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Old 04-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
bigsnowdog OP
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Side-by-side ATV's

Manufacturers like Kubota, John Deere, and Polaris make what are termed side by side ATV's. Which one do you like best and why?

I am having a hard time getting around, so I am considering buying one to move about my property. It would allow me to go for walks in the trees, so to speak.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
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Consider the Can Am, made by BRP, the same people who make Sea-Do and Ski-Do and the Can Am Spyder. They seem to be a little more jeep like, and can go plenty fast, though not road legal. Not as utilitarian as the some of the others.

They also make a pretty nice looking two up ATV if you prefer the ATV style.

Pretty pricey
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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I have an older Polaris Ranger

It's a 2003 6X6 and it's bullet proof. In the ten years of ownership, I've done minimal maintenance and only experienced a dead battery (after 6 years).

Comfortable, stable, smooth, tows/hauls plenty. Can't say enough good things about it. I've carried 3 adults (normal size) in the cab comfortably.

THe 6X6 may be overkill, but the wife insisted we needed it because our camp is relatively 'hilly'. As usual, she was right because this thing can climb.

Rescue dog was optional.


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Old 04-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bigsnowdog View Post
What are your thoughts?

What do you want to do with it . . . that you didn't mention in your op? If all you're going to do is putter around the property, they'd probably all work just fine. Some are better for working, some better for sport riding. The Razor is probably about the best for going fast and having excellent suspension. For puttering around the property, moving a little dirt or firewood the Yamaha Rhino, the Kawasaki Mule, the Gator or any of the ones mentioned by other posters, above, would be fine as well.

I'd look to be sure you could do more with it. I'd want to be able to plow the driveway with it. Maybe set up a towable attachment so I could mow the lawn with it. Haul whatever needs hauling on the homestead with it. Some will do more than others with differing degrees of comfort. Until you're sure what all you'll do with it you won't be in a position to pick out the one that's best suited for you and your needs/requirements.

Edit: Take ten or fifteen, being completely honest with yourself, to determine what you'd like to do in the short term with it, and what you might want to expand into in the future and your choice may become far more clear and simple.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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What do you want to do with it . . . that you didn't mention in your op? If all you're going to do is putter around the property, they'd probably all work just fine. Some are better for working, some better for sport riding. The Razor is probably about the best for going fast and having excellent suspension. For puttering around the property, moving a little dirt or firewood the Yamaha Rhino, the Kawasaki Mule, the Gator or any of the ones mentioned by other posters, above, would be fine as well.

I'd look to be sure you could do more with it. I'd want to be able to plow the driveway with it. Maybe set up a towable attachment so I could mow the lawn with it. Haul whatever needs hauling on the homestead with it. Some will do more than others with differing degrees of comfort. Until you're sure what all you'll do with it you won't be in a position to pick out the one that's best suited for you and your needs/requirements.

Edit: Take ten or fifteen, being completely honest with yourself, to determine what you'd like to do in the short term with it, and what you might want to expand into in the future and your choice may become far more clear and simple.
I want it to travel about the place. I want it to have a cargo box for tools, dirt, whatever. I have other machinery for snow removal, so I am not sure I would want to spend money for a snow blade. I also have plenty of mowing equipment.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Really most any of them will do what you want.
Have you considered a lifted golf cart with all terrain tires?
They are a little more comfortable for just putting around, and most likely cheaper then a side by side.

As far as side by sides go:
I would exclude the RZR as they are harder to get in and out of.

The John Deere gator has probably been around the longest. But most of the early ones were not 4x4.

The Kubota is a very well built machine. However it is built more like a tractor. Heavy and slow, not much ground clearance.

I think most of the other major brands (yamaha, polaris, arctic cat, bombarier, kawasaki) are going to be somewhat similar. Good points and bad about each.

Good luck
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigsnowdog View Post
I want it to travel about the place. I want it to have a cargo box for tools, dirt, whatever. I have other machinery for snow removal, so I am not sure I would want to spend money for a snow blade. I also have plenty of mowing equipment.
The RZR & Rino both are very common & tons of aftermarket toys available for them if you want to hop it up for say the dunes as a second use. From your comments on wanting it to get around with since you are not getting around as well you may want to go get in & out of each one & let the ease of entry/exit weigh into the choice. Any of them will be very capable for general use & if you already have all the snow removal & other equipment you need then just pick the one you like the look of & can get in & out of easily. I think the Arctic Cat is one of the cooler ones myself even though I already have a RZR. They are a lot of fun & if you outfit them with the gear from your bike can be a lot of fun on off highway overnight camp trips as well.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:12 AM   #8
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my personal favorite side by side is made by Jeep
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:53 AM   #9
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I have been looking very hard at getting one of these. I will retire in June and as I get older, I can see where it would be a very nice compliment to the Kubota tractor I have. It would be able to go on the lawn without tearing it up from the weight and would keep extra hours off of the tractor.

So far I am leaning towards a Polaris Ranger 500 EFI. It is a mid size with good comfort and speed. It can do the work I need and still have a sportiness that I know I will appreciate.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:19 AM   #10
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Gator or Mule....The rest are toys.....
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:47 AM   #11
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:51 AM   #12
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Gator or Mule....The rest are toys.....
I have no basis to disagree, but, my experience with Kubota, for example, indicates they make great machinery. How do you believe those two brands are better?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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If you're planning on just puttering around your property, I would go with a Ranger 550: it's got all the capabilities of the 2-cylinder Ranger, but with a less expensive single. True, it might seem to be overkill for your intended use, but that allows you to expand your range of uses without buying a different vehicle, unlike a golf cart.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #14
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Gator or Mule....The rest are toys.....
Based on what parameters? When I bought my ranger in 2003, it's abilities far exceeded the equivalent Mule. Even my friend, who had purchased a 2003 Mule, commeted on how much more capable the Ranger is. Newer models may differ

More carrying capacity in the bed, more towing capacity, higher ground clearance, etc.

Someone else said it earlier, figure out 1) what you want to do with it now and 2) what you may want to use if for in the future (expanding it's use with implements, etc).

For our mountainous land in VA, the 6X6 worked best. Flat land, I'd go for the 4X4 or even the 2WD version. No matter what, it's better than trying to manuever our pickup around the woods when working.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:45 AM   #15
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Got the same thing here on the farm. Rock solid. New ones have problems w/ suspension wear and some FI problems. If you are crossing floorboard deep water stay away from the utility John Deeres Intakes are to low ,don't ask. Polaris rides the best dealer service is ? around here. The bench seats are better for getting in and out JD buckets are nice.
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It's a 2003 6X6 and it's bullet proof. In the ten years of ownership, I've done minimal maintenance and only experienced a dead battery (after 6 years).


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