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John Deere adds a pair of midsize side-by-sides which includes a new four-seat UTV as part of its Crossover Utility Vehicle (XUV) family. The XUV 550 and 550 S4 use a smaller engine than the John Deere Gator XUV 825i that was introduced in 2010, and represent an entry into the JD family of SxS that won’t break the bank.

The new 550 series uses an air-cooled 570cc V-Twin engine. John Deere engineers use a carburetor to deliver fuel and the mill generates a claimed 16 HP and 28.6 lb-ft. A CVT transmission utilizes High, Low, Neutral and Reverse with 2WD and 4WD. It uses a limited-slip front differential which is engaged with a lever. The rear differential is unlocked to minimize wear and tear on the ground surface, but can be locked mechanically.

By JC Hilderbrand
Continue Reading @ 2012 John Deere Gator XUV 550 S4 First Look - Motorcycle USA
 

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Gator 550

I'm looking to buy a side by side. My neighbor has a 2008 prowler xt that he doesn't care if I use since I "keep the battery charged" as I point out. With that said and the hour metre climbing, its time to get my own. I really like the 550. But. When you compare them. The prowlers tank is a lot more fuel than the embarrasing 18L tank of the gator? its got 4x4 and a roll cage why? incase you get in the ditch? I would be pretty hesitant about getting into the bush with only 18L. Its less than the average jerry can around here. So then i'd be forced to have a jerry can with me? Also I haven't driven it yet hopefully test drive it on the weekend a little but 28 mph is a little gutless. i'm not looking to race it but in this class it should have more power and speed and move away from their turf care mentality with this class. If they do where do i sign love everything else except for these really key issues. Am I alone on this?
 

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As John Deere notes in their advertising, the new 550 is an entry level machine that is low cost compared to their 825i...that's why it's low powered and doesn't have the features that the more expensive 825i's are...you can't expect alot from an entry level machine that is designed to be low cost from the git-go...

Larry in MD :D
 

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I love my XUV 550 S4. Does anything I need to. In most cases 28.5 miles per hour is more than fast enough. The community I live in allows golf carts on the roads that do not exceed 35 miles per hour. The beach speed limit is 15 mph. So you see the 550 S4 is perfect. 4wd drive for the sand (when needed) and 2wd for the streets. It's a neat looking vehical with Mag type wheels, Big Horn tires, Roll Cage w/poly roof, Brush Guard and I love the John Deere Green it really stands out. I get lots of compliments on the looks. I added a 2000lb winch and a vented full windshield. The winch is a bit light fore the 1440lb S4 but it looks good. My daughter and son-in-law gave it to me for Fathers Day so I used it. After looking at the You Tube videos on the tiny Badlands Winch I was impressed and it was pretty easy to install especially since my neighbor did it for me :eek: Anyway I have a great time on the beach with it and the S4 has plenty of room for friends :eek: The 4.8 gallon tanks gives me 4 hours or more driving time and a service station is never far away on Padre Island.
 

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I know some people including myself are having problems with shifting from reverse to forward. I found this on the John Deere site under forums.

The difficulty shifting is well known. It's a problem with the drive clutch
sticking and not fully releasing. JD has a revised clutch to help address
the problem. I mentioned it to my dealer and they had me bring it in. A
couple days later I had my Gator back with a new drive/primary clutch for no
charge.

I already notified my dealer. After talking with my dealer he informed that he knew about this and has already replaced the drive/primary clutch when it was in the shop.. I'll let you know how it works out.
 
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