Saturday, March 6, 2010

Big Bear Restoration Part I

In 2003, I opted to buy a Yamaha Big Bear 400 4X4 with my then fiancee's support. Her exact words were "things are going to change in the next few years and this might be your best chance". She was right, I had picked up an old Yamaha Timberwolf 250 2X4 from a student a couple of years before that and pretty much found myself continually repairing it. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun little ride and almost invincible in terms of performance. I had put larger rims and tires on it and if I put my weight onto the back end, it was a tank that could go anywhere and cinch to muscle out of the occasional pickle. My choice to retire the old machine came when I was preparing to drag race a couple of buddies who sported in no particular order a 660 Grizzly, 450 Rancher, and a Foreman. Since I had the lightest bike and the left lane, I pulled out to a quick lead only to watch the rear left tire physically roll alongside me as I put weight to the right. Immediately thereafter, I came to a sudden halt as my cohorts rolled past in awe of the impressive showing. We managed to pin the wheel (hub and all) back onto the rear end and I continued for another 50 miles of riding while stopping every so often to check for problems. After I returned home to share my story with my now wife, it was then she suggested I look into getting a more reliable machine.

My criteria for buying a new four wheeler focused on three categories, 1) the deal, 2) power and utility, and 3) four wheel drive. After that I could care less about how nice it looked or how fast it could go, I needed a machine that I could use for my self-employment with some serious hauling power.

I had used Don's (my future father-in-law) 1991 Big Bear on several occasion and liked how it handled. Honestly, it was immensely rugged for a 350 and it could move boats. W

I found my Big Bear in western Maine for $4300 and traveled five hours to

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