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worst of the 500 class

37076 Views 203 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  Foreman0n22s
I read on one website that all of the top manufactures where asked to submit their best ATV in the 500 class for a shoot out. Honda's entry was their Rubicon. The results were has follows:

1. Was the Suzuki's 450 King Quad
2. CanAM 500
3. Polaris 500
5. Yamaha's 450 Grizzly
6. Artic Cat's 500
7. Honda' Rubicon

The what they said about the honda was "As for our last-place finisher, the Honda, there are several things that make the machine feel really dated, despite the GPS display next to the instrumentation.

The engine is smooth and without a hiccup, and it gets high scores in the areas of stability and handling thanks to flat cornering.

While it handles well in most trail conditions, the suspension and brakes are badly in need of an update, regardless of how many Rubicons are sold. It would also benefit from a driveline upgrade to a locking differential to pull it through what its bottom-of-the-class ground clearance cannot.

Contributing Editor Jerrod Kelley said it best: “A rider will have to weigh this quad’s minuses (rough, small, slow, boring) vs. its pluses (name, reliability and tranny).â€
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my two cents....

I have a rubi and I also have one of the competitions bikes. both are excellent machines and shine in different areas. with all the hype over things like EFI, PS, IRS and lockers... its easy to be influenced to think we really need all these "improvements" to have a more capable trail bike.

EFI- well it sure is nice starting my EFI bike. no choke to mess around with. it always runs great right off the bat. the down side is that when the battery goes dead youre stuck with no alternative other than a towrope or booster cables. pull starting one of these is not an option.

Lockers- again, they work great and I love mine. that said, my rubicon has only gotten stuck in a few spots where my other bike made it through. 95 times out of a hundred it makes little difference in typical trail riding conditions. I ride trails and not exclusively mud pits. some of these trails are crazy steep, rocky and technical and the locker has not proved to be a significant advantage in my experience.

IRS- Ive got to admit my other bike rides like a dream compared to my rubicon. its like comparing a 2000+ cadillac to a pre-1975 4wd truck. I do prefer the flat feeling when cornering with a SRA and truth is when I ride I very seldom get to go faster than 15-20mph because of the terrain and visibility. there is also the arguement about additional clearance afforded by the use of IRS. well its true, if youre riding in rutted out muddy trails. however, on normal rocky trails and creekbeds, I seem to bottom out my other bike twice as often as my rubi and I cant figure out why. it has 3 more inches of clearance and it should be much better than the honda.

PS- well I have yet to notice any significant advantage to having power steering... except when I am climbing steep stuff and standing while steering. this is a LOT easier to do with power steering. I still come home from riding sore no matter which quad I am riding.

Belts- well its true they suck. however, they also work REAL well if you treat them right... and they can last forever. I know people that have put 5000 miles on an 800cc quad with a belt before replacing it. or, you can abuse a brand new belt in a mud pit and wipe it out in literally seconds. another myth about belts... my other bike has far more engine braking than my rubicon. after all that, I still prefer my rubicons tranny. its da bomb and I wouldnt change a thing.

One thing that is certain is that it sure is nice that we have so many options to choose from when purchasing our 4wheelers. I am extremely loyal to my honda. its been REAL good to me over its lifetime and I have no intention of getting rid of it. I LOVE my Rubicon. however my other bike is a freekin blast to ride, and after its first 1000 miles it has yet to give me any troubles. it definitely is better suited to a different style of riding than my rubi, and it does it real well. it doesnt mean that ones better than the other... just different.
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Yea I would like more myself too, but that'll come years down the road when i upgrade. as for teh bigbores..... everytime we all go out theres a few 850s a few 800s and some rzrs. One thing I definitely notice is a big downfall for all that power is they run out of gas FAST. If were out for a whole day they're re fueling 4 hours into the ride, where my machine still has 3/4 of a tank.
my outlander 800R only gets 10 miles less per tank than my rubi. they are real good on fuel especially considering they have the bragging rights to the most hp in the big bore class. both my rubi and outlander tanks are within a .25 of a gallon of each other in size.

when I finally broke down and started looking at "other brand" atv's, it wasnt until after I visited my local honda dealer last summer with the intent to buy a new rubi. they had NO NEW RUBICONS and didnt seem interested in trying to find me one. I then visited a dealer about 30 miles away and they had some... but the prices they wanted for them were only 1200 dollars less than I paid for my 800. considering the economic climate last summer I wasnt impressed. the 3 year warranty on the can am atv was also refreshing.

honda really dropped the ball in my eyes last summer. I was ready to buy, and when I couldnt get one at what WAS my dealer of choice, I decided it made more sense to get something different for a second atv. I already had a 2007 Rubi that was a great bike.... and the 2010 rubis are basically identical quads.-
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the can am frames are definitely vulnerable to damage. they are the only utility quad out there that either a chassis spline (small frame insert) or skid plates are mandatory. the frames have a small spot on the bottom that is vulnerable to a hit. hit them once there, and they can fold the next time they are stressed.

custom skid plates prevent the hit and then there are never any issues with them. it is totally unacceptable that BRP ignores this problem. the chassis spline performs the same function, as its a slide-in internal brace and only costs a hundred bucks, but I chose the more expensive ricochet option.

the canams also suffer the same overheating issues, as many of the big bores, if the rads are allowed to plug with mud which happens quite easily. basically, there are no inner fenders to keep the mud contained to the wheelwells. I have to clean my rad with a garden hose everyday after a mud ride or else suffer the consequenses.

the fuel is a non issue with my 800. the ten miles means that at the end of a day, when my 800 is completely out of gas, the rubicon is already on reserve. I often ride with both my atv's at the same time. I loan one and ride the other.
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An Outlander 800 weighs 69 pounds more than a 450, which can feel like quite a bit of weight.

I've ridden a Outy 800 Max (2-up) and quite liked it, the power is very impressive but it did feel "big" compared to my Rubicon.

Really not too many things I didn't like about it.

what did you think of the brakes? I think they suck on mine. theyre noisy, "grindy" feeling and they wear at an astronomical rate. not to mention only one brake handle...
well let me just say that i have always liked hondas until i got this 07 rubicon. Mechanically it has been sound but electronically it has been in the shop 5 times(fixing to be 6). And the first time was 3 weeks after i got it brand new!! So after this one i'm not sure i would buy another Honda!(Not saying i'm not but it would have to be a very good deal!!)
did you use dielectric grease on every connection on the bike? its mandatory with a honda in my opinion. I had troubles with mine throwing error codes when it was brand new also. since I greased everything all the troubles went away. I cant believe they dont come already done from the factory.
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