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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 12:46 AM
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Automatic vs. Manual

I am looking to buy my 1st 4wd utility quad. I can't decide whether to spend the
extra cash and get an automatic or settle for manual. I have riden both types and
still can't decide. Disregarding any particular brand, what are the pros and cons
for automatic vs. manual? Are there particular situations that manual is better?
I plan to use it mostly for hunting and some recreation. I live in Texas, so I probably
won't be riding in any mountainous areas. I would appreciate any advice or opinions.
Thanks, Stephen.

Here are some I have thought of...
Automatic Pros: full floorboards
easier to ride (not really a factor)
2/4wd switch on the fly

Automatic Cons: possible belt slipping in wet conditions (don't know very much about this)

Manual Pros: most have ultra-low gear for towing stuff (which I might be doing)
less to break = more reliable??

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 10:54 AM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

If yer going automatic get either a Kodiak, the New Honda Rubicon or a quadmaster they rule the automatic department. I have had bad experiences with polaris, but they are probably beter now. How big a quad do you want? If you are just into pulling power and not speed than get a kingquad or a Arctic Cat 300 4x4 like mine. It will pull anything and it isn't as expensive as all the big autos. Hope this helps.

post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 04:11 PM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

Here you go are the 4x4 utility quads that I know of:
300-350 cc's: Suzuki King Quad, Honda Fourtrax 300, Artic Cat 300, Honda Rancher 350s or es, Kawasaki Praire 300,
Kawasaki Bayou, Polaris Magnum 325, Polaris Expedition 325, (All are manual exept for Praire)

400-450cc class: Yamaha Kodiak, Yamaha Big Bear, Honda orman 400s or es, Honda Forman 400s or es, Artic Cat 400 4x4, Polaris Sportsman 400, Polaris Expedition 425, Polaris Explorer 400

500+ class: Suzuki Quadrunner and Quadmaster, Yamaha Grizzly, Polaris Magnum 500 and Sportsman 500, Honda Rubicon, Kawasaki Prarie 650, Artic cat 500 manual and auto, Bombardier Traxter 500 and XT

I thinks thats all of them.
300cc class i choose: Suzuki KingQuad
400cc class I choose: Yamaha Kodiak
500+cc class i choose: Kawi Praire 650

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 05:11 PM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

OK now that I have read what You want. I will give you my opinions...

you do not choose when to shift
more things to wear and break
can smoke and drink a cup of coffee and not worry about a clutch
can teach children to ride easier

you choose when to shift (advantage in hauling)
it will not be as much of a wear down on clutch
cant smoke and drink coffee easily
a bit harder to teach children to ride.
adjustable clutch for feathering your take off...

I prefer manual transmission

The good Lord giveth and the Eco-Nazi's Taketh away!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 11:12 PM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

well i have had both an auto and a manual utility quad, and i must say that i like the auto better. i had a Prairie which was an auto and i had a Bayou which was the manual. they both had the same engine (300cc), the trans being the difference. they both pulled the same, and were just as fast as each other, just that the auto is more of a convience. i rode my util quads on some rough mountain trails and with the auto you dont have to worry about having to downgear in a tough situation, just give it more throttle.

as far as util quads go, i would advice to go with the auto...but on a sport quad make mine a manual.

'87 Honda CR125R
'88 Suzuki Quadracer
'93 Yamaha Banshee (Trinity Stage IV)
post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 12:28 AM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

I started out riding manual shift 3 & 4 wheelers when I was a kid & had friends who rode Polaris'. I "made up my mind" then I'd never own an automatic. Because they were sluggish off the start & had reliability problems, especially in water & freewheeling downhill. But.... They have definately improved over the years. I just bought a new Rubicon which kinda gives you the best of both worlds. It has a great auto tranny & lets you shift yourself with buttons on the left handlebar. I ride alot in the mountains & it is definately nice not to have to worry about shifting. You can just ride & enjoy the scenery. I hope this helps you. Good luck

Work a little... Play alot !!!!
post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 01:56 AM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

Its a personal preferance thing If you like the automatic go for it, I personaly dont like them because of the weight factor , I have a polairis 250 trailblazer , the kids can all ride it , my mother in law can ride it ( its a no brainer) I dont care for it but then again look what I ride !!!

Ride hard, Lifes short
post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 10:16 AM
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Re: Automatic vs. Manual

Thanks for the opinions. I have been debating the BIg Bear 400 4X4 (manual) and the Kodiak 4X4 (auto). I was just trying to get some
opinions that might influence my decision. I think I will go with the Kodiak.

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