ATV AnswerMan – November 2016

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Two problem Pioneers and a Mule that won't kick

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.

Belt Slipping

I have a Bennche side by side that has no power in reverse or no reverse at times. when in reverse and throttle it the engine surges every 3-5 seconds. but no surge going forward. Forward goes ok but take 10-20 seconds to feel like has power then kicks in and goes. I found the park brake sticking. after fixing that the same as above. no power and surges. like a centrifugal clutch slips.

One guy said sounded like drive belt problems.

Any suggestions?

Sorry to hear that your machine is having trouble getting around and it sounds like you might have answered your own questions here. Before we jump to conclusions, maybe think about the fuel you last put in the machine and any possibility that it could be bad or have gotten contaminated in some way. That would make the machine low on power and potentially restrict its movement in low throttle situations such as reverse. My next step would be the CVT system and the belt involved there. I’m not familiar with just how the clutch system is designed in this machine, but if slipping under throttle is evident then you’re heading in the right direction.

These things do happen, but its most unfortunate when it happens to a brand of vehicle that doesn’t get much broad support. Bennche has been around a few years and is actually a Hi-Sun brand Utility SXS that Bennche puts its name on. I would say that any mechanic worth their pay could fix the slipping belt issues, but I would bet it could be tough getting factory parts unless your dealer that you bought it from offers them. Bennche is actually in Dallas, Texas and you might reach out to them for dealer network support if you cannot get it from your own dealer.

Noisy Pioneer
Honda Pioneer 500

I have recently purchased a 2017 Honda Pioneer 500. When the UTV shifts (up or down) in automatic it is rather load and is not a smooth transition from gear to gear.

  1. Is this normal?
  2. If normal will this quite down over time.

Please let me know.

Our time in the Honda Pioneer 500 was short (one full day), but I do not remember any loud shift changes at all. Does the machine have the proper amount of gear lube in the transmission? I wouldn’t completely trust a dealership with getting the prep right, but maybe I am just cautious as to the kind of employees that are working in dealerships these days. Check the fluid level and condition and you might figure out the issue. If not, take it back to the dealer and question them. Maybe even test drive another Pioneer 500 on the lot to see if it is similar sounding.

Can’t Shift Past 2nd Gear
Honda Pioneer 700

We have a 2016 700 pioneer Honda side by side… Its not shifting past 2nd gear…. We have adjusted the valve which I read on the forums.. Any ideas? We aren’t throwing any codes and other wise drives just fine.


I’m at a loss for this one as these transmissions are like a car’s automatic transmission and rarely have issues right out of the box. Is everyone wearing the seat belts? There could be some kind of restriction if you do not. Is the parking brake all the way released? These may or may not help, but if they do not I would run the beast to the dealer for a proper inspection instead of speculating any further.

Sinking Feeling
Kawasaki Mule 4010

Hi my name is Gordon and I have a 2010 Kawasaki mule 4010. I having problems with lost of speed. I change the belt and it still does thing and does it matter if I accidentally sunk it.

I would say it could still be suffering from the drowned blues, but if the unit is running it has potential. Here is some food for thought. If you sank the Mule, did the water/mud get into the intake at all? Is the machine hard to start like it might be low on compression? During your belt change did you notice any debris in the CVT box or on/around the clutches that could hinder the mechanical working of the clutch?

If you did happen to get the work horse in above the exhaust you might have actually pulled in some water to the exhaust and into the engine, resulting in very bad things. A good compression test would reveal that issue though. Looks like you have some work to do!

Big Bear is Growling
Yamaha Big Bear

I have a 1998 Yamaha big bear 350 4×4 and it makes a clacking and grinding noise sometimes when you crank it and click when you cut it off. Can you help me?

So my first question would be how are you starting the Big Bear? Pull start or is the Electric starter still working? If the starter clutch on the electric starter is worn it could be causing the grinding issue. If you’re pull starting the beast you might have a pull start device that is binding or in need of tuning. If you find that these two items are in good, sound condition then I would check to see if the valves are in spec and that your oil is getting through the engine properly before any major damage occurs.

Cat Won’t Crank
Arctic Cat ATV

I have an AC 450 (2015) with less than 50 miles on it that won’t crank. The LCD screen says ” Fuel Off”. When you try turn the key the fuel pump sounds like its pressurizing, but nothing happens when the starter button is pushed. It’s almost as if the tilt sensor has it tripped and it won’t reset. Any idea on how to reset sensor that is locking out fuel?

I have had several complaints about these on Wildcats, but never an ATV from AC. The tip over sensor has been known to be defective straight from the factory and AC is not the only manufacturer that is dealing with the problem. My suggestion is to remove the key, disconnect the negative battery cable and give the machine just a minute or two then reattach the battery cable and try to start the rig. If this does not cure the issue then you will need to have that device replaced by a dealer so it is covered under any kind of warranty that might still be on the machine.

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.

More by Rick Sosebee