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Pioneer vs Viking for firewood buggy

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

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Jun 26, 2019
Messages
66
Age
46
Location
Durham NC
I harvest blowdowns on 40 acres of mixed NC Bottomland for firewood. I have been using my 40 HP 4x4 tractor and 2008 Rincon quad with trailer.
I've been wanting to upgrade the quad to a SxS. Strapping down saws, jugs etc is a PITA. A small bed would be very nice to carry my lunch cooler and tools in.

I've narrowed down my choices to the Honda pioneer 700 and the Yamaha Viking. The Viking is more comfortable, has more legroom, bucket seats and is more "car like". It has true low range and is about 10 HP more than the Honda.
Downside is it's a CVT tranny.

The Honda is more utilitarian, bench seat, smaller bed and had a car type 3sp auto tranny. No low range.
It's about $1500 cheaper than the viking.

I'm not really a trail rider or mudder, so offroad capability isn't a big issue.

The Yamaha has a "10 year belt warranty" so apparently its enough of an issue to offer a warranty on.

Anyone have thoughts on which would better suit me? I take care of my equipment pretty well and tend to keep things a long time.

ETA, I'm not opposed to other brands.
I see Kubota has a SxS with awsome finance rates.
I dont care for Polaris.
The Kawasaki mule looks too much like a golf cart for me. If I'm going to pay $12k for a UTV, its gonna at least look cool.
 
Oliver Durand

Oliver Durand

Contractor, mechanic
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
23
Location
Southwest Vermont
ETA, I'm not opposed to other brands.
I see Kubota has a SxS with awsome finance rates.
I dont care for Polaris.
The Kawasaki mule looks too much like a golf cart for me. If I'm going to pay $12k for a UTV, its gonna at least look cool.[/QUOTE]

The Kubotas are pretty ruggedly built. Perhaps not quite bulletproof, but tough. The hydrostat transmission makes them a little more spendy but I have yet to see one of them fail. Diesel is a plus for torque. I don't know if they offer a gas version.

Those makes that use a belt drive are well proven, perhaps the belt would slip if you ran it in water. Never heard of a problem. Snowmobiles have run that variable pulley set-up for years. The belts aren't that expensive to replace, and getting the guards out of the way is the hardest part of changing them on most machines.
 
Bearcreek

Bearcreek

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338
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Ohio
Save a bunch of money and buy a Suzuki Samurai. I have one and it'll work circles around any side by side. Put some of the money saved into an air locker, a winch and good hitch.
 
bowtechmadman

bowtechmadman

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Big Rapids MI
Check out an Arctic Cat TRV. I have two of them they are a convertible of sorts, with longer wheel base and ability to put large box on the back. You can exchange the box for a 2nd seat or cargo rack as needed. I love the fact I can put a couple saws, gas/oil, tool box etc in the back and head to the woods w/ trailer in tow. Still more maneuverable in the woods than a SxS.
 
92utownxh

92utownxh

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Unionville, Indiana
I can't say what is best for you, but wanted to say something about the Yamaha CVT. I have a 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660 with the CVT. I've never had an issue. It has over 2000 miles of use just on our property; plowing snow, spraying fence, and pulling trailers of firewood up hills that it really probably shouldn't be doing due to the weight. Never a problem. When I'm in the woods pulling a trailer its always in lo, most of the time 4wd and lo. It's been very, very low maintenance. I change the oil and filter once or twice a year, clean the air filter, and that's about it. If it was me, I'd look for a good used one, whichever brand it is. I got the grizzly when it was a few years old, like new, for less than half the price of new.
 
Slackjaw

Slackjaw

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Jun 26, 2019
Messages
66
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Durham NC
I can't say what is best for you, but wanted to say something about the Yamaha CVT. I have a 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660 with the CVT. I've never had an issue. It has over 2000 miles of use just on our property; plowing snow, spraying fence, and pulling trailers of firewood up hills that it really probably shouldn't be doing due to the weight. Never a problem. When I'm in the woods pulling a trailer its always in lo, most of the time 4wd and lo. It's been very, very low maintenance. I change the oil and filter once or twice a year, clean the air filter, and that's about it. If it was me, I'd look for a good used one, whichever brand it is. I got the grizzly when it was a few years old, like new, for less than half the price of new.
I've heard the biggest killer of the Yammi CVT is not using low range when it should be used. It builds up heat on the belt or clutch. I think the 2019 Vikings have a cooling fan to help combat this.
 
slwburn

slwburn

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Nov 24, 2019
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Ontario
I was looking for something similar, wound up with an old TJ for $1,500. The 4 cyl isn’t going to win any races but in low range it pulls nicely and is capable off road. With the wheel adapters mine has it’s a little wider than I’d like but it’s not too far off your standard side by side. Cheap to run, easy to fix... really hard not to go crazy with mods.
 

Pony

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
37
Location
Australia
I recently went through this for a ranch vehicle. Wanted something bigger than the quad I have (Yamaha Grizzly 700) for the same reasons as you, to simply carry more.
As stated above looked at an old Ute (pick-up) but again didn't want to spend half my fixing it when it broke down.
Only difference to you is that I wanted diesel as I'm semi remote and keep bulk diesel on farm.
I have a friend's of friends who are really hard on gear and they hadn't been able to break the Kawasaki Mule. I also have a good friend who works at a local dealer so that's what I ended up getting.
That was 2 yrs ago and apart from a couple of warranty recalls for minor things I am a happy customer.
Mine is the the diesel which is a 3cyl yanmar. Yes it's slow (limited to 50kph) but it's a work vehicle not a play vehicle, the flip side is it uses next to no diesel. CVT hasn't been an issue but as stated above when towing use low range.
4 wheel disks, rides across the rough paddock better than my Ute on the highway, but does get cold in winter with no cab.
I got the optional roof and snorkel and would highly recommend both whichever brand you get.
Thanks Pony
 
Slackjaw

Slackjaw

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Jun 26, 2019
Messages
66
Age
46
Location
Durham NC
I'm now seeing where Mahindra makes a UTV with hydraulic dump bed.
Looks like Cub cadet and New Holland also make one. Lots of choices!
The cub cadet is loaded with standard features but I'm scared of anything MTD.
 
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