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500 Foreman---Is Ride Comfort Improvement Significant?

9102 Views 20 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  big_daddy_bigfoot
Curious if the ride comfort is significantly improved starting with the '05 Foreman 500. I've been riding a friend's '98 Sportsman 500 which is significantly better than a 400 Foreman. Would appreciate comments from those familiar with the older/newer Foreman and especailly interested in hearing from people familiar with the new Forman vs the Polaris Sportsman as far as ride comfort.
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I had a 2003 Rancher,had a Polaris 425 before that.The Polaris definately rode smoother,but it was broke down so often that I didn't care about ride quality I just wanted to ride!So when I bought my 2006 Foreman 500 S I was looking for reliability.I didn't want the ES model because I've had trouble with the ES Recon my wife rides.Check out the thread started on the Rubicon page titled "worst ATV manufacturer".
I'm trying to find out if the ride on the 500 Foreman was improved much over previous models. The comparison to the Polaris Sportsman question is because that and the Foreman 400 is what I'm familiar with. My friend has had few problems with his Sportsman, but he rides very conservatively and maintains it well. I'm 63 and not interested any more in mud bogging, snorkeling or racing. As you get older your priorities DO change
I'm sure that is true. So did the ride improve any with the 500 Foreman and its new chassis or is it about the same as the older foreman models?
I believe that the 05 Foreman has the same chassis as the Rubicon and I would venture to guess that the ride is still the same since it is SRA.
I've heard from others that have the newer Foremans that they do ride a
good bit smooter than the previous years. I've only ridden one new Foreman,
but it was lifted & had 29.5 Outlaws on it. Even with those, it didn't ride too
i got a few friends that have Foreman 450's. To compare the 2, The most amazing difference is the steering. The 450 will work your arms to turn it. the 500 is way easier. you can tell there is a difference in ride quailty from the 450 to the 500. Put a Perfex Long Travel Susp. Kit on the 500 and it becomes a much smoother riding bike. and gives you the ~1" lift.

But thats just my opinion
Thanks for the feedback. I read a review that mentioned a little better ride, but mostly it focused on the new engine, disc brakes, 2/4wd,etc. Also it was a "new model" review and Honda was a site sponsor and those type reviews are seldom critical.

I've been a long time Honda fan due to the quality and reliability of their products. I'm considering a Foreman S since I seem to read alot about the ES shift and Rubicon/Rancher AT transmission problems the last few years. Alot probably has to do with abuse some give ATV's, but I'm getting too old to be tearing bikes apart or hauling them to the dealer every few months. I do like the ride on the Sportsman, but they require alot of maintenance, both preventive and failure related.
You may want to compare the 500 Sportsman to the 650 Rincon. This has the IRS. I love mine and am always getting yelled at because my " cruzing speed " over bumps and sand is quite faster than the wifes on the 500 Foreman S. I dont know that I am going that fast because you dont feel it and it is very smooth..but you dont like the auto transmission.
i have a 97 foreman 400 and a 04 rubi the rubi rides much smoother
I agree with nonnieselman.....I have an 06 Foreman and two of my buddies have 04's. The BIGGEST difference I found riding both is the steering. It is significantly easier to steer the newer Foreman over the older ones. We all have lifts on our bikes and the ride on my 06 is not much different that it was when it was stock height. But the 04's seem to ride stiffer with a lift. I am very pleased overall with the ride quality of my 06. Now......the 1986 TRX250 I have will bounce the [email protected] off a brass monkey!!!
the bad thing is that my friends 450's are bone stock. i have tires ( i know they are only 26", but thats bigger than stock) and mine still turns easier. even in 4wd.

You tryin to decide to get a 500 or a new bike?
I'm looking for something to work around the property with and trail ride. I like the simplicity/reliability of the S models. Decision is whether to buy a new 05-06 or look for an older model for a decent price. I sort of like the smaller size of the older models for trail riding and wife says they fit her better. Just trying to get some facts/opinions together to see which way to go. I hadn't considered the easier turning and that is a definate factor also. Thanks for the feedback.
The "old" Foremans (450's) with the Traxlok (02-04 models) are very easy
to turn. They are VERY reliable. The ride may be a bit on the stiff side, but
not that bad.
I agree with Railroader plus if you add the Perfex kit it will make the ride so much smoother. I don't see how the ride on a 05-06 can be any better than an 04, their all SRA machines and shouldn't ride any better. I've ridden Rubicons before and they are no different as far as riding stiffness. By repositioning the schocks with the Perfex you get more effective use out of them where as stock their at more of an angle. Either way, you can't go wrong with a Honda, they are the shizzle!!
You hit it right on the nail.
Hey Railroader...I assume you mean the 450's are easy to turn in 2wd. Any experience with the 500's for comparison? Getting a couple pretty definate opinions that the 500 is easier to steer. I'm wondering if those advocating the 500 are comparing 2wd on the 500 to 4wd on the 450's (those without the 2/4 option). I'm wondering how each fares in 4wd.
When in 4wd, the 450 isn't too hard at all to turn. In 2wd, it's very easy.
On my 2005 Foreman 500 ES model, I cannot tell a difference from 2wd vs 4wd in turning. Don't have any experience in others, but seems hard to turn, but guess is normal.
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