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I currently have the '06 Can Am 800, and while it has GOBS of power, I have never been able to get comfortable to the size and weight of the machine. I have rolled it a couple of times and quite frankly am "riding scared" on it when going up or down steep mountains. It feels and handles VERY Heavy. It is stock except for ITP Alloy rims and Mudlite tires.
So after trying to get used to it for 3 years I am about to throw in the towel and get something else or quite riding(can you hear my frustration?). I formerly had a KFX 700 that I was able to handle well and had several good years of enjoyment out of it, I just got tired of wearing all the mud(I do a lot of trail riding in KY,WV,TN). That is why I changed to the utilities.
With that said I am looking for a lighter more agile machine that has enough power. I realize I won't find anything with the power of my current 800, so I know I will have to sacrifice HP for agility. I have been looking at the Grizzly and the newer more powerful Rincon. From what I have heard the Rincon is hard to beat for stability, which is very important to me, however I have heard the newer power plant might still not be "enough". FYI, I am a 218 lb rider.
i have read many reviews but havent ridden either of these machines. i have a good friend who owned a griz 660 and absolutely loved it. the latest reviews have them pretty darn even, although they almost always give the overall winner to the rincon. as with many hondas, it is a jack of all trades and a master of none. i would say do a test drive. not just on pavement, off road if your dealer has an off road test area. some people also feel the griz is top heavy compared to the lower center of gravity on the rincon, but that is something that must be felt for yourself.
i think those 2 are some good choices, but have you looked at all of the manufacturers like polaris, suzuki, and kawasaki? they also make some very good 4 wheelers in the range of what you described.
here's a review from a member here on his new rincon:
Thanks for your input. Polaris makes very heavy machines, and Kawi has the Brute Force and it is too tall and heavy, plus I am not crazy about the Kawi build quality. I find the metals they use are very soft.
Suzuki does have a quality built machine in the King Quad 700. I think it might be the only other machine in the class that would fit me, so I would consider it.
Heck I would consider some of the 450 machines if they could crank out enough power. Thing is most weigh almost as much as the 700 class machines.
A group of friends and I have been building a very technically difficult ATV Trail in the Rocky Mountains where we live. The trail has been 5 years in the building thus far, and will likely be finished this summer. The entire trail has been built with a pick/shovel, and a chainsaw, and is just barely developed enough to get an ATV through at this point. Here's a picture from the trail:
And here is a link to more pictures of the trail if you want to look at them: Behind the house trail pictures by ps3tv - Photobucket
We have had more roll over accidents on this trail than I can count, with probably close to a hundred thus far. The phrase "The bigger they are, the harder they fall" certainly holds true, and the worst offenders have been the big heavy Polaris Sportsmans (600 to 850). The big Arctic Cats, and big Kawasaki ATVs have also sustained a lot of carnage. The three people that have worked on the trail the most are myself with my Yamaha Grizzly 700, a fellow with a Honda Rincon, and a fellow that owns both a Rincon and a Foreman 450. The fellow with two Honda's almost exclusively takes his Foreman 450 up on the trail because of its much lower center of gravity. Of all the regulars that work on the trail, I am the only one that has not rolled their ATV yet (knock on wood).
Of the ATVs you mention, don't get the Grizzly 660. Yamaha made major efforts in improving the stability of the Grizzly when they changed from the 660 to the 700. They lowered the engine in the chassis, they lowered the shocks from the upper a-arm to the lower a-arm, they moved the gas tank down under the seat, and they centralized mass considerably by moving the differentials in toward the center of mass, and making the a-arms angle out to the ends of the ATV. All of those changes made a huge difference in how easy the Grizzly 700 is to ride on difficult off camber terrain compared to the Grizzly 660. The Grizzly 700 is very stable, and an excellent mountain ATV. The Rincon is also very stable, but I have seen these Rincons roll several times over the years. They don't have the same quality engine braking for difficult downhills either.
Have you considered one of the older lower and more stable Honda utility ATVs, such as the Rubicon or Foreman? That beat to crap Honda Foreman that my friend rides has embarrased a whole lot of big bad utility quads.
Excellent post! Very useful information confirming many of the conclusions I had come to myself about the bigger quads.
I heard the engine braking on the Rincon was not up to par with the many of the others. That is one thing that my Outty 800 does well.
No I had not looked at the Foreman or Rubicon. My impression of the Foreman was that it was more of a farm "grunt" quad with that really low gearing. Do you consider the Rancher to be as good as these? I have a '01 Recon, that we use on my farm, and it has been a superb machine, but it is a bit too light, too short of a wheelbase, and too anemic on power for trails IMO. A lot of fun on the farm though.
Power would be my biggest concern with these older models. We generally need a bit of momentum to get up some of the steep places we go, especially if we run into mud. I think If were to look at the 500cc class and under I might also be looking at the Grizzly 450 and Suzuki King Quad 450(don't know your impression of those), but the disadvantage the I see off hand is the weight of these is sub 500 cc machines is nearly up there with the 780/700 class units.
Off camber situations on my Outty 800 are absolutely terrifying. Curious if the new Rincons have had any suspension changes. I thought they were the kings of lower center of gravity. Laying out the new changes on the Grizzly 700 were very useful.. Thank you!
I would think a Rancher would be rather anemic in the power department. The 450 Foreman just barely has enough, but makes up for low power with exceptional stability.
I personally have both a Can Am Renegade 800 R, and the Grizzly 700. For the trail work we do I wouldn't even consider taking the Renegade. Its center of gravity isn't too bad, but the engine is so strong, with such aggressive clutching, that it is a real handfull in the really tough terrain. One wrong stab on the throttle and you can launch that ATV right off the side of the mountain. For "normal" terrain it will run away and hide from the Grizzly, and it is a whole lot more fun to ride. But for super technical terrain I have yet to see any other ATV that can get through the bad stuff with more finnesse than these new Grizzlys. The Grizzly 550 would also be worth considering. The Grizzly 450 is a good quad, but it doesn't have the mass centralization efforts applied to it, and does not have as advanced of chassis design as the new Grizzlys do.
I would agree with that. I've ridden a new 700 a few times and determined it too top heavy feeling, although it is lighter than my XP850. You should take a look at the Polaris XPs, either the 550 or the 850. Both machines are super stable and they rip. It's a matter of riding them all. I'm sure the Honda is sweet too.