ATV AnswerMan – October 2014

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Our expert helps you solve your ATV and UTV troubles

Editor’s Note:’s sister site,, has been publishing the ATV Answerman column for many years. We are now moving the column to our pages. – Lucas Cooney, Editor-in-Chief

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 all out there for the world to see.

KingQuad Starter Trouble

I have a 1996 Suzuki KingQuad. It’s a 4×4. Recently I pulled the starter out and replaced the brushes. I installed it just as I removed it. I’m no mechanic, but I was able to accomplish this task by watching a video on YouTube. Ha! Anyway, the starter worked perfectly with the first push of the button, but it is spinning freely and not engaging the gears inside. I don’t understand this since the starter never slipped a single time before I pulled it out. Please tell me what to do.

Sounds like that quick fix didn’t really get to the heart of the issue. I’m wondering just how bad those brushes were as the starter is used very little and most will survive many years of abuse. Anyway, the starter clutch seems to be failing to function like you want it to. The starter on that 96 KQ 300 has a geared end shaft so the work to spin the motor is actually inside the gear case. Simply pull the left engine cover and inspect the starter clutch on the inside. Luckily these parts are still available from dealers.

Help Me Honda

I have a. Honda 300ex I removed the carb and cleaned it I put the carb back on and tried to use the electric start to crank it started up but when I went to kill it with the off switch it kept trying to crank anybody know if this is something I did to the carb

Chances are the starter button or associated wiring has been compromised. I doubt very seriously that removing the carburetor has anything to do with it. I would start by pulling the handlebar-mounted starter switch and disassemble it. Be very careful to get everything back together correctly. Also, be sure it is clean, free of water or dirt and try again. My next step if this does not cure the problem would be to inspect every inch of the wiring from the bars down to the starter for any cuts or chaffing. It has to be there somewhere so be patient.

Trail Boss Running Rough

1993 Polaris Trail Boss

I have a 1993 Polaris Trail Boss that starts, idles, accelerates a little and then won’t accelerate any further. I have rebuilt the carburetor, installed a new plug and new gas but it still begins to run rough and smoke.

Well this description, however detailed it seems, does not really give me great information on the situation. It is a 1993 engine so the first thing I would check for would be low compression. Perhaps the rings are not seating correctly or are worn past their service limit and this allows the machine to smoke as it gets warm. As far as power goes, a low compression situation will also cause the lack of acceleration. Be sure to check that out first. Also, get a factory service manual so you have the specifications on hand.


I have a KFX 700 and it started making a loud pecking sound when throttled up. It also has no power once the pecking starts. Please help I am about to tear into the engine I would like to know some things to look for.

The Kawasaki KFX700 uses the same V-Twin engine as the Brute Force utility ATVs. Noises from the engine are really hard to diagnois without hearing them for myself, but the first consideration would be an ill set of valves. If a machine as unique as the V-Twin has not had a valve adjustment it can become cranky as well as noisey. Start here with your factory service manual in hand and see if that helps. If you have a bent valve this too could be the source of the noise as the cam rotates against the valve stem. There would be substantial power loss as well. The next step would be to check the compression on both cylinders. This will give you an idea of what the next step would be as you may need to open the beast up for a real close look.

Stuck in First Gear

2003 Honda Rincon

I have a 2003 650 Honda Rincon and after starting then shifting into gear it won’t shift out of first gear. I can hold the throttle wide open and only go about 7 miles per hour. Any suggestions.

This machine has a triple-clutch style system that can be quite complicated. There are metal plates and fiber plates inside and there very well could be a need to replace them. First things first, though. If the engine idle isn’t set low, some systems will not let the ATV come out of gear. Otherwise I would say that based on the fact that you pin the throttle and it barley moves that these clutches are slipping. Some clutches can be adjusted, but I am guessing yours have had enough and need to be replaced.


Can-Am DS 90, DS 70 Youth Models

I would like to know how many votes it takes for the coil?

I would say only one vote for a coil to keep things democratic. As far as voltage on the DS70-90, it is a 12-volt system.

How Many Plugs?

Kawasaki Bayou 250

How many spark plugs does the bayou 250 Kawasaki have? I found one but I’m almost sure there’s 2 .


Almost sure? The Kawasaki Bayou is a single cylinder machine and only has one spark plug. Now if you want to hide one under the seat just for kicks it would then have two!

Runaway Outlander!

I have a 2006 Can-Am Outlander 400 and it will not stop moving. I have to slam it into gear and it takes off. When it is in neutral it idles fine. Ideas??

It seems you might have an issue with the drive or driven clutches. So you’re telling me it seems to idle up when shifted into gear? If the sheaves are sticking due to lack of maintenance it could be hanging onto the belt and creating the issue. A broken spring in either clutch sheave could also create this problem. Either way, the belt is not disengaging from the drive pulleys.

Bulldog with No Bark

Bulldog UTV

We have a bulldog and it cranks but won’t go into gear. Before it would make a clicking sound when it idled and then I got slower and slower until finally it won’t go into gear at all. What’s going on?

The problem with the question is that it lacks information that is needed to really decipher your problem. I have heard of the Bulldog, but I need a model and year to get close to the problem. Clicking could be a lot of things so a wild guess would be that this is a belt-driven machine and the belt began coming apart, hitting the clutch cover and then finally failed causing the unit to quit moving all together. I’ll need a few more clues to get closer to an answer.

Outlander MAX Engine Trouble

Can-Am Outalnder MAX XT 400

I just bought a 2011 can am outlander 400 Max XT and got it home and noticed the check engine light was on. It worked fine for a couple hours then while driving out my laneway it just died. I tried restarting it and it caught for a couple seconds and stopped now it turns over but wont make an attempt to start. You can hear the fuel pump when you turn the key on but it wont start.

This could be a fuel pump or fuel filter related problem. You really need the BUDS system to get deep into the maintenance issues but a little simple trouble shooting may get you closer to the problem. If the Outlander will turn over but not start, you can remove the air filter and spray some ether into the air intake to see if it will fire over. If it does fire over then look at the fuel filter first. The round silver inline filter will be under the side cover on the right side of the machine at the rear of the seat. Simply replacing this will be the best thing to do. It’s a cheap part and it needs changing regularly anyway with today’s available fuels. If the fueling issue persists then you’ll need to check line pressure from the tank to be sure the pump is working. This is really for a skilled mechanic as it can be really dangerous dealing with fuel and electricity, so either take it to a dealer or get an OEM service manual for troubleshooting tips on the fuel pump.

We all want to ride on our off days and having cooler weather moving in it is so much easier to get more hours behind the bars. Get out and enjoy the fall colors and if you should run into problems ill be here to help where I can.

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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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