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Need help.......

11032 Views 25 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Rider11x
I am getting ready to buy my first Utility quad after years of XC Racing and trail riding my 400ex, and wanting to get a good quad for casual trail riding, with very good reliability( the reason why I want a Honda).
I need help deciding between the Rancher 4x4 350FM, or the Foreman 500FM. Can the fulltime 4x4 Rancher be ridden on blacktop without damage? Do both have super low first gear? Is one more durable than the other?
Thanks in advance.
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the full time 4 wheel drive is a pain inthe arse as far as i am concerned. go big and get the Foreman. better suspension,more power......
yeah, mullet is right...go with the 500.
The Rancher is physically smaller as well. But you may be used to small bikes riding sport quads. If you have the scratch I would get the Foreman, bigger frame, bigger motor, better suspension and 2wd/4wd.
I run my Rancher 4x4 on paved roads to get on to my girlfriend's land. The thing runs great but don't make any sudden moves at high speed on asphalt. That pretty much holds true with any atv. Top speed with a GPS unit was 52.5 mph, which in my too dang fast on an atv on pavement.

I plan to purchase a Warn 424 for my Rancher so I can take it out of 4 wheel drive.
I've been researching the subject more, and like the dual oil coolers on the 500FM, but cringe at the thought of rolling it over ( As I always manage to do) and breaking that headlight pod/ LCD display. That little gem can't be too cheap to replace. In that way I like the bare bones factor of the Rancher, as I want a machine I don't have to worry about alot.
I have rolled mine twice and never broke the pod, the pod is a lot bigger than the internals. If you managed to break it it shouldn't be that expensive to replace. And if you don't care much about the lcd screen then if you did manage to break it, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, it doesn't have to have it to run I don't believe. I say take a ride on the two and see which one you like best.
I got some info from a Rancher owner, that he has a rancher w/ 26" tires on it and it has almost no bottom end power with them........He said that in mud with not much water in it it nearly stalls him out!
So, I guess the 500 will be worth the money to me so I can run decent tires tires on it. I guess the pod is not required, as the 2wd doesn't have it at all. And with the 2wd/ 4wd switch the Warn conversion won't be needed.

On the Rancher subject.......What is the deal with the 24" tires and the 11" wheels? 25" on 12" is almost industry standard!
I would go with the Foreman all the way.
QUOTE ("Rider11x":1eqflnsg)
On the Rancher subject.......What is the deal with the 24" tires and the 11" wheels? 25" on 12" is almost industry standard!
I guess its technically considered an entry level 4x4. If you look at most of the other brand's bigginer bikes they are similar.
I looked at a 500 before I bought my Rancher and decided I didn't need the extra size and power that it offered. The places I ride, my yard and at my girlfreiends place(230 acres), the Rancher is more than enough.

I have added a winch and rear rack extension but the most worthwhile upgrade was the Warn 424. I reccomend you install one if you decide on the Rancher.
I was told that Honda went with the 11" back rims on the Rancher to make it more of a comfortable ride, at least that's what a tech told me. We changed the wifes out to 12" and 25" tires front and back and she loves it, says it's more stable and doesn't have the wanting-to-roll feeling when going around corners.
The thing that keeps me looking at the Rancher, is the size thing. I do venture out alone at times to go check out stuff, and the Rancher seems more managable if I needed to muscle it around or something. I think Trugrit hit the nail on the head, with saying I'm probably used to smaller bikes from my sport quad days.
500 Foreman
I have foreman 500S and my best friend has a rancher 350 4x4 where we ride it is really swampy and the cover is thick lots of small trees close together. He has 25" dirt devils and I have 26" mudbugs and he keeps up with me and then some. For where we ride at he bike is a lot better suited smaller more ajile (?) and a heap easier to recover when he gets stuck, but more power and 2/4wd are very nice. Also we are both in the 250 lb club and his bike shows no signs of lacking power.
I the long run, I think you will be much happier with the 500 Foreman.
I have a Rancher and wouldn't trade it for nothin. As far as the differences between the two, the Rancher is lighter = easier to pull out of trouble when your alone, the rancher WILL turn over 26 inch tires to the point of making the person behind you pay for being there, HEHE. Easier to work on, and parts are probably less expensive depending on the model. I personally believe electronics and mud don't mix which is the reason I got the manual shift model, if there's no LCD to get wet then I'll never have to replace it.
You can't say I didn't get mine wet.

I know many members that have their bikes this deep every week, with no trouble.
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Go with the Foreman. I have rolled mine. No damage at all.
Go to the dealer ride them both and see if the rancher feels good under you. And it may be worth it to find the dealer that willl let you really ride them not just take it out in the parking lot but one that has a little bit of dirt and stuff to ride in.
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