ATV AnswerMan – April 2015

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Can-Am Outlander 400
Answers to your ATV and UTV questions

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

This month our ATV expert handles a slew of troublesome Honda ATVs, some carburetor issues, and a Can-Am Outlander that wants to continue its winter hibernation for the rest of the year.

Ornery Outlander

Hello, Im a Atv mechanic and i have one bike at my shop (2007 Can-Am Outlander 400) at this point im giving in. It wont idle or/and when a release the choke or gas it stalls right away! So far i have changed: the carb, carb-boot and the plastic beneath that and airfilter, spark plugs , fuel tank ,fuel-lines , reserve button , kept it going and trying to adjust carb screw so it will idle but nuthing , switch out the “fuel pump” at the top of the upper frame! Got any ideas for me? :/


When will you test the compression of the motor or look into the valves to see if it has any issues there? The fuel pump is vacuum operated and the motor has to be able to pull fuel in to burn it. It does this with the engine compression and vacuum. If the engine is worn out or at some point the engine was over revved and bent a valve, then you have been looking in all the wrong places. Take a breath and have some cold sweet tea. Then do a compression test. Take a look at the valve train, with the valve cover off, and see if there is any uneven movement when you turn the engine over by hand. Do not start the engine with the valve cover off unless you’re wanting to slick up the floor of the shop.

Limiting Top Speed

2012 Honda Foreman

I run a small business and currently own a fleet of about 25 honda foremans ranging in age from 2011-2014. I would like to be able to reduce the max speed on the bikes to 25 mph while not limiting rpms due to the need to pull certain equipment around. Honda has been a complete dead end as they are covering their six telling me they don’t recommend making any modifications to the bikes. Local dealers have also turned up pretty much squat as to recommendation. Was wondering if you could let me know if there is anything that can be done to solve this problem.

Thank You,

Joe Giurfa

I’d say your issue is a complicated one, as the only real way to reduce speed is in gearing. You could add heavier diff fluid, but that’s not going to reduce the speed that much. Changing the ring and pinion gearing in the rear end might work a little, but you’re still subject to the size of the diff. Sounds like some rules and consequences are in order to limit speed.

Buyer Beware

Honda Rear Differential

Hello, my husband just purchased a brand new rearend or differential for a 2000 model honda 4 wheeler off ebay. Problem is, it wont spin, like it is locked up.

What could be causing this, and is there anything he has to do to the brand new differential or rearend in order for it to work properly ?


Laney Barton

Without knowing the model year and size of the ATV, I am at a loss as to where to start. I can tell you that it should spin freely. Adding a little diff fluid may convince it to get moving, but it may be hard to spin it by hand. Get an axle in it and try with a little more leverage. I hope your husband didn’t get fleeced from the seller on eBay.

Recon Mission

Honda Recon 250

Hi I have a 99 Honda recon 250. 2×4 utility. When I am in higher gears 3rd to 5th. It’s skips when put under a hard load. Almost like a chain skipping but there’s no chain. I wouldn’t think it was the clutch due to the skipping and not slipping. Any thoughts?


Your machine has a dual clutch set up inside that little motor. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but think about any noises you might be hearing while riding. Is the noise coming from the rear end? Most clutch slippage will begin at the higher RPM and in the higher gears. I’d suggest draining the engine oil and see if there is any funny burnt smells or sparkly materials in the oil. Your saving grace is that the engine is super easy to work on with plenty of room in frame once the plastics are removed.

Trouble Starting a Rincon

2003 Hond Rincon

I have a 2003 Honda rincon that has some starting issues. I bought it used and has had this problem ever since. If it sits for a day or more it will not start. It turns over strong but will not fire off. If I use the primer on the carb it starts up immediately. After it has been running it will start fine the rest of the day. As soon as it sits overnight or for a while it will not start without using the primer. The carb has been jetted if that matters.



Jetting may have nothing to do with it my friend. The reason the primer/choke assist is on the machine is just for these occasions. Losing prime could be a number of things, but one that is most obvious is that there is air getting in somewhere. Kinda like when a straw in your favorite drink gets a crack in it. Check the seals on the primer itself as it could be leaking there. A simple o-ring and gasket set may cure the issue right up. Here is the Honda part number for a 2003 Rincon Pump set: 16048-HM7-700

Carb Cleaning

Polaris Xpedition 425


I have a 2000 Polaris Xpedition 425, when I got it it wasn’t running. I cleaned the carb very well, it starts and run’s but it spit’s fuel back out of the carb. if you give it throttle it rev’s up but when you let off it backfire’s and blow’s fuel and exhaust back out of the carb. Can you please help me?


My first thought on this one is that the float is set a little too high or the needle is not seating properly. It would be my advice to remove and completely service the carb. Getting the internal parts of the carburetor clean is not a easy task if you’re not mechanically handy, but it can be done. Replacing the jetting and float/needle in the carb might be a good start in that case, but you do need to chem. Dip the carburetor as well. Start there and get back to us.

Power Problem

CFMoto Z6

I have a 2011 cf Moto z6 utv that just clicks when it is cranked. I just put a new starter relay in hoping it was that. I have heard it is a possibility of a seized motor really hoping that is not the case. Any suggestions would be greAt.



You sir might have a bad battery. Clicking is a sure sign that electrical issues are present but not exactly a seized motor. Taking the clutch cover off and giving the engine a spin with your hands will let you know if it is indeed seized.

Come Again?

