Yamaha's expectations of riders needs is spot on here. I went shopping for a 4x4 quad with very narrow criteria and landed on a Big Bear. I'm a big guy, but not everybody wants a huge full size quad to haul around, so I opted for the Yamaha over a 500 Sportsman. Some will laugh at me for not going the more power route, but I can say, without shame, I am not sorry. This quad is that good. The ride the IRS gives beat my expectations, it's nice and cushy. The bike handles great, despite being a bit narrow the rear sway bar helps it corner crisp and it doesn't feel tippy. Ground clearance is good. The mud lites hook up on any terrain, coupled with the excellent shift on the fly four wheel drive system makes it, as advertised, a beast in the mud. Switch on the front diff lock and the only way to stop it is to drown it. The motor has impressive low end torque and good mid range punch. I'm no small guy, but it still had enough snap to accelerate me up some steep grades in fifth gear when I took it to the Poconos. This is an excellent trail bike and it really shines in rough technical stuff - rocks and stumps, no problem, and the manual gearbox gives you engine braking no CVT can match.
I have only two cons (1) I do wish it had one more gear, but for as often as I have the opportunity to run flat out in the trail riding I do, it's really a non-issue. (2) I would like to have seen at least a belly skid plate. For what this quad is capable of right off the showroom floor, it should have a bit more undercarriage protection.
All in all for the price, this is one of the best deals out there. Physically, a bit larger than your average mid size, but with all the capabilities of a full size bike. Its simplicity makes it fun, and will make it last. Excellent Job Yamaha.
Reviews are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty and should be considered entertainment only. Reviews should not be used for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to, making decisions about any referenced vehicles, products, modifications or other information.
ATV Disclaimer & Safety Information
Riding an ATV can be dangerous. To ensure your safety proper protective gear should always be worn. Remember to always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Never carry passengers unless the ATV is specifically engineered to accommodate them. Riding at excessive speeds or engaging in stunt riding is extremely dangerous. Be extremely careful on difficult or unknown terrain. Never ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Many ATVís are recommended only for highly experienced riders 16 years and older. Please make sure that you are riding an ATV that is age appropriate. Riders younger than 16 years of age should always be supervised by an adult. We recommend that all ATV riders take an approved ATV training course and read their vehicle owner's manual thoroughly. When riding your ATV always stay on established trails in approved areas. Keep your riding areas clean and respect the rights of others. Always obtain permission before riding on private lands, and obey all the laws and regulations governing your riding areas.