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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I found a 2017 Honda Foreman foot shift with 150 miles for $5,000 always kept in side and never ran in the mud or creek. I also found a 2011 Honda Foreman foot shift with 475 miles lil more wear but still in nice shape, always garaged for $3700. Is there any advantages in buying the 2011 model over the 2017? I do like how the 2011 has duel shocks but other than that I believe they both would do anything I would need them to do. Just wondering what the pros and cons are with each model? Thanks
 

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I found a 2017 Honda Foreman foot shift with 150 miles for $5,000 always kept in side and never ran in the mud or creek. I also found a 2011 Honda Foreman foot shift with 700 miles lil more wear but still in nice shape, always garaged for $3700. Is there any advantages in buying the 2011 model over the 2017? I do like how the 2011 has duel shocks but other than that I believe they both would do anything I would need them to do. Just wondering what the pros and cons are with each model? Thanks
Great deal on the 2017. I paid exactly $5k for my 2015 a little over a year ago, but it had more like 450 miles and it was electric shift, plus it had been rolled hard enough to bend/seize the rear shock and kill the diff lock switch (I replaced both of those for $70 each and some time). I like your deal much better.
 

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In 2015 they went to an in-tank fuel pump solving pump issues...imo the ‘15 and up is the way to go...I have a ‘16 rubicon and will never go back to a SRA. As far as the sprayer weight...I think it will do it...but neither machine has a rack that’s built for that much weight...we pull a 50 gal sprayer around here and couldn’t be happier
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ended up buying the 2017 Honda foreman for $5000. It is basically a new one it still had the plastic film on the headlight. I would have loved to have found a Rubicon but I think the Foreman will be just fine. I also looked at a 2015 Honda Rubicon for $4500 that only had 373 miles but it was farm use. So I decided to go with the Foreman.
 
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