ATV AnswerMan: We Want to Know It All

Apr. 23, 2009 By Ricky Sosebee
87 fourtrax 250 white smoke,oil in the muffler wondering rings ? and then a little gas coming back into the air box valves ? trying to figure it out bike runs good i think i should fix it gotta be worth it after all it is 22 years old and still runs.


I love a question that I have to decode before answering. The shorthand and one word questions make this just a bit harder but being a mechanic of sound mind I do know what you are asking. Seems to me that its time to give the TRX250 some love in the engine department. This engine does not have valves but ill give you an “A” for effort. Have the cylinder checked for size and condition at the local dealer. This will determine if you need just rings or a total cylinder overhaul that includes boring and adding new piston size and rings. Good luck and remember that the TRX250R is becoming extinct so if you decide to ditch the idea of fixing just send that puppy down to Ga and ill treat it right.


ATV Apache Tracks TraxRe Article: Apache Track System

From: Marc
Montreal , CANADA

According to BRP, Apache tracks should only be ridden in SNOW (otherwise it voids the warranty). Mud or gravel can apparently damage them. Did you notice any premature wear and tear?

Hi Mark,

I can say that the dirt was hard on the tracks but not as bad as you might think. I never sank the tracks into deep muck but I could see where constant exposure to these elements could damage the hard plastic gears and eventually wear the track system down.



 Tire Help:

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem, mounted 4 new tires today and one of the rear rims leaks around the lip of the seal. We noticed that on that lip of the rim there are 4 small holes that are apparently holding some nasty tire sealant from the previous owner, and I believe that is why it wont hold air. Does anyone know what these holes are for, and has anyone had this problem before. A Possible solution maybe JB WELD the holes, but would like to see if someone has had similar problems and what they did. We tried putting patches where the tire and rim meet and it slowed it down but eventually went flat.

Yo JWdawgs,

Is it possible that the rim could be bent in that spot? I personally have never noticed any sequence of holes in the wheels I have handled over the years but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. If laying in some type of filler is possible then I would say go for it.

Let us know how it turns out.


Yamaha Kodiak Utility QuadRe Article: 2005 Yamaha Kodiak 450, Making the Best even Better

From: eric
Pt Charlotte, FL

I have a 2005 yamaha kodiak 450 and have been looking for a carb. rebuild kit. for it. I can't seem to find one for this. If anyone has any input it would be a big help. Thanks

Hi Eric,

It’s possible that there is a specific kit for your carb but I doubt it. Heres the skinny on rebuilding that carb. Most carburetors have very small parts that may or may not need replacing. The jets are brass and as long as there isn’t 100 years of aged rotting fuel in the float bowl these should be ok. The rubber o-rings and gaskets are probably the only things you’ll need to replace and those can be purchased at your local dealer or online. The needle valve attached to the float could possibly need replacing if the tip of this is damaged. I believe the tip on this needle is rubber as well. Rebuilding a carb doesn’t mean reinventing it. It simply is a term used to describe the process in which you totally disassemble the carb, clean thoroughly and reassemble while replacing any broken parts along the way. A good Carb cleaner or dip is the main tool in this process. Hope this helps my friend.


Re Article: Where to ride your ATV

From: mickey & wanda
Comer, GA

We need to find a place close to us to ride our 4-wheelers please give us some information on this asap thanks wanda

Hi Wanda,

Well I should be able to help as I too live in the great state of Ga. If Durhamtown Plantation is close to you I’d try it first. Just hit up for directions. If the thought of crowds makes you crazy then go during the week preferably during the school year. There are many ORV trails specifically for ATV’s and Dirtbikes around Ga and you can find a great list on

Hope this helps.


Re: Article Title: Getting involved in Youth ATV racing

From: Mathew Schliem
Sharon , WI

Hey i am 14 going on 15 and i have been riding for a few years and i would like to race professionaly in the future. I live in a little town and was wondering how i can get started?

Hi Mathew,

ATV Racing in itself is becoming popular these days and its as easy as getting your parents permission, building a reliable ATV and joining the AMA. Then you’ll need to find a local series near you. These guys should be able to help:

Wisconsin ATV Association, Inc.

5531 B North Hwy 42

Sheboygan, WI 53083

Contact: Randy Harden

Email: info @

Phone: 920-565-7531

Info: WATVA promotes shared leaderships that strengthen the ability of organizations at the most local level.

