View Full Version : FL350 Odyssey vs. Joyner 650 Sand Spider

09-17-2010, 12:54 PM
I'd like to hear some opinions on a comparison of a FL350 Odyssey vs. a Joyner 650 Sand Spider. I'm considering trading my FL350 for a Joyner. The Ody is OK, but I've had a bunch of problems with it. The motor has a bunch of performance parts, but based on what I read here, I'm concerned about it's reliability, seems like it's really common for these to seize a piston. Other FL350 issues are the trans has a known bearing and gear issue (which I'm fixing now), the brakes aren't very good, and suspension travel is pretty short. Given these issues, I'm not sure if the Joyner is better, or just another set of problems?

My FL350: Water cooled head, porting, performance pipe & muffler, comet 94C clutch. The motor is in good shape and runs good, but I've had problems with the brakes, starter, and transmission so far. It's torn apart to rebuild the transmission and starter. Already fixed the brakes.

The Joyner: Sounds like it's had some motor performance work done (but not a turbo). Has a winch, lights, rack, etc. Probably heavy and slow compared to the FL350? Maybe more reliable though?

Any thoughts?

09-17-2010, 01:00 PM
I saw a Joyner with a Jeta engine and transaxle. Pretty quick car. Not sure how it will hold up in a wreck but seemed like a reasonable way to go.

09-17-2010, 01:03 PM
Don't have any experience with the Joyner however are they not out of business now? Don't forget they are China made and even though they are a better unit than others from China, buyer beware. Getting parts for them may be as hard as getting parts for the Odyssey. Thats a tuff one. I guess my question would be why is the Joyner owner willing to trade a much newer technology buggy for the FL350?

09-17-2010, 01:05 PM
I saw a Joyner with a Jeta engine and transaxle. Pretty quick car. Not sure how it will hold up in a wreck but seemed like a reasonable way to go.

That would be fun. I considered a Geo Metro engine and transaxle in the Odyssey; it will fit, but I hate to hack up a FL350 that's in good condition, and connecting the shifter linkage would be a real pain.

09-17-2010, 05:15 PM
No Joyner aint out of business. They were bought out. But that aint saying much here. But the are strong in other markets so even though shipping would kill you there are parts.

That being said, I would'nt trade. The 650 hardly has better take off than the 250. Not enough travel and the arms sit bout flat. I'm putting a polaris 400 in a joyner 250 right now. That should run with your honda. But your honda will smoke that 4 stroke 650. Now if your up for a geo swap or what not then it might be worth it

09-18-2010, 08:29 PM
I have ridden with Joyners, they are weak hearted dogs... no pups! Stock shocks are a joke, just look good, but for a few thousand dollars you can get king shocks to hook you up... Ody needs shocks too, but not near the pricetag...remember you are dealing with 25 year old technology that most likely wasn't taken care of for half them years??? Rode hard put up wet, drug out years later and ebayed... Once all the bugs are worked out, they are solid well put together Honda's where as the 5 year old joyners aren't even lasting that long before issues pop up...

A Wyman
10-05-2010, 11:25 PM
I curently have both a fl350 and a joyner 650. There is no way I would trade my 350 for a joyner, it is a turd. If your looking for more out of the 350 do like I did stuff a Rotax 670cc in the back some ex400 A arems on the front and works shocks around the house. then go out and kill some pumped up banchees its good fun. And for all your parts needs odyssey salvage Randy knows his stuff

10-06-2010, 08:18 AM
I am not a big fan of the Joyner either. I am getting ready to put a vw motor in my buddies Joyner. He has had nothing but problems with it. It has always been a dog...... We did get all four wheels off the ground once though.....[smilie=ecstatic.gi:

10-06-2010, 09:45 AM
You already have the water cooled head on the 350. If the engine is rebuilt correctly and you jet it correctly, they are not prone to seize.

Someone just sent me a cylinder to relieve the exhaust port bridge because the shop that he had bore it did not do it. When I got it, I pointed out that they did not bevel the ports either so he had me do that too. I was also going to check for out of round, but he wanted his cylinder shipped back right away. I am guessing it probably was out of round. It would not surprise me if it was honed with a spring loaded hone which would have made it out of round and reduce the life of the bore. This is an example of not doing things right.