Honda Transmissions ?? - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-19-2012, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
Honda Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 134
Default Honda Transmissions ??

As I try to get back up to speed on ATVs, after many years out of the loop, I'm suddenly confronted with a confusing array of transmission choices. "Back when", the options were pretty simple, manual w/auto clutch or belt CVT. Then Honda started with the ES, which as I understand is just a manual 5spd, with electronic push-button shifting. Then the Rincon came along with a more automotive style 3spd automatic. Somewhere in-between, the confusion starts with the Rubicon, which I have no idea about, other than it's some kind of "hydromechanical CVT". Then there's ESP, which I think is just an ES with a computerized shift program that makes it operate like an automatic. Now I see that certain years of the Rancher were available with manual shifting, ES, and "Auto". What kind of "auto" that is, I have no idea.

Perhaps someone could inform me on the particulars of the various designs, the pros & cons of each type, and whether any of them have been problematic over the years.

Thanks,
Bg357 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
Honda Red Wing Rider
 
lop3r1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gulfport, mississippi
Posts: 1,585
Default

yes, the rancher 400at's were very problematic. not many of them around anymore. the rubicon trannys are infinitely variable, hydraulic units that have been hailed as the smoothest tranny of any atv ever offered. it also allows you to "shift" between 5 preset points that mimics the es mode on other hondas. rincons are okay, just geared more towards sporty performance, than hard labor and pulling. not much difference between the manual and es trannys and gears, just the means of shifting them.
__________________
07 foreman s camo
2" hl lift
1" hl wheel spacers
27" outlaws
epi/hl outlaw clutch kit
hmf utility, uni filter, dynojet kit
3000lb superwinch
triangle snorkel kit
herculiner on racks/front bumper
custom front recovery point
gerber gator machete mod
big nuts on the seat
lop3r1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 02:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
Honda Red Wing Rider
 
mac102004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta/NS
Posts: 1,449
Default

The Rubicon actually came in 2001, 2 years before the Rincon.

The Rubicon's trans is like the hydrostatic trans in a lawn tractor.
The 400AT had a very similar transmission, but lacked low gear, weren't very good.


Rincon's transmisson
Pro's: Most durable of all Honda transmissions, smooth shifting, more efficient than the Rubicons trans.
Cons: Geared high, poor engine braking.
Rubicon's Transmission
Pro's: Very smooth, lowest geared of all the Honda transmissions, "best" suited auto for work.
Cons: Sucks up power, unserviceable, expensive to replace, 01-04 Rubicons were guaranteed to have a Hondamatic Failure, it wasn't if, it was when.

400AT
Pro's: Smooth shifting
Con's: Unserviceable, prone to failure. No low gear and small motor make the bike completely gutless. Good bike for the wife to ride.

New 420AT? Honestly can't say too much about them, no real experience, never ridden one. Have heard they are geared high as well.
__________________
Honda 300
30" backs on 14" MSA Pilots
Little bit of this, little bit of that

Nova Scotia ATV Forum

My YouTube Channel
mac102004 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
Honda Red Wing Rider
 
Kipes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Posts: 3,830
Default

Google that stuff, it works.
__________________
2006 Foreman 4x4 500s
Powermadd handguards
2.5 Warn winch
2" Perfex long travel lift kit
High Lifter springs
26-11-12 Sedona Ripsaws on rear
26-9-12 Sedona Ripsaws on front
Douglas Rattlesnake rims
3rd Headlight switch
Moose Heated Handgrips and thumb warmer
Replaced the stock silver engine covers and front skid plate with 07 camo black and painted front brush guard black

2005 Rancher 350ES 2wd
Kipes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 04:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
Honda Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 134
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac102004 View Post
Rubicon's Transmission
Pro's: Very smooth, lowest geared of all the Honda transmissions, "best" suited auto for work.
Cons: Sucks up power, unserviceable, expensive to replace, 01-04 Rubicons were guaranteed to have a Hondamatic Failure...
Sounds like the Rubicon wouldn't be the choice for long-term durability.
I've read some about the electronic shift having problems too, how common is that? Can you shift them manually if the ES fails? Not just to get by, but permanently, as if it were an S model?

