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Author Topic: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris  (Read 1440 times)

Lancashire Smallholder

  • Joined Apr 2020
Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« on: November 14, 2020, 01:00:41 pm »
A few years ago I bought a Linhai 200cc quad for "play time"! However I now have more land and need something that is more reliable and up to the job.

I have narrowed it down to the Polaris Sportsman 570 or Honda Fourtrax 420. The Polaris looks like a winner in spec, cost, gadgets etc. but nearly every farmer around me seems to have a Honda.

Are your just paying for the name with a Honda? What do you all use?

Any ideas or thoughts appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 08:56:39 pm by Lancashire Smallholder »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2020, 03:07:48 pm »
Honda.  I've had 3.  We looked at Polaris, but didn't buy one.

Hondas are proper workhorses, last almost forever if properly looked after. 

So why have I had 3?  We did wear out the first, a 350.  It was already 3 or 4 years old when we bought it along with the 1022 acres of Northumberland moorland and hefted flock of 450 Swaledale ewes... so it worked really hard!  Its 4-wheel drive conked after a couple more years, and that was essential for the work we did, so we decided to trade it in for the next model, the 420.  I then moved farms and bought an 8 year old 350 that had done only light work.  Sadly I neglected its servicing and seized the engine - my fault, not its.  I traded that in for a 2 year old 420 with a lot of miles on the clock, and that came to Cornwall with me 2 years later and is still going strong 4 years on from that.

The Polaris we looked at was the one with the weather canopy.  The protection from the Cumbrian weather appealed!!  But it was rejected for the following reasons :

  • Lefthand drive, which the xBH wasn't so keen on
  • Being out of the weather appealed, but we found it made you feel less in touch with the ground and the sheep.  Like driving along a country lane versus walking across the fields.
  • The towing capability of the Honda outstripped the Polaris, and although on that farm we didn't tow huge weights with the quad, we did have some pretty hairily steep hills, so towing muscle was important
  • So noisy!!!  Partly being in a partially enclosed cab, I guess, but we found the engine noise very intrusive, which probably contributed to (2)
  • and the killer :  The collies hated it, wouldn't travel in it.  They loved the Honda.

The quad-style Polaris (as opposed to the covered cab golf cart / Mule style) may well be a better comparison to the Honda, but as we were very happy with Honda, we just stuck with that.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 03:11:11 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

RCTman

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Rhondda fach
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2020, 03:30:44 pm »
Honda, mine is a 350 TRX bought in 2004  and is still going strong although looking a bit tatty now. Good workhorse.

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 11:03:11 am »
We use Honda 520s on our farm. They are almost bulletproof if you look after them.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 06:15:02 pm »
I have a Honda bigred 4x4 (300TRX, circa 1996) which I use intermittently - always starts on the button even after sitting for months. It may be developing an issue with the front wheel drive ( possibly similar to Sally's Honda) - when I got it stuck on a concealed (bracken) gorse stump one of the front wheels didn't turn with the others - but when I got it home and tested it by hooking up to a heavy trailer in mud it happily spun all 4 wheels, so I'm not yet sure what's going on there.


When I was buying I was looking at 2nd hand market and did see Polaris quads for sale at good prices - but the thing that put me off at that time was a few advertised for sale 'good runner but needs a new clutch' which made me suspect a parts availability issue, but as Polaris are still being sold I assume that's resolved now, but as i'm not in the market I don't know.


we do appear to have a honda bias here don't we?  :)  [size=78%]- I was hoping a few polaris owners would chip in with their experiences.[/size]

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2020, 07:26:50 pm »
we do appear to have a honda bias here don't we?  :)  [size=78%]- I was hoping a few polaris owners would chip in with their experiences.[/size]

I have never used a Polaris. We've only had Suzuki Kingquad and Honda 520TRX on the farms i've worked on. Whilst i like the Suzuki to some degree i have come to find that the Honda is far better over rough ground.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

Lancashire Smallholder

  • Joined Apr 2020
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 08:20:27 pm »
Thanks for all the replies.

I took both the Polaris and Hondas for test rides, and with your advice decided on the Honda TRX 520.

So for any one else wondering...

Polaris is clearly a “fun” machine. It is powerful and has a great dashboard display. For gadget geeks it has an app so you can track and control some functions from your phone! However it didn’t ride as well as the Honda, it bounced around and felt good quality... but not excellent quality.

The Honda 420 felt like a strong well built ATV, with no “extras” to breakdown it is made for a job, and will do it forever I expect!

The 520 I decided to go with in the end just felt better, it rode very well and the performance is brilliant. I bought a 12 month old one and it arrived on Friday.

I will let you know how I get on! ????

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2020, 11:37:47 am »
just to alter the bias , farmers are moving away from Honda ,as they are not the bike they were , the old 350 was bomb proof , Suzuki is the top bike choice at the moment after many tried the can-am and moved on .  I know 3 farmers who were Honda for ever now on Suzuki as they said hondas were not well made any more and thirsty

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2020, 01:04:38 pm »
Interesting you said that Shep53, because we bought a self-drive mower and spent an extra €100 to get the version with a Honda engine for reliability and easy starting. So we were quite annoyed that after having it for 15 months it wouldn't start when hot and then not at all. Fault was traced to a softened ignition microswitch operating spring. Mentioned it to a friend and he said the problem is not many parts are made in Japan now, so quality standards are not what they used to be. Perhaps so?

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2020, 03:53:28 pm »
just to alter the bias , farmers are moving away from Honda ,as they are not the bike they were , the old 350 was bomb proof , Suzuki is the top bike choice at the moment after many tried the can-am and moved on .  I know 3 farmers who were Honda for ever now on Suzuki as they said hondas were not well made any more and thirsty

In saying that. The two Suzuki Kingquads we had on the farm both had drivebelt failure, electrical problems and handbrake pins breaking. A little frustrating when you are the other end of the farm and have to use a Manatou to lift it back to the farmyard for repair.
As for the fuel usage. I find that if you use the 4 wheel drive on the Honda all the time then it does become a little thirsty. But if you only use in when you need to then i think it's better than the Suzuki. Plus the gearing on the Honda is way better.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Time for a new ATV... but Honda or Polaris
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2020, 02:03:06 pm »
Ran Honda 350  new 2000 only had oil changes in 17yrs  , Honda 420 2012  needed regular service or running rough  , constant brake pads  ,body panels fell off and rear axle broke @4 yrs old  so both traded in 2017 for Yamaha 650 which has only needed 2 new throttle cable's + service in 20,000 miles .  Suzuki 500 new in 2004 electrical problems over life of  20,000 miles 3yrs and traded for Arctic cat which i got good a fitting parts .  You pays your money you take your chance's

 

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