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Ride Review

4482 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  trailin'me
As promised....

Well, I just got back from a weekend trail ride at one of my favorite spots. This place has over 150 miles of mountain trails, everything from nice, groomed trails to rutted, rocky, and I mean ROCKY stuff. A lot of it is relatively tight and twisty, there are some very healthy hillclimbs, in a nutshell, you get a little of everything and the riding there is great. There was still some snow in areas, and it was pretty muddy in spots. So, on to my thoughts....
Keep in mind that I had been riding a Raptor for 5 years, so I was really used to it, it was like an old pair of your favorite shoes. I was pretty nervous too about riding the XX too hard in the woods right off the bat, cuz' it's pretty easy to end up wrapped around a tree or tag a small stump if you are not on top of your game. As we hit the trailhead, my group insisted that I lead, so I was already going to be pushing it more than I had planned. So I headed down the first trail, it is smooth, groomed, then tightens a bit into some nice turns.
First gear is definitely short, second was very nice. The bike handles very well. It is very nimble in the trees and turns very easily. The only time I felt it "push" was in a big wide sweeping corner. If you didn't go into it very fast and use some body english, it would definitely push a bit. The front end will come up on demand, even in third gear if you are going fast enough. The suspension worked very nice, although it did feel a little stiff in the rear. The power is smooth, it doesn't hit really hard, and it is a bit "linear", I guess. It really seems as though the exhaust is pretty corked up. As the day wore on, I rode it a bit harder, getting used to the bit of tippyness it has in real tight turns. Going thru the rocks was pretty sweet, I would go over stuff that I would normally hammer with my skidplate on the old Raptor, and I would just sail over it. I have to say this is the first time I have ever rode where my hands and forearms were more fatigued than my back. A set of Flexx bars would make this thing very smooth! After our first 3 hour ride, I was relatively pleased, but still not so sure about how I felt about the XX.
The main reason for my uncertianty was that third gear definitely has some warts. When I was riding, second gear worked pretty good, but when the trails opened up a bit I would hit third. Third gear is very wide, and if you kept on the throttle it was fine. But it does not like to lug down AT ALL. It will bog down real bad, and will not pull out of it if you let it get too far. So you have to downshift a lot more than you should have to. Hopefully opening up the exhaust and and reprogrammiing the EFI would help this? You could even get it to bog down a bit in second, although you could normally roll on the throttle and get it to pull out of it. When this first happened, I was pretty dissapointed. I could ride in third for 40-50% of the time if it didn't do this.

When we went out later that day, I was getting more used to the way she handled and started to like it more and more. I did notice on the fire roads that the engine does vibrate a little more than I thought it would at the higher RPMs. I started riding it harder and harder, and it seems to perform better in all aspects the harder you ride it. It does not have a stalling issue as was first reported, you can creep thru big rocks and stuff just fine. At the end of the day, I definitely felt better about my purchase.

Then yesterday morning, feeling good and refreshed, I rode that sucker like I stole it. I got used to the bogging issue and how to handle it. A buddy on a Scrambler and myself took a two hour ride, non-stop.. at on the edge speed. I was loving it. I rode up this nasty ass trial with big ol' rocks (not rock crawling), and I could just pick my way up and thru them, without ever touching anything underneath. I rode it faster and faster, hard thru the turns, blasting thru the washouts and ruts, just having a blast.
At the end of the trip , I was very, very happy I bought it. It has good power with the potential to be great. It handles very well, I would have never EVER thought that it weighed as much as it does. Never did I feel that it was heavy at all. The suspension is very good in that environment. It is nimble, and it flies from turn to turn with ease.
I think this thing is a great trail machine. If something can be done about the bogging, it could be perfect. A buddy of mine said that there is a pretty good possibility that the low end circuit may just be too rich from the factory. I don't think it is a gearing issue, it is fuel delivery. In my opinion, changing the front sprocket would be a mistake, it would make first gear useless and second way too short.
All in all, it is great machine. My only complaint is that black plastic gets trashed way too easy! Mine is definitely broke in, to say the least! Oh, well, it was beautiful for the three days I had it before I took it out anyway! Sorry I've rambled a bit here, it was a long, great weekend and I'm still draggin'!
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Awesome review, thanks! Sounds like you're happy with your decision now. :)

I'm going to move this out of the competition forum, I think it will be better suited elsewhere.
Well I am back from my first Trail Ride with my 700xx. :)

Destination: Spider Lake OHV Trails Near Pine City Minnesota.

This is our Annual trip that we take every year. The Map on the MN DNR sight doesn't do it justice. There are tons of trails that are not posted on the maps. This is one of our favorite trail systems in MN. The trails are excellent for ATV and Motorcycle as we have a combination in our riding group. These trails can be very twisty with ravines and some tight trails just big enough to get the larger size ATVs through. It also is more of a sandy dirt than a dirt dirt in most areas and it drains well after large amounts of rain. There are usually allot of dips where the water can puddle.