Good Luck on your racing goals and remember, education first, family second and then racing.


From: Jon
North Fort Myer, FL

When I shift from 2nd to 3rd under hard acceleration, it shifts, then after a small delay it bangs loudly and goes into gear fully? Under normal riding everything is ok. it only does it under hard shifts. and only this gear change. all others are fine. PLEASE HELP

Hi Jon,

I need a bit more information before I can really understand what’s happening. What kind of ATV are you riding? What’s the Year of this clanker? Are you getting the clutch lever in all the way? How long has it been since the clutch was serviced or replaced? Look into the clutch system first. Is it possible that the chain is loose and jumping teeth? It’s hard to tell from here but id say maybe take it a bit easier on the poor thing.


From: honda man
Miami , Fla

hey man ..... is a 88 honda 350 fourtrax diff interchangeable with a 93 300 fourtrax diff ????

Hello Honda Man,

Lets see, 1988 to 1993 is a spread of 5 years and with my math skills I’d say something had to change in that time as it was a huge growth period for all ATV’s. After looking through the book of great knowledge I have to report that it is not a possibility. Sorry man but sometimes we all have to face the music.


From: Chris
Edmond , OK

I need some help. I want to replace the CV boots on the front of my Yamaha Big Bear 350. I cannot figure out how to take the drive shaft out of the knuckle.

Hi Chris,

Man I wish I had the year of the quad your working with. I looked through my infinite list of atvs and the newest year for the 350 Big Bear I found was 1999 and then it goes to the 400 in 2000. So im gonna give you the short version here. Assuming the wheel is off and the wheel hub has been removed, the knuckle assembly has been unbolted from the suspension arms and the spacer with the o-ring have been removed as well. The axle shaft should be gently removed from the differential in the frame so it will be easier to work with. I would then reinstall the nut that held the wheel hub in place and get it on till the tip of the drive axle stem is just below the surface. That’s when I would convence the drive axle, gently, with a rubber hammer. Tapping this nut will save the threads on the axle and give you a bigger surface to strike. This in no way should be done with a regular steel/metal hammer as it WILL damage the nut and shaft. The axle is splined and can get corroded enough to be difficult but with some penetrating oil and patience it should come loose. Patience is the key. Those axles aren’t cheap.


From: Spence
Goodlettsville , TN


Yo Spence,

How old are ya bro? That’s gonna determine a lot. Knowing that you may not have any experience on an atv is also another factor in deciding which atv to suggest. I personally wouldn’t go muddin’ on a sport quad because the likely hood of getting stuck is on you before you unload that jewel off the trailer. For the mud scene you cant beat a great utility atv and there are plenty to choose from. Hit me back with some stats my friend and then I can make a few suggestions.Good luck in your search.


Hold on, more questions loading...


From: jason
Cocoa , FL

99 banshee feels like clutch is slipping but it is new does it in all gears once moving it feels ok but then starting again still feels like it is slipping.

Hi Jason,

Did you install the clutch yourself? Sounds to me like you need some fine tuning on the adjustment of the clutch. Get yourself a service manual and learn about the proper adjustment of the clutch. This may be as simple as a few turns in the lever or on the engine itself. Good Luck


From: tammyjo14
Phoenix city, AL

I have a yamaha big bear 400 yr2008 it wont start it smell like it is fluid changed sparkplug still nothing please help me

Hi TammyJo,

The Big Bear is a carbureted engine and can very easily be flooded. Make sure that you have fresh gas and be sure it isn’t contaminated by water or debris from the gas can you are putting it in. Be sure you are getting spark from the plug as well. Turn the gas off and do not choke the engine. Turn the motor over a few times to flush the fuel out of the engine and hold the throttle open while doing so. You should be able to start the big bear easily without choking it after this. Be sure to turn the fuel on and ride on!


From: leon macie
Subject: 2004 artic cat

I have a 2004 arctic cat atv i just replaced the battery when i was putting my new batery in i forgot to keep the the terminals disconnected and the metal bracket arced and now my four wheeler wont start it turns over but wont start any ideas.

Hi Leon,

Sounds like a simple fuse has been sacrificed in your absent mindedness. Check out the fuse panel on your machine as there are typically two fuses that could be blown. You’ll find the fuse panel location in your service manual.


