ATV AnswerMan - December 2016

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
All four Japanese brands represented this month

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.

This month the ATV AnswerMan helps readers with a slipping Suzuki, noisy Honda, broken Yamaha and an oil-thirsty Kawasaki.

Something’s Slipping

Something is slipping when I put my Suzuki King Quad 450 4×4 into drive and take off, what would cause this slipping?

There are a couple of possibilities for the slipping, my friend. The first of which is the CVT belt or clutching mechanism altogether. Depending on the year this machine has a dual clutch system similar to many others on the market. There is a primary drive sheave and secondary drive sheave that the belt rides in, but also a shoe clutch assembly or wet clutch that is located behind these sheaves (big round pulleys), most of the time inside an engine cover and bathed in oil. This gives the seamless feel when pressing the throttle to start moving and eliminates the sudden pinch movement or jolt that some machines have. If the belt is not slipping, then chances are from your description, the shoe clutch assembly is and will need to be serviced.

Noisy Rancher

I have an 03 Honda Rancher 350ES 4wd. I put a new cylinder kit on it, checked vales looked good they seal up like new. It made this noise before rebuild to. Only sometimes when you ride it, it makes like a exhaust vale slapping noise only when you let off the gas in gear or neutral. You hear it at top of head an in the exhaust. Then it might go away as fast as it started. It’s all been torqued to spec and the valves set to the right gap.

So here is the only thing I can think of without actually hearing the machine run. If you did not replace or service the cam chain adjuster this will allow the cam chain to rattle and possibly hit things in the cases, making the terrible noise you hear. The cam chain tensioner could also be worn past service limits, which would allow excessive chain movement. This would be the first thing I would look at. If this proves to be good, go back over your valves and be sure to triple check clearances.

Big Bear Won’t Wake Up
Yamaha Big Bear

Hi, I seen your website and figured I’d give it a try. I got a 1998 Big Bear 350 Special Edition. I Just had it started for a few seconds but then It shut off. Now, when I pull the pull cord (Dead battery for E start yet) It’s twice as hard to haul over, making a whining sound, seems like something else is turning over as I Pull the pull cord trying to start engine. Could the starter for electric start be making it twice as hard to pull over if not harder? Tomorrow I’m going to hook up a battery charger and try and boost it.

Well thanks for dropping in and maybe we can help you figure out your problem. My first thought is that the simple act of engine compression is giving you fits when pulling the start rope. As for the starter impeding the twist of the motor, well I’ve heard of weirder things happening and it’s a possibility but not likely. Let’s look at why the engine quit first. You mentioned that the engine just shut off and I am wondering if the carburetor float could be stuck open, flooding the cylinder and killing the engine. This might also explain the hard start issue as some carburetors will flood the cylinder and hydro-lock the engine. My suggestion is to pull the spark plug and try turning the engine over then.

Polaris Diesel Running Rough
Polaris Diesel

I have a 1999 Polaris 460 diesel. It starts fine but it misses and runs ruff. It also smokes pretty bad and also has no throttle to speak of. Where should I start?

It seems the obvious answer for me would be a cylinder with no compression and this could be due to rings, stuck or broken, or possibly valves that are stuck, bent or out of their service life. This engine also has a mechanical governor I believe, so this could also contribute to the issues. If it were me and I had little experience with the way this engine operates I would try a compression test first and then take it to the dealer if that does not expose the problem.

End of Days for Old Eiger?

My Suzuki 400 Eiger 4×4 just quit while riding. Now when I try and start it makes a little click noise. And the pull start won’t pull at all.

So if I were to suggest anything it would be to charge the battery and try it again. Also if the starter clutch is defective in any way it could lock the engine in place. The final thought could be that your engine has clocked out.

Oil-Hungry Brute
Kawasaki Brute Force 750

Hi, im having issues with a brute force 750 burning oil… Hoping you can possibly give me some other ideas as im about to give up on it. I bought the bike at an auction and it had been drinking oil since the time i bought it as well as making the typical timing chain rattles as expected from a bike with 2k miles on it. I stopped by a shop but they said it’s all normal and to just run it. After a while i ended up running it out of oil completely and fryed the crank. I pulled the motor and dropped it off at the shop to be built. $3400 later i got the motor back and put it back in the bike to find that the timing was completely off and wouldn’t even pop over. Took the bike back to the shop and waited for probably another week before they got it running. Picked it up and put all plastics back on it before realizing that there were still issues. The bike would drink close to a quart of oil in less then an hour run time… After talking to the shop again decided to pull the heads as it turns out they did not bother to touch them for what they charged me in the first place. I rebuilt the heads myself with new guides, valves, and seals. Looked over cylinders and put it all back together to have the same issue. I double checked the crank case vent and even siliconed the air box to be sure i wasnt dealing with some other issues do to low vacuum on the ccv but not seeming to get any closer… Pretty frustrating… Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

It seems you do have a very interesting problem. My only suggestion would possibly be a valve stem seal lifted and hiding it well, The ring end gaps not clocked properly (ring gaps are not supposed to be lined up), or by some crazy chance (it has happened before) the valve seat could be loose and lifting while not noticeable until the engine gets to working temp. With all that said, some say the Brute force simply loves the taste of fresh oil and adding oil after each tank of gas is the only way to feed the demons within!

What ATV is This?

I have a rhino 250 four-wheeler that we bought brand new. Everything works just fine on it so we took it out one time. My brother brought it back and it won’t go into gear to take off but if we lift it up the back tires go for it as if we were taking off when I set it on the ground it doesn’t go anywhere. What do you think of the situation?

The ole Rhino250 problem, eh? I have never heard of a Rhino 250, so I am assuming it is an ATV that gets no support and is an import that is sold at a convenience store somewhere close to your home. Since I have no access to any information on the machine, it’s hard to say just what the clutching system looks like in this rig. I would start with the clutch system to be quick and short. Good luck and remember how much of a pain in the tail this “non-supported” off-road machine is when you spend more time working on it than riding it.

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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