Which ATV Should We Buy?

Question:

We are thinking of purchasing an ATV and are considering Honda, Yamaha and Bombardier.

Of those bikes what are the pros and cons to each? Or is there another name that we should consider?

Honda Rubican 500, Yamaha 450 Kodiak and Bombardier Outlander Max 400. We are looking for a comfortable bike for a young family and can’t seem to find any ‘consumer guides’ on the bikes.

Thank you,

Jill

Response:

Thanks for your email!

Over the past three seasons we’ve run tests on all of these ATV’s. Let me see if I can help.

First, you need to decide on a dealer relationship before going for the best price. The dealer will make all the difference in your ownership experience – it’s not a sexy purchase determinator but it consistently plays a big role during your ownership of a new ATV.

The Can-Am OL 400 HO is a very powerful ATV even though it uses the smallest engine among the three. It also has excellent suspension, great handling and produces a very high quality ride. It is also a good ATV to equip with accessories like a plow.

The Can-Am offers one incomparable option – the Max model – the way to go for two up riding. You indicated this was a family purchase – I thought I would comment and suggest you look at the Max twofer.

The Yamaha 450 is a huge seller – and a tough as nails, durable and reliable ATV. The 450 engine is a strong performer in this class. The only negative on the Kodiak/Grizzly 450 is it is the oldest design in the 450 class right now. However, it is a very solid performer and has a proven resale value that’s high. Suspension front and rear is good but not as plush as the OL 400’s. Yamaha has a large dealer network and you should be able to find a strong dealer to work with.

The Rubicon is the least similar to the others you’ve asked about and I would assume the biggest difference would be the price. The Rubicon 500 is actually priced and targeted at the 500cc class. You might be better off comparing the 450 Foreman to the others here to keep the price factor in perspective.

In any case, the Rubicon has a sophisticated hydrostatic tranny which is unique in the ATV industry. While it is a good working piece it tends to limit top speed on the Rubicon. As well, the Rubicon is the only ATV you asked about without IRS – a feature our readers have overwhelmingly indicated they desire in a new ATV – and so do we.

It increases ground clearance and improves ride quality exponentially. The Honda has those five letters on the fuel tank which mean it’ll be reliable forever and will hold it’s value. Those are hard issues to quantify at purchase time but will be important later in the ATV’s life.

Hope this helps.

Motorhead Mark

Dirt Trax Online
Dirt Trax Onlinehttps://atvmag.com
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