Motoworks Exhaust for ATVRe: Article Title: Testing the Motoworks SR4 Race System ATV Exhaust

From: claudio
Lisbon , FL

Hello. This article was very helpful, thankyou. But i have a an issue here and i hope you can help me out. I want to get a slip on exhaust for my KFX450R, but between this Motoworks SR4 Exhaust and the fmf Q2 slip on exhaust, which one of these two would you suggest?? Im interested in more power, more loudness and quality. Which exhaust should i purchase? My atv is still all stock. Hope you can help me out. Thanks alot, keep up the good work. Claudio

Hi Claudio,

I think the choice is going to be tough. The Motoworks pipe is a great piece but FMF has been in this business for a long time. The loudness of a pipe is what gets most trails closed here in the states so consider the silent tip for either pipe if your going riding on public lands. I think the Motoworks pipe will make you happy.


Re: Article Title: Getting involved in Youth ATV racing

From: wantoknow
Macon , GA

Hey. im 12 and im thinkin about racin. what cc 4-wheeler will I need and where can i go to get started? what division will i be in? thnx.

Yo Wantotknow,

Its amazing how many of the “I wanna go racing” questions I get and I always try to suggest that if the parents are good with the fact that you want to race and your school grades reflect some kind of dedication to the education you so desperately need these days then go for it. In Ga we have several series and the SORCS series is the biggest until march when the GNCC rolls into town. Ask yourself this, self, do you know how to ride enough to go racing? Feel free to respond to yourself but probably alone cause it might get you some funny looks. Then ask yourself if you have the funds it takes to go racing. Its not cheap these days and a good summer job would probably just scratch the surface. A good 50-90cc atv would be a start and definitely get in a beginners class at any local series. You’re a beginner so act like it and don’t try goin pro at the first race. Oh yeah, ask mom and dad to add you to the health insurance plan for beginners.

Good Luck


Bombardier DS650 Baja XRe Article Title: 2004 Bombardier DS650 Baja-X

From: Melvin
Garland , TX

What is the top speed on a 2004 Bombardier DS 650x?

Hi Melvin,

Id say its probably faster than a turtle but slower than a jet air plane. All kidding aside, its fast enough that if you get thrown off its gonna shed several layers of clothing and skin before you get stopped. Top speed to me isn’t important because its only gonna matter in bench racing. Oh and the answer is? I haven’t a clue. Our Baja bike in 2002 bounced around 70mph.

Later speed demon,


From: Bruce

I have 2006 kymco mongoose 50cc 4stroke atv. I'm trying to get rid of the 'rev limiter' on it. I can't seem to find a new cdi box that will work. Any ideas? Thanks

Hi Bruce,

I have to say that the rev limiter is there for a reason. It keeps the engine reliable and the kid riding it safe. If more speed is what you desire for the young kid riding it maybe you should consider a larger quad.

The reason you cannot find a “rebel” rev limiter is just as described aboved. Sorry man.


From: Homieclaus
Bizmark , ND

I have a 2003 LTZ400 and i need to change the axle bearings in the rear swingarm. I have removed the axle but i am now stuck. How do I get the bearings out without tearing up the housing? Also i want to go faster but my buddies say that i need a 450r to get more speed, do you think i need to sell my 400 to get better top end? Thanks alot very much


Yo HomieClaus,

I have owned the awesome Z400 and I am also currently building one for our site. To answer your first question I would first clean the housing like it has never been cleaned before. Get all the grease and debris off the housing and out of the space inside the bearings as well. Then I have an old stove in my shop that I use to heat the axle housing with. Typically I get it to about 200 degrees. Be careful to not get burnt and be sure to use some kind of welders gloves or moms old pan holders to handle the housing with. Heating up the housing expands the aluminum housing so removing the bearings is a lot easier. The take a slide hammer style bearing puller to easily remove the bearings. Heating the housing again before reassembly will make that easier as well. As far as going faster just work on the suspension on that old z400 and youll find more speed and less physical fatigue with very little cash out of pocket.


From: Nick Linam
Atmore , AL

I have a 2006 suzuki ltr 450. i have never had any problems, and the other day it acted like it want to start sputtering, and then it quit. i started it back up and it had an awful sound in the motor. it went dead again, and now it want do anything. what could have happen.

Hi Nick,

Sounds like a trip to the local dealer is in order. I would drain the oil and inspect it first. Look for shrapnel from the engine. Sounds like a timing issue or something in that area to me. Let the dealer have a peek just in case it’s a bigger problem.


