ATV AnswerMan: I wanna go faster!

Feb. 25, 2009 By Ricky Sosebee

Article Title: 2008 Can-Am DS 450 Review

From: Natty
Needles, CA

 I was looking for the wire you cut on the 08 Can-am DS 450X to gain more speed? Can you please help? Thx

Yo Natty,

There is an infamous “Pink” wire that controls a race map built into the onboard computer. Cutting this wire engages a little more power but it has to be done with removal of the exhaust baffle in the exhaust pipe and removal of the airbox lid.

 Its not the wire that controls the speed, its that little flat lever under the grip of your right thumb that controls it. Get yourself in some tight woods and hold that thing wide open till water pours from your eyes then we can talk about wiring.. Chance’s are you wont be able to and if you still need the “secret wire” then write me back. Why would you want to cut on a perfectly good wiring set-up anyways???

[Editor's Note - When we tested the DS450 for our Project, we did indeed cut the "pink wire", and found the immediate performance improvement we were after for Pro-level MX-style racing. However, as Answer Man says, there are differences in riding/racing needs. Bottom-end torque is important for holeshots and repeated short-cornering, but are you after more top-end speed for long runs? Quicker isn't always Faster. And be sure to check out the articles we wrote on making our DS450 ready for serious MX competition. First Steps - Advanced Prep ]

Article Title: Bombardier's 650 Quest


Well this could be tricky,

 I am guessing that you need to find the air filter. I get that. But is it because you think the radiator and fan are not getting clean air from it? Is the Quest over heating? The fan and Radiator are not directly connected to the engine air filter on your Quest. The air filter on the quest only filters the air to the engine. If the radiator gets clogged, by mud or debris it will need to be cleaned to keep the ATV from overheating.

 The air filter on the Quest is located in a box just off the carburator. Its probably under the seat of that model.

Good Luck

From: BandC

Comment: I have a 2000 300 king quad four wheeler and the front drive shaft needs to be replaced can you please tell me how it comes apart (the whole front axel) thank you and I hope that you can help me.

If you have followed my column for any time you will realize that I always refer to using a manufacturer service manual for any serious dissecting of the ATV you may own. The reason for this is to make sure the ATV is serviced in the proper way. These manuals can be purchased at any dealership for very little money and it beats having do it twice when you make a mistake.

 The axles on this ATV are easily replaceable. Get a clean shop, selection of quality tools, and a service manual and you’ll be done in no time!


From: apple_vet

Comment: I have a 07 Yamaha Grizzly with a very leaky rear driveshaft output seal...any helpful hints to assist in replacement?

Hi Apple-Vet,

  The best description of removal and replacement will be in your service manual. I can however give you a few ideas of things to look for and what not to do to insure the new seal gets a chance at life. The seals on the differential of any ATV take a beating and get no reward. After you have removed your suspension and pulled the drive shaft you’ll need a flat head screwdriver to motivate the old seal out. Be sure to NOT scratch the seat where the seal rests. This will cause leaks and may damage the new seal. Also be very patient when placing the new seal in. Use even pressure on the entire seal surface to get it to seat evenly. Sometimes getting one side started works but be sure the seal isn’t twisted or pinched while doing so. Adding a bit of oil to the inside of the seal before reinstalling the driveshaft will keep damage to a minimum as well. Good Luck

From: Carl

Comment: I have a 2000-2001 Suzuki quadrunner 500 4x4 the battery went dead so I shopped around, finally ended up buying a new battery from suzuki brought it home charge it for 8-10 hrs put the battery in went riding looking at hunting land later in the ride the fan came on four wheeler went dead.I talked to suzuki they said it could be two different parts one could be about 50 bucks the other 300-500 bucks. Where do I start to trouble shoot it? The Suzuki place here in town was telling me about starting it up and checking the voltage to the battery. Please help I got the thing paid off and now this happens.

Hi Carl,

 The dealership is correct in the first move. Get a trickle charge on the battery for about 24 hours and then start the beast up. You’ll need a volt-meter to check the charging side of the stator and then measure voltage at the battery. If you are getting power from the stator to the battery then you have a possible short or system drag taking power from your ride. Also make for sure the battery cables are clean and I mean clean. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out what’s draining the battery if it’s getting a good charge from the stator.

More questions and answers - you may have to wait a few seconds for additional pages to load...


Article Title: 2009 Can-Am DS450x MX and XC

From: Quinn

Comment: Does it have reverse?

Nope , Sorry, but you’ll have to forget about the past and go forward the rest of your life.. :) Cool thing is you can go Fast forward on these quads.


Article Title: Honda's Torque Converter: How it Works - 2003 Honda Rincon

From: Heath lavalle

 I have a 03 ricon with 3300 miles and right when you crank up it does not want to go until the motor has warmed up. the motor runs fine think it is in the trans. Also it seems third never has any power gains speed very slowly. What is my problem?

