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First ATV - 400 vs 450 vs 700

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Hi, I grew up riding dirt bikes and have had a few street bikes. This will be my first ATV. Most of my friends bleed blue and ride Banshees, YFZ450s and Raptor 700s. I don't really have a brand preference. I have no interest in racing and will be riding on trails. For an example of the terrain you can check out my buddy's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/trailblogger

 

Although I know some of the quads I'm looking at are definitely not considered beginner quads I'd rather get something I can grow into than something I will want to upgrade soon. I am 6'1" 215 lbs. My budget is $5,500.

 

Here is my interpretation from what I can gather from reading, watching videos and talking to friends:

 

400s

Versatile, best option for beginner, typically less maintenance. My concern with these is growing out of them too quickly and being envious of my friends with more powerful, faster quads. It also gets REALLY hot here in the summer (110+) so I'm concerned about air-cooled models like the 400EX.

 

450s

Race bikes, like to rev hard, worst option for a beginner, generally higher maintenance. My buddy likes these because of how light and fast they are.

 

Raptor 700

This was my first inclination. By all accounts seems to be a great trail bike. My main concerns are weight and tippiness.

 

I would also consider something like a Grizzly 700. Although all my friends ride sport quads this one still looks like a lot of fun and pretty versatile. I'd love to be powersliding around turns though and this doesn't look well suited to that riding style. 

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback, advice or opinions.

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For trail you would probably be better off with 400 or 700. 400 are cheaper to maintain and modify, plus they are quite reliable. I people seam to really like raptor 700's for trails (way better then the 660's they replaced.

Current ride: 1986 TRX250R with lots of mods.

Have owned: 1981 ATC250R with lots of mods, 1983 200X, 1986 250SX, 1991 KDX200

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I like the 700 the most. The 400's have better handling however a 700 is taller with more ground clearance and more power as well. They're 450 fast without being as high maintenance and the new updated 700 raptors don't have any of the problems the 660's had. They are liquid cooled and in the woods you might just be faster as they are set up better for trail riding. They also have much more ground clearance so you won't get hung up by the smallest of ruts. 

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