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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2001, 09:55 AM
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I know they have the same engines......
im looking to purchase a 2001 arctic cat 400, or 500, depending on my funds,
or a 2001 suzuki quadrunner 500,
whats the main difference between the two 500's ? has anyone ridden them both (manual)
im guessing the arctic cat is geared a little lower, but the suzuki handles better, and has higher top speed, is this right?
and which has the better ride/traction, the AC's have the act independant rear susp. and the suzuki has 4 independant shock absorbers...
what about the 400 ac?
how do the 500's stack up against a mangnum or sportsman, texiscat , you should be able to tell me this,
i will be exploring, rough trail riding, and having a little bit of fun on this track we found, it has steep steep hill shoots, jumps, pits, ect.

the best deal i can find is the ac 400 for 4600, and one dealer wants 5000 with a winch and plow but if you dont want them its 4600, i could probably tell him that the other dealers sell the same quad for 4600, and tell him its not realyl a deal,
i found the ac 500 for 5200 without plow + winch, and the suzuki dealers didnt want to stray to far from retail, one guy said 5800, the other said "negotiable", maybe now that more info on the 2002's is out they dropped price,
i basicly want to know how they stack up against the polaris's, and each other,

thanks,
dan

p.s. hows my new icon?
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Old 06-21-2001, 01:12 PM
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Old 06-21-2001, 05:59 PM
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I could be WAY off with this one, but I seem to remember some time ago somebody comparing the 'Cat 500 to the Suzuki, and the 'Cat was actually a little faster. If I remember right, something about even though they are the same engines, Suzuki isn't putting out all the power that it should-if anybody remembers, does that sound close??? I think Boner would know for sure, he'd be the one to ask. I'd take the 'Cat over the Suzuki-it's just seem to be built better, little subtle things, and the ride is smoother.

As far as the 'Cat vs. the SP500, the SP will easily out run the 'Cat. The 'Cats are geared low, and being a utility machine, are not known for speed. If speed is your thing, steer away from the 'Cat. Jumping on either of these machines is not exactly the ticket either. You have to consider these machines are considered utility ('Cat) or sport/utility (sp500), and consequently are more geared towards hauling, towing, climbing anything you have the guts to try, real 4-wheeling in low range through deep mud, over all kinds of obsticles you can imagine-NOT JUMPING. If you plan on doing a lot of jumping, look more towards a true sport machine-they're a lot lighter, faster, and designed specfically for jumps. The thing you have to consider is when you put a 650 lbs. ('Cat) or 700 lbs. (SP) up in the air very high, things WILL break upon landing-if not the first time, they will eventually. That kind of weight for the machine, plus the weight of the rider and any gear you may carry puts an extreme amount of stress on everything on the machine. If you do end up with one of these machines and do jump regularly, expect breakdowns-it's not the machines fault, they weren't designed for that.

Sorry if I sound rude with this point, I just spoke with a guy here local who was complaining about his new 450es, and what a p.o.s. it was, that it was ALWAYS breaking down-tie rods, joints, axles, etc. I asked what he was doing with hit, he said he bought it for aggressive riding, climbing hills and jumping a lot. Well, go figure! It's no wonder the damn thing was breaking down, it wasn't designed for that purpose! Now, I don't particularly care for Honda myself, but at the same time, I don't like hearing somebody put something down for being a p.o.s when they are clearly using it in the wrong manner or for something entirely different than it was intended for. Kind of like using a .30-.30 for elk hunting and shooting at 300+ yards, wondering why you can't hit anything. Come on man, think about it, you need a different rifle for the job! The .30-.30 is an excellent gun, but by no means is designed for taking long range shots at elk! (hunted with a guy last year for the first time who was doing this very thing-we almost went rounds over it!)

I've ridden with a few SP500's before (non-HO), and there was NO place that they could go that I couldn't just as easily on my 'Cat. Going downhill was a different story. I clearly had the advantage with this one, there were a few places I went that he wouldn't even dare to attempt. That is one of the reasons why I don't particularly care for the SP design-that rear wheel slippage bit. Sure, true four wheel drive is great, but if you can't engage your front tires while descending a steep, slippery muddy slope, you're s.o.l.