From: Freedom
Polaris owner's HELP !


Never Ride's someone elses Quad... A buddy of mine said hey take my 04 Polaris Big Boss 6X6 (145 Hrs)for a ride... I never drove it before, Sure enough it broke while I was riding it... Three days later another friend was riding my New (leftover) 07 Polaris 800 X2(2hrs) and I was on his all for three minutes... And sure enough his 07 Polaris 450 Sportsman (45Hrs) broke .... O.M.G. !!! I must be the death of Quads.... Crazy thing is.. It's the same problem!!! O.K. it's feel's like something is skipping ?? Not meshing together?? When you put it into neutral it rolls smooth. I am at a total loss and please need help... Thank You

Hi Freedom,

Don’t panic my friend its probably just coincidental that these quads both give up the ghost with you on them. Are you riding in deep water or mud? With the very vauge description it sounds like the CVT is just slipping. Hold your hands upside down next to your shoulders and put on the confused look for your friend. It works for me.


From: roger
Subject: question

I just bought a 2007 yfz 450. the baffle and the air filter box lid were gone, and it seems to run a little funny. everything else is stock. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what to do?

Hi Roger,

If the jetting wasn’t changed when the baffle and airbox lid were removed chances are it will run funnier not to far down the road. Jetting is essential when opening up the airflow. Getting more air and less fuel will cause the engine to self destruct in just a matter of a few rides. Either pick up a airbox lid and baffle from the dealer or have the fuel system adjusted to meet the new air flow.


Hold on, one more page of great questions and answers...


From: Josh
Le Mars , IA

Hi i have a 1990 honda Fourtrax 300 and it seems to have a weird kind of grinding/rubbing noise and was wondering if it was the timing chain or what? Please help me figure this out!!!! Thanks!!

Hi Josh,

Man I wish I could hear the noise you are describing. Its hard to fix something blindfolded. I have one suggestion for you to try. Drain the oil from the atv and inspect it for debris like metal/aluminum or any other items that shouldn’t be in oil. Otherwise, take that big boy to the dealer for a closer look.

Good luck.


From: Mike

Looking to make suzuki LTZ90 to go faster

Hi Mike,

Im looking for my winning lotto ticket.


From: yfz450
Ypsilanti , MI

Comment: I have a 2006 yfz 450 put a lonestar steering stem on qhich is 2 inchis longerthe stock and now i need a longer clutch cable and brake hose! the hose is the on that come off the master cylinder and goes into the brake line in the front of the quad, please help me i have looked every were i can think off and called around no one seems to be able to find one or be able to order it please please please do you know were i can get these cables and hoses longer then stock? i know this is a long one THANKS FOR THE HELP!

Hi yfz450,

Try our friends at Motion Pro. They have been making cables for years and I bet they can help.


Suzuki King Quad 450Re: Article Title: Suzuki King Quad 450 Review

From: kirk
Calgary Alberta, CANADA

I was just wondering if any one had a problem with the diff's. I have a 2006, 700 king quad and has less than 1100 km on it and blew the diff. It has 27" tires on it, maybe to much grip for the diff. Yes it had oil in it and I was driving straight up a hill when it let go. It chew of 3 teeth on the big gear and put 2 nasty holes in the right side of diff cover, is this a common problem. The machine is almost new, mileage wise.

Yo Kirk,

So often we give our atvs hell and don’t really think it should break but reality is those 27’s combined with wheelie attempts, deep mud and now a great hill climb just pushed it over the limits. These atv’s are set from the factory to run with the tires and wheels that come on them. If it could handle the 27’s with super mud grippers then the factory would have put them on it. Sure you can add bigger tires and mod out the motor but realize this, the pressure has to go somewhere and eventually I’d quit to under all that pressure. And 1100KM is a lot of miles for any quad especially when its getting torqued up all the time. Suck it up and repair that jewel. Buy it some flowers and tell it you love it just like you would your girl friend cause I don’t know many girls that would tote you through the woods for hours and not deserve something for it.


Re: Article Title: Carburetor "know-how" Series: "The Fundamentals"

From: Greg Feldman
Johannesburg , SOUTH AFRICA


Hi Greg,

It seems the floats are sticking on the carb. Clean the engine thoroughly and remove the carb. Clean out the float bowl and check for debris in the float/needle area. Somethings holding the needle open or it could be the needle itself. Some of these needles now have rubber tips that can corrode away and need replacing. Start there and let us know how it works.


