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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking for a little bigger more capable ATV for my 15 year old daughter and 11 year old son to move into. I have been watching the used market locally. Long story short I accumulated $1,000.00 worth of gift cards to Cabelas from my local bank. I was online putting together a wish list and came across their ATV's. I see they are built by Textron, a company I know nothing about. Curious if any of you have any input on these machines. I would only have about $2800.00 of my own money in it. Shopping for local Hondas and Polaris' in this size, for this amount of money I would be getting something pretty old with a lot of use.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
As I do a little research I see they are basically Arctic Cat machines. I would love to hear input on these machines.
 

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Yes - On March 6, 2017, Textron bought out Arctic Cat for US$247M. Arctic Cat is a manufacturer of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides. Textron operates Arctic Cat as a subsidiary of Textron Specialized Vehicles. Prior to the acquisition, Arctic Cat ATV's were manufactured using Kawasaki and Suzuki power-trains. Example: the Arctic Cat DVX400 is a Kawasaki/Suzuki KFX/LTZ 400. I buy parts for the Arctic Cat DVX400 and the Suzuki LTZ400 from Kawasaki - although Suzuki built both the AC and KAW, the parts are cheaper from Kawasaki than Suzuki and Suzuki parts are cheaper than AC parts - also AC will not accept part returns. Textron has a long road ahead of them to establish the brand as a viable choice. Since the Textron transition, I have no idea who's engines are being used, but I suspect they are of Chinese manufacture.
 

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I was talking to a friend of mine about these and he offered up for sale a Phoenix 200 (2016) that he Ian selling. My understanding is the Phoenix is not built the same as the larger Polaris'. Are the Phoenix's any better or worse then an arctic cat?
 

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So just from your link that an artic cat. Made now by Textron. Personally I would pop for new units in the 400-500cc range for the kiddos. They'll grow into the machines soon enough. You won't have to keep upgrading they'll be one and done. Artic cat make a decent machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is my thought process on this, I would like to know what you guys think. For what it is going to cost me out of pocket I could either get this machine or end up buying a Honda or Polaris that is 5-10 years old. I am not mechanically inclined beyond doing basic maintenance. That is why I am trying to do something new or newer so I don't end up with someone else's problems. Since my kids are the type to beat and bang and would mainly be riding around our property or some lite trails, not mudding and creak riding, I was hoping these machines would be reliable for them. I know I could buy one and it be a total lemon, but I think the odds of one these causing me problems out of the gate is less likely then a 5 or 10 year old used machine, no matter what brand. Honestly the 2 bikes they currently have might only see 10-20 hours a year at the most.
 

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The Chinese engines are just as reliable as anyone's - the problem is in the metallurgy of the frames, wheels, axles and electronics.

The Chinese machines are light and cheap. They will not hold up very well to jumping and deep water. I know a guy who got his kids a 3 year old ETON - within a week the kids broke the centers out of both rear wheels. They were drifting it in a flat turn and the wheels didn't hold up to the side force of the turn. Wheels were a pain to find and fairly expensive at $35 each. Shortly after getting the new wheels on it, they bent the rear axle landing off a foot high jump. I straightened the axle, but it cost over $100 ro remove and reinstall it - the straightening was $15. He got rid of the ETON and got them a Suzuki LT80 - they broke it too, but in a different way - they wrecked it and bent the frame. Eton, Aeon, Dinli, Suzuki, Polaris, Arctic Cat, Kawasaki, Yamaha? Certain models are all made in made in China or Taiwan. Only difference is the parts supply is better fro some than others. Some Yamahas, Kawasakis and Hondas are made in the U.S. - some Hondas sold in the U.S. are made in Brazil and most Polaris are made in Mexico now. Textron can't be any worse than Landmaster, Yardsport, Massimo Motor, Big Horn or better than Honda, Polaris or KTM. Just make sure you can get service on it. I am an authorized warranty repair for the ATV's sold by Rural King, Farm and Fleet, Kmart, Walmart, Sam's Club and Menards in Central IL. There are Cabela's and Bass Pro shops within 60 miles of me and while I have not been formally approached, I have had passing conversations with Cabela and Textron representatives. I may very well end up being the service center for Textron products sold in this part of the state.
 

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So just from your link that an artic cat. Made now by Textron. Personally I would pop for new units in the 400-500cc range for the kiddos. They'll grow into the machines soon enough. You won't have to keep upgrading they'll be one and done. Artic cat make a decent machine.
^^^What he said! If you don’t, then you’ll be back to square one in 2 years. Make your investment for the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I stopped in last week to look at the Trackers. Their website has them priced at 3600.00 and it shows a 300 dollar delivery fee. I was hoping they would not charge that for the machines in the store but they base price is 3900.00 plus taxes, fees, etc. I stopped today at a local dealer and they have Phoenix's for that same price and a 400 Honda for about 400 more. They also have a 300 Brute Force for the same price, 3900.00. So I have ruled out the tracker. All things considered the OTD price will be about the exact same as what I can get a new Phoenix, brute force, or Honda for.
 

