IMO, honda left the hydro for better profits and a less power robbing transmission. They are putting more power to the ground with a smaller cc motor going to the gear to gear transmission in the dtc.
I have an 09 rancher with the dtc and the only problem in the 10,000+ miles is one shift motor and one angle sensor. My reverse lever is deleted so all I have to do is push buttons to shift.
I would take a new Rubicon over the older one just for the features on it. The older was a good dependable machine but still lacking in power and features.
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I agree the old one's were maybe best for ling life, and they didn;t offer many luxuries at all, rode stiff, didn;t handle that great, nothing fancy at all, and not the best in ground clearance either
but they were simple and lasted
new one's ride better, handle better, and to many look better and offer more features by a LOT, a shame they lost IMO a lot of the other good things to get all this modern stuff!