Yeah 2500 is probably the lowest I'd go. Winches achieve there highest pulling capacity when you have the most line out because of the pulley ratio. You can always use a snatch block to increase it if you need more
I always go 3500. It will pull other stuck atvs with ease and the bigger stuff as well. I have pulled more than one truck out of the mud with 3500 pounders. Now they were not buried to the axle, and it ain't gonna pull out no tractor, but they do work.
agreed, 2500 would do, keep a snatch block handy if your stuck in jumbo. Around here we dont have to worry about that, mostly mountains and rocks...so steep hills and high centering...2500 works great.
I have a 2500lbs winch on my old bike that my wife now rides. It has pulled me out of some serious mud, you just have to be careful. Short pulls give it rest. Don't go for a full 3 min pull you'll burn it out. I do use a snatch block on occasion. A snatch block basically doubles your pull strength, but halves your speed and the amount of line you have available. But it will pull you up a tree. On my new bike I use a 3500 Provantage. I have not had the chance to use it seriously in the mud yet... rain is still a month or so off. So if your smart and use the winch wisely, you'll get away with a 2500 easily.
I always suggest getting the biggest that will fit b/c you never know what you'll be dealing with. I don't "mud" either, but I have gotten stuck in deep mud and having the extra juice helps in that situation. Snatch blocks work great, but there are situations where you can't use them. I went with 3000 lbs, but I would go with 3500 if I could do it again. I don't think the price difference is that big.
Here's an example where I got stuck pretty bad in a soft spot - that's flat ground...: