I have to admit, at first glance, that the 2008 CFMOTO Moose Tracker 500A (Built by the ChunFeng Holding Group Co Ltd. in China) seemed ready to take on just about anything you could throw at it. Super aggressively threaded tires, pick-up truck look, and winch included, made this quad look tough. Of course with a name like that, one would think this quad was specifically made for the tough task of bringing a hunter to his prey. Who knows what kind of challenges can present themselves while you’re out tracking moose? Don’t accidentally hit the horn! (Don’t use the turn signals either; animals will see and hear you from kilometres away). I straddled the said workhorse and liked the way things were setup. The rider position was acceptable. Can’t say as much for the passenger, the backrest is too far back and way too weak. The winch was a welcome addition, but didn’t work! I’m not sure I understand why this quad had light signals? The switch for them could very well be confused with the all important kill switch. It was red and operated in the same side to side fashion. The actual orange coloured kill switch was small just below it.
I pressed the ignition button and thumbed it for a feel of the motor’s growl. Woo there little Tracker! Good thing I was still in neutral! The throttle was stuck on! Quickly I pulled back on it. The brake lever mount was loose and tilted downwards and came in direct contact with the rotating shaft of the throttle, so in addition to making the gas stick; the front brake was also blocked. I suspect this unit wasn’t properly inspected by the dealer.
So I took it out for a ride in very wet early spring trail conditions. Boy was it tough to steer! I was quick to notice that the front suspension was way too soft compared to the rear. The shocks would have needed to be cranked up to the highest of five settings and rear left at the second setting for the quad to be balanced. This made it prone to tipping. Stiffening up the front before riding is a must. You just couldn’t turn and brake at the same time with the Moose, even when applying only the rear brakes. The back wheel would prop up in the air while the opposite front would crunch down way too low. Just from normal riding, the seat clip and a foot peg broke. The plastics on this machine are way too rigid; we cracked some, by merely looking at them! Be warned, a minor incident with this quad could result in a hefty repair bill.
The power output of the CF Moto 493cc liquid cooled engine is merely sufficient, but we thought this was positive and should be the case with all two-up ATVs. We enjoyed good low-end torque though with great traction from the tires. If you’re going to compare with competing quads, keep in mind that other manufacturer’s 400’s will be stronger and faster than this 500. Keep this in mind when comparing prices. (M.S.R.P. for the 2008 CFMOTO Moose Tracker 500A is $7,499) The more we rode it; we classified it as being a workhorse much more then a two-up trail rider. Good cargo capacity, with 50 kg on the front rack and 75 at the back, made it all the more so. No problem with the CVT transmission, and gear selection as well. Engaging 4WD, was also quick and easy. Oh yeah, those mags sure looked good, but the caps disappeared after our first short ride.