Regarding the Rancher, are the S & ES also geared too high for pulling and low speed work?
Bg357 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
Honda Lover
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: West Tn
Posts: 274
Default

I don't know if I would say the Rubicon is a bad choice for long term durability, look at Rubiranch's. It has 16,000 miles on it and nothing more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the tranny is why I got mine dirt cheap, it had been beaten on pretty bad and the hondamatic went out. I was able to rebuild it, with new "updated" hondamatic, cheaper than any rubicon I could find on craigslist.

Yesterday it was pulling 10' long x 1' diameter oak logs out of the woods. That was fun, until it came time to spilt that crap, I gotta get a power splitter.
__________________
2001 Foreman Rubicon "$650 Project"
2009 Foreman Rubicon "$500 Project"
Both Stock
HTQM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
h22ate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SW, Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bg357 View Post
Sounds like the Rubicon wouldn't be the choice for long-term durability.
I've read some about the electronic shift having problems too, how common is that? Can you shift them manually if the ES fails? Not just to get by, but permanently, as if it were an S model?

Regarding the Rancher, are the S & ES also geared too high for pulling and low speed work?
The 05 and up rubicons have no problems at all with the trannys. Very seldome do you ever see a problem with them. I work the balls off of mine and it runs like the day I bought it.

Yes when buying an ES machine there is a back up foot shifter you can put on it.

If your going to do slow speed working the rancher definitely wouldnt be my first choice, the rubicon would. Its the only one out there with low range and its a beast in that!
__________________

08 Rubicon
‚——P--;===ฑ--= <-
!‚–’ฏƒนถ

http://youtu.be/U71bn4ZF4K0
h22ate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
Honda Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 134
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac102004 View Post
01-04 Rubicons were guaranteed to have a Hondamatic Failure, it wasn't if, it was when.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTQM
I don't know if I would say the Rubicon is a bad choice for long term durability, look at Rubiranch's. It has 16,000 miles on it and nothing more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the tranny is why I got mine dirt cheap, it had been beaten on pretty bad and the hondamatic went out.
So, how risky would it be to buy a used '02 Rubicon, with 700mi. on it? And how much does it cost for a new, "updated" Hondamatic? What clues can tell you whether it's working properly or not? Having never ridden a Rubicon, it's hard to know what's "right", unless it's plain obvious. What behavior would you look for to indicate the "state of the (hydro)stat"?

Incidentally, what do you think an '02 Rubicon is worth? Good Condition, 700 miles, Warn winch, tapered snow plow.
Bg357 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
Honda Red Wing Rider
 
SSpeckerwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: TOOELE, UT
Posts: 10,130
Default

the rubicon's are a nice machine regardless of what mac102004 says. he never has much good to say about honda's. he's a canned-ham(can-am) man
__________________
2014 HONDA FOREMAN 500 ES w/power steering
HOT GRIPS HEATED GRIPS
Cycra Hand guards
Street legal

2014 HONDA FOREMAN 500 ES W/power steering
HOT GRIPS HEATED GRIPS
VIP-AIR fairing w/windshield & mirrors.
Street legal

2015 HONDA FOREMAN RUBICON
Soon to come....



http://www.ivestertree.com/
facebook.com/ivestertreeandlawn
SSpeckerwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
Honda Red Wing Rider
 
mac102004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta/NS
Posts: 1,449
Default

Try and find out if it's already been replaced, if it hasn't you'll have to decide if its a risk you want to take. It may never fail, then again it might? They run $1500-2000 to replace. I know of an 02' with 12,000kms that was never touched, but I can think of half a dozen more than never made it past 4-5000kms. I've only seen one built after they updated them in 05 fail. It was an 07? the bike was abused.

I'm no more a Can-am man, than a Honda man, or Yamaha man, or Arctic Cat man. I am loyal to no brand. If you looked in my barn you'd find more Honda's than anything though, I have only the one Can-am.
__________________
Honda 300
30" backs on 14" MSA Pilots
Little bit of this, little bit of that

Nova Scotia ATV Forum

My YouTube Channel
mac102004 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:21 PM.




Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0