I spent all day Thursday at home getting my 700xx ready for the trip. I put a trail Tech Vapor on it with there bar riser, a new Pro-taper KX-high Contour bars (black) and the PRM full chassis skid plate .190” thick.

We left Friday morning early and found out that the place we are going received 1.5” of rain on Thursday. The good news is no dust, but I did know that I was going to get wet (soaked) :). We arrived around 4:00 pm that Friday night and unloaded the machines and got them ready to go out on a ride. It was only three of us at the time as the rest of the crew was either not there yet or already out in the woods riding. I rode behind my friend that was riding a Honda CR450R Dirt Bike. He is my friend that races the Suzuki 450 in the District 23 ATV Races. It was misting and sprinkling on and off and the trails where wet in most areas.

OK you understand the conditions for Friday and now for the report:

Where do I start??For a short preview all I have to say is that this thing rocks for a trail quad. I have never had so much fun on any other quad trail riding as I did with the 700xx. We put on around 130 miles and I did not even feel like I was out riding. I actually feel like I was less tired than I usually am from riding my Sportsman 800. I just have to say WWWoooooWWWWWWWWW. I love this machine. Power sliding on the trails was not a problem at all. Once I got the gearing down....awesome , smooth, and easy to control power. Very Comfortable. My Friend that races took it out for a spin and all he could say that thing is made for the trails...

It took me a little bit to get use to the 700xx as I am use to riding the trails with my Sportsman 800 and letting the Engine breaking take care of the breaking for the corners and it has been to long since I have ridden the 400ex in the trails. On Friday I found myself using 2nd gear most of the time and shifting into third once in a while but I was feeling like I was revving it to high in Second and if I put it in third it would bog down to far for the corners. On the second day of riding (Saturday) I figured it out and found myself to really enjoy third gear and I stayed in third most of the time and shifted down to second for the sharp corners for only a little bit and then back into third as I was coming out of the corner. Saturday was a very nice sunny day in the 70's. Once you get use to third it is amazing and it became my favorite gear for trial riding. You can pull a wheelie in Third gear with just rolling on the throttle, but you need to be in the Third gear power band. I also found myself using fourth gear on the longer straights. Wow... This thing rips on the trails. Once in the groove we were averaging about 30-40 mph in the trails. We did hit about 49.5 mph according to my Vapor on one of the longer stretches, witch is pretty fast for tight trails. I loved the new handle bars and they made a huge difference in the handling. The suspension on this thing rocks for the trails, it would have still been nice to have ressies in the front to see what kind of difference it would make, but I had no complaints about the suspension. The ground clearance is awesome as I found myself thinking I was going to hit some pretty large rocks that I rode over and nothing ever happened. The only time I hit my Prm Skid plate was when I was landing on top of a rock after launching it off of a jump on the trail. I hit it pretty good that way a couple of times and all it did was put a scratch on my PRM Skid plate (glad I put that on). As for puddles.... well you will get wet if you are not going fast enough. If you are going fast enough you can just skip right over them and not get wet most of the time. I also did some slow tooling around 6 MPH and I had no issues at all. I lost one screw on the machine.... It is the middle screw that holds the RH Exhaust shield on... other than that no problems at all. I am so glad that I did not go with the Outlaw. The 700xx is definitely a keeper. Just waiting on the Nerf Bars to come out for my next add on. Oh, I almost forgot... I was thinking about getting a new bumper because I did not think the front bumper would hold up.... We had to go through a section of the trail that the loggers completely demolished and I did not make it through (over a 2 foot deep mud hole)....I almost did, but I had to let up because someone was in my way with a 4x4.... We hooked a tow strap to the front bumper and it is a lot stronger than you think.... No problems with it at all.

Also...I would have to say that this thing does not feel heavy at all and I am not comparing it to the Sportsman 800...I am comparing it to a Suzuki 450 and the old 400ex that I use to have. It never felt heavy to me.

Well I will not bore you any more. Let me know if you have any questions and I would be glad to answer them.

Thanks and Ride hard...and safe
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Nice review Posterboy. I'm heading out this weekend for another trial ride/trip. I hope that I figure out third gear on the trails as it sounds that you did. I got my Trial Tech clamp and Pro Tapers too, but I was a little disappointed with the fit of the clamp. I might send it all back and wait for Rox to come out with a pivoting riser and a dash panel for it, then bite the bullet and get the Flexx bars....haven't decided yet. I'll be back with a report of trip #2 next week!
great reviews guys i have to type mine up some day!
great reviews guys i have to type mine up some day!
Going to cut and paste from another's site's review?
ill be punishing mine tomorrow. Im gonna take my camcorder and hopefully someone will be able to tape me trying to break my 700xx... in other words ... i dont lolly-gag around haha ... i mean im not going to run into a tree ... but im gonna give it real hell.

Ill definitely write up how i feel about a very tight woods/hare scramble trail that has many logs over the trails, sand, rocks, washouts, ruts, a creek, and steep hills (i love hills).... and my favorite ... loose silt/gravel ... the creek bed stuff.

Ill be dialing in my float shox for the most brutal terrain i can find on the course and go from there.
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