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Noob Questions

2618 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  dbryso
Hello All,

I've been nosing around your forum here this afternoon. Looks like a good bunch of folks with a lot of information!

My father recently bought his retirement property in the country (frozen lake in the winter; lots of Crown Land to use year-round all over the place) and my brother and I are looking to help the three of us get into ATV'ing.

Growing up I've ridden a few ATV's before at friends' places (oddly enough, they were ALWAYS Hondas) and the more I read, the more I realize that Hondas really seem to be the most bullet-proof.

We won't be looking to go mud-boggin' or have a need to pull a zillion pounds with it, but do want a machine that can push a snow plow (big driveway) and be RELIABLY used for trail riding out into the bush.

Since this is our first foray into the world of ATVs, we're looking to keep things really cheap (to buy and to run). If we all get into it and love it as much as we expect, we'll likely upgrade the machine or get others as time goes on... but for now, something like the '97-99 Foreman 400's I've been seeing advertised seem like a good, durable all-round beast for a decent amount of money.

Are we on the right track with these machines? What sorts of things should we be looking for when buying a used ATV? Are there specific weaknesses of the Foreman 400?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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The 400 foreman is a great work bike, plenty of low end grunt for heavy loads. Should be great for plow work being it sits low to the ground. Also take a look at the 450's same bike except it has a few more cc's in the engine and alittle more supension travel. Its just like buying a car, just take you time and inspect it good, drive it and listen for unusual noises. I have seen some near mint 2000 foreman 400's and 450's go for $3000-$3500.
Like Dirty4man said great work bike and take the time to inspect it. A couple of friends have the 400 and plow with them, they love them.I wouldn't go smaller than a 400 to plow with, because I know our winters get bad. Where about is the property?
Thanks for the replies so far guys.

Are there any specifically weak aspects of these machines that I should be looking for? I will keep my eyes (and ears) open when test-riding, etc., but if Hondas are notorious for breaking "x", I'd like to know ahead of time what to look for.

Thanks again
I have a 00 450es bought it new. Drive it like there is no tomorrow.the only few things i had to replace
1 electric shift (underwater to much)
2 Left front axle (damage from lift kit)
3 A-arm (slid into a tree)
so I think it doesn't get any better than that.
I wouldn't say weak spots, but balljoints, tie rod ends, swingarm bearings, front wheel bearings and left rear wheel bearing are common wear items.
That's right Dirty4man i forgot about everyday wear and tear parts
2nd the left rear wheel bearing. Keep a check on it so you don't break a rear axle.
I am also new to this game so i figured this post would be the best place to ask my questions. My friend has a 98 Honda 400 that I have spent many hours on, but know little about it. I am currently a college student so I cant really afford to go all out on a bike right now, although i REALLY want to. I like to do my research before i buy anything so i have a few questions i would appreciate some answers to.

1. I notice the number one mod (other than rims and tires) people do to their bikes is to add a snorkel. When riding my friends 400, which does NOT have a snorkel, we often get water at least to the floorboards. When this happen it will die if we try to re crank it it will fire but it will die within seconds. We have found though that if you take the vent hose that runs into the gas tank off and blow out the water it will run fine. Is there any easy way to fix this?

2. What is your experience with the electronic features on bikes? I realize the ES is very nice,personally i do not like it i cant hold my beer and shift at the same time, but how reliable is it? Also the option to shift between 2wd and 4wd. All of these things are nice options, but I am the kind of person that feels these are just more things that will break and be costly in repair bills.

3. What is a good price to pay for a used bike, they seem to hold value very well - in some cases I have seen used bikes that cost more than new outgoing models.(2006)

At my local dealer there is a 2000 450ES that they want $3500 for. It is not in the best of shape cosmetically so I think i could knock them down a few hundred. I am not sure of the miles or hours I did not ask because i am not interested in the ES model. My question out of that is would $3,000 be a good price for that bike if it had avg miles and hours? - i am stickily trying to get an idea of good deals.

Wow that was a long post - sorry for that - I still have questions but I will go for now.
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