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ATV Skool – July 2011

July 14th, 2011 No comments

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Last weekend I attended an ATV riding event know as ATV Skool. This was my first time at the event not to mention the first time I went out riding this year!  The event is held at a place officially known as the Southington Hunt Club, but is most commonly known as Jeep Skool.  On the first weekend of each month they have Jeeps out there and then on the second weekend they have ATVs.  The location is out in Garrettsville on 1500 acres, owned by an ex Marine who has been doing this for nearly two decades.  The land is pretty nice and offers a little of everything, from your standard mud pits and hill climbs to rock crawls and sand dunes.  A very cool piece of land!  It’s a good time and the owner is strict about keeping it family friendly and the place clean.  It’s a safe place to bring your kids and you won’t find trash all over the place.  The owner maintains it well.

I definitely recommend anyone in the area to attend one of the events.  They are a Saturday plus Sunday affair with a $25 price tag for the weekend.  Camping on the property Saturday night is allowed and there is what appeared to be a brand spanking new shower house in the camping area so you can clean off after riding all day.  For more information, checkout www.atvskool.com

Of course this wouldn’t be complete without at least one picture or video!  Below is a video of my friend riding his Yamaha Raptor 700 across the mud pit known as Mini Tank Trap!

Categories: ATV'ing Tags: , , , , , ,

Installing a Moose Plow on a Yamaha Grizzly 700

February 5th, 2011 No comments

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IMG_0445

This winter after a large snow storm where it took over two hours to clear the driveway, even with a snow blower, I finally got fed up enough and decided it was time to get a plow.  The blower I had was a really old one I got from my parents, most likely from the 80’s.  It works, but not very well.  I could have just got a new blower, but what would be the fun in that?  Plus, for the size blower I’d want it cost about the same as a winch and a plow for the quad and the quad did need a winch regardless so it was an easy choice!

To put a plow on the Grizzly I picked up the following:

  • Warn XT25 2500lb Winch
  • Warn Winch Mount Kit for Yamaha Grizzly 700
  • Moose 60” Standard Plow Blade
  • Moose Rapid Mount 3 Plow Frame
  • Moose Plow Mount Plate for Yamaha Grizzly 700
    Installation is fairly simple but will take some time if you’ve never installed a winch or plow on a quad before.  It was the first time I had and took me roughly two evenings to get it all installed and running.  Knowing what I know now I could probably do it in half the time.  Below are some tips that I learned during the installation that can save you a lot of time if you ever find yourself installing a winch and plow on your quad.

Tips

  • Be very careful not to over tighten the nuts securing the wires’ lugs to the contactor! The bolts on the contactor are copper core and break easily. (Trust me!)
  • The directions tell you to connect the wires to the contactor then to the winch motor then mount the winch to the plate. It’s easier to do it in the following order:
    • Connect the yellow and blue wires to the motor
    • Mount the winch on the mount plate
    • Connect the wires to the contactor
  • Put some split loom tubing over the yellow and blue wires that connect the motor to the contactor before installing the winch/mount plate assembly into the frame of the quad. The wires will be close to or in contact with some sharp edges of the chassis when installed and the tubing will keep the wire from being cut over time. Also, put the red and black wires that go to the battery together through a piece of split loom tubing. This will save you time when you realize you need this after you’ve already put the assembly into the frame and no longer have easy access to the wires.
  • The instructions say to install a wiring harness that is "provided with the ATV" to connect the on/off wire to the ATV’s on/off key assembly. I certainly didn’t get any special wiring harness with my ATV so I connected the wire as follows.
    • Going from the wire harness toward the key are two wire assemblies. One has two wires and a smaller two pin connector, the other has three wires and a large block connector. The two wire connector is actually for the quad’s auxiliary port (cigarette lighter) and is turned on and off with the ignition. The winches on/off wire can be connected to this.
    • With the two wire assembly, shave a small piece of the insulation off the red wire until an 1/8" of wire is exposed.
    • Solder the winch’s on/off wire to the exposed wire.
    • Tape the shit out of the connection or coat the connection with some silicon sealant to "waterproof" the connection.
  • The thumb trigger assembly has a lot more wire than is necessary for installation in the Grizzly however, the ends of the wire are terminate with bullet connectors that plug into the bullet connectors of the contactor so cutting these wires down is not ideal as you would have to re-solder the connectors back on. The Grizzly has enough space to fit the excess wire but you should be aware of where you mount the excess. The area under the hood of the Grizzly is also where the engine’s air intake is. Mounting the excess near the front of the space may block the front intake.

Overall I’m  really happy with the Moose Plow System.  The weight of the blade is good and keeps itself planted on the ground as I push.  The quick release of the Rapid Mount system is great and makes put the plow on and taking it off a cinch!  It also holds very securely, never giving me any problems while in use.  Even after pushing snow into some iced over piles, hitting them with enough force to cause the rear end of the quad to slide sideways a foot or two I never had the quick release let go on me.  The system works great!

I must admit, before I had purchased the system I was slightly nervous about the 60” blade being a little too large since I didn’t have any chains to put on my tires, but the Grizzly in 4WD pushed it along just fine.  I was really happy about this as the blade width is perfect! At full angle it sits just a few inches wider than the quad, keeping my tires from running over unplowed snow.  My neighbor has a 48” blade on his quad and suffers from this problem because of it.  It’s also wide enough that I can clear the long section of my drive in two swoops!  I just put the blade at full angle and it tosses the snow right up and off to the side.  It’s great!  A rough clearing of the drive can now be done in just minutes with a full clearing taking between 15 minutes to a half hour depending on how critical I’m feeling about it.  It’s way quicker than pushing that crappy old snow blower around and a lot more fun too!

If you’re looking for a plow for your quad, I recommend the Moose Plow system.

Bear Creek Ranch/Resort

December 6th, 2009 No comments

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Back in September 2009 a bunch of us went to Bear Creek Ranch/Resort to go ATV riding.  We picked this place for two reasons.  One, we hadn’t been there before and two, because this was the first time my girlfriend had gone quad riding and I heard the trails there were pretty tame.  A friend of mine at work had been there several times with his kids because it was easy but, he had also informed me there was some pretty good mud pits to play in so this would be a good chance to test out the Grizzly.  And test it out I did!  You can see some video of that below.

As expected the trails were pretty easy.  Actually it was quite surprising to find them in as good of shape as they were.  Instead of being the usual highly rutted trails I’m used to in this area, they were more smooth and had some similarities to the trails in Wayne National Forest.  Don’t get me wrong, this is no Wayne National, but the trail surface was similar.  Most of the trails are short loops, no longer than a mile and there isn’t a whole lot of them.  You could easily hit every trail in this place within an hour or two.  Even so, it is still fun.

This park does have one intriguing feature however and that comes in the form of a large groomed hill climb.  The park’s website claims it to be 200 feet and perhaps it is in pure length but, not in height.  Even though, it is certainly an ominous looking sight for newer riders.

The hill climbs surface is gravel and the angle is right around 45 degrees, perhaps slightly steeper.  It’s definitely steep enough that you don’t want to find yourself stopped on it.  Getting up it is pretty simple.  Rev out 2nd or 3rd before the approach and hold it down all the way to the top; there really isn’t any technique to it.  This is definitely a good hill to practice on to work on your fear of large hill climbs.  If you’re a newer rider, Bear Creek is definitely a good place to cut your teeth!