Yamaha Bruin 250

2005 YAMAHA YFM250BT BRUIN 5Y4AG01Y35A114861 atv 2wd

cdi 12 volt supply.

18 leg stator.

3 wire 3 phase battery charge coil winding over cdi source coil winding.

189-231 ohm pick up coil-time arc assisted hall effect.

270-330 source coil-cdi. ordered 2 oem stators from different dealers returned both.

checked the 2nd stator before installation and it ended up reading the same as the 1st stator cdi source coil which was .2 ohms. i ask both suppliers to simply ohm test the stator before shipping and that did not happen.

what am i doing wrong ? Are all suppliers in this loop ? Are the manual ohm readings wrong ?

joe in alabama

Sounds like you might be over complicating the problem. Unfortunately you have failed to give us your exact problem and I sir am lost as to why you are digging so deep into this one. Please help a brother out and explain what the machine is doing or not doing and I can go from there. As for the service manuals errors, anything is possible as they are written first by a person and then information is inserted into the manual.

Jet Replacement

1987 Honda Foreman

Hello I have a fuel issue I believe (1987 Honda Foreman) that I can’t quite figure out I start the machine runs fine with choke on as I turn the choke off the idle lowers and it will start to pop through the carb and no throttle response get the rpm s up and it runs good. When the low idea and popping is going on if I turn the choke on it cleanse up and good throttle response any ideas. I’ve reb I it the carb tried the air fuel mixture screw moved the needle clip down a notch to raise the needle


If you look at the way a carb works you will notice how each jet individually and collectively adds fuel at certain levels of throttle. The primary or enriching jet adds fuel from the bottom to about 1/8th throttle. If you’re having idling issues and just off idle problems with fueling, I’d say this could be the culprit. This jet probably would be easier to replace and a little quicker.

Sputtering Suzuki

Suzuki LTZ400

I have 04 Suzuki ltz 400/when I have it in newtrul it spits and sputters when I put it in gear and leave clutch in and runs fine what could it b


It could be anything, quite frankly. How does the machine run when under a load or half throttle? Does the machine have any other issues at any point during its power range? Could it be bad or cheap gas just not burning off properly? We have to eliminate a few things to get to the real issue. Drain all of the fuel into a safe container and refill with high test fuel of 92 or above octane rating. Be sure to drain the carb as well. If you use anything less than 92-93 octane in your machine then shame on you. Now that you have good gas in the tank how does it run? If you’re still having, think about how long it has been since you had the valves serviced. Have they been adjusted at all? How’s the compression of the motor? All of these things can affect how a machine runs. When was the last time you put a quality spark plug in the machine? NGK-CR7E is the proper plug for a Z400 with no exhaust or fuel jetting changes. Get to work and let us know how it turns out.

CV Boot Damage?

2004 Polaris Sportsman 400

I have a later year 2004 Polaris Sportsman 700 Twin 4×4. I’m just purchased it and am the 3rd owner. I have torn it down to clean and really go thru the machine to find any surprises before they might do major damage. The front drive shaft to my front diff is dirty (as expected) but it’s also moist around both sets of ujoints. Also both of my front cv boots are moist also…it’s been weeks since its been out

of the garage. I’ve searched all over both cv boots and haven’t found any tears…what could be causing the parts of the front end to appear moist or oily ?

New to Polaris


When a CV boot gets a little greasy around the boot clamps or on the axle shaft it just indicates that the CV has gotten hot, the boot swells and pushes out a little grease under the clamps. If you see grease being slung onto the rim or any part of the differential then you have a more serious problem. Clean the boots with a product called “Super Clean” available at Walmart and other fine retailers. It is in a purple container. No, it’s not Purple power so don’t fall for it. After a good cleaning watch the areas that had shown visible signs of grease and you will likely find the issue pretty quick. It may or may not be something to worry about.

Rancher with Heat Stroke

2003 Honda Rancher

2003, 250 Honda Rancher

I can ride my four wheeler, but when it gets hot it dies. When I try to start it back it backfires and won’t start until it cools off. What’s the problem?


What do you do when you’re hot and tired? There are many things that could be the problem here, starting with the oil you run in the engine. Check the oil for proper level. Heavier oil for harsher hotter climates and lighter oil for colder climates is a good rule of thumb. Also, when the engine gets really hot or overheats, everything gets really loose. The valves are farther from the good setting and the cylinder isn’t sealing like it should, causing a lower than normal compression inside. This causes starting issues as everything is out of sync. An air-cooled motor needs to be clean and free from mounds of mud as it has to air cool itself and cannot when wrapped in blankets of dirt. If this rig hasn’t had any service since it was bought new, then you likley have a lot of work in front of you.

ATV Stuck in Hibernation

2006 Can-Am Outlander 800

2005 outlander 4 wheeler 800. It will fire but won’t run. It ran when I parked it in fall.. Sat for few months. What could it be?


The odd thing is that Can-Am / Bombardier did not make an 800 engine in 2005. It may have been built in late 2005 but it’s a 2006 if anything. I own one myself. There is a slight possibility that the fuel is no longer good in the tank. There are only three things needed for an engine to start and they are fuel, air and fire. On my personal Bombardier / Can-Am 800 if the battery is not in perfect shape it will hardly run at all. Your machine needs optimal power to function with all of the electronics, so charge that battery over a day or so and see if that helps. You can check out our spring pre-ride tips for more interesting things to do before the first spring ride.

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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