I can't believe I forgot to post this, but I got another mouth to feed.
You all have seen pictures of my truck, (AKA "The Big Unit"):
Well... now meet "The Little Unit"
It's a 2014 Odes Dominator. Many of you who know your ATV's are going "a whozit?". Basically Odes is an American company selling Chinese built UTVs. The frame, suspension body, and rear diff are copies of the Yamaha Rhino. The engine is a Rotax 800 v-twin, the same one used in the Can-Am Commander. Trans and front diff are Can-am copies.
Before you start thinking "cheap Chinese junk", I'll tell you something... The Chinese can and will build high quality stuff, provided that you are willing to specify it, and pay for it. (the Iphone is chinese made). Most of your knock off ATVs like TaoTao are built as cheap as possible. This thing is not.
I had my reservations about buying one till I looked it over in person. I spent about an hour going over (and under) this thing, and I came away impressed with the running gear. The frame is very well done, nice welds, and 'decent' paint. The suspension is beefy, and they put grease zerks on all the pivot points (something Polaris does NOT do). The tie-rods and ball joints are more massive than I expected. The brakes could be a little better. They use a single disc on the input to the rear diff instead of 2, one on each wheel. It has selectable 2wd, 4wd and full lock-up, and I am here to tell you, it works great. About the only real downside is with its wheelbase, this thing is not as nimble as I would have liked. The turning circle is gonna take some getting used to, coming from ATVs
The engine is strong and well thought out. Liquid cooled with a Delphi port injection ECM with O2 sensors, All electrical connections are water-tight ones you see on a car, all hose clamps are screw type, instead of merely a band clamp. Once I got it out of the 'break-in' period I have whooped this thing hard, and it outruns just about any UTV with 4 doors (not counting those RZR-type ones). The trans is extremely clunky to shift. Not as smooth as a Polaris or Yamaha. It takes a firm touch at just the right time to get it into or out of gear. It does have a 'Park' function which is nice, as well as a e-brake.
All-in-all, I am very pleased with the chassis. They could have went cheaper in quite a few locations, and saved some $$$, but Odes learned their lesson in that respect. Their pre-2013 units were very cheaply designed and built, and had some issues.
Where they DID
save money was in the interior. Lets just call it ugly. The seats are strong, but cheap. The interior plastics are about 3 notches below what you expect to find on a Polaris or Arctic-Cat. They are not exceptionally poor quality or flimsy, but they are cheap looking and the design is poor. They sell them as a 5-seater, but in reality, the middle person in back better not have legs. The driving experience is not as nice as a Polaris, either. There is copious amounts heat from the motor. They rerouted the intake to between the front seats this year, so there is an ungodly about of intake honk and engine noise. The suspension is pretty stiff, and the steering is heavy.
it does have some nice features though. Locking steering and glovebox, high/low headlights, blinkers and horn. 4 LED off road lights that have to be seen to be believed. An electric dump bed (slow, but powerful), standard winch with remote control, Standard roof and windshield, Standard hard half-doors. nice wheels and gnarly tires. How you see it in the picture is how it came, stock. I have no options on it at all.
The bottom line? My friend and I each bought one, (his is black carbon fiber color) and the pair cost around the same as one Polaris 900 Ranger Crew optioned out with the same stuff (doors, roof, nice wheels, winch, ect). Right at $9400 each. I figure I got to put about $1500 into it to make it perfect, mainly addressing the heat in the cockpit issue, and putting on good Fox shocks. I cant leave anything stock very long it seems.
So far, I am sold on the thing.