Opinions: Quad or Bike?

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Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby CappyJakk » Mon May 06, 2019 8:52 am

Hey all, I was perusing some forums this morning and I noticed that there is some debate (go figure) over which to ride: a dirtbike or an ATV.

Most of what I have seen is that people generally state that; 1) Dirtbikes require a higher amount of fitness to ride 2) dirtbikes are more difficult to learn (or 'master') 3) dirtbikes handle better 4) quads are more for utilitarian purposes, or beginners.

SO... I grew up in Maine riding dirtbike enduro through the deep woods, started riding when I was 4-5 years old and a Honda Z50R (not racing at this time). I then moved up to a Kawasaki KDX 80, Kawasaki KX 125 big wheel, and ultimately a KX 250 when I was about 17. Dirtbikes were perfect back then for screaming through the forest on muddy single-tracks and squeezing between the trees.

Now, I am 35 years old and live out in the Wyoming desert- a huge change of scenery. I do things like fish, hunt, and trap, but I still love high speeds when I want them, so my ride now is a 2004 Suzuki LTZ400 quad. I went with a 'zook because my friend used to have an old '87 Quadzilla and it was meaner than ----. Out where I'm at now, there are virtually no trees and it's all either open desert, two-track, or single-track.

ANYway... here are my thoughts- and we are talking about sport quads, NOT 4x4s, as those are a bit too separate from dirtbikes -except, of course, a Rokon. Many of the people who say dirtbikes are more difficult to ride started on a quad. I was the other way around, so I find dirtbikes smooth, fast, nimble- generally easier to corner and ride.

On the flipside, quads are harder to corner, they lean opposite the driver, they weigh much more, and many times like in whoops, washboards and whatnot, the handlebars don't just move up and down, they move side to side also, providing another plane of motion to control. This -to me- makes riding a quad more demanding.

So, "Dirtbikes require a higher amount of fitness"- one person had mentioned that if you don't continuously work on a dirtbike, it would fall over. We all know that gyroscopically this is not true: if a bike is slightly throttled it can ride itself straight forever without a rider on it, assuming the surface is level there are no obstacles, and it never runs out of fuel. At a certain speed, it actually takes the dirtbike MORE effort to wobble and fall over than to just keep going. Quads are heavy and lean away from the rider when cornering rather than with, so I would vote they are probably about equal.

"Dirtbikes are harder to learn or master"- In my opinion, if I could do it when I was 4 it's not that hard. It did, however, take many years before I could just about anything I wanted on a dirtbike. Quads ride level of course, but are very jarring at times and tend to roll over their riders a LOT in the event of a crash. Maybe this is due to lack of mastery because it's difficult?

"Dirtbikes handle better"- This is most certainly true, except on glare ice. I'd take a quad for ice, deep snow or mud, or soft sand any day.

"Quads are for utilitarian purposes, or beginners"- I LOVE the fact that if I need to haul an animal back with me in the snow, I can use my quad. I can also sit on it while I eat snacks. I can tow a little bit, etc, so yep they are utilitarian. Now, the 'for beginner's' part... people use quads in the Dakar race... so that nixes that thought right there. I also thought dirtbikes were easier when I was younger, so it's a mixed bag I suppose.

The reason I bring up this topic is that the debates on this are not just general back and forth discussion, but rather seem to be overwhelmingly favored towards dirtbikes. "The questions are the common statements"- what follows them are my opinions.

I personally choose a quad but it seems to be against majority vote, so what do you all think?
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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby DSUZU » Mon May 06, 2019 3:00 pm

BOTH! I have 2 dirt bikes (actually On / Off enduros). Both are vintage Honda XL125s, which are small, but light. In 1986 we were using a Honda XL125 for missionary work in Haiti. We routinely hauled 2 ice chests on it (front and rear "luggage" racks). We often had 3 guys on it (one time 4, but we crashed).
I have had the Honda XL250, and XL350 (both single cylinder). The 350 was just too heavy. The 250 was okay, but bike for bike, the 125 outperforms it.
I also have a Coot ATV. This is the original ATV - before "Banana Buggies", before Honda ATCs. The Coot is amphibious. Been sitting in my garage for about 10 years now, maybe someday I'll get it all finished and running. The Coot is more along the lines of "side by sides" or "utilities". It is designed t seat 4, but can easily be configured to seat 6. Even with 4 wheel steering, it is not very maneuverable, but remember, it was first.
I have driven "quads" some. Yes, you can easily get hurt on them. Yes, for beginners, they are easier to "learn to ride". This is also why you (down here anyway) see so many serious accidents with them - and often fatal. People set their kids loose on them without proper training and discipline.
I can see why a quad might have a little more versatility in hauling and towing. Dennis
Coot 3047 002.jpg
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1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby wmorrisiii » Sun May 26, 2019 9:46 am

