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What ATV do you own? Tell us about it, the good, bad, & the ugly.

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TFF Admin

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.

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Mopar1973Man

Well TFF Admin...

I've got the one in the middle of your two... I've got the Honda Rancher 420. It fuel injected and electric shift. Since I ride mostly in the mountains of Idaho my fuel mileage is a bit lower than most. But the Rancher is a very duriable unit it handles steep hillside and climbs wonderful. It got shift on the fly 4WD so just give the stick a tug back and your locked in...

As for maintenance that is rather simple to handle. Oil changes the computer will display a OIL CHANGE on the display. (which happens to be every 600 miles.)

Now you mention the tire problem... Yes I'm in the same boat I've put in 2 plugs already and both appear to be from small sticks. I do carry a plug kit and a small air pump (bicycle). I've also add the tire goop from the local tire shop and so far its been trouble free.

I do got to admit if you going to do a valve lash adjustment its just best to take all the body work out the top of the engine area nad the fuel tank too. This make the job longer with the disassemlby but you can do the valve lash better.

As for the electric shift I've rarely had any issues with it missing a shift or responding. Now I did learn a tidbit on my ride. I was out playing in the mud and swampy areas of the woods and had mine coated in mud and slop. Well brought it home and hose it off (body work and seat) and never thought anymore about it. Well next day it ran fine across the yard and then BAM! Gear indicator went blank and refused to shift up or down. Huh? Well after looking it over the brain box is behind the seat and the whole pocket filed with mud and slop... After cleaning it up and drying the connectors out never had another problem...

What it looked like brand new... :04:

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Few updated pics... (Current as for today - in yard work dress)

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grnspot110

I went a little different route! Bought a Kawasaki 550 Mule a little over 11 years ago, just a better piece of equipment for my purpose than a 4-wheeler. More useful at the farm for about $800 more than a similar sized (engine CC) Honda ATV, at that time. I've been very happy with it's performance, although sometimes the bigger size & 4WD would come in handy! ~~ grnspot110

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SHARTEL
I went a little different route! Bought a Kawasaki 550 Mule a little over 11 years ago, just a better piece of equipment for my purpose than a 4-wheeler. ~~ grnspot110

Now you're talkin' Grnspot!

My preference would be to what you have. I know I'd be limited when it comes to traveling and investigating the surrounding hill and dale :evilgrin10:, but because I spend so much time cleaning, changing and adding on to the property surrounding the house and shop, I'd be living in a Utility Style rig like yours.

My ultimate buy, and money no object :evilgrin10: would be something like this rig:

http://www.tructor.com/

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TFF Admin

My next will be a UTV. They are a lot more useful and can carry so much more stuff. VERY practical around a farm or acreage for various chores. Looks like you keep yours busy and get your money's worth out of yours grnspot110. NICE lookin' machine! :happy34:

Nice lookin' trailer/firewood gathering rig too!

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Mopar1973Man

Updated my post with current pics of my ride...

I'm going to get pics of different way I dress the ATV for different kinds of work... :cool:

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TFF Admin

It took me awhile but after a number of mishaps dumping my beekeeping equipment and sugar syrup totes on the ground when they slid off of the pallet I was carrying on the front forks of my tractor, I was TOTALLY fed up and bought a Kubota RTV1100C.  I ordered and had the dealer install the RACS system which is really nice for organizing and carrying more stuff.  I also got the winch, work lights, side view mirrors, high visibility strobe light, and some skid plates to protect the transmission area.  

All I can say is that I love it and I am kicking myself for not buying one MUCH sooner.  So far I have put about 350 miles and about 125 hours on it and it makes managing my apiary SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better!  :happy34:  Great machine.  

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Jeffery_1965

Has anybody tried out one of the small KEI type trucks from Japan?  They seem very reasonable in price for what you get.

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$4500 for this one, 4x4, heater, enclosed, lift bed, some have locking diffs, .....  https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/snd/d/1991-mitsubishi-mini-truck/6390826915.html 

My brother and I always thought one of these would be a real hoot.  No farm to run it on, but why should that stop us?  :conf5:

Jeff

 

 

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TFF Admin

They are really difficult to find in my area.  I did look at one but the price that was being asked for it turned me away.  If you don't need 4WD , a gasoline engine is acceptable,  creator comforts like A/C are not essential, these vehicles are much cheaper and can carry a lot more stuff.  I just could not find one in decent condition in my area.  Are they still being imported?  

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Jeffery_1965

They are pretty easy to find around here, just search craigslist for "mini truck" or "Kei truck" and they pop up.  I believe they are still being imported.  You can at least still see dealers online that say they are importing them.  http://www.minitruckdealer.com/   You can sometimes even find them where some DMV office has licensed them for the road, that would be fun too, you would just need to defeat the speed limiter they install on them.  The little 4x4 dump bed versions seem like they could be very handy if you have enough land.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jeff

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