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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for an rugged, reliable and affordable used utv side by side. I think I've settled on the kawi 610 mule 4x4. We have 200 plus acres in western maine and I need something fairly basic to get us and our gear in and out.

Not looking for speed or looks, just dependabilty. I am open to other suggestions with supporting reasons. However i really would like to hear about the mule. I settled on the mule because years ago I borrowed a neighbors and it did everything I asked of it, plus I've owned numerous commercial mowers with kawi engines and they were always reliable.

Also, if anyone can offer suggestions on what to look for and what to look out for when inspecting used machines, I'd be indebted. Thanks.
 

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mtnchops, my cousin has 2 of them, one of them has the low rpm horizontal crankshaft "Lawn Mower type" motor. It's got pretty good torque, but top end speed is low, maybe 25 to 30 mph. Electrical system isn't any more complicated that your typical riding lawn mower/lawn tractor. My cousin was having problems with his, I troubleshot it for him and told him he needed a new voltage regulator. Kawasaki dealer wanted something like $75 for a replacement. My cousin thought that was too much, so he ended up ordering several different ones over the internet for less money, but they never fixed the problem, but caused others. Moral of the story, beware of any non-factory replacement parts.
His other one, has what I call a "High RPM" Motorcycle type engine. This has a "fuel injection system". He just had problems with it. It seems that the "Fuel Pump, and Fuel Filter assembly" are all rolled into one unit. Factory replacement is supposed to be over $600. Most of his "Friends" go get a general automotive electric fuel pump, around $45 and an in line fuel filter at $5 or so as a replacement, so that's what he did.

I guess my point is, due to human nature, you may want to inquire as to what has been replaced, and what was it replaced with.
 

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You can get a Polaris ranger with a diesel. Perfect for work.
http://www.polaris.com/en-us/ranger-utv/ranger-diesel-sage-green
One thing you need to look at is if it starts easily. If it has a long crank before start the valves need adjusting. Smell the oil. Look at the air cleaner, oil, look underneath for damage? Ask how it performs in the water, mud, etc etc. He will tell you either he never took it or he will brag and say it does great. If he brags it up walk away. Pretty much it's.the same as buying a car but these have been abused. I just sold my Teryx not to long ago and I'm curious if it's still running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I found a 2009 model for 4500 that was supposedly just serviced and had its valves adjusted. Hoping to check it out this weekend. Was also looking at the kubota rtv diesels. Wow they are almost as much stripped as I paid for my gmc sierra new back in 05. Nice machone though, if I had that kind of money. I've got a 12 yo bobcat with a kubota in it and its a very reliable powerplant. I owned a landscape business for 2 decades. I always bought American made when possible. However i learned no one builds a better small engine than the japs. Sorry to say.
 

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My personal thoughts: Polaris ranger or Honda pioneer is a better machine. The diesel side by sides are heavier but may be better for heavier work. I personally would not get a diesel as they are to much for me, we use them for hunting, riding the prairie, ice fishing ect.
 

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My neighbor has had a 2510 since new. It has been thoroughly abused and still runs strong. Other than minor electrical the only major expense has been a gas tank about 7 yrs ago. That's when he bought a new 4 seater that has held up well also.
 

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When I worked for the MN DNR all we used was Polaris rangers side by side. My crew had a 6 wheeled ranger that we used mostly for prescribed burns through out the Midwest. It carried everything for us plus we a mounted 55 gallon water tank with a pump and hide reel. Only thing bad about the Polaris that we had was that popping tires happened to us all the time but we weren't exact to just trail riding. They are fast and can pull some serious weight when you throw them into low gear. But if I recall I think these Rangers were 16,000-18,000 a piece.
 

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I have a basic 610 mule. Best investment in years. Works hard and stingy on gas. Some times the KISS principle is best. Add the things you need as you figure out you need them. Diesels are great but can you service them yourself? This can be a problem for some. I own five pieces of diesel equipment but have never regretted buying my gasoline mule. Just my two cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My neighbor has had a 2510 since new. It has been thoroughly abused and still runs strong. Other than minor electrical the only major expense has been a gas tank about 7 yrs ago. That's when he bought a new 4 seater that has held up well also.
That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. My commercial kawi engines were bombproof. I still have a retired 15yo exmark deck mower I kept when I sold my business. Twin cyl still starts every time.

I don't know anything about polaris. My dad did have a Honda big red in the 80s that I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that it was still on the trails somewhere. Ill look at the hondas. But simplicity, reliability, ease of maintenence and cost are driving my decision.
 

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I don't own one but do know you could buy two or three old jeeps for what one of those cost!USN3
We had Deere Gators, Polaris Rangers & Kawasaki Mules in Afghanistan. The Deere gators with the Kubota engines were trouble free. But they cost the most. $$$$$USN3
The Rangers were good machines but the engines / drive train vibrated like crazy, not in the same class as a diesel Gator. The Mules were the worst. The single cyl Kawasaki engine has a CDI type ignition, magnet & coil flywheel but uses a little module to sense the magnetic field being generated by the rotating flywheel to trigger the spark event. As the magnet in the flywheel gets weak the spark timing changes & performance suffers. The newer ones are fuel injected, use batch fire technology.
The boss has a F.I. Ranger & it has serious quirks & when they take it to the dealer(s) for repair they just push it out back & leave it untill they get tired of waiting & then go get it.
I'd much rather have an old Toyota pickup with a 22RE engine, but that's just me.USN2
Oh yeah all three carried m240 bravos & m249s just fine!
 

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My experience and confidence is with Polaris
7 and 800's 4 and 6 wheel side by sides
The first one was not so good it had handlebars and rope start what a useless pos
Working on power transmission lines in Pa and Ny , in various mostly rugged terrain always grossly overloaded
They don't like deep snow or swamps (the six wheelers sink like a man hole cover)
The kubota reminded me of a golf cart and was always stuck or spinning and the diesel motor was deafening
My money is on Polaris
 

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I'm in the market for a UTV, as well. Have 750 acre, hilly ranch to traverse. There's a creek, too. I've never owned a vehicle like this, but I hear good things about and will likely buy a John Deere Gator or Polaris Ranger. I've test driven a couple of different Gators and they were really nice. The model variation took some time for me to understand, but I think I get them now. I DO NOT yet understand the Polaris Ranger models and nomenclature. I need to test drive some of those as well.

But, yeah, everything I read about Gators and Rangers is pretty good. The Gators are strong and fairly roomy as they go.
 
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