ATV Answerman: Your Tech Questions Answered

Jan. 31, 2011 By Rick Sosebee
If you have any ATV questions for the Answerman, send an e-mail to with a detailed description of your vehicle, the problems, and any other pertinent information related to the issue.

Previous ATV Answerman Columns

January 2011

November 2010

October 2010

Carb Help
I need repair info on a 2003 Bear Cat ATV carb.

Well, the fastest way to get the information you might need Dave is to purchase a service manual. We do not sell service manuals here, but if you go to the closest Arctic Cat Dealer they could help you get one. You might also just head over to for additional online service manual sales. Besides I’m not sure what displacement you are working on and each size engine requires a different carburetor.

Tick Tick Tick
I have a Polaris Predator 500 ‘06 and about a week ago I heard a tick in the top end of my motor. I changed the oil a month ago and I rode 1 day all day and now I don't now what’s wrong with it.

The ticking you hear could be several things, but not all ticks in motors are necessarily bad. Engines make noise as a rule, but if you are hearing something new and alarming then check these things first. If you have not had the valves adjusted on your Predator then this could be a start. As the cam lobes wear and the engine loosens up over time, you have to reset the clearances between a few things. Then if the ticking persists I would be sure the cam chain tensioner is working properly. This little device that is mounted on the right side rear of the cylinder on your motor and keep’s tension on the cam chain to maintain timing and take up the slack in the chain. These are two common areas for ticking in a four-stroke motor so start there.

New Saddle
I have a 2009 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO. What would the replacement seat cost for this bike?

This has to be a trick question. Ok, I’ll answer it anyways. The Polaris part number for the seat on your Sportsman is 2683433-070 and the entire seat assembly is around $275.00. The seat can be rebuilt with a new seat cover if you’re not ready to choke down the price of the complete system. The seat cover is Polaris part number 2684045 and it’s around $87.00. Good luck.

Another Seat Question
Is there a "tall" seat available for a 2010 Polaris ATV 850XP EPS?
Thomas Way

Thomas, there is not a Polaris option for a “tall” seat, but if more seat is what you are looking for the quickest way to gain height is to run the seat to the local upholstery shop and have them “customize” the saddle. They can add seat foam and you might even have a cool custom cover made to bling out the awesome 850XP. I love that machine!

Re: Polaris Magnum 325
There is no front 4x4. Why will it not lock? The front axels turn, what can I do to fix this problem?

It’s difficult to find what ATV you’re working on when the Magnum has been made from 1995 until 2006 and you forgot to send the correct year for me. I’ll try this one as best I can with the information you provided. The Magnum and many of the Polaris 4x4 ATVs use a Hub Coil that controls the engage and disengage of the four-wheel drive on the strut. I would have this checked out, and you may find your solution to the problem, along with being a little lighter in the wallet.

Apache Track Slip
I have a Can-Am Outlander 800 with the Apache track kit, we have got lots of snow this year so far and I have noticed that the belt has been slipping when I have a passenger on with me. I only have 200 miles on this ATV and have never noticed or smelled slipping prior to this year. Is there a clutch kit that will work for this application to make sure I never have slipping again?
Chet A.

I too have used the Apache track system on my Outlander Max but I didn’t notice any belt slipping. The fact that the tracks take a lot of power to turn is the first indication of stress on the belt. The OEM belts are by far the best for the job, and the only option I can think of is to do a little clutch work to the weights and springs. My advice would be to call our friends at EPI and speak with the tech line. The engineers here are the best at what they do and can suggest the correct weights and springs for your application. Check EPI out at You can also check out our experience with the tracks at

Big Bear Issues
2003 Big Bear overheating. It has new oil, level is good, fan works. Any idea?

What makes you believe that the beast is over heating? What does it do once it gets warm? The oil cooler has very fine ports for the air to flow across and needs to be completely free of mud and any debris. The fan obviously is working if you say it is, so I would turn to the carb on this machine providing the oil cooler is clean. If the air-cooled engine gets too much air and not enough fuel there will be a lean condition that builds extreme heat if not adjusted. Check the jetting on the machine and make sure the air/fuel adjustment screw is set properly.

Apache ATV Kit
I have a 650 Honda Rincon 2005. Do they have apache tracks for it?

