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Discussion Starter #21
you guys make some really interesting points, i will take it all into consideration when i find "The Deal" thanks guys
 

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Like I said, a beater will look beat. They'll have torn up tires, broken plastic, bent rims, loose wheel bearings, seized cables, paint worn off the frame and control arms, etc.
 

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I just think it's funny how clean my 570 still is with 400 miles and 47 hours. It's mostly low range crawling on our grassy field. If someone did the math without looking at the machine they would probably think it's beat.
I agree, I don't think its fair to throw something out because of mileage. my 2015 was bought in May, I have over 1000 miles and 110 hours on it, but it still looks brand new.
 

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My sportsman 500 ho 2002 has 3000 miles or 4000 hours and it was my grandpa's and he died and I got it for free he got it used from a friend but it's spotless there's no rust other than the exhaust what does just surface rust I had to fix the axles and minor things but it's been reliable
 

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it's all depends on how it was used and abused like mine I don't go through deep mud and stuff like that I go with through some but I don't go overboard with it
 

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Thanks for the reply guys, like I said this would be for my wife and I'm guessin g we would put at most 200-300 miles on a year. I've only put 250 miles on my 700 in 4 uears! Bought it 4 years ago with 700 miles on it.. still don't have 1000 mIles in it!

Why would you buy if that is the number of miles you will put on the bike. You would be better off renting. The last trip out was in Sept and by the time we got back home I had another 784 miles on the bike. The bike when I got home was just 1 year old and has 1850 miles.
 

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Why would you buy if that is the number of miles you will put on the bike. You would be better off renting. The last trip out was in Sept and by the time we got back home I had another 784 miles on the bike. The bike when I got home was just 1 year old and has 1850 miles.
There's a lot of folks that don't put many miles on the way some of us do PoPo. I routinely see machines in the shop that are 5-10 years old and only have around 2000-2500 miles. If I don't get at least 75-100 miles in a day its only been a partial ride lol. I've been very busy this year since buying my new 1000. It's a year and a half old now and ONLY has about 2500 miles. In an "ordinary" riding year I'd be closer to 3500 by now.
The 2006 Sportsman 800 that used to be my primary ride shows 20,000+ miles on the meter. I just rebuilt the engine and all the rest of the machine has always been kept rock solid. I'd have to think real hard to take less than $4500 for it because I know what it is and I couldn't replace it with a machine of equal quality for that.
 

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I am looking to purchase a sportsman single cylinder ATV for the MRS. I have found quite a few with decent price tags but have 5000 or so miles on them.. I don't mind fixing things but just don't want to buy a money pit. How many miles is too many? also will a 400 sportsman get up to 50 mph?
Get the 500 Sportsman OP. They've been around forever and there's tons of parts available. 5000 miles is a fair amount but a close inspection, tell tale signs and/or records of regular maintenance and current condition along with price makes the difference in if its too many miles.
Take a jack or lift and blocks or jack stands and a bright flashlight with you to get it off the ground and inspect closely before even considering a purchase. Wiggle the wheels, a-arms, ball joints and u-joints while watching for play. Check axle boots. Get all four wheels off the ground and check for smooth engagement/disengagement of the AWD and shifter. Ask when the clutches were last serviced and a new belt installed. If he says "Oh, I've never had to do anything to the clutches or replace the belt. They're all good!" You can bet they're NOT!! If it has around 5000 miles, at a minimum they'll need cleaned and a new belt but it'll probably need the clutches serviced/refreshed too. You should immediately make a mental note to deduct at least $300 off the asking price.
Question the seller about maintenance records and intervals and any repairs that have been made. Hum hawing or evasive answers are a warning sign! Chat him up about his riding style and where he rides. I won't even look at or consider for one minute a machine that has been used in mud and water!! I just move on to the next prospect.
After a good chat with the seller and an inspection and ride, start at the asking price and deduct needed repairs from that figure... $400 for tires, $35 each for wheel bearings, $200 for bushings, $50 for a complete fluid and air filter change, $100 for brakes, $50 seat cover , etc., etc.
Then you add back on a reasonable amount (NOT new prices) for good accessories like a winch, hand/thumb warmers, storage, brush guards, lights, a-arm guards, skid plates, wheels, etc.
I buy and refurbish used machines as a regular practice. There's very few things on them that can't be repaired fairly easily with a little time, money and effort. You can find some very good dependable machines at reasonable prices if you do your homework and have a good idea of the costs going in and allow for that in the purchase.
 

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Oh yeah, I was going to add that you can look up the value on Kelley blue book and NADA to get an idea of the average retail or trade-in value of any advertised machine you are considering before even contacting the seller to see if its at least in the ballpark of a reasonable price.
Good luck and let us know what you find.
 

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I don't mind hijacking this thread since it's a few years old. I have a chance to get a decent deal on a Honda foreman I might buy for my kids. It's an 08 with the electric shift, 300 CC. It was owned by a rural fire department so not been a mud machine. It looks to be excellent condition for it's age. It has 3100 miles on it and 3600 hrs. So basically averaging just over 1 mph (give or take). I assume at a rural fire department it's more running supplies around, the occasional search, parades etc. What are your thoughts on the wear and tear on the drive-train of a machine with this many hours/miles on it??
 

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Well, first of all you need to find out exactly what machine you're asking about. There is no such thing as a 300cc Honda Foreman and most definitely not a 2008. The original 300cc Fourtrax 4x4 was discontinued in 2000. I think Honda first introduced the Foreman line around 1987 with a 350cc engine. Then around 1995 the Foreman went to a longitudinal 400cc design. I think around 1998 the 450cc Foreman was the first offered with electric shift.
Unless I'm mistaken all 2008 Honda Foreman machines have 500cc engines.
Getting back to your original question, a 2008 Honda atv with only 3000 miles should be in excellent shape if it has been maintained.
If you will find out EXACTLY what machine we are talking about I can better inform you as to what needs to be checked and/or serviced and what to look for as far as wear and reliability. Electric shift can sometimes have issues with the angle sensor or switch but its usually a relatively cheap and easy fix.
 

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Thanks
The "kid' that gave me the details was a little mixed up, I talked to the dad who got it for the fire department. It is a 2005 Rancher 350 ES. He said this spring it had carb rebuilt, new battery and a new starter.
 

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That machine was made in both 2x4 and 4x4 versions. As I said before, if its been serviced and not abused it should be a good machine with only 3000 miles.
The biggest negative on that machine would be the old fashioned drum brakes. They are very labor intensive and expensive to maintain and not very good at stopping the machine even with all new parts... especially when they get wet as they will every time they go through a puddle. There are disc brake conversion kits available for the front at around $300 that are not too hard to install so I'd figure that cost into the purchase along with tires or anything else it may need. The disc brake conversion kit actually costs less than buying new OEM brake parts!! Once installed they are trouble-free and will actually STOP the machine rather than just slow it down like the OEM brakes. I've installed several of these front disc brake kits on Honda machines and they work very well.
The rear drum brake is another matter. There's also disc conversions for the rear at about the same cost as the front but in my experience they are NOT very good or effective.
 
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