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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
I'm looking for any info on this bike.
I'm gonna get a new bike in the spring, and this bike is one of my possible selections.
Looking for Pros and Cons of this bike.
Thanks
Plaid Dad
 

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (plad dad @ Jan 26 2007, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Hi.
I'm looking for any info on this bike.
I'm gonna get a new bike in the spring, and this bike is one of my possible selections.
Looking for Pros and Cons of this bike.
Thanks
Plaid Dad[/b]
If you're into reliability above all else, the 500 is the route to go. My dealer advised me that the 500 is the most reliable liquid cooled model he sells. Might be that people who buy them aren't rodding them as much as the bigger machines. I presently own a 500 auto and it's alright. It would be a better machine if you're using it in winter and have heavy boots on that would make shifting a little tight. The manual transmission is not susceptible to getting drowned, there's no maintenance other than normal oil changes and it offers more flexibility in riding options. If you want stealth and super slow capability, the manual is better than the auto. If you want more controllability in either climbing or descending hills, the manual is better. The only benefit of the auto, is not having to shift and that's not my cup of tea. I've had and used both. The '06 auto I presently have will be relegated to my wife and I have a 500 manual on order. My choice would be a 500 manual. Another thing to consider, is the availability of manuals. Very few 500 cc machines with independent suspension can be had in a manual trans. I think AC is the only one. Get one while you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so the 500 is the most reliable bike in the Cat lineup.
How does it lineup against Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki. (I'm not talkin about speed neither.)
My old Big Bear ALLWAYS brought me home, no matter what I had put it thru all day. (that's what I'm talkin' about.)
I'm gonna buy a bike in the spring, it's gonna be a manual trans., and its gonna be one of these brands; Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki or Cat.
This is an honest inquiry, not a set up for a bash fest of any brand.
Thanks for your help,
Plaid Dad
 

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I have a 500 manual and love it. So far it is a very relable machine.I have owned honda and yamaha.They all have their streanths and weaknesses. As far as - on the cat I would say for me the turning radious.This is a big machine and is harder to get around in the tight woods compareable and tends to push in corners at higher speeds. These negatives are far outweiged by the performance on tough terrain.In my opinion if this machine had a tighter turning radious it would be the perfect machine for me but as is it is still awsome.
 

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I agree with plad dad and fjfarmer. To add a little more info the pushing in the corners is mostly solved by changing rims and tires for a wider set. The bad side of that is now your wider than stock and makes it a little harder in tight woods. If you want a work and trail machine in a manual this is the best your going to get. Reliablilty is great and the main reason i got mine. I would compare it to a honda formen manual in reliability. Only it will go much more places and be better for work than the honda. The honda is much easier to ride down the trails though with its small size. The cat is faster than the foreman if that matters? Neither one are speed demons. Maintenance is change the oil\filter every 30 to 50 hours, diffs once a year, and clean air filter. the stock one is reusable and works great. Other added benifits are its easy to snorkle whit only one snorkle necessary, addind a slip on exhaust with the snorkle really wakes the engine up. Its a big difference from stock down low. Having 12 gears gives you complete control of speed in all conditions and the diff lock will get you through anything. With all cats, rack space storage, 4x4 system, Ground clearance is great.

My negatives are I wish it was smaller in size and more narrow to fit down trails better like the honda's. I wish it had a lower seat height also to help improve high speed handling. The plastics can break easy from smacking against trees if not carefull. I wish it got better gas mileage also but we got the 6.5 tank to make up for it.

Not to steer you away but if you want something more sporty in the manual, Suzuki makes the vinson 500 in the manua with single axle rear and smaller in size. Same engine as the cat. It has a lot less features though than the cat does.
 