Hi Heath,

 When was the last time you had the fluids serviced in the ole Rincon. These are great quads and with a tranny as complicated as this one regular service is a must. It sounds like a break down in the fluids or possibly a clutch that’s worn out.

Change the fluids and let us know how it’s doing.

Article Title: 2008 Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 ATV

From: BroBob

Your number for 188 Ft Lbs of Torque can NOT be accurate for a 950 cc V-Twin! I have a Suzuki 1500 LC motorcycle and it has 88 Ft Lbs of Torque! As a matter of fact there aren't any High Performance Production Motorcycles putting out 188 Ft Lbs of Torque, including the new Yamaha V-Max which was the highest output ever tested on a Dyno! I believe the Torque on the V-Max was 125 Ft Lbs.

Wow BroBob,

 Is that your real name? It cant be right…..

We get our numbers for each of the vehicles we review from the manufacturer and we have to trust that they will give us accurate and honest information. I hope this helps but chances are you may never believe it…


From: GH

Comment: I own an 2001 polaris xplorer 400 4x4 2 stroke. I have coolant coming out of the breather tube from the top side of the crank case. What would first guess be - blown head gasket - or maybe cracked sleeve in cylindar. Bike still runs pretty well and starts fine. Once engine gets hot the coolants drains from the side resivor the fluid starts coming out of the tube coming off the top side of crank case were the counter balance is.


Hi GH,

 There could be several issues here. Do you get water in the oil of the crankcase? It could  be that a seal for the water pump is bad and is leaking prematurely. This engine has a pump in the front of the cases near the area that you claim it is leaking. Try checking this first.

Article Title: Frequently Asked Honda Pilot Questions

From: chris

Comment: I have a 1989 pilot and the cylinder is 85mm? I'm having a heck of a time finding replacement parts or even a whole engine. could you steer me in the right direction please.

Hi Chris,

 Wow my friend you have an old but awesome toy. If I were looking for parts I would get on our search engine here on the site and dig for Pilot owners clubs or even ebay surplus parts. It will be tough getting any new stuff but with many hours here you could find some good used items for sure. Good luck with the search and if you give up and decide to let go just send that thing out here to Ga and ill take care of it to ease your mind..


Article Title: The Road to Resurrection

From: Ron



Hi Ron, So you need a gusset kit for an atv that has been discontinued for 20 years now? That could be a hard find. I know Lonestar Racing used to make these but im sure they have not in a while. I would find someone that has their frame gusseted and build my own kit or take it to a fab shop and have them come up with some strengthening tips.

Hope this helps

From: edgar51
Mars Hill,NC

We have a bombardier 2005 can-am and the reverse light stays on and the atv sounds like its missing i asked around and people are saying to check the reverse ign switch where is this any help is greatly appreciated.


Hi Edgar,

 Well I have a few questions of my own for you first. Is the bike in reverse? I know that sounds crazy but I had to ask. If the quad is in a forward gear but stumbles when given gas and the reverse light is on chances are the ECM needs to be reset by the dealer. It could be reading the shifting mechanisim in the trans wrong and causing that error. These ATV’s typically stumble in reverse due to a rev limiter there. That just keeps us from driving full speed backwards ya know. A trip to the local dealer is in order here my friend.


From: Buck403

Comment: I would like to ask about my yamaha atv please reply

Hey Buck,

Ask away my friend……… I hope he knows this is a monthly column.. Talk about waiting for the right answer…


From: Nicole Brann
Subject: hi

 Hi there i need some help and advise...  i have a 2006 yamaha yfz 450...i got a problem going on with either clutch or motor...ok ill try and explain it as good as possible... When i start my wheeler up and let it warm up.. then go to shift into first nuthing happens.. sometimes I have to roll my atv back and forth and try shifting into first again..sometimes it works and sometimes it doesant.. takes about 2-4 trys.. seems kinda like it jams when finelly getting in 1st gear..but when i just shift into 2nd it works fine...    seems like first gear is just junk... when the bike is going all the gears seem too work pretty good.. sometime it slips.. but they worrk seem to work pritty good..hard to get it inot neutrel  also....... please help....



Wow Nicole,

 You may need a clutch dear. It sounds like your clutch is out of adjustment or very close to needing a replacement. How old is the quad and how hard are you on it.. Be honest because its not my toy that’s broke…Its your’s… Take the oil filler cap off and get a whiff of the oil inside. If it smells burnt then chances are you need a clutch.



 Hi, I just bought a 2004 Honda TRX90 for my son. It is very clean and shows no signs of abuse. He's been riding it for about a week and it just developed a strange ticking noise that is coming from the rear brake drum. I put it up on a jack stand and the noise is apparent when I turn the rear wheels by hand. Ant ideas as to what could be causing this?

