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I need some help making a choice.

3470 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  olywa
Hello All,
This is a great site. I've been reading posts here for about a week and just joined up, so this is my first post. I've ridden motorcycles for a good portion of my life but I've never been on an ATV. However, I'm very interested in getting an ATV to help me get some work done on the 80 acre property my family owns. Our old Allis-Chalmers finally gave up the ghost and I need an ATV for spraying, fence building, light brush clearing, etc.. I may get a Mule or other UTV downline, but I'd like to start with a reliable ATV that is a little more nimble. I may use it for hunting as well, but it will be at least 80% work-related use. With some good racks and a light trailer, it should be all I'll need for now. I'll probably put a 20-gallon sprayer on it a fair portion of the time as well. I live in Western Washington and things are pretty wet a lot of the time, but I'll be on good sod and low brush most of the time rather than mud and water.

Based on my past experience with Honda (auto, motorcycle, outboard), I am definitely interested in staying with that brand. I have been looking at the 2007 Rubicon and the 2007 Rancher and need some advice about which would be the better choice. How useful are features such as fuel injection,auto shifting and power steering? How do those features impact overall reliability? Is there any real value in buying locally, or should I find best price and have it crated out to me? One other factor, I'm a pretty big guy, 6'2" and 260lbs.

Thanks guys, I look forward to your feedback and I appreciate your experience.
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My first suggestion would have been the Rancher, but given your size and weight, I would suggest looking into the Foreman, with a footshift or ES. More power for your needs.

If you're going to be using heavy implements for spraying and such, I would recommend against an auto tranny.
For the type of use you mentioned,I'd suggest staying away from an auto. transmission.Look at the Foreman 500 S model.Perfect for working.
As said above, the Rancher won't do what you want as well as you want though it's a bit more nimble than the Foreman. For what you want to do, I'd definitely go with the Foreman, S or ES whatever you like. The bike can handle loads without a problem and is as reliable as they come!
Thanks for the quick responses, much appreciated. I was leaning towards the Foreman. I had heard that the new power steering feature made it a breeze to control while hand spraying. I just wish it had fuel injection like the new Rancher.
I'm not aware of any benefits EFI would have over a carburated model, most well maintained carburated Hondas will start anywhere, anytime. Gas consumption is reasonable. What else would one need.
Carburated is generally okay, but I have found that EFI is a little friendlier when/if the machine in question might sit idle for extended periods. Guess I'll just have to make sure that I use it on a regular basis. If it's half as handy as I anticipate, then that shouldn't be a problem.
Foreman,manual,just like my avatar.
I would also say Foreman 500 S 4x4. if you was going to use it for alot of trail riding i would say ES but since you are useing it for work the S would be right for you since there is no electronics to mess up...the S is more reliable all around. my Foreman has taken me every where i need to even hunting with my (230#), my dad (290#), plus our deer stands and guns with out bogging even on rocky hills.
QUOTE ("olywa":30xdi24x)
Carburated is generally okay, but I have found that EFI is a little friendlier when/if the machine in question might sit idle for extended periods. Guess I'll just have to make sure that I use it on a regular basis. If it's half as handy as I anticipate, then that shouldn't be a problem.
Well, my experience with one particular vehicle is quite different. Besides the Foreman, I own a 1984 Honda Big Red (3 wheeler). It sits in a shed in the damp woods from November to May with a tankful of old gas, and starts without fail on the 3rd crank, year in year out, since 1984. Even during the summer, it goes for a few weeks before starts and never gave me problems. I have not maintained it especially, I've changed the oil a few times and other than that, pretty much disrespect it. Simpler the better, I say.
id say get a rubicon because when i work on the farm i use one hand and most the time im side saddled so i cant neccesarilly shift with my foot. If you put the rubicon in low auto its like a foreman just no shifting. Only thing bad about it is its expensive.
I have no complaints about the foreman, in my opinion the toughest bike ever made. the only thing i have ever been stuck in that stopped the tires from turning was real wet thick sand. it was like quick sand but only 1.5 feet deep. but i still had to pull it out with the loader.
I just recently got my Foreman, and so far I would say get one. This thing is bullet proof!
Get the Foreman 500ES. I was going to get the 500S model with manual shift, but decided to go with the ES model. They are only $400 more and considering the overall cost of the bike, it's really not that much more in the long term. After getting used to the electric shift I would never go back to a manual shifter.
i like my foreman s because i still have clutch control, it helps to spin the tires in the thick mud.
Sounds like the Foreman is the way to go. I just finished reading the new review in Quad magazine about the Foreman with power steering and they were impressed. The only markdowns were about the rear drum brake and they thought it was pretty slow for a 500-class machine.

What do you gain and/or lose by moving up to the Rubicon?
i raced my buddies rubicon and it was close, we both had the same mods when we raced and he pulled from me about a length and a half until we hit 60km/h then i started to catch up to him then passed him. in the mud the foreman definetly has more bottom end grunt to turn bigger tires.
I would say for the work your doing get a Foreman ES 2wd .Its a simple platform and not heavy. ES because of your height (Is it hard to up shift If you are a taller person with longer legs)just a thought. They go forever on a tank of gas , also the New Liquid fuel injected Rancher is not proven yet and all though Honda is the best never buy first model year ( from personal experiance, my Foreman being one. ) . Other than that the best way is ride both and decide on the bike instead of just goin through brocheurs. Good Luck
Thanks all, I appreciate your input. I'm leaning towards the Foreman ES 4X4. I've got to negotiate some steep terrain that gets pretty slick when the rains hit (about 75% of the time), so the 2X won't cut it. Next step is to try a test ride and give a close look at the Rubicon while I'm at it.

Right now I'm leaning towards buying down in Oregon to avoid the Washington sales tax. Sure wish I could find pricing like you guys back East and South have. It really pays to be closer to the factory I guess.
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