ATV AnswerMan – January 2016

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
A mystery UTV, troublesome Big Red and noisy Youth ATV

Have an ATV or Side-by-Side tech question for the ATV AnswerMan? Send an e-mail with your name, vehicle year, model and a detailed description of the problem to ATV AnswerMan. Just be sure to watch your spelling and write clearly, because it will be out there for the world to see.

Gremlins in a Big Red

I have a 2012 honda muv700 big red it starts and runs it will rev up all the way setting still not in gear it will pull a little but starts backfiring

Turn the headlights on and it runs much better but still won’t rev over about 1/4 throttle the go dimmer when it starts backfiring and the led instrument panel lights blink on and off and it said to change the oil engine light flashing on and off has a new battery. The lights go dimmer when you try to go 1/2 throttle or more also coolant fan does not come on


I would say you have some faulty electrical components. The fact that you have so many other crazy gremlins leads me to believe that there is a short somewhere or maybe a voltage rectifier/regulator going bananas.

Clutching Concerns

I have a 98 Yamaha wolverine. I am having trouble having it catch neutral and reverse. Also, when I am trying to catch those gears it sometime “sticks” possibly in between gears and revs very high even with no throttle. Lastly it looks like some models have a back up pull start, mine does not can I add that?

It sounds like you might be having trouble with the dual clutch system in this Wolverine. There is a clutch pack and there are clutch pads. If you have trouble getting the machine to move I’d say this could be the issue. It could also be the reason you are having trouble getting the machine in gear sometimes.

Mysterious UTV
Mystery UTV

I recently acquired this UTV from my uncle after saving it from a scrap yard. I will have to find parts to get it running but I cant figure out what kind of UTV it is. There are no names of any kind on the vehicle. There is a metal tag between the seats with numbers, thinking its the vin, but that number is invalid for a vin. I’ve attached some pics to see if you can help me.

I have never seen this UTV. It could be an early Rhino clone, but it doesn’t seem to have the front or rear similarities. I’m not sure what direction to send you with this as it’s a real crap shoot when dealing with the off-branded machines. I do wish you luck, but I wouldn’t bank on finding a dealer for this thing.

Diagnosing a Sick Suzuki Eiger

Hello. I was looking around and saw that you guys were trying to help people diagnose some troubles with their atvs and I definitely need some help here.

I have a 2003 Suzuki Eiger 400 manual and I’ve taken it to the shop a few times but nobody could fix the problem. Now the problem is that when you give it throttle in the mid to high rpms it will start to sputter, almost sounds like a misfire in the carb. It’s been getting worse but I’m not sure if it’s because of the temperature drop or the problem is just getting worse.

I’ve read everything from a plugged spark arrestor to the timing being off and last time the mechanic said he forgot to check the timing so we’re not sure that is the problem since I’ve pretty much given up on it. If you could at least try to help that would be great! Thank you for any help.

I would be sure the air box is clear and the air filter is clean first. I would then pull the carburetor and be sure the jets are not clogged with Varnish. This can restrict fuel and create problems when fuel is demanded. Also, if the valves have not been kept in spec you can have trouble with the engine’s performance. If you have ever over revved the engine you may have slightly bent a valve that has been getting gradually worse. After all of these leads have been exhausted I would perform a compression test on the machine to be sure your piston, rings and cylinder are in spec.

Mule has Blown a Fuse
Kawasaki Mule 610

I have a 2006 610 4X4 Kawasaki Mule and I have a problem with blown fuses. Where do I start looking for the problem?


H Hughes

I’m not sure if you have a problem with the machine blowing fuses regularly or if you have discovered blown fuses and are not sure what part has caused it. If the fuse is blown simply look on the fuse panel cover to see what the part is. It could be a shorted wired due to chaffing or it could be a spike power overload.

Rough Running Honda

I have a 1995 Honda 4 wheel 250 2 wheel drive, it idles fine, but when I drive the engine runs rough and will die unless I pull out the choke, with the choke pulled half way out the engine runs fine. I have adjusted the fuel air mixture but it did not help.

The most common problem I have come across is varnish in the carburetor and it sounds like this is your issue as well. The solution is to drain the carb by letting it run until it cuts off. One of the best products I have found to clean the varnish without replacing or cleaning the jets is Ethanol Equalizer and it is made by Liquid Performance. Using this in the fuel of a machine that will crank and run will eventually clear up the issue within about an hour of riding.

Outlander won’t Engage
Can-Am Outlander 400

2004 Bombardier Outlander 400 Shifts but doesn’t engage/move

Put our quad away in the shed after pulling a cart from the wood pile to the house last week.

Went out today started it up, put in gear and it doesn’t move?

Took a peak at the belt, looks OK.

I searched the web and can’t find any reason.

Thank you for any insight you can share.

