Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – April 01, 2022

John Talley is back with another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A, answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions.

Honda, Polaris and Yamaha ATV questions came up several times during this edition. Check out some excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session below, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition. 

Partzilla Live Q&A 04-01-22

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – ATV Questions and Answers

Honda ATV

I’m stuck. I don’t know what to choose between the TRX450R and the TRX400EX. I like the ease of maintenance on a 400, and the power of the 450. I do mostly trail riding, but I love to open it up a lot. Your thoughts?

John Talley: Well, it sounds like you’re right in the middle of those two transition machines. I’ve owned a 400EX and my son rides a 450R. And well if I can get my knees to actually function correctly, I like the 400EX better. It was more comfortable and not as high strung, suspension was softer. And my son often commented that the 450 just literally beat the crap out of him, because the factory suspension is set up to deal with race-level events and that’s not what you experience when you’re on the track or trail. But what we did to his is to calm down the suspension a little bit. We swapped out the springs for a different rate, front and back, and then adjusted the rebound to give it a more plush feel. And he could still run it on an MX track or an open track, but it was more manageable for longer rides in the woods and for trail riding sessions. So if you really like the power of the 450, go ahead and go with it and just calm the suspension down a bit so it’s more manageable to deal with on the trails.  

Polaris ATV

I’m having a power steering light come on sporadically on a 2020 Polaris Sportsman 850. I know my stator, battery and relay are good. Could it be the regulator-rectifier?

John Talley: Well, I know there were problems with the power steering on the 850. Now, if you’re worried about your regulator-rectifier maybe being the culprit instead of a failing power steering unit, well, do a voltage check with a volt-ohm meter at rest, and you should be north of 12.5, 12.6 volts at a healthy idle. Should be around 13.5 but not more than 14.5, nowhere close to that. So take a look at that with a multimeter and see what you find. 

Yamaha ATV

What’s your opinion on the Raptor 700? Is it reliable?

John Talley: It is as long as you don’t get carried away on modifying the top end with extra compression, or a higher compression ratio. … If you’re really going to string one out, look into a case strengthening kit, because there are a couple of weak points in the bottom case itself when you really start trying to get more “umph” out of it, which I’m not sure why anybody would. They’re prone to crack, but are they as reliable as long as their stock? Yes, they are, no doubt about that.  

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla’s past Live Q&A sessions here.  



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