well i had the chance to ride many of my friends atvs here and there, and honestly.... ill just go around telling you what i felt about each brand:
-suzuki, well.... its OK.... looks good, reliable, good 4x4 and so on. my friend has one and it barely drinks and gas at all. but the downside is... i never really felt any power present. plus spec wise... it looks erm... weak.... suspension wise...
- honda: ahhh my friends favorites and that are absolutly biased on it.... well... the plus is its fun to ride, and the ones you can "shift" add more fun to it, for mud its bad, but for rock crawling, and trails its good and fun, but i guess its an inconvience as im sure its going to get tiering....switching there and back for something like plowing. the ugly? well its REALLY rough imho, underspeced, and overpriced for something that has old technologie.
- Yamaha: well.... same as suzuki but abit better, honestly, i think it has to be the best japanese atv. more comfortable, good power wise and so on. the bad? well on my friends yamahas they dont have hitches and so on, and imho looks uncomfortable to sit on. i guess its more trail than work.
- kawasaki: well..... what can i say? its fast, looks good, reliable, comparable to the yamaha. it has the best specs out of all the japs. atvs but all that comes at a price, i mean here a good kawa is almost as 2 500's polarises. the ride is good, and so on... no inconvients here really except the price.... i guess if you want something in this style than go for it. its actually good for work and play.
now on to the american atvs.
- can am... well... not for work at all, but mostly for play. style, quality and handling is amazing... down sides are the visco lock that will be horrible in rock crawling.
- arctic cat: well it has style.... i DONT find it reliable but some people do, but the 700 doesnt surprise..... only the 1000 does but its still underpowered compared to other atvs. and i find them tall, so im always afraid to flip it over when playing. but for work its acceptable.
-polaris. now i own 2 which should already hint to something... its AMAZING for work and play. amazing 4x4 and good quality. it has the looks, it has the power. all its really missing is you
lock and ride is a good touch up. but imho it has to be the best built atv, and the toughest, the hardest working, and for sure has the smoothest ride.
now quality wise...... every brand is comparable if its a known brand atv.
looking at what you can get the 800 has to be the best bang for your buck really.
if i had the choice to get what your choices are... id go
-800 polaris in first. its the best overall. (9.1/10 imho)
-750 brute in second, its good but has some down sides.(8.7/10 , because its overprices imho)
-yamaha (any engine i guess) or a can am (600 for the same price range i guess.) both get a 7.5/10 because of lacks of versatility.
-suzuki its really close to yamaha.... and im pretty sure its less expensive, so if you are considering the yam. then look at the zuki too 7.49/10
-honda... old technologie, nough said. 5-6.1/10 depending on model.
-arctic cat... well id highly NOT recomend it unless you want something reliable but thats only for work because for play... its missing the fun factor of the atv... ranks about 5/10
if i compare things to a car , it might help you understand what i mean.
(honda, yam, suzuki) are the equivalent of a honda civic but 4x4. i guess they are fun but.... your going to look like every other guy. not infront but not in the back... who knows. maybe youll get stuck allong the way and just leave it there.
kawasaki well... cant really find a car for it .. but the best would be something like a honda ridgeline... its a good mix between an suv and a truck but i mean common... its NEITHER..... looks good , but looks are expensive these days...
can am erm... i guess something like a subaru or nissan gtr... you may be the fastest, you may be the new cool kid. but throw something in technical and i mean common, whos seen a gtr in mud? even with AWD it wont go very far..
polaris it has to be a pickup, its offroad compatible, it can work and still be fun. maybe your the heavyest here but atleast you are cruising im comfort.
arctic cat..... i guess it would be a tractor......... sure MAYBE you have the power, weight and some other weird advantage over the rest, sure its going to look like a nice tractor but i mean comon.. how embarassing is it to ride a tractor down a trail....
hope i helped... pm me if you want more details....... or any other info