As far as the ride goes, no matter what anybody tells you, a good ride IS important. Especially if you have back problems. The 'Cat and the SP have the best rides out there, though with the IRS on the SP, it takes the edge. I chose the 'Cat myself for several reasons over the SP, and have been thrilled to death. I can easily ride out a full tank of gas in one long ride-close to 100 miles, with no back pain what so ever. After a half hour on a Ruby, I was ready to die. Ride does make a difference, you'll just have to compare the features between the 'Cat and the SP to see which one fits your bill the best. However, when I bought our 'Cats, the SP was over $1,500 higher than the 'Cat-definately NOT worth it for what you get, and that sure isn't much-IRS and "true four wheel drive"-while going flat or uphill-not down.

Between the 400 and 500, I'd take the 500 'Cat personaly. More power, selectable 2/4wd. Doesn't sound like much, but you'd be amazed at the power of this thing, and especially how often you use the 2/4wd. It never ceases to amaze me some of the things I do or the places I go on my 'Cat-it's a great machine.

Anyway, best of luck with the choice,

Mike
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Old 06-21-2001, 06:43 PM
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cowboy, thanks for the input, i never ment jumping, i meant getting a foot of air or less on an uphill bump, it not somthing i will be doing regularly, just if i visit the track and feel like it,
and i was never going to buy the polaris, i dont like polaris autos, and after riding my friends, altough the accel was smooth, you could tell the low end didnt like the belt, no really low power on the sp,
i was asking about the sp500 because i want to ride with my buddy and put him to shame, i dont realyl care about top speed, as long as i can cruise a bit, if it can go nearly as fast as my friends 95' bayou 250, or my old , pos suzuki quadsport 230 ill be happy as a pig in mud, and i could probably beat the sp in a drag, cause of the lower gearing, right? and the solid tranny,
what about the AC 400, is that good? if i can swing the 500 i will get it, hey Boner , any input here?
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Old 06-21-2001, 07:09 PM
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I have an AC 400 and I really like it. It is geared low so top speed is probably around low 40's. It is a nice smooth ride. It has pretty much everything as the 500 except the bigger cylinder, selectable 2wd/4wd, and larger front rack. However the 400's steering is a lot lighter. I don't even notice it being hard at all. I think a little larger tire say 26" would give it more speed on the top end without loosing the bottom end grunt.

As far as comparing it the Sportman 500's my dad owns two of them with the EBS. I can only compare my 400 with his 500. His has more power which is obvious. Mine has a lighter steering which is less fatiguing on those long rides. both machines have smooth rides. both have large tanks. The SP500 has true 4wd, but this requires 1/5 wheel spin to engage the fronts. As far a 4WD down hill it was engaged as long as the wheels were spinning. The EBS really holds the machine back to the point of locking up the rear wheels. This is good and bad. The bad is the fact that the wheels aren't spinning but skidding. the good is that you have to give it gas instead of breaks when decending steep hills. The SP500 requires more maintenance. The only thing that has seperated the two machines on where they can go is "BALLS". Other than that I think you would be happy with either machine. The maintenance thing is my really only draw back pn the SP500. For some when you are trail riding its nice just to gas and go and not have to spend time making sure your in the right gear. As far as drag racing the SP will kick your butt. each time you shift you have to left off the gas while the PVT is putting power to the ground. Plus it will top out about 65mph where the AC top out about 55mph. But, where the roads end and the trails begin both machine are about equal. Good luck and like Cowboy said just get the machine that is going to best fit your needs.
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Old 06-21-2001, 07:43 PM
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im pretty solid on the two arctic cats now,
and ive done a lot of narrowing down,
if i can swing the money, i will get the ac 500,
if i cant, the 400,
what acceseris should i get besides a winch?
oh yeah,
has anyone on an ac 500 dragged a sportsman Hoe or non ho?
did the ac win in the drag?

