2 wheel drive instead of 4 - Honda ATV Forum
Honda Rancher Discuss all models of the Honda Rancher 350/400/420

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question 2 wheel drive instead of 4

My girlfriend and I both bought Rancher 420's but opted to go with the two wheel drive instead of 4. We didn't think we'd need 4 wheel drive but the more we get involved riding and the more challenging trails and river riding we do, we're now somewhat regretting the decision to go with the 2 wheel drive. I've gotten stuck several times, but at least I got to use my winch for the first time and that was pretty fun. Also, we've been putting enough accessories on these that we could have afforded to buy the 4 wheel drive when we bought them. I guess there are just some things a two wheel drive can't do, as much as we want to. Don't get me wrong, we love them and go through some pretty tough trails, rivers, and creeks(check out pics) but I think we should have gotten the 4 wheel drives instead.

My question is: what improvements or mods can I make on these to get more performance as a 2 wheel drive? (like bigger tires, etc) My experience and knowing how to handle 2 wheel drive is getting much better.... I know what I can and can't do and my judgement usually works out for the best, but occasionally I do get a little stubborn and dive into situations that I probably shoudn't with 2 wheel drive. It's still all fun, though. My girlfriend loves pulling me out and we have a blast doing the things we do and to us that's what it's all about.

Any ideas on how to improve a 2 wheel drive's performance to maximize our riding ability?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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maybe I should have posted this in performance and mods? sorry

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 09:03 AM
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its fine bro, and i would say look into trading them for 4 wheel drives it would probably be the best and easyiest mod so look at other atvs on c list and see if anyone will trade you straight across

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 09:54 AM
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Most people drive their hondas is 2wd most of the time and it's a good learning experience. I drove a kawasaki 215cc 2wd atv for over 20 years and you learn more than a few tricks in that amount of time . Most of the time i forget that i have 4wd on my 420.

As for the modifications to improve your 2wd, slightly larger & more aggressive tires will help somewhat and i am guessing that you have the solid rear axle model of 420 rancher.

Another option if you don't want to trade upto 4x4 would be to get j-wheelz Jwheelz - a new bolt-on attachment for ATVs and UTVs

They were originally designed for 2wd hondas.

Other than that your best option is a trade up to 4x4. Either in the Rancher or Rubicon models.


2009 Honda Rancher 420 FPE.
H-L Detroit FDL.
Dual battery.
Pull start.
26" Kenda Executioner tires.
Externally mounted Runva 2500lbs winch.

So long as i am far away from humanity i am content.

Last edited by nanuk; 07-21-2012 at 09:57 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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Ya getting an all time 2wd model didn't seem too practical. I bought an all time 4wd and then put the warn 4-2-4 lever on mine so i can ride in 2wd unless I need 4wd which I don't need very often. My suggestion to you would to be get some tires on it. I go through most of the mud and obstacles such as trees and such on my 420 in 2wd. The thing that I was looking for was good tires with minimum weight. This is why I put the Maxxis Zillas on. I also put a 2 inch lift on it so the 27's will fit without rubbing and to give me a little more ground clearance. The Zillas are a very aggressive mud tire but they are skinny and don't weigh that much more than a stock tire. This is good for our little motors. I think that if you did this it would help you out tremendously.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 01:46 PM
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I cant say much about the two wheel drive model but 27s fit on the 4x4 without rubbing and no lift. and yes I run Zillas to me they are the best light mud tire you can get.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 06:17 PM
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I'm with Honda1997..... You should definately look into getting a couple of 4WD Ranchers, especially if you are trail riding. 4WD takes a LOT of stress off of the machine, improves handling, and of course, improves performance. Larger or more aggressive tires on your 2WD machines will only make them LESS powerful, it will negatively affect the handling and overall, you'll be worse off in all conditions. You'll love the 4WD Ranchers (as many do), so it would be my suggestion that you keep your eyes open for a couple of them. Good Luck! Happy Riding

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 08:38 PM
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I would recommend upgrading to a 4wd.You may be able to get a good trade value for them from the dealer you bought them from.

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