Erik Tirpak

The only thing I could suggest is to pull the cover off the CVT and start the quad. While standing on the throttle side of the quad, gently rev the engine and look over at the CVT system. You want to be sure the primary clutch and secondary clutches are moving in and out properly. You might even put the machine in gear and gently rev the throttle with the rear wheels off the ground to see if the belt is slipping in the sheaves. That will lead you to the decision to either keep digging or take it to a dealer.

Finicky Foreman

My name is Chris. I have a 98 Honda Foreman 450ES. My dad and I went duck hunting the other morning and the battery was fully charged and I noticed the lights started to dim. Well I didn’t think much about it except the battery going dead. It was a brand new battery. It shut off while we were riding and we left it on dry land. We went on to hunt and came back about 3 hours later and cranked it up and it ran until I got stuck in a hole. It ran for a little bit longer then it shut off. No water went into the muffler. We pulled it about 6 miles back to the truck. We took it to the car wash and sprayed it off. Got it home and charged the battery. Tried to crank it but it only would sputter when you let off the starter button. Cleaned the carb, gas is getting on the plug, plug is good, emptied the gas and put new gas in it, the plug is firing but not consistent. It will only fire when you hit the starter button quickly or when you let off of it after holding it for a little while? Don’t know where to go from here. Pls help.

My first instinct is to test the new battery. It is not uncommon to have a new battery a dud. Be sure it is performing well as it should with a load test. After the battery has been proven I would start searching through the wiring for any chaffing or cuts/shorts anywhere along the harness, which is most susceptible to damage from trail debris.

A Noisy Brute
Kawasaki Brute Force

Hi, Just looking for a answer?? My brute has 63.7 hrs and 328 miles..When the engine warms up it has a slight ticking sound in the top end!!! I’m new to the brute force.I have always owned honda’s and yamaha and polaris!!! I seen on other forum’s where people say it’s just the way the brute’s sound. And they say I have nothing to worry about!!! Can you give me a answer or a pointer to what may or could be them problem??? Or do I have nothing to worry about???? I changed the oil but it still has the slight tick sound…Your help or pointer would be much appreciated!!!! Thanks

The Brute Force does indeed make a slight ticking, but truthfully all of the twin cylinder engines with overhead valves will. This is not something I would personally be alarmed about, but you may want to have the valves checked for proper tolerance or clearance. Always look at the oil in your machine as you change it to spot any potential problems with rotating parts inside. The oil will shimmer or even contain glitter from engine components that could be going bad. If this shows up, be sure to get it looked at by your service center before riding anymore.

Broken Driveshaft

I have a 400 outlander 2003. I broke the driveshaft of the back of motor . My question is do I need to buy new , what other bikes would fit . And does the yoke come off the bike shaft to be replaced? Or do is it have to be a whole new driveshaft .



P.S parts are hard to come by around here lol

My first suggestion would be to visit Can-Am’s website and find your part. If you can send email then you can order parts online. This would be an easy remedy if there is not a dealer near you. There are several yokes on the drive output for your Outlander so chances are you can replace just the yoke if the universal joints are not bad.

What’s That Noise?
Can-Am DS 90 Youth


I just purchased a 2006 Can am DS 90 for my boys for Christmas. This was the first atv I’ve ever purchased so I was flying a little blind. I heard a tinging sound when it was being ridden, but I assumed it was brakes. Once I got it back I gave the brakes a once over and they are not making the sound. The sound only happens when depressing the throttle and it sounds like a bunch of springs being cranked. I tried searching around for it online, but it is not common or I am doing an awful job describing it. Any info would be appreciated.

This tinging could be darn near anything and I would need a little better description to really understand the problem. I would look for loose exhaust shields, worn suspension components or even wheel bearings going bad. You might jack up the machine and rotate the wheels and eliminate those as a possible issue. If all else fails to lead you to the problem, drain the oil and see if there is any metallic material in there.

Broken Bayou

I have a 95 Kawasaki Bayou 220-A8 ATV.

When I turn on the ignition the neutral light doesn’t come on immediately. After several minutes it comes on. Then when I press the starter button, I hear the starter relay click and the neutral light goes out.

A couple of times I have jiggled the relay after turning on ignition and the neutral light comes on but goes out again after starter button is pressed.

So far I have checked all wiring and cleaned all connections, checked battery voltage, replaced 20A fuse and replaced the starter circuit relay.

I tried a continuity test on 2k setting with battery disconnected on starter relay that according to my repair manual the meter should show zero ohms but I show a 1.

Can you advise what this old vet should do next? I can’t afford to take it to a repair shop.

Thanks AnswerMan,

This a good question and very good details on your machine. I do appreciate that. My first instinct is to change out the battery. Or at the very least hook a jump box that you know is good to the battery. This will insure that you are getting the voltage needed to properly start the machine. Sometimes the battery can have broken lead plates/cell and will show 12vlt but cannot support the desired starting voltage. You could push start it and to see if it will run once jumped off. That can help identify a weak charging system or faulty battery.

Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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