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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

New to the board. Just picked up a 2000 Foreman 450. Very clean, everything works as it should. Runs strong, no issues with the bike, except the ride. I have been reading a bunch of you guys post and this seems to be a constant complaint.. apparently all the older Foreman's are harsh on the back side.. and everything else. Prefex appears to be the common suggestion.

I have noticed the new single axle Honda's have gone to the Rancher style, single shocks to improve the ride I assume? I love the quad but basically, it's currently unusable to me due to the condition of my back, neck, etc.

The bike is for hunting. We hunt on 21 square miles of the Texas panhandle and frequently put 150-200 miles in during a 3-4 day hunt, idling around and glassing. Mostly dirt and rock roads with the occasional excursion into really rough, hard terrain. Spending this much time on the bike it's got to have a "decent" ride. Spare me the "buy a Rubicon" please LOL, not in the budget and I like this bike. The Polaris IRS bikes are fantastic, when everything is working! They just aren't dependable enough for me. Several of the guys have them and rarely is everything working, so I avoided them when i went looking for a ride.

Being a pretty fair fabricating shade tree mechanic, I have figured out that modifying the bike to a single shock set up would be simple with fab'ed brackets without any welding. Basically convert to a mono-shock set up.

SO, the question is, how much better is the ride of the newer Foreman's that use the longer travel, mono-shock?

If the ride is significantly better, I'll do that... if it's marginal I'll figure something else out!

Thanks in advance for your inputs.
 

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I don't think its as easy as you think, , things have to be at all correct angles to work even slightly better than the oem design
not saying not possible
but in all honestly, they do sell better shocks that do help a bunch, not a night and day HUGE difference, but nor will your mod be

A true IRS rear end is honestly what you want., like it or not, that is what will give you way more of what your looking for
just due to design, even the newest SRA honda's DON"T ride as well as an atv with an IRS rear end, and thats on calibrated shocks and lots of development into swing arm design and shocks working with it your never going to get a SRA atv to ride as smooth as an IRS< due to BOTH wheels will always be taking the hit, doubling up the amount of weight in motion for a single shock to TRY and control over a IRS and its each wheel shocked set up!


the time and money you will spend on making this SRA into a single shock and geting better ride, , you could have sold this atv, and put the money you were going to spend to make it, and buy a atv set up already
That's my 2 cents, sorry not what you want to hear, but just being honest!
 

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IRS swap from a Rincon (not sure if you can do it on a 450, but I've seen people cut a 500 Foreman frame in half right behind the motor and weld in a Rincon rear end. LOT of fab work), or try a Perfex Long travel lift. The perfex won't give you IRS quality ride, but it's a helluva lot better than stock.

Perfex doesn't make them anymore for the older Hondas, but you can still find them on ebay if you watch for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Unfortunately, installing an IRS on this frame design would be a big deal, not wanting a project of that magnitude at this time. Hate hearing that Prefex discontinued the kit for this bike. :-(

I will probably try the single shock set up, as it will only consist of fabricating a couple of shock mount brackets and relocating the battery into the tool box space. May need an AGM battery that can lay on it's side to fit in that space. This is a cheap "try", if it's not better I'll switch it back. Doubt I will have $25 bucks in the fabricated brackets, bolts, etc... worth a shot. I don't hear the Rancher guys complaining about the ride nearly as much as the old Foreman guys do.

Also going to get some soft compound tires that are 4 ply, that should help a bit.

Thanks
 

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Good luck with your plans. Don't forget that you will need a new heavy duty single shock for the change in mind. It might run you $350-$500 for a quality gas shock & spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I've been looking at the single shocks, may try an OEM for round one. If I get a "decent" ride, I'll move up to a good shock. 1 is cheaper than 2.

Thanks
 

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I have a Rubicon and a Rincon and the ride is way different between them. the ruby is a pure workhorse geared lower and the Rincon ride is way way softer riding. Ruby feels like you have more control but the Rincon's ride is way easier on your back, seems to float over bumps, my ruby is screaming when you pass 50 mph, the Rincon will do over 60 mph. Steering is also easier.
With the Rincon it is easy to lose track of my speed on trails because the ride is so soft.. Bite the bullet and go for the irs suspension. I love my Ruby for being a workhorse but the ride really sucks compared to my Rincon.....'
I bought my 2005 Rincon used like brand new with 1500 easy miles for $3200, lots of good deals out there, A lot of People are going to side by sides and selling their atv for a good price...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
So far, so good. Actually a fairly easy mod. Bought a 2015 Foreman OEM shock for $29 bucks (EBAY). The steel I had laying around.. so, "maybe" $50 bucks?

1) The new top shock welds into the existing shock mount gussets (1" sch 40 pipe).
2) The lower mount was fabricated and welds onto the hitch reinforcement plate.
3) Battery is relocated into the tool box, added a couple of feet of leads.

Haven't closed it up yet.. still have some frame repair to wrap up.