The Apache track system is really developed for the Can-Am machines, but if tracks are what you are looking for there is a company selling really nice track systems for your Honda and many other machines. The tracks are rough on the ATV so be sure to beef up the engine just a bit and check all the ball joints and tie-rods before committing to a full ride. The stress is magnified greatly on your stock suspension with tracks. Check these guys out at

Vegas ATV Rides
I visited Armagosa dunes a few years ago with a company called ATV Dune N Desert. Can't seem to find them anymore. I'm coming to Las Vegas in march and was wondering if you know if this area is still open to ATVs and is there someone who offers an excursions from Las Vegas?
Thanks, Wayne Russell
Saskatchewan Canada

The number of dune tours from Las Vegas is quite plentiful and a quick search provides mind-blowing information. I would go with a more established group like These people know their business, and from what I see the current rates are really affordable. These tours will either show you around or find an all day trip on your own. My suggestion is to get a guide so you don’t get lost. It is a desert setting, ya know!

Suzuki Swap
i have a Suzuki lt250rk is it possible to change it into 500 by changing the crank and jug

The biggest trouble I can see with this project is that the crankcases are so much different. I would have to err on the side of caution on this one, and if power is what you want id give the guys at L.A. Sleeve ( a call to see how much displacement is available with the stock cylinder. The search for brute power isn’t always found in displacement but more of how it is tuned. You might be surprised how true horsepower feels when it is built right.

Hot & Cold
I have a 94 Suzuki Quadrunner that starts and runs perfectly when cold and dies when hot. We have cleaned and dipped the carb, checked for spark when hot and it does have some, although a little weak. We have checked the fuel going to the carb, it is perfect. Put a new coil on it. Blew out all breather lines. Checked the Stator, checked good when cold a little high when warm. Is there any other things that we could be missing. Great quad if I could keep it running.
Thank you

It looks to me that you have done your homework but could it be that you have missed the most important part? What kind of compression does the engine have when warm? If the rings are aging then you might be experiencing very low compression when the engine gets hot. The low compression means no vacuum on the carb and that means no fuel to the cylinder. I’d check the engine’s compression, my friend.

‘85 Suzuki LT250R
Hi, i have a 85 suzuki lt250r, it has been sitting for a long time .i pulled apart the carb, and cleaned it, it runs fine, but when i have the gas wide open it starts braking down and not running right. Also my manual said the oil mixing ratio should be 20 to 1 every motocycle place tells me to use differant ratios, what is the best ratio to use with the new oils? i want to make sure i am using enough oil, but not to much, thank you if you can help

The pre-mix ratio depends on the type of oil you use and the jetting in the ATV. The Klotz two-stroke oils suggest 50:1 but most run in the 40:1/32:1 mixes. The oil you purchase should have suggested numbers for a base or starting point. The fact that the engine falls off on the top could be directly related to the time it sat idle. The carb may not be adjusted back to its proper settings. Take another look at all the factory settings and be sure the carb is where it is supposed to be.

Mikuni Pilot Screw help
I have a 2004 Polaris Trail Boss 300 that got really sluggish so I decided to put a new kit into the Mikuni BST 34 carb. Since this ain’t my first rodeo, I went ahead and stripped it down for cleaning before buying a kit. In the process of getting the stuck pilot adjustment screw out, I damaged it. I got a kit from “Shindy”, and guess what? It does not include the pilot screw, spring, washer, or o-ring. I checked both “Shindy” and “Moose” web-sites and neither include this vital assembly in their respective kits for this machine. This is the first kit of many that I’ve bought and installed that did not include one. Polaris does not even list a PN for it.
Any suggestions as to what the Mikuni PN is, and a source to buy these?
Rick Cook

If you are sure that this is indeed a Mikuni carb, then you should contact them directly at These guys will know what part you need and where you can find it. Most likely they will be able to sell you the part you need for your Trail Boss.

Looking into 2011 the riding has begun. One thing is for sure though, if you send in the questions I will do my best to answer them!!

Previous ATV Answerman Columns

January 2011

November 2010

October 2010

If you have any ATV questions for the Answerman, send an e-mail to with a detailed description of your vehicle, the problems, and any other pertinent information related to the issue. Newsletter
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