Livermore, CA

Hi Steve,

 I have no idea what could be ticking away in the rear of the quad. I would set the Honda up on a table or stand and roll the wheels to locate the ticking. Then I would start dissecting the area until the ticking noise is obvious and there you have it. There are so many things that could be going on in there and without having a photo or more clear instructions I cannot begin to guess. Not to mention I do not like doing that anyways.

I hope you find it and let us know what it is. The suspense is killing me.

Article Title: 2002 Suzuki King Quad 300 4x4 Features

From: Barney
Frierson, LA

I am trying to find a manual with schemetics on wiring and rebuilding a Suzuki King Quad 300 4x4 and would appreciate any information you could give me. I bought it and don't know the year model but I found a serial # *************and am not sure if there was a 1 or L before the SAAK. I would appreciate any info because I am a 48 year old woman and this is my first 4-wheeler and I would be in heaven if me and my old man could get it going so I could ride in the Wish I Could swamp run in Hebert, La.

Thanks Connie

Hi Connie,

 Well I hope you get to ride in that swamp run to. Sounds fun. I stripped the serial from this letter so some busy body doesn’t claim your quad as there own and have you locked away on the assumption that its stolen. Be careful posting that anywhere.

Head out to the dealer and have them order you a service manual. This will give you wiring and a pluthera of other info for rehabbing the ole quad… Good luck


Subject: oil leak

 I have a 2007 foreman 500 that has an oil leak around the rear oil seal behind the pull rope . it looks like a fairly easy repair . do you have any info that might be helpful for this repair .


Hi Dennis,

 I would check and add oil till you get it fixed for sure J! Do not let it go to long before you have it fixed or do it yourself. Leaking oil attracts debris like dirt and that could cause additional trouble that you don’t want. Get yourself a good factory service manual and get busy or just relax at the park while the dealer takes care of it.


Article Title: 2008 Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 ATV

From: Patrick Laplante
Saint-Frdrick, Quebec

 To whom it may concern. I have a thundercat on 2008. I have a big problem of berring of clutch. In quite the 20 minutes my berring of clutch breeze and nevertheless he(it) is only 2000 kilometres. You have a method for remediez in this problem. I like in no way my machine for the price which I paid who(which) is $15000. We would like to have an answer for the most brief period(delay).

Thank you in advance.

Man what a challenge,

 I understand what the trouble revolves around but im not sure what’s happining that he wants to correct. Maybe someone out there could give me a good interpetation of this fellows trouble. If you can understand me please have someone translate from French to English.

 Keep going; there's more!

Article Title: 2003 Polaris Predator 500 ATV - Tested by

User: Steve
Atlanta, GA

Comment: Have an 2003 Pred, had big bore kit installed, now the timing jumps out, need help.

Thanks Steve

Hi Steve,

Sounds to me like the tensioner for the timing chain or the cam gears themselves are giving up the trouble. I need to know what’s moving in order to determine that though. Is the timing chain loose? Or do the cam gears become loose on the cams.. How is it coming out of time my friend. Tell me please.. Im waiting…


Article Title: ATV Electronics series: Part 1 - ignition systems

From: Huck Jr.
Beaverton, MI

 I have a 2003 Polaris 330 Magnum. The CDI got a hole in it. I am sure this is due to it shorting out. I replaced with another one. It started smoking almost immediately. Any ideas as to why this would happen? Any help would be appreciated.

Yo Huck,

 Sounds like you have some serious electrical troubles happening. Take that beast to the dealer for a quick look see before you ruin whats left of the quad my friend. If the electrical is smoking hott then there is a serious short or over charge going on there..

 Good Luck,


Article Title: 2005 Youth ATV Racing Regulations

From: shane gilbert
Azle, TX

 I have twin boys that are 6 years old and have been riding since they were 2.5 years old, they currently ride 90cc polaris machines. Are there any youth races that they can start at. i am looking to get them into racing.

Hey Shane,

 STOP LOOKING for now. Racing is going to be very expensive for you. The nation is under a ban of youth quads and other things currently because of our new President and you will not even be able to buy parts when they break. I say when because we know they will sooner or later. Be patient my friend and hope for a revised bill to get passed so we all might be able to once again share our sport with our kids.

[Editor's Note - well that's a little harsh. Feb 10 there was a federal law passed that banned the sale of any product intended for use by children 12 years old or younger that may include lead in the parts or paint. So for about 3 days, dealers pulled ATVs and dirtbikes off their showroom floors, also parts and riding gear. However, four days later, the AMA petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to give these types of off-road vehicles an exception to this law. Afterall, kids likely aren't going to be eating their race quads. The first round of rulings then allowed sale and support of vehicles purchased prior to that date. So if you already have the quads, you are fine. The fight still isn't over yet, so it will likely bounce around for many years. And yeah, eventually - for this reason, or safety, or sound - youth quads will probably eventually be illegal. In the meantime, enjoy the sport with your kids, and support their racing dreams!

