My son Evan installed the Superwinch on our old Yamaha 200 ATV soon after we received it last summer. He removed the front and back fenders, as well as the rest of the ATV's body plastic, to install it. The rear fenders had to come off because the battery is located in the back on this particular ATV.

Evan improvised by welding two angle-iron brackets to the frame under the front rack and a crosspiece between them with holes drilled to bolt on the winch. We didn't think a factory bracket kit would be available for our old Yamaha and figured our own design would work just as well.

Evan painted the brackets once they were welded on and then bolted on the winch. We ran the wiring from the winch along the frame back to the battery and up to the on-off switch, which we attached to the handlebars. We used plastic ties to keep the wiring close to the frame. Once the fenders and plastic were back on, we were ready to go.

Test drive

We started out just testing how the winch worked. There is a pull button on the side of the winch that allows you to pull cable out without running the winch in reverse with the switch. We found that most often this button was hard to pull out unless we first briefly ran the winch switch forward or backward.

We pulled out about 25 ft. of cable and attached the cable to a tractor sitting on a hill. I just sat on the ATV and used the switch on the handlebars to operate the winch. It pulled me slowly, but steadily, up the hill to the tractor.

We used the winch to pull some cut cedar trees up a slope and found it would actually start dragging the ATV with the brakes on if the weight of what was being pulled was greater than the combined weight of the ATV and rider.

Cable

One problem we had with the winch was when we were pulling the ATV up a creek bank. The ATV was being pulled at a slight angle and the cable wound off the spool and ended up between the spool and the casing. The cable was pinched and would have eventually been cut through if we hadn't noticed it right away.

We had to remove the winch from the ATV and take it apart to get the cable free. I've seen roller devices on the front of some winches, but I don't know if that would have prevented the cable from going off the spool. Our winch didn't have such a device. After that, we always made sure we were pulling the cable as straight as possible into the spool.

Many uses

Last summer, we used the winch to pull an empty irrigation pipe trailer out of a ditch and into the cornfield when we were ready to start loading pipe back on the trailer. We loaded the ATV into the back of a pickup using the winch, and pulled the ATV up a creek bank and a dam bank.

Rated at 3,000 lbs., the winch had plenty of power for everything we tried, and it pulled slowly enough to give us plenty of time to keep everything under control. It's a very useful addition to the ATV.

Price of the Superwinch is $379; the mounting kit costs $69.95. For more information, contact Superwinch Inc., 45 Danco Rd., Putnam, CT 06260, 860/928-7787, visit www.superwinch.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin.