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I am looking at getting an older sportsman 2000-2004. I was wondering how your experineces with these were. How are they in snow? and things like that. Reliability? etc... Thanks
 

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INDY400MOD said:
I am looking at getting an older sportsman 2000-2004. I was wondering how your experineces with these were. How are they in snow? and things like that. Reliability? etc... Thanks
my dad had an 01 ( i think ) 700 twin sportsman.. really fast but heavy... i went off a big drop that i didnt know was there and i broke my back this august... but it didnt hurt the wheeler at all so they are tough.. what size are you looking at getting?? i have heard that the 500 HO are very good.
 

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I own a 2006 sportsman 500 EFI, Purchased it brand new in 06, and will be completely honest with you.

If i had to do it again, I would have come home with a 450 kodiak instead of the sportsman, and i would leave it bone stock.

Stock they are a good machine, the tires arn't great, they weight alot, but the off road capability is pretty incredible. I like only having one brake lever, the clutches and belt drive have never given me an issue, and with the EFI it fires right up no matter the temperature or weather.

Now the first couple rides out it was pretty impressive. Start learning more and riding with friends and i came to the conclusion that the stock tires were just not up to the task. Replace them with 26x10x12 (front) and 26x12x12 (rear) Kenda executioners, Fantastic tire, very firm, 1500 miles and they show almost no wear. Needed 1.5' wheelspacers to clear 10 inch wide tires in the front. The Strut front ends really limit this, aftermarket rims are built with a bit more offset to compensate.

With the new tires this thing was incredibly capable, i run with a grizzly 700 and a brute force 750, it has no troubles keeping up in anything. I put about 700 studs in the tires for the winter (screw in type for motocross tires) and they changed the personality alot, the quad now hooks up on ice and was the hero in removing ice shacks. Towing capacity in low gear is quite impressive.

I started noticing the front end of the atv sagging, you could lift 3-4 inches of sag out of the front suspension. The rear springs are adjustable like the front of a ski-doo, but the fronts are not. The solution was to install a set of HD polaris front springs, they are the same part number as the standard front springs from a ranger side by side. This completly removed the sag from the front, the quad still rode very well and wasnt too stiff. (x2 springs can be used on the rear as well to stiffen it up, but i didnt have a problem with that)

After riding it the first winter i found it was great with studs and agressive tires, but got hung up everywhere. Came to the conclusion that i needed a lift kit for it. I turned to rubberdowncustoms (www.rubberdowncustoms.ca) for a lift. They had a great package reasonably priced, i went up 2' in the front and 1.5 at the rear. This in combination with the HD springs gave me incredible ground clearance in the front, but i do break axles if im hard on it. Aftermarket ones would be suggested.

The broken stuff:

Well with stock tires i broke my first cv shaft, front right side. Not a big deal, dealer was a bit of a jerk about it, but replaced it under warranty. A few weeks later my first starter died, also replaced under warranty. The battery failed next (warranty again). Then it started acting funny, dealer replaced a power distribution module $$ and a starter solenoid. The atv warranty ends, and i have since replaced 2 more starters, and another power distribution module and battery. (1800 miles on it currently) After the lift i replaced another 2 axles. the routing of the exhaust has melted all my plastics, this is a known problem, some dealers replaced them under warranty, others said too bad, my dealer fell into the latter category. for 2007 they installed a heat shield to prevent this, it can be fitted on earlier models.

My suggestion is to be very careful in inspecting the used atv, Take a look at the bushings in the rear suspension they are know to go bad, check the cv shafts for play and tears in the boots, inspect the motor, look for signs of abuse. They can take a beating if they are maintained well, And the 500 is one of the more reliable motors out there, but being on top of it is certainly important. Check out the forum at www.rubberdowncustoms.ca they have some good advice and experience.

Also try to match the atv to your needs, if you dont need to pull big loads, or have the most ground clearance then perhaps a small honda or yamaha would be a better match. Just keep an open mind and do your homework! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
birtchy13 said:
I own a 2006 sportsman 500 EFI, Purchased it brand new in 06, and will be completely honest with you.