I'd recommend the first step is deciding how far you want to take it - physically and financially. How far are you willing to travel? There are local series, regional series, national. WORCS has a great kids racing program, but it's North and West of you a few States. Find something closer to home - post notices on bulletin boards, ask your local shop. Texas has some great off-road racing opportunities.

Go and watch those races, talk to the parents, see how the promoter puts on his day. Are people having fun, are they working together, or is it cut throat competion? (Run for the gate!) How much are entry fees? When it comes to how much are you willing to spend, do not scrimp on safety gear. Ever. Realize that if you want your little biscuits to win, you are going to have to spend bucks. That's just the game. While it's not always about being the fastest out there, it is truly about finishing. That means parts and maintenance. And training with your kid.

And don't immed decide "hey my kids fast!" and start asking everyone for sponsorship. It's annoying as heck and a long road to travel to be at that point. You have to pay your dues, like everyone else.

And if you decide to give it a shot, good for you! And welcome to the family. -ptw]



From: joey
Sewanee, TN

What would make the engine not brake on my rubicon?



Hi Joey,

 Weak compression could be the main problem here but if a check of the engine compression checks out to be good then move to the clutch system.

Article Title: Total Control Suspension (TCS) - ATV Suspension - Long Travel shocks for Project QuadSport Z400 ATV

From: Brian
San Jacinto, CA

 I'm looking to rebuild my existing rear shock (05 Raptor). It is too soft and my weight is about 240lbs. What can be done and what kind of an estimate can you give me.

Hi Brian,

 Send that shock out to Laz Sommers GT Thunder in Millersburg Ohio and tell’em sent ya. They can fix you right up by rehabbing the shock and setting it up for your weight.


From: ubergeek  

Kasea 50cc won't start. (engin turns but no firing at all) This Kasea (SMC) 50cc (2 cycle) ATV used to run fine only a few months ago but I can't get it started now.


When I push the start button, the crank turns but it fails to fire. In fact I don't hear any firing at all as if the sparkplug isnt working at all.

Steps I have taken so far to troubleshoot:

1. Fuel valve is open.
2. Has fuel in the tank.
3. Brake is applied.
4. The tiny key is inserted.
5. Engine switch is on
6. The spark plug looks fine (shape looks good but it is dark brown)
7. I cleaned the carb using the carb spray while the crank is turning.

What else should I check? Please note this is my first ATV I just picked up from my brother for my daughter. I hope I can get it fixed by this weekend.. Thanks in advance.


 Start by installing a new spark plug. Brand new and not out of the lawn mower. Sounds like your holding your mouth right but you just haven’t engaged it yet.. The dark brown could indicate a fouled plug..


Article Title: 2006 Arctic Cat Prowler, First Ride

From: duckslayer
West Jordan, UT

 I have 2008 700 efi prowler that has made a noise since I bought it, I took it back to my dealer and he said Arctic Cat will replace the center rotor because some of them where warped, But said he did'nt think they would cover the brake pads. I don't know if other people have had thiers repaired and they were charged,Warranty don't cover brakes but this is a factory defect and should be on their dime not mine. I read that they just keep having problems, I don't know wether to up grade to the 1000 prowler and get the 4 disc brakes that should be on all the prowlers.

Hey Duck slayer,

I cant make that descision for ya but if you have a warranty issue that you believe strongly is a manufacturer defect call the maker of the UTV and get to the source because the dealer only goes by what their told.. Dig deeper in the pile because persistence over rides resistance most of the time.


From: atv rider
Ocoee, FL

 I have a 01 400ex w/ 440 bbk, the head nuts will not stay tight. After riding for about a few hours the head starts to seperate from the cylinder. Only 1 will be tite, the 1 next to the timing chain. The other 3 will be loose. Can anyone me help me w/ this?

Hi ATV Rider,

 Have you tried putting a blue or red loctite on the bolt threads? This may help with the trouble.


From: Robert
Phoenix, AZ

Hey whats up i have a trx 250 2006 and some how it died y check spark and clean the carb and my compresion seems to be ok but all the compresion is gettin out my carb insted of the exaust i try to rev until its cranking the carb getts the gas out of the overflowtube, please i need some help any idea what i need to do??


Man this is messed up,

I haven’t a freaking clue what he is asking me.. Compression out the carb?? If fuel is running out of the carb check for a stuck float or possibly trash in the gas. Make sure there’s nothing blocking the exhaust either.


From: petgriz
Toronto CANADA

 I have a 2006 Yamaha Grizzly 660 and was wondering, if the temp cooling light on the dash should come on when the key is turned to the "on" position then go off when the engine is started. Mine does not come on.


Most of the indicators will initialize with the switch when its turned on but the go off until needed after the quad is started. You may just have a bad bulb.

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