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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

New here and looking at getting a Sportsman 500 4x4. I have been doing my research here and elsewhere and it seems like it would fit my needs nicely. Mostly going to use it for yard chores, hauling firewood, plowing the driveway, and a little bit of trail riding. This is my first ATV so still learning a lot just reading through all the posts.

I've been looking on craigslist and it seems like everyone is asking well above the retail book value for the Sportsman. Is that common everywhere or just here?

I'm looking to get a late 90s or early 2000s model and don't want to spend more than 1500. Is that reasonable?

Anything I should be looking for when I go look at them? Any other comparable makes/models I should be looking at that have similar features?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the board!:med:
 

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I agree with treacherous on this one...I think you will need to come up a little bit to get the machine you are interested in.

If you are even able to find one for $1500, it is prolly not gonna be a very reliable ride! Just my opinion.

Good luck with your search!
 

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I'm continually surprised at what that era of sportsman continues to sell for in good condition. The Magnums seem to sell fit a bit less and are a very similar machine and more work oriented. Otherwise an old Yamaha its always a good start and more reasonably priced. But you suffer in ride.
 

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I paid $1500 for my 02 sportman 500 a year ago. It was in running condition but needed a lot of tlc, new front springs, all new bushings, etc. So far I've put $1000 into it on top of what I paid for it and still have another $500 to go before everything will be good on it. It's been fun learning how to work on it but I wish I had known what to look for when I bought it, I probably could've talked the guy down more than I did.

Just keep in mind when you find one take your time and go over everything! Bushings, brakes, etc. also if you can jack it up before you buy it to make sure both front wheels pull in AWD and not just one side....like mine...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! It pretty much confirms what I have been seeing. All the ones on craigslist that look to be in good shape and a decent price are gone within a few days. When I go looking, I'll be sure to bring cash with me.

Is there anything that would be a red flag? I have seen a lot of them with broken speedometers/odometers... How would you tell when the engine is starting to get tired?
 

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Beware of brown engines: engines that look brown means that they have been used in the mud constantly and the color of the soil taints the unit.

Inspect Upper shock mount: You never know maybe the previous owner was playing dukes of hazard with the quad.

Check frame for corrosion: although Sportsman frames are very strong you might encounter one with some bad rust. A buddy of mine learned this the hard way when he bought an SP600.

As for broken gauges IMO if I see a broken gauge chances are that owner might rolled the quad at some point so that would be some thing to keep an eye out for.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great info, thanks!

I am going to be looking at 1998 Sportsman 500 and was wondering what you guys think would be a fair price. The owner says one of the cv joints is starting to click and it may need a belt soon. It looks in good shape from the pictures and it also has a winch. I don't mind doing the work, but how much should I discount because of it?
 
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