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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I'm new to the world of atv's. I live on a hobby farm and am looking for a good used 4X4 to drag fields, plow snow, and maybe pull a little trailer full of soil or fencing material. I want a used one. Automatic. Small enough to get in the horse paddocks (not a side by side). I already have a nice farm tractor for the major work and a plow blade for my pickup truck.

What do you all recommend for me? What year should I be looking for? Something old enough to not give me sticker shock, but new enough to not need a bunch of replacements and repairs. What range of years would that be?

Please advise.
 

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Can't beat the old standby Sportsman 500. Super reliable, minimal maintenance needed, and will do way more than you will ever think it could. They seem to run in the $2500-4500 range around here. Newer, lower miles, and as close to stock as possible is better in general.
 

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I use a sportsman 500 for plowing it pushes a good pile but if your buying something just for plowing and pulling on a farm..i'd really look into the 6 by 6 polaris has had them out for years now..might be a bit harder to find a used one but 2 more drive tires should give some wicked traction. specially with some weight in the dump box!
 

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I'm about to ruffle some feathers, but in your situation I would get something like a Honda Rancher. Honda reliability is top notch. Solid rear axle is better for true utility work. Throw some good traction tires on a Honda and change the oil once every ten years and it should last a few decades.
 

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Cant beat the Polaris 500! Great engine and you can get a good used one at a good price. Check your local craigslist. I had a 500 for several years and they are a workhorse!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

Thanks for all your advice! It's good to know that the 500 has a good reputation for its engine integrity and durability. There are several on Craig's List right now, but no one is asking even the Bluebook dealer retail price. Some want as much as $1,000 more than dealer retail. I'll try wheelin' and dealin' and see how motivated they really are. There are a couple of Honda Ranchers on CL, too.
 

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You will be able to get a brand new 400 HO (only 6 horses less than the 500) for a little more than you will pay for an older and used 500. I bought one last november for my son to ride. I liked using it so much around the farm that I just bought another last friday for $5024 out the door. I too have a small hobby farm with goats, beef cattle and chickens.
 

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Yeah, I've been looking for a 500 for about 9 months. Just picked up a 2000 for $1200. Had to put about $600 in parts in it to get clutches, motor mounts, driveline, and fluids all up to par. So I'm basically at high retail, but better than what I would have gotten for $2500 in most cases. I also agree on the Honda if you're open to other brands. In almost 20 years I've probably seen 2 of them through my shop. I get 3 Polaris a week on average.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does the 400 HO have the good reputation for reliability that the 500 seems to have?
 

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Does the 400 HO have the good reputation for reliability that the 500 seems to have?
I would say both the 400 n 500 are the most reliable bikes Polaris made.
 

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I don't think you can go wrong with a 400 or 500. Both are proven machines. The 500 was THE best selling ATV made for many years running. The 400 is basically the same platform with a bit smaller engine.
 

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I'm about to ruffle some feathers, but in your situation I would get something like a Honda Rancher. Honda reliability is top notch. Solid rear axle is better for true utility work. Throw some good traction tires on a Honda and change the oil once every ten years and it should last a few decades.

I agree with this!
 

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What about an 800? Wouldn't it be better to have a little extra power for plowing, pushing or hauling? I'm just curious and not questioning anyone! I just got a 2010 800 and have had no issues and its very powerful.
 

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What about an 800? Wouldn't it be better to have a little extra power for plowing, pushing or hauling? I'm just curious and not questioning anyone! I just got a 2010 800 and have had no issues and its very powerful.
Was going to say the same thing. They are reliable, with lots of low end torque, perfect for chores and dragging stuff.
 

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To follow up on the Honda statements..... yes the bikes of "yester-year" (Late 1990's thru mid 2000) were some of the most reliable bikes ever produced - IMHO. BUT, to get an "automatic" transmission in a Honda, you now have a hydro matic type transmission just like our daily drivers!! On that note..... I'd much rather replace a $75-100 Belt (or even have a little clutch work done), then have a $2500-3000 automatic transmission bill!!! This is the way the dealer I went to summed it up for me when I was looking to buy new. I was looking at a brand new Honda 650 & Polaris 800 side by side on the showroom floor. (Note: That Dealer only sold Honda & Polaris) I asked about reliability.... and he said he see's both of them come back for work. It's all in the maintenance/up keep!! But if you go Honda..... and want 110% reliability. Go with a 2000'ish Rancher 350 ES 4X4, true work horse... but don't expect a smooth ride or a performance machine.

If using it for lite "plowing, dragging and trailer pulling" as the OP's requested in original post..... If your looking for a Polaris, I'd say you couldn't go wrong "Used 500"!! As 6hp is a lot when we are talking 35-36hp for the 500 to start out with. And in our area Ridinagain is dead on..... should be able to find a "Good and Clean" 2005+ model machine for $3000-4500 easy. Don't settle on the first one as, but rather look for a lightly used one with lower hours & miles and you'll be very happy!!!

Good Luck in your search! :D
 

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I'm about to ruffle some feathers, but in your situation I would get something like a Honda Rancher. Honda reliability is top notch. Solid rear axle is better for true utility work. Throw some good traction tires on a Honda and change the oil once every ten years and it should last a few decades.
I'm with you on this vote. That is kind of what they were designed for, and have really not moved away from that very much. Not a great trail machine, IMO, but that's what I would be looking at for a work machine. Shouldn't be too difficult to find a used Honda that would fit the bill.
 

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for what you're wanting to do, I'd definitely go with a used value line model (400,500,800) or a Honda. The 500 is the #1 best sell ATV of all time, but even with it's lower HP than 800 you'll lose traction before you run out of power. shoot, on my Hawkeye I lose traction before I run out of power when I'm using my drag grader.
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned an X2 for this. It works perfectly in all of the ways the original poster was asking for, and the dump box is a plus.
 

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Aren't the X2 all on the xp frames? that's why I didn't mention it. If you want the dump bed get the big boss or the midsized ranger IMHO.
 
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