Results; the OEM twin shocks have about 4" travel and were basically steel rods. I couldn't get more than 2" of movement jumping up and down on the rear frame. The 2015 Foreman Mono-shock has 6" travel and is SOFT. I can move the rear of the frame up & down 3"-4" with one hand!

I incorporated 1" of lift into the new set up to accommodate the additional travel and softness of the new shock. Bottom line, very do-able for short money if you can fabricate. Cheap way to bring an old bike up to the ride quality of the new Foremans. Looking forward to my first ride.

NOTED: The swing arm is narrower than the new swing arms and may not offer enough anti-twisting support. This could be problem if you ride the bike HARD. Hopefully it can hold up to my old man cruising around? Time will tell.



 

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I've ridden a 2016 Rancher solid rear axel bike, and I don't think its any smoother than my foreman. I have the perfex lift with original shocks and the ride is better than stock.

Where are you going to put the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First ride today, BIG difference. Very smooth and much softer. I would do this again in a heart beat, worked out well.

I think a key piece of the ride I ended up with is the 2015 Foreman shock that I installed. They are very soft for the first few inches, stiffen up progressively and have 6" of travel vs the original 4". Worked well for $29 bucks. Makes me curious about what a high quality shock would be like?

Glad the Prefex worked for you. If your bike rides as good as a 2016 straight axle Rancher.. yours rides good, mine did not.
 

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Good Point, I never considered that my bike with the Perfex rode as good as the 2016 Rancher, but that the 2016 Rancher was no better than my Foreman! LoL

Did you get a smaller battery for your project or relocate it? Looks like the new shock is cut into the battery box.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You are right, the shock locates directly where the battery "was". I relocated the battery into the little tool box directly behind the electrical area. I extended the battery cables about 2-1/2ft so the battery could be removed for connecting/disconnecting. I used marine battery cables (Anchor mfg) because they have individual tinned strands, high strand count which carries current well and is extremely flexible.

All of the wiring harness clears the shock when installed into it's OEM location, which was a mid-project concern LOL.

I have found that the setting on this shock make a significant difference. I have mine on the softest setting. The stiff setting removes much of the first 1-2" of sponginess, and is considerably stiffer overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The 1" rear lift worked out, not really noticeable and it needed the extra space for the additional travel. On the soft setting, it goes down to the original height when I put my 240 lb self on it.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Shock mod update;

Put 65 miles on the bike last weekend, over very rough Texas panhandle canyons and open range. Bottom line, could not be happier with the ride. Everything from rock crawling, to open country running at 15-20 mph, never had to leave the seat (or get bounced off of it). Smooth, comfortable ride sucking up every hole and rock it hit, without feeling it in the lower back or kidneys.

Learned that the Foreman is basically a Billy Goat in 1st gear crawling up steep, loose rocky terrain. The Polaris bikes needed rpms and tires spinning to make the same grades that the Foreman just walked up.

The bike never jarred me, or felt anything but soft without feeling loose. The extra couple of inches of travel are really nice. Had no issues with the swing arm, drive line etc. Only thing left to do concerning the ride quality is get rid of the 17 year old front shocks and swap in a urethane bushing in the lower, rear shock mount. The auto shop rubber bushing wasn't the best fit, had no inner steel sleeve and is settling a bit. Think I will swap out the ball joints and tie rods ends while I'm at it, front end needs a little help.
 

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Sweet upgrade! I almost had to check my garage to make sure my 450 was still there cause yours looks identical lol. Can you post a few more pics of the lower shock mount? Is there a part number on the shock?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll try to get a pic of the lower mount in the next few days. It welds into the area of the axle tube that is double plated with the bottom portion of the hitch, plenty of metal there. Check out a stock 2016-17 Foreman lower mounts, I copied that design. Takes the engineering questions away, as the new mono-shock is locating nearly exactly where the new ones are located.

The stock I used was a 2015 Foreman OEM shock. I set it to the softest setting. Pulled from a 2015 being parted out.. $29 bucks on Ebay. The 2016 new ones from Honda are around $65 I think.
 

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I'll try to get a pic of the lower mount in the next few days. It welds into the area of the axle tube that is double plated with the bottom portion of the hitch, plenty of metal there. Check out a stock 2016-17 Foreman lower mounts, I copied that design. Takes the engineering questions away, as the new mono-shock is locating nearly exactly where the new ones are located.

The stock I used was a 2015 Foreman OEM shock. I set it to the softest setting. Pulled from a 2015 being parted out.. $29 bucks on Ebay. The 2016 new ones from Honda are around $65 I think.

Texis,


If your still around I could really use a picture of how you did the bottom shock mount. Just looking at my brother in laws the lower shock mount has a bushing and the shock I purchase from an 16 did not come with the hardware or bushings. So I probably need to fabricate something just wanted to see how you did yours.



Sorry for the thread revival.
 
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