From: jules
Murcia , SPAIN

I have the same problem with leaking carb as Pete and Greg...anyone know the answer?

Hi Jules,

Refer to the question/answer above this one.


From: bryano
Brownsville , OR

I have a 1999 artic cat 300 4x4 that will run pretty good as long as the boot that runs from the carburetor to the air box is not installed as soon as its put in it will not run or start. even with the air filter pulled out? been fighting this for a while thanks

Hi Bryano,

Sounds like the carb is starving for air but its not really the boot that’s doing it. When was the last time the carb was really gone through on the Arctic Cat? Try giving it a very good cleaning and don’t be lazy. Take the carb off and disassemble it thoroughly. Use a chemical dip to help remove the stubborn stuff. If you want to ride take this seriously. Now get to work.


Kawasaki 50 ATV Kid's QuadRe: Article Title: New Kawasaki ATV's for Kids are Good as Green

From: brian
Grande Prairie , CANADA

I have 50 and wondering the same what is the top speed of a 50.

Hi Brian,

Its going to go faster than you can walk or run beside it. Top speed is always an issue with some folks and the reason manufacturers do not publish this info is because its irrelevant. If your child is riding a 50cc atv then they need to learn control and discipline and not worry about how fast they cant go. Id say it might get 10mph out of that jewel, maybe 11mph with an extra pound of air in the tires.


Article Title: Getting involved in Youth ATV racing

From: born 2 race 37
New Palestine, IN


Hello Born-To-Race,

So your ready to go racing? How are those grades in school? What kind of summer job do you have to help pay for the racing stuff? Does mom and Dad say its ok to do this? If you can answer these questions like this:

2.Very good
3.I work hard to help and do my chores with no back talking.

Then we can talk. Racing takes dedication and persistence (the will to do something over and over again until you succeed). It can cost you a lot or a little but im guessing just getting started wont be to bad at all. A good helmet and riding gear with extra health insurance is a great start. There aren’t exactly 11 year old divisions but more like youth beginner classes. Check the net for local series in Indiana and start there.


Article Title: Honda 440EX Big Bore Kit - Part 1

From: Scott
Campbell River , CANADA

How high of compression could you go on the 400Ex running pump gas 92-94 OC before you start having detonation problems.

Hi Scott,

I’d say roughly 11:1 would be the close limit. The spec at 12:1 would need more of a mix between raced fuel and pump gas.


From: freebird
Coldwater , MS

I have an 1999 kaw. bayou 220,it's been sitting for the winter,got it out, changed oil,fresh gas,new spark plug,and it will crank but it won't idle.i tryed spraying carb.cleaner but no help,does anyone know my problem?

Hi FreeBird,

The carb is probably varnished up on the inside and needs to be carefully cleaned. You must remove the carb to do this. Varnish forms from the old gas after a long time between riding and it gets into all the small holes in the jetting system. This is why its having a rough or no idle. Clean that carb and you’ll be riding sooner than you think.


From: voorheisb
Winchendon , MA

My 2003 Wolverine won't start. It turns over strong. The last time I rode it was in the Fall and it didn't idle well and backfired a few times. I plan to change the oil, plug, filters, etc. However, does anyone have any other suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Brian


All of the above repairs will help you along the way to hours of fun on this machine. Be sure to thoroughly clean the carb also as it will have varnished inside during the sitting spell.


Article Title: New Can-Am ATV Accessories

From: Bryan
Ottawa , CANADA

Need a rear rack and storage for my 800 Renegade. Need to find a cheaper way to install a winch on this machine as its to damn expensive from the dealer.

Hi Bryan,

There are many makers of racks and winches in our industry. Check Moose Utility for the rack and try Gorilla or Warn winches for a great mount and set-up.


From: Tyler
Tollesboro , KY

I have a 06 fm trx 350 rancher i have a fmf slip on muffler. What else can i do to make it go faster and get more horse power from my rancher.

Yo Tyler,

I’d say a good jetting upgrade and airbox mod is in order. The pipe can do very little by itself but with the help of bigger jets and a high performance air filter youll get a bit more ponies out of that ranch hand.


Thanks so much for all who have written in and keep the questions coming. Remember when you write to include the year,make and model of the atv you need help with. And try NOT to use shorthand because it make the questions hard to figure out. Take your time with the question and ill take the time to answer it.


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