ATV AnswerMan: Side-by-Side and ATV Questions Answered

Jun. 27, 2014 By Rick Sosebee
Have an ATV or side-by-side tech question for the AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to [email protected], Attn: ATV AnswerMan.

Previous ATV AnswerMan Columns
May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

ATV Answerman

Yamaha Warrior Harness Swap
Will a 95 wiring harness fit a 98?

It is possible yet not probable that the harness from the same model of Yamaha Warrior will interchange. The part numbers are different and things like stator output or accessories can change the size of the wires due to varying power draw. To be safe, just find a harness or repair parts to fix the one you have.

2000 Polaris Magnum 325 4x4 For Sale
 I have one to sell... I've been the sole do I find out the hours on the machine and what it's worth? What should I sell it for? NADA gives average retail of $1370. I saw a guy up the road selling the same one (not in as good condition as mine) for $1700. Help!

Iím not sure there is a way to see the actual hours on this machine. There is not a digital dash on the Magnum so recording the hours, as far as I know, is not possible. The price is determined by the market demand. I would search other pricing sources to get an idea of actual sale prices, so check similar models on Craigs List nearby (or in other areas, just to get an idea of pricing). Maybe even contact your local dealer, drive the quad by and have them give you an idea of a sale price.

Youth Racing
My name is Michael and I'm 13. I've been riding since I was 4 and have been wanting to race for a while now. I started off with a Honda 50cc and now I ride an LTZ 400. Iíve never raced before but I don't know if I should. I have only done like barrel races and obstacle courses and just little things like that. Could you help me out with getting started?

I understand you want to race, my friend, and I can point you in the right direction. I first want to point out how important school and good grades are, though. Are you doing well in school? By the way, this email looked you need to concentrate a little more. Racing is expensive and at your age you will need your parents to help out. They will also have to sign the registration sheet so you can actually compete. Getting started is as simple as visiting a local track and seeing the kinds of ATVs are being raced there. If there is a stock class for youth then I would suggest starting there. Try to get with kids your age. At 13 I think you need to step off the LTZ400 and get a little more manageable machine, maybe in the 110cc to 250cc range. I know you want to race your Suzuki but itís going to be hard to be competitive on that machine at your age and experience level. So be sure to get great grades in school and talk with your parents about the idea of racing. If they do not support it you will need to wait a few years.

Light Comes On
I have a Honda 680 Rincon four-wheel drive, and the fuel light comes on while riding it then shuts off what could be the problem.
Travis Hughes

The fuel level light is what youíre referring to, right? This could be as simple as adding a little more gas to the tank. If the float for fuel level is bouncing around in the tank it will turn on and off intermittently. Is that too simple and answer?

Traxter Tires
Need info on tires for 500 Traxter. The ownerís manual calls for 25x10x12 for rear and 25x8x12 for front. Neighbor has some ATV tires for sale - two 270/60-12 and two 185/88-12. They are new and he says they will work. Good deal. Are these sizes compatible?

That has to be the most unusual tire size I have ever seen. Is he sure he wrote the numbers down correctly? The rim size is good, and if the tires look like they are close to the stock tires then I would say they may fit.

Polaris Predator 90
Does the 2002 model Predator 90 mix itself or does it require fuel ratio? If so what is it?

Well, the Scrambler 90 was made in 2002 and the Predator came on the scene in 2003. These are two stroke machines and they do mix the oil with gas via an oil pump. Some have resorted to mixing gas themselves in the tank, but you do not have to if everything on the machine is working properly.

Foreman Fuse
My Honda Foreman 400 will not start. It had a wiring shortage. I have checked all the fuses and the fuses are fine. Just one fuse is testing power, the one for the ignition, but won't get a start. I've tried chasing a bad wire but have not found anything. Would anybody know where the shortage might go into?

Are you sure there is a wire shortage? Usually manufacturers do a good job of putting enough wire on the machines. Maybe there was a shorted wire? I think that would best describe the issue. Does the Foreman have a working kill switch that could be keeping the beast from firing up? It would be helpful to know if the motor turns over and will not crank or if it will not spin over. Details are what I need!

Old-School Suzuki
I have a 1983 Suzuki 125 ATV it runs good, but when you go up a steep hill it makes this weird knocking noise coming from the motor. Itís almost like something is slipping, but when you are on flat the noise goes away. Does anyone know what the issue is?

Iíd say that the Ď83 machine needs to be retired. Itís possible that the knocking you hear is a connecting rod trying to escape under the load/stress of climbing big hills. Give that beast a nice home in the garage and let it die a respectable death.

Jumping Spiders
I had a spider jump in to my ATVs gas tank. What will it do?

It has most likely choked to death on the fuel.

I have a Yamaha Rhino 2006 with a fresh top end. It idles and revs fine in neutral but will not rev out in low or high gear. It does not miss or anything like that. I checked clutches and everything seems to work. Please help.

There is a small possibility that even though things seem to be working well in the engine bay it could be starving for fuel while riding in low or high gear. If the main jet is clogged or obstructed it will not give the engine ample fuel to get those higher RPM. This could be a result of bad gas as well or fuel varnish in the carb. Check out this carburetor cleanup story I wrote a few years back.

Running Hot?
What would cause the regulator box to get hot after running for a few minutes on my 250 Suzuki QuadRunner? It will crank and idle fine and rev up good, but after running for a little while it sputters when I try to give it gas. Cleaned carb three times so I don't think that's it. I am thinking regulator. Any suggestions?

Is it possible that the engine is worn past the cylindersí usable tolerances? A loose piston, worn rings or low compression could cause the power to be reduced dramatically after the engine heats up.

Axle Trouble
I have a Honda TRX125 1985 model and there is movement in the axle, and it is making grinding sounds when I ride it at certain times. Is this the axle bearings? And is it in the axle tube?

There are several bearings in the rear of the old Honda. These are riding on the axle and when worn will allow tremendous movement in the rear. Grinding sounds are a clear sign that the entire rear end may need to be serviced, so do not continue to ride this machine. It could break and cause serious injury.

We are heading deep into summer and your off-road ride will begin to wear faster than normal. Keep an eye on the coolant if your machine is water-cooled, and keep the heavy mud off air-cooled machines since heat is a killer for these small motors. Shoot me a note if I can help with any maintenance!

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