If i had to do it again, I would have come home with a 450 kodiak instead of the sportsman, and i would leave it bone stock.

Stock they are a good machine, the tires arn't great, they weight alot, but the off road capability is pretty incredible. I like only having one brake lever, the clutches and belt drive have never given me an issue, and with the EFI it fires right up no matter the temperature or weather.

Now the first couple rides out it was pretty impressive. Start learning more and riding with friends and i came to the conclusion that the stock tires were just not up to the task. Replace them with 26x10x12 (front) and 26x12x12 (rear) Kenda executioners, Fantastic tire, very firm, 1500 miles and they show almost no wear. Needed 1.5' wheelspacers to clear 10 inch wide tires in the front. The Strut front ends really limit this, aftermarket rims are built with a bit more offset to compensate.

With the new tires this thing was incredibly capable, i run with a grizzly 700 and a brute force 750, it has no troubles keeping up in anything. I put about 700 studs in the tires for the winter (screw in type for motocross tires) and they changed the personality alot, the quad now hooks up on ice and was the hero in removing ice shacks. Towing capacity in low gear is quite impressive.

I started noticing the front end of the atv sagging, you could lift 3-4 inches of sag out of the front suspension. The rear springs are adjustable like the front of a ski-doo, but the fronts are not. The solution was to install a set of HD polaris front springs, they are the same part number as the standard front springs from a ranger side by side. This completly removed the sag from the front, the quad still rode very well and wasnt too stiff. (x2 springs can be used on the rear as well to stiffen it up, but i didnt have a problem with that)

After riding it the first winter i found it was great with studs and agressive tires, but got hung up everywhere. Came to the conclusion that i needed a lift kit for it. I turned to rubberdowncustoms (www.rubberdowncustoms.ca) for a lift. They had a great package reasonably priced, i went up 2' in the front and 1.5 at the rear. This in combination with the HD springs gave me incredible ground clearance in the front, but i do break axles if im hard on it. Aftermarket ones would be suggested.

The broken stuff:

Well with stock tires i broke my first cv shaft, front right side. Not a big deal, dealer was a bit of a jerk about it, but replaced it under warranty. A few weeks later my first starter died, also replaced under warranty. The battery failed next (warranty again). Then it started acting funny, dealer replaced a power distribution module $$ and a starter solenoid. The atv warranty ends, and i have since replaced 2 more starters, and another power distribution module and battery. (1800 miles on it currently) After the lift i replaced another 2 axles. the routing of the exhaust has melted all my plastics, this is a known problem, some dealers replaced them under warranty, others said too bad, my dealer fell into the latter category. for 2007 they installed a heat shield to prevent this, it can be fitted on earlier models.

My suggestion is to be very careful in inspecting the used atv, Take a look at the bushings in the rear suspension they are know to go bad, check the cv shafts for play and tears in the boots, inspect the motor, look for signs of abuse. They can take a beating if they are maintained well, And the 500 is one of the more reliable motors out there, but being on top of it is certainly important. Check out the forum at www.rubberdowncustoms.ca they have some good advice and experience.

Also try to match the atv to your needs, if you dont need to pull big loads, or have the most ground clearance then perhaps a small honda or yamaha would be a better match. Just keep an open mind and do your homework! Good luck!
thanks thats exactly what i was looking for im mainly going to use it for a ice fishing and pulling my shack, wood and other things. Glad to hear it starts and is reliable. Thanks so much
 

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My dad has a 2008 sportsman 500 thats the HO carb model, and it fires up, summer or winter with no problem what so ever. It was a left over model, and he got almost $1000.00 off. So Carb or EFI there both great. It has a 48' snow plow on it, and pushes their 450ft driveway most of the time in 2wd, and in 4wd nothing gets in its way. im sure a 60 would have no problems if you looking to move snow with.
 
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