1) How much do you have or want to spend?
New Honda ATVs range from under $4,000 to over $14,000 after taxes. That’s a pretty wide range. However if even the lower end of that range makes you uncomfortable, the next question becomes more important.
2) Do you want to buy used or new?
The main reason to purchase a new vehicle is the confidence you enjoy, knowing it’s never been used (or abused) by anyone else. Unless you purchase a ‘previously enjoyed’ from someone you trust, you just never know. Moreover, ATV technology is continually evolving and many of the latest features simply aren’t available yet on the used market.
The advantage of a used ATV, of course, is price. However, while the situation is quite different from cars, ATVs are worth less after they’re sold. A bit of research may turn up what’s functionally a new ATV but at a price you’re more comfortable with. If there’s a multi-year warranty, you might still qualify for the peace-of-mind that comes with it. Like we already said, you never know.
3) Is it for fun or work?
There are different classes of ATV: utility, recreation and sport. But there’s plenty of crossover. For many people, recreation is the same as sport and utility can be fun. Still, consider how you’re going to ride and why before you make any decisions. It’ll help narrow your choices.
For instance, are you thinking of putting a snowplow on your ATV or racing it? Does it need to carry camping, or hunting and fishing supplies?
4) Do you prefer 2- or 4-Wheel drive, or even have a preference?
It’s too simplistic to say that 4-wheel drive (power is delivered too all four wheels, creating 4 points of locomotion) is ‘better’ or ‘safer’. It’s true that you’re less likely to get stuck with 4-wheel drive. However, it costs more. Furthermore, it’s heavier and consequently requires more power (and typically more fuel) to achieve the same speed as a 2-wheel drive.
While some people simply prefer the feel of a 4-wheel drive, others love the pep of 2-wheel. Not sure if you’re either of these people? Ask yourself how often you expect to be starting in slippery conditions. That will help you decide whether to invest in 4-wheel drive.
5) Automatic transmission or standard?
For some riders, the convenience of an automatic transmission is the price of entry. If you get ‘gear-shift anxiety’ at the very thought of operating a clutch, that may be you. On the other hand, there are those riders who love to feel more involved into the experience. For them, shifting means control. Many modern ATVs offer the interesting compromise of semi-automatic, allowing for exceptional responsiveness but with stall-proof takeoff and shifting.
And now that you’ve asked yourself all these questions, it’s time to revisit #1, or simply visit your local Honda Ontario Power Dealer.