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no surprise there as they are essentially AC's under new badges, and AC's ran in the same ball park as the other known brands. Granted I heard more horror stories about AC's than good stories. but most was second or third hand so who knows.

I'm not in the boat of buy a 400/500 and let them grow into it. this is simply from a safety aspect as most kids don't have the body size, or mental faculties to handle a larger Machine.buy something that fits their size & skill level, and then go from there. Yes, you may have to upgrade later, but you know what they say, you gotta pay to play. this is the reason I'm hanging onto the Hawkeye 300, when my kids (10/7 built like bean poles) out grow their Chinese kid quads, they'll have the Hawkeye to use after that. and by the time the second one gets onto the Hawkeye, the older one will be ready to move up to a larger machine, both physically, and in skill level. The Hawkeye is a midsize frame and weighs about 200 lbs less than the full-size machines.
 

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Certainly wouldn’t advocate a 10/7 year old getting a full size Atv. OP’s kids are 15 and 11. My son had Tao Tao till maybe 9 or 10 then a Kymco 150. Just before he was 13 in September he got 450 w/24” tires, they sit a “little” lower. Following Spring he’d grown more and was fine on 450, @15 he got 25” HTR Bearclaws on it. Definitely depends on their physical size for sure. Mine’s 16 and 160 lbs. I almost bought him an AC 300 after his 150cc but for him that would have been a mistake for him.
At 12 yrs./9 months he met this criteria:
Physical Development
Have your child stand on the foot rests of the ATV and grasp the handlebars. There should be at least 3 inches of clearance between the ATV seat and the youngster's seat of the pants. Have your child move the handlebars all the way to the right and to the left. Can they do this? Can your child operate the throttle and squeeze the brake lever with one hand as these controls are intended to be used? Can your child shift their weight from side to side and from front to back and maintain their balance? One good measure of readiness to successfully ride an ATV is the ability to ride a bicycle. Can your child easily control a bicycle?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After I looked at the new ones yesterday I really think I will end up with a Phoenix or a Honda 250. The Tracker and the brute force 300 are pretty big machines, especially for the 11 year old. I have some friends who have kids that ride a Phoenix 200 and he is 16. He is ready to move up but it is still a decent sized machine, it's not like he would outgrow the Phoenix in a year or two. If we were just buzzing around the yard he would be fine, but if I end up taking him on one of our guys and kids outings this fall I wouldn't trust him on one of the larger machines when it comes to maneuvering on some of the trails.
 

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I've seen plenty kids rippin full-size machines. There's a time and place for everything. The kids aptitude is also a big factor.
 

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After I looked at the new ones yesterday I really think I will end up with a Phoenix or a Honda 250. The Tracker and the brute force 300 are pretty big machines, especially for the 11 year old. I have some friends who have kids that ride a Phoenix 200 and he is 16. He is ready to move up but it is still a decent sized machine, it's not like he would outgrow the Phoenix in a year or two. If we were just buzzing around the yard he would be fine, but if I end up taking him on one of our guys and kids outings this fall I wouldn't trust him on one of the larger machines when it comes to maneuvering on some of the trails.
How does your kid size up to “Physical Development” guidelines I listed above? I too had some concerns until I had him up on 450 and checked through guidelines. Might surprise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I always consider the source but I spoke with a friend of mine who is corporate employee for Cabelas. I have know him and his family for over 25 years. He told me that they are selling a high number of the 570's and 300 ATV's and have very few issues with them after the sale. Cabelas stores have a service department in the store and they do all repairs and warranty work in house. He said they are having issues with some of the electric UTV/golf cart type machine but the gas models have had almost zero returns.
 

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yeah that's a tectron/artic cat. tectron is like right next to Polaris and they have always been very similar in build.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As I've been shopping I am also seeing some RZR 170's and Ace 150's for sale. I hadn't thought about that route. I have heard they are not the same quality as the larger size Polaris machines but I think the Phoenix is either. The Ace 150 has more ground clearance than the RZR 170. I have two kids but honestly my daughter is turning 15 so I don't see her wanting to buzz around in these machines much longer so not sure if the 2 seater is worth the extra price. So taking the seating out of the equation what are your guys thoughts on the Ace 150 V the RZR 170 as far as reliability, driveablilty etc.
 
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