Best Year of Honda Foreman/Rubicon - Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Honda Rider
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1
Best Year of Honda Foreman/Rubicon

I am looking for a new Honda Four-Wheeler and I was wondering what everyone's opinion is on what the best Years of Honda 500 Foreman's and Rubicon's was? I prefer a manual Foot shift just for the ruggedness and reliability. It will be used for farm use but for the most part will just be used to go check cows daily and carry a 25gallon sprayer for spot spraying through the spring and summer months. I am torn between the solid axil Foreman and the independent suspension Rubicon. As far as riding everyday checking cows I would think the Independent suspension would be nice for going into rough areas/woods on the farm looking for cattle I would think it would have much smoother ride. But the solid axil would be nice for carrying more weight if needed but for the most part any real hard work that needs done I have tractor and skid steer for. I see low mileage Honda Foreman's and Rubicon's all the time for sale. So before I go buy a new 2018 that they have marked down I wanted to make sure there wasn't an older year that was a much better machine. Also the Honda Dealer has a 2019 Honda Rincon marked down because an older gentleman bought it and decided he wanted power steering and traded it back in. It has 15 miles on it for $7900 but I think I can get them farther down on the price so that is also an option until it sells. My main concern I guess would be reliability, durability and what is going to last longer. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I currently run a Honda 300 Fourtrax and it is a great ATV. However I am looking for something bigger and 4x4 to replace it with.

Last edited by cowboy.2010; Yesterday at 04:58 PM.
cowboy.2010 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:08 PM
Honda Red Wing Rider
mrbb's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: ne PA
Posts: 3,342
ok my 2 cents here, a 25 gallon sprayer is going to be a LOT of weight on the ATV, odds are your going to notice this right off, and with that a solid rear axle will handle it better, but you still might need some better shocks to help it out!
so that kills the IRS iea right off IMO

NEXT , I don't think there will be a BEST model for you, all the older one's had pro's and cons, as do new one's
ONLY new you know aht your getting, used, your buying into a gamble of IF it was cared for, NOT abused and so on!
SO< if you have the coin, go NEW, unless you really really KLNOW the seller and they are NOT lying to you
countless treads on here and else where about folks buying used and finding all sorts of MAJOR issues, and there GOOD deal went south super fast
Unless your the type of guy that doesn;t mind FIXING things
GO NE and go Foreman!
them Rincons, are NOT made for work, there trail rides
the Rubicon is NICE but the foreman will still be more of the work tool atv IMO and this is what happens to atv;s on ranches and farms, there tools more than toys!
as they say right tool for the job !

if your running a HAND wand sprayer, Power steering will be a BIG help and worth the costs in the long run if you spray a lot while driving!
so food for thought for you!
mrbb is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 08:14 AM
Honda Lover
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: South Texas
Posts: 262
Good info Mrbb and if I may add...........

I would tow a trailer with that kind of weight.

I believe it's the 13's and up that have the front axle lock for 4 wheel drive, comes in handy if you have a lot of rain in your pasture.

2007 Foreman 500FM
2014 Foreman 500FM
Service Manuals Link:
Wilbur is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 09:27 AM
Honda Rider
Forman500Rubicon's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3
I would suggest a newer one with power steering and the ability to switch from 2 wheel drive to 4 and with disc breaks. The older ones with drum breaks are real pain. You will be glad you did with what you want to use it for. I have a 2001 Forman/Rubicon that I spent $560 to switch the drums out with disc breaks, well worth it. And the Rubicon is a work horse, I use mine for hauling fire wood, dirt, trailers and snow plowing. These machines have the ability to switch between automatic and manual transmission mode, which will serve you well with what you want.
Forman500Rubicon is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 09:40 AM
Honda Addict
Pipercub's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Interior Alaska
Posts: 105
I own both the Foreman and Rubicon with front lockers, either of those machines will do what you want to do. The Rubicon will do it in a more comfortable fashion. The Rubicon will tow more and the Foreman might haul a bit more on the rear rack. You can beef-up the springs on the Rubicon and will be happy with the results. Really it comes down to how comfortable you want to be, while going over rough terrain. I like to keep things simple and that means no power steering, just a manual shift. I would go with the Rubicon in a 2015 or newer. I wouldn’t pass up a good deal on a Foreman in those same years though. Now you can’t buy a manual shift without getting the power steering, 2019 and on? So for me the best years are 2015 - 2018...

2008 420 Rancher manual shift. Rubicon alum wheels & tires (old style). RT 2500 Warn winch.
2015 500 Rubicon-manual shift, 3500SR Terra Superwinch. Strong made receiver hitch.
2018 Foreman, manual shift, Warn provantage 2500-S, KFI mount.

Last edited by Pipercub; Today at 09:43 AM.
Pipercub is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 10:27 AM
Honda Red Wing Rider
mac102004's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cape Breton, NS
Posts: 2,081
I’d get the Rubicon and I wouldn’t be too worried about putting 200-300lbs on the rear rack, turn the shocks up and carry on.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

'16 Can-am Renegade XMR - 31" Outlaws
'15 Rubicant Deluxe Footshift - 27" bigandhorny 2's

My YouTube Channel
mac102004 is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 10:47 AM
Honda Rider
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Muskego, WI
Posts: 95
2014+ had front locker but 13 and 14 were not interchangeable for parts on others so 15+ might be better. I prefer the solid rear axle for durability since there are less moving parts it has less to go wrong. High Lifter springs help with added weight without making it too stiff or taking away suspension travel like a spacer on the shock would. The 5 speed with manual shifting is better than auto shifting in my opinion if you are planning on towing or hauling since you have better control over the gears. With more gears you will have more torque in each rather then taller gears that have more torque at certain points but has it come and go causing gear hunting or having to adjust your speed to make it work. With 4x4 buying used is a crap shoot. Mine has low miles but they have been rougher miles and I am surprised I have not had to rebuild anything yet other than replacing a front axle shaft. My brother has bought used and paid more in total for his machine and repairs then I did on mine. If a deal ever seems to good and it is used then there is something not being said. Go to a dealership and get a close out deal and see if they can throw anything in free.

Honda 2013 Foreman TRX 500ES 450 Miles
Quad Boss Fender Guard/Foot Rest
Quad Boss 3500 Winch
Cycle Country 5' Plow
28" Outlaw 2's on Chrome Rims
High Lifter Springs

2004 Yamaha YFZ 450
Every GYTR Upgrade Available
Brookfield Basher is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Foreman Forums : Rubicon, Rincon, Rancher and Recon Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome