to synthetic oil seems to have greatly improved the shifting but is still a little stiff shifting until fully warmed up. The tires are low end 2 ply tires which almost immediately had flats due to small weed stem and stick punctures. I filled the tires with TRC tire seal and have not had a flat since. In the deep woods small ATV trails the Foreman's larger size can work against it when making sharp turns on trails or around trees but that just makes for a little more backing up to maneuver. The Recon 250 has also been a great machine so far with one hiccup after it sat for a few months. As best I could tell, a valve became stuck in the open position and the engine would not start and run for more than a few hits on the piston. After about 2 hours of taking the fenders and panels apart to get to the spark plug and head, I was able to clean the plug up enough to get it to run. Since this one incident, the engine starts all the time like a champ. The Recon obviously does not have near the power of speed of the Foreman 500, and its seat and suspension can accommodate only one rider. This is really not a problem as I don't ride wide open much and getting up steep hill trails requires a little more down shifting for more power. The ride is not quite as smooth as the Foreman either but not an issue for me. General riding around requires keeping the rpms up a little higher and a lower gear as compared to the Foreman 500. The Recon 250 is ULTRA efficient with respect to fuel consumption. The electric shift works well 99% of the time but can lag or stick when trying to down shift going down hill very occasionally or sometimes misses upshifts. This could be due to operator head space and timing. For most of my usage, I find myself using the Recon 250 due to its smaller size and maneuverability on tight trails and in the woods blazing trails. Its amazingly low fuel consumption also is a big plus. The electric shift is nice for the wife and kids as they would have problems with the manual shift for awhile until things loosen up and they adjust to it. Overall, I am VERY VERY satisfied with both of these ATV's as they both have their niche's for my use of each and they have performed VERY well. I highly recommend both. If you ride 2 up or just want the extra power to hall buggy, the Foreman 500 great. The Recon 250 is a much less expensive but capable alternative for anyone who rides 1 up and does not want to spend as much out of their budget.
I hope you folks find this story interesting and not too long (or boaring) . Late last year I made a friendly gesture to my temporary neighbor “Whitey” from next door. He had rented the place while closing on the sale of one home and buying another, smaller place but with more acreage. A victim of the oil field down sizing, he sold his place and the large tractor that went with it. He saw some of my smaller tractors setting around (that aren't for sale) and asked if I could find him something that ran well, and could handle a 4’ or 5’ brush hog. Sometimes it’s bizarre how things happen, as a month before, his landlord took a little Kubota as partial payment for some deal about installing an aerobics waste water system and left the Kubota with me and asked me to perform a full fluid service and sell it for $800 OBO. I’m not big on selling something for someone or negotiating ’deals’ and told him so. I did agree to service the Kubota and make a list of additional repairs needed (and I also knew the guy is a penny pincher and would never do anything additional). Whitey was interested and asked to see it. And as we walked to the back of my property I explained what was wrong and what it would take to make the tractor reliable and dependable again…. The L2201 2WD Kubota (Gray market) looked beat to death. It had problems galore including a broken exhaust manifold, no remaining clutch adjustment, stuck brake on one side, a broken, homemade anchor for a bumper, missing headlights and buckets, frozen hour meter (broken tach cable) and on, and on plus rusty frame, sheet metal and broken seat but aside from all the problems, it did start right up and ran pretty fair. The little tractor had been run for years without any services I could see, even the air, fuel and oil filters were packed with dirt and looked years old. The tractor was neglected and left to the elements for a very long time. I thought I was doing the right thing by discouraging him and strongly hinting that by the time he bought this particular rig and spent all the money to bring it up to ’Snuff’ he’d be better off finding something better and around the same end price. Our walk and talk ended at the tarp covering the little Kubota. I pulled the cover off, looked at him and to my surprise he had a big grin on his face. The next surprise was when he pulled his cell phone out, called his landlord and said “I’ll Give You Eight Hundred for your Kubota!” . You could have knocked me over with a feather! 45 minutes later, the little (greedy) slum lord showed up and Whitey peeled off 8 Benjamin’s right there in my shop. He asked for a bill of sale and they scribbled it on the back of one of my estimate sheets. The last scene is the landlord fleeing down the driveway before Whitey changes his mind. End of story? No, not just yet, as I have some pictures you may enjoy...