Hello everyone, first post. Been reading on here for a couple weeks. I have a 09' Rhino and swear buy it, and im buying a 4-6seater machine here this month and went out yesterday to Drive the Commander 1000 max, Ranger 900 crew, and Viking VI. I wanted to justify the Viking and get my mind right about the power against the others. I've had Yamaha all my life. Wanted to go out as unbiased as possible though and just observe.
I need a hunting machine / utility. Don't get me wrong I like to cut up but don't ride trails and go to mud bogs etc.
I wanted to post my thoughts on the Viking here for upcoming people on the forum as I saw no thread on driving one yet.
I should have but didn't drive the Commander, I really liked it but it is simply not enough utility for me. Im 6'0 180 and its not the easiest to get in and out the front or back of the machine. Not hard but not a quick jump in and go... once you get in, the seats are comfortable and you feel very secure. Bed size is smaller than the other three. Take 4 guys, put your cold gear on, shotguns, decoys... There is simply not enough room here. I feel like im sitting in a racer more or less. Looked a little more "fancy" then "rugged".
Viking: Initially thoughts, this thing is very long compared to the others. Not bad but the first thing I said to myself when I walked up to it was, "oh man, im gonna high center this thing with 6 people in it". Looked it over pretty good, no doubt, quality product, I had about 1" clearance in front of my knees when sitting comfortable in the back. Front seat is roomy, back seat same feel, bed is nice, everything looks like my rhino somewhat just bigger. Very impressed. Took it out back, salesman took off first with me and my wife and hit a curb at about a 45deg angle at about 15mph, I gritted my teeth before we hit it but to my surprise we ran right over it one wheel at a time and it felt like we just ran over maybe something the diameter of a baseball bat. It was amazing how nice it felt... took some turns etc., everything is great. Little quieter than the Rhino, not as much vibration, but still has some, doesn't bother me at all. Now here comes the important part. I drove the machine a little bit then the salesmen said, "punch it a few times". I basically would run about 7mph then floor it, and it felt maybe as powerful as my Rhino but maybe a little less as bad as I hate to say that. This is with two guys and my wife at 120lbs... Not to drag this out but, lets just say 4 guys, not 6, gear, hard pack your probably fine you'll just have to keep your foot in it over hills, but if I had to take this thing across some muddy farm land where the ground was soft, i'd be very nervous. If Low range was really Low i'd have brought the thing home with me but its like the normal rhino low.
Ranger 900 Crew: This is the unit I was most against but now is one the top of my list after yesterday, I know this is actually sad for you to read and me to type. Trust me I wanted to make the Viking work so bad. Ranger nice, looks like its built pretty well, bed and seats are fine. Ride felt pretty good, Obviously the salesman didn't hit a curb at almost 20mph to show off, but it felt pretty good. Surprisingly quiet, very quiet and smooth, not much vibration at all. Very impressed actually. Salesman babied the thing until I finally told him to take off already. We were on some hard pack ground but loose rock and when he punched it it show a stream of pebbles about 25ft out the back and we set back in the seat when it set down and took off. Guy looked over to me and said, I didn't even put it to the floor. Did it again just to cut up a little. Definitely no issues with getting bigger tires and power loss. It felt pretty dang powerful.
Summing this up:
Commander: not a utility machine really for what I call utility and work.
Viking: Very nice, nice ride, quality, underpowered compared to the competition no question about it. 900-1000cc motor would take the market over for this type "utility" machine. I'm very disappointed in the 700 engine. 6 men will fit easily, but with extra bed gear, its not enough unless you riding around the farm or down the farm rode on good ground. If that's what you do, its the way to go for sure. Sure a clutch kit and maybe some other mods would get the Viking going a little but there is a part of me that doesn't want to have to modify my machine right out the door and throw my extended warranty out the window.
Ranger: Nice, feels good, quiet, plenty of power, looks "rugged". The winner in my eyes
I feel let down actually, I think I lost 2hrs sleep last night trying to convince myself that its ok to buy the Polaris. No doubt they have a troubled past, but the forums on the new 900 are a lot better. All forums are gonna have horror stories, and that's where you come with your problems. Polaris guys said they have 50% of the market. If that's true sure your gonna see lots more problems on the forums just by the numbers... The machine is built nice, thought out, and has what you'd expect for power in a machine like this.