Hadn’t seen a picture of the Coot in awhile. Still a very cool ATV. I’d love to see that project finished and running. I don’t know of anyone else that has one.
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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby DSUZU » Sun May 26, 2019 12:15 pm

Hopefully progress in the next year (and the boat, and the "other" Honda XL125. Garage roof is done. House roof done, waiting on final inspection. Maybe, just maybe soon. The Coot is one of my "dream options". While I don't really plan on getting a place with acreage, one "life option" would be a place with some open space nearby so the Coot could be enjoyed. I DID have open space right across from our present house, but they fenced it off, and while "they" gave me a key to the gate, it wasn't intended for me to drive vehicles over there (the Coot may take a "one time" trip over just for principal :D. Wife keeps trying to get me to sell it :roll:.
I believe we have had 4 of these ( I don't think there was a 5th, but... This one was the first (1980 ) A second one was purchased for parts when we "blew" the gear in the rear axle (there are no differentials - just solid straight axles giving true 4 wheel drive. It all belonged to my best friend then, although I was the mechanic. I bought "my own" when one turned up locally. It had rusted out floor pans and I was in the slow process of restoring it, when life plans changed and it got sold off. Fast forward about 20 years and my buddy finally decided this one (disassembled for painting and stored all that time) was going on the block. I snapped it up to "keep it in the family". A very intense rebuild brought it to where it is in the picture before life got busy with Isuzus, kids, boats, house stuff etc. Along that path, #4 showed up down in the Miami area. It was a guy on the (now defunct) Coot website I was trying to help and he threw the towel in. I snagged it because it had the very rare propeller drive. So I kept the prop drive and sold the rest off to have the prop drive for next to nothing :lol:.
Current status is I took the tranny out and disassembled it to modify the input shaft for an extra bearing (weak point on these trannys is a 3/4 input shaft that tends to snap when higher powered engines are used. Tranny is all back in, but i need to add the pillow block and bearing. When I get started, it will get it's own "other vehicles" build thread, which should be popular. Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."

Forget the "free education". Why waste time. Just give me the "FREE INCOME".
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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby QuantumRift » Sun May 26, 2019 8:55 pm

I'm 62 and prefer a dirt bike. Simply because i like my mountain bike and it's more fun than a quad.
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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby 93trooperpooper » Sun May 26, 2019 11:41 pm

I would most likely kill myself if I had a bike again. I have 4 atv's, and the one I use consistently, I drive the snot out of it.

lots of creek riding is done, as well as a snowplow in winter, chasing coyotes in summer, pull a trailer to get firewood from the creek, or to pick garbage from the ditches around my house. people are pigs.

also used as a tow vehicle, to pull dead Isuzu's in to work on :lol:
will drive these until they quit and move onto something else.
parts from JERRY LEMOND.
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Re: Opinions: Quad or Bike?

Postby DSUZU » Mon May 27, 2019 5:14 am

Like tools in our toolboxes, each machine has it's own advantages and disadvantages. I'm fortunate to have both the ATV and motorcycles ("dirt bikes") - even though I live in an urban area. I just used my 125 yesterday for a quick parts run to Autozone (couldn't do that with the Coot - or a quad). Dennis
1991 LS Trooper 2.8 V6 5 speed conversion (Sold)
1989 LS Spacecab 2.6 5 speed 4x4 manual hubs, Rodeo torsion bars, extended shackles, 2" lift, K&N air filter (drop in), dump bed conversion, burgundy interior change, warn brush bar. Engine is bored .020 oversize and upgraded to 1994 pistons, head and EFI system.
Previously owned: 1987 Trooper II LS, 1989 Trooper (parts only), 1994 Trooper 3.2 Auto, 1997 Rodeo 2.6 5 speed, 1993 shortbed pickup 2.3 (project - sold) 1992 Rodeo 4x4 LS (parts car, devoured by Spacecab needs) plus some 70 plus other non Isuzu vehicles over the years. 1994 Amigo devoured to provide head and EFI system.
Heavily damaged by engine compartment fire while driving on March 24th 2018, condemned by insurance company and taken on March 30th 2018 :cry:.

https://forum.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=64060
City of St Petersburg (Fl) Fleet Maintenance 8/23/83 - 12/4/2018 (Retired). Started new job 6/4/2019. Was retired, now just tired.

If your wife has 5.00, and you have 20.00, your wife has...25.00

"Water is one of the greatest essentials of life. Without water, you can't make coffee."

Forget the "free education". Why waste time. Just give me the "FREE INCOME".
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