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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking about upgrading and wondering what I should be looking at. I just picked up a 99 Panther 550 Touring and I'm considering selling my 95 Z440 and 97 ZR580 EFI to get into something a little newer. I'd likely only be able to afford 99-01ish ZR?? Not interested in a triple. I don't want to get into a bunch of headaches. Should I be looking at carb or EFI? Do certain model years have more or less problems than others? I'm primarily looking for reliability and low maintenance. Any info/assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks

Dave
 

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I'd agree. Once you got to the firecat chassis, the EFI had been improved, but on the older chassis I'd stick with carbs.

600 twin, carbureted. Really can't go too wrong there. I'd pass on the triples also. Nobody makes them anymore for a reason(not counting yamaha's 4 stroke but that's a whole different banana)
 

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2003 and up went to a diamond drive, was plagued with problems for the first two years, and very costly to repair. 2002 was the first year of the beefier 33mm crank. So in my opinion the 2002 is where it's at. Plus they have the full green bellies instead of the black belly like the '01's. With all that said, I have an '01 800 and love it to death...
 

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I know by time the Crossfire came out the Diamond Drive had the bugs worked out at least for the non-reverse ones. Also, there is something to be said for the simplicity of a carbed fan cooled machine. No coolant to leak, no waterpump to go bad. Just food for thought.
 

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2003 and up went to a diamond drive, was plagued with problem for the first two years, and very costly to repair. 2002 was the first year of the beefier 33mm crank. So in my opinion the 2002 is where it's at. Plus they have the full green bellies instead of the black belly like the '01's. With all that said, I have an '01 800 and love it to death...

the only zr to ever have the diamond drive were the 04 and up zr900s. All 2003 sleds had a chain case. The only zrs to ever have the 33mm crank were the 02 and up 8 and 900 big blocks. all other zrs have the 30mm crank.

If I wanted a reliable cheap sled i would get a ZL440. You cant kill those sleds.
 

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I looked it up, I stand corrected then, thought the zr's in '03 had the DD but they didn't... So the 2002-2003 ZR's is what I'd look for...
 

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I agree wit Greg those zl440s were bulletproof... That was my first sled and I put over 800 miles one year and had no problems started 2-4 pulls every time and never broke down on trail.. always reliable sled and could easily do 70-80
 

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agree the 440 piston port (zl 440), 550, and 440 fan's were very solid engines.

I'm not familiar with the different years and options but I'm sure the 500cc engine had some really good years. Most of the big 4 had very solid 500's.

Personally, I prefer any of the batteryless efi sleds. If you love to fine tune and tweak you will want carb.

Looks like you already own a couple very reliable engines.
 

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everyone is picking certain sleds,which is ok,but...the most important factor,is prior ownership,and maintenance/treatment.look into that,and most sleds will be fine.find a mature owner,that had things repaired,and checked out,like it was his baby.how it was stored is very important.look how clean the belly is,and whats been greased,or replaced.miles sometime helps tell info,but some low mi sleds have been beat to death,while a high miler ,being taken care of will be ok.just a simple fall maintenance is important.always do comp test,and if you dont know a lot,bring a good mechanic,with you.i like zr sleds also,and depending on power needed,a 600-900 is a great sled.i like a 900..low rev-ing big torque sled is nice.dont feel like you beating the snot off it,to get going.and yes i have had a 600 too. get a stock zr900 2003,and it will be the best sled you will ever own...mike
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I do like both the Z440 and the ZR580. Ideally I'd like to do the AGLT and steering post mod to the ZR580. I guess I'm maybe looking for something with the wider stance and longer travel. I just don't now if I have the time and the chops to do these mods so I thought I'd just look at getting a newer sled that already has these things. The reality is I probably don't need a newer sled for the amount of riding I do mainly for the amount of snow we get lately but since when do we do things based on what we "need" :)

Dave
 

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When it comes to stators 2000 and newer will be more reliable. Except for the 500, look at 2001 and newer.
 
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