p.s.
ive heard good and bad things about the rocker shifting, it doesnt really matter, i can get used to anything fast,
is it easy to use though?
and i like the gear indicator
and about that true 4wd buisness.....
you mean on the ac 400/500 only 3 wheels will spin?
or is that one of the cases where if you press the brake, it will fix it?
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Old 06-21-2001, 09:06 PM
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I THINK I FOUND EXACTLY WHAT I WANT, AND THE MSRP ISNT THAT BAD!!!!! THE NEW 400I www.AT villustrated.com/industry_news/arcticcat/02models/400s.shtml (fix the addy) AND I BET AT LEAST ONE DEALER WILL SELL IT CHEAPER, IS THIS NEW ARCTIC CAT 400 BETTER THEN THE 2001 400? BECAUSE IT MUST HAVE A 400CC ENGINE IS THERE IS NOW A 375 CC CLASS, I THINK IM GONNA GET THE 2002 AC 400I WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK? ALL THAT CLEARANCE, AND 10 INCHES OF TRAVEL + INDEPENDANT SUSPENSION, + NEW LOOKS + EXTRA CC'S ????? SOUNDS LIKE A SWEET DEAL TO ME
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Old 06-22-2001, 12:37 AM
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As far as the 2001 models go, the 400 and 500 are pretty simular. The only differences is that the 400 (true 371cc) has alot less low end torque, narrower front tires, smaller racks, different front brush guard, no 2wd, and thats about it.

Now about the Suzuki vs AC, the Arctic Cat has more compression and a different carb, letting it put out a noticeable amount more power. The AC is just ALITTLE bit faster, hardly noticeable tho. The gearing is identical. I also like the larger and softer seats on the cats, floorborads, larger racks and ratings, better winch mount, better ride, better brakes (Suzuki has a drum rear brake), and a few other features.

As far as going against the Polarises, I think the others have said it well enough already. But I will add this about the brakes. Even on level ground the Polarises (SP in particular) like to lock up the rear brakes and come around on you. Because the driveline is linked (in 4wd) on the cats they will not lock up only the rears, making you more likely to get side ways and roll over) they will have to lock up the fronts to lock up the rears. And I bet it's more likely to lift the rears than lock up the fronts on most terain.

About the jumping, I think you can get that much air and not bottom the shocks out-- as long as you don't have a REALY HEAVY load.

What do you mean about draging?? Hitch to hitch pull offs or drag races???

As far as the rocker shifter goes, I got used of it with in a 3 hour ride. Very easy to get used to IMO, But I'm gonna be testing the toe shifter anyway to see if I like it better.

Any other questions?
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Old 06-22-2001, 09:47 AM
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did you mean the AC is more likely to roll?
im pretty good driver, and ive delt with a crappy, but somewhat fun 86 quadsport 230, half of the time with no front brakes, meaning i was driving using the rear foot brake, and if you read my signiture, i have the rokon 2x2 go anywhere vehicle, and it does, but its a pain cause you have to keep it balances, and i was going down crazy hills, it didnt have the handle or cable for the brakes, so i the peices from a bike on for now, and i was going down theese hills, my freind on his sp500 was sliding down the hills, it looked like all four wheels jammed when he hit the brakes,
when i drove it it didnt happen, i guess im just a more expierienced and better driver, expecily sunce they broke the linkage on it withen the first week,
what do you thiink about the new 400i ? its a true 400,
right?
if it wasnt, they wouldnt have a 375 cc class,
i think its a good deal, kinda sporty to
, as far as drag racing, just a straight run, i really dont care, i beat them in a race down a road on my friends bayou 250, so im sure i can get ahead of them on trail, ect.
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Old 06-22-2001, 09:16 PM
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I said it wrong. The Polaris models are more likely to lock up the rear tires making the rear end come around on you. I've driven MANY Polarises and most of them did this (cement and gravel= just about every time).

The 400 is a true 371 cc motor, not sure whats the deal with the 375 air-oil cooled motor. IT's either all new or a bored out AC 300 (280cc) motor.
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Old 06-22-2001, 09:16 PM
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375cc, 400, 400cc, 500, 99, arctic, artic, atvs, cat, compare, difference, head, honda, motor, quad, quadrunner, stack, suzuki, whats



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