Which 400cc 4x4 is best? Our...
Which 400cc 4x4 is best? Our 2005 shootout said the Suzuki Eiger.
I am not exactly new to the ATV world; my father owns a 1990 Polaris trail Boss 250 4x4 which he has owned since new. It has been a super bike for him and I have enjoyed riding it as well. Well now its the son's turn to buy his first ATV.
With so many brands and options its hard to decide. It also doesnt make it any easier to choose when every dealer you talk to has "the best bike" and bashes nearly every other brand. I thought you might be able to provide me with some unbiased information. I am looking for an ATV between 400-500cc. My riding habits are usually bush running/exploring, grouse hunting and fishing. I sometimes take my wife along with me and perhaps now my daughter as she is getting older (3 in Jan). The bikes I have been seriouly looking at are as follows:
Arctic Cat 400 or 500 automatic 4x4
BRP Outlander Max 400 H.O. XT 4x4
Polaris Sportsman 400 or 500 HO 4x4
Honda Forman 500 4x4
Yamaha Kodiak 400 or 450 4x4
The kind of questions I would like to find out would be: ride quality, dependability, fuel economy, best bang for my buck, and how these machines rate against each other.
I believe I am leaning towards the AC 400, but found it a little noisy and jumpy off the start. I also like the BRP Outlander for its quietness, but don't really know much about their 4x4 system. As I usually just go out with my father and maybe borrow his friend's ATV, I haven't had much exposure to many of the ATVs I am interested in other than in showrooms and maybe a short boot around their compound (which doesn't give me a really good feel for how the bike would be in the real world).
I would appreciate any advise you could help me with. Also, do you publish a current model comparison? I have a subcription, but not sure when that issue might be coming out.
Thanks again for your help.
We tested the '05 400cc 4x4 ATVs in our Super 400 4x4 Shootout(June 2005 issue), which piggy backed our Open 4x4 shootout (April 2005 issue). The Suzuki Eiger topped our test in the 400 comparison, but I noticed it isn't on your list. We found it the best all-around performer plus the best bang for the buck. The Outlander ran a strong second followed by the Polaris Sportsman. You'll find all the details in the article, but our criteria for ranking the ATVs was most of what you listed in your letter: ride quality, dependability, best bang for your buck, etc.
Our next 4x4 comparison is the 2006 500cc shootout at the end of October, slated to appear in the March issue which should hit newsstands mid January (it takes about 3 months for what we write to appear on the newsstand). Hopefully you'll find everything you need to make the all important decision.
Editor, ATV Rider magazine
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