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If I were looking for a new manual bike I would still go with the AC. I have had great luck with mine and it goes as far or farther than anyone else in the group I ride with. I also get stuck and pulled out more than any of the rest lol. It has been very reliable for me and has never left me stranded. I had issues with my 2x4/4x4 actuator and when I first purchased it the throttle cable froze after being trailered in cold temps. The stock tires in 05 were terrible and are no longer used on the 07's I believe. I ride with honda's that are probably more reliable and if that is the #1 concern for you then look closely at it. I don't have any experience with the other manuals ie. suzuki, yamaha other than sharing the motor trans from the suzuki so I can't speak for them. If there was a larger cc manual of any brand I would consider it but lately I have started to think that the auto may be my next bike.

Pro's
large bore manual (deciding factor when I purchased)
ground clearance
diff lock
for me a larger bike for a taller rider (2nd reason I didn't get a yamaha 450)
independant suspension
better price than the competition
24L gas tank (6.5 gal?)

Con's
Stock tires were terrible
Turning radius
High speed handling

Good luck

WC
 

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (plad dad @ Jan 27 2007, 07:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Ok, so the 500 is the most reliable bike in the Cat lineup.
How does it lineup against Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki. (I'm not talkin about speed neither.)
My old Big Bear ALLWAYS brought me home, no matter what I had put it thru all day. (that's what I'm talkin' about.)
I'm gonna buy a bike in the spring, it's gonna be a manual trans., and its gonna be one of these brands; Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki or Cat.
This is an honest inquiry, not a set up for a bash fest of any brand.
Thanks for your help,
Plaid Dad[/b]

The AC 500 uses Suzuki engine/transmission. If it is built with normal Suzuki quality, it should be stone axe reliable with reasonable care. As far as the AC chassis and drive train, it appears to be very stout. No machine is absolutely perfect. Considering the number of AC 500s in service and the relatively few reports of problems, I'd say you'd be getting about as good as it gets for the intended purpose of the machine. The only issue with my AC 500 is the electric choke. It's operational design is somewhat annoying. It works fine for starting a cold engine although, once the engine is warm and you shut it off momentarily, when you start it up again the choke comes back on even though it's not required. When that happens, the engine will rev higher than normal making it difficult to engage the transmission. The way to get around this annoyance is to leave the machine in gear when you shut it off. It has "start in gear" capability so it's an easy enough solution. If that's is all that I can find for negatives, I must say the Cat is ideal for me. I have only had one Arctic Cat (500 auto) and only for a few months. I previously owned Suzukis for twenty years and they were great machines. I've got an AC 500 manual on order right now. If I had any doubts about the AC, I certainly wouldn't be buying another one. I'm not a brand loyalist. To me, that's a vulnerability. If the product is good, I buy it. If it's not, I don't. If you want a durable, capable, utility ATV that's more oriented to riding in very rough conditions and hard work. You can't go wrong with the Cat. If you want trail riding and sporty performance. Look elsewhere.
 

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I have a 500 manual and after watching some bikes during hunting season, I chose the manual over the auto. I like to pick my gear for which ever situation arises. I noticed some auto's don't have the grunt to get going fast enough when in the swamps or mud. I have love the manual, never failed me yet.
 

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Mine has been pretty well bullit proof as well. It all depends on your riding style and how you look after things. No regrets here! :thumbsup:
 

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Been real happy with mine,i have broke stuff on mine but i no most has been my fault not the atvs. I ride mine very hard and in very nasty stuff all the time put it through hell :D if you want a go anywhere atv this is it imop
 

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All of the above statements are true. The 500M is NOT a speed demon, but it will run 50-55 on a good day. It is a simple design and very durable. All the issues I have had are my fault. Clutch adjustment and torn CV boot are it. It is built like a tank. I've looked at others, including the H1, but I can't get rid of the 500 due to it being such a great ATV.
 

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I love my Arctic Cat 500 Manual. Only had for a couple months now! I use it on my Farm and do Trail Riding. I like the control with the Manual Tranny. I also like the 6.5 gallon tank! I can travel 75-80 miles on a tank of gas. I will be changing the 100 mile break oil in a week or so! I am very happy with my Atv purchase. :trail:
 
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