How to read honda's model numbers ( or letters in this case ). - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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How to read honda's model numbers ( or letters in this case ).

It was brought to my attention ( against my better judgement..lol ), that I should make a sticky for explaining what the letters mean on our atvs ? First off, let me say, if your an old timer like myself ?, then you know dang well, that when you see FM at the end of your model number ?, you know just as well as me, this means it is a Four wheel drive, Manual shift model. It makes no difference what year you have ?, or CC's ?, ( unless we are searching for parts for you ? ). Now, if you look on any web site that sells Honda parts ?, you will notice Honda types them out in this way, say my '03 trx450S ?, yes..they will call it a 2003 TRX450S. But, us old timers all know these atvs are called, or will be called ?, a 2003 trx450FM ?, why ?, simple, they know they are four wheel drives, and manual shifts. in the old days for Honda's trx300's ?, they typed them out such as : trx300, trx300fw. the trx300FW was known as a four wheel drive, manual shift...even though it did not, does not..carry the letters FM on the end of it ?, why ?, simple..because we all knew It was a four wheel drive, manual shift..thats why. Honda called them the trx300FW back then. and for the trx300 two wheel drive, manual shift ?, they just called them a trx300..thats it, nothing else. now..fast forward to today's time and age !. now we got PS,ESP, and god knows what else is out there ?..( yes..i know a few of them, but I won't list them here, learn to use google !..lmao. anywayyyyyy, what you do need to know about your newer atv ?, is the last letters at the end of your vin number ?, most will either be TE ?, or FE ?. TM ?, OR FM ? ( YES MRB..HONDA DOES CALL MY '03 TRX450FM BY THIS LETTER NOW !..LOL..NOT FW ). Ok, now you see the letters, what do they mean ?. simple, TE= two wheel drive, electric shift. TM= two wheel drive, manual shift. FE=four wheel drive,electric shift. FM= four wheel drive,manual shift. the only other letters that will follow these first two letters is just letters telling you if they are solid axle ? ( SA ) ..( IF YOUR YEAR/MAKE/MODEL HAS THIS ? ). ESP ( electronic shift program )..( again..if your year/make/model has this ? ). IRS ( independent rear suspension )..( again..if your year/make/model has this ? ). then we cover the FA, ( four wheel drive, automatic transmission ). SOOO..there you have it, when posting a question about a problem with your atv ?, PLEASE GIVE US THE FULL YEAR/MAKE/MODEL NUMBER OF YOUR ATV ?!. YESSSSSSS..IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO NARROW YOUR PROBLEM DOWN ?.
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'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '83 cx650c , '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho

Last edited by shadetree; 11-30-2016 at 09:27 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 10:14 PM
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Who told you to make a sticky you can't even make a frickin paragraph LOL I reject your explanation and substitute my own.....


Let me translate....

Let's start with the prefix, 3 letters, as follows:
Honda trikes = ATC Prefix
Honda Quads = TRX Prefix
Honda Side by Side = MUV (to 2013) SXS (2014+)

Next have size of machine, just a note this is not exact engine displacement, just advertised size. You'll see 250, 300, 400, 450, 500, 650, 680 etc.

Lastly we have our features, options etc. This differs from model years so we'll break it down a little bit here. We'll focus on quads, trikes are a whole different animal.

Prior to 1988, there was only one 4wd (350) and the others were 2wd, nothing major to worry about, but know that the 350 is a fourtrax and the 350D is a Foreman.

Starting in 1988 we have the TRX300FW FW from this point forward will mean Four Wheel Drive. No suffix = two wheel drive

Starting in 1998 Honda brought out the 450 Foreman, this was labeled 450S and 450ES, 450S was a footshift, 450ES was electric shift. 300 Fourtrax and 400 Foreman still used FW for their 4x4 model(s)

2000 We see the 350 Rancher hit the markets. This was the beginning of a new lettering system. No more FW, it becomes just F, or T for two wheel drive; which is followed by M for foot shift or E for Electric shift. ex. TRX350FM is four wheel drive and foot shift. At this point the 400 Foreman is still using the FW lettering, as well as the 300 Fourtrax (last year for this model)

2001 Brings another new letter. A for automatic transmission. Which is found on the new Rubicon platform. TRX500FA

2002 the S and ES lettering is dropped from the 450 Foreman and they adopt the "new" style lettering, same as the Rancher/Rubicon. ex. TRX450S becomes TRX450FM

2004 we see another new letter. G for GPScape, Honda's in dash GPS system. This one is a little different as they kind of inserted it in the middle of the letters, for obvious reasons. ex. TRX650FGA vs. TRX650FA (Non-GPS)

2007 Brings another new letter. P, for power steering. Appears first on the 500 Foreman. ex. TRX500FPE which would be a 500 Foreman electric shift, with power steering.

So up uptil 2013 this is fine and dandy. Unfortunately beyond that it becomes somewhat more difficult. While the T/F and M/E/A will remain, Honda decided to shorten it up and just stick a number after it. So a TRX500FM1 is a Foreman, a TRX500FM7 is a Rubicon, both are footshift, and both are fourwheel drive, but are totally different machines....I haven't quite figured out any pattern to it, so I'll leave it at that.

Other things worth mentioning. EX, R, and ER are all sport models, as well as X and XX. None of them really mean anything other than the E in ER which is electric start.

Recap:
T = Two Wheel Drive
F = Four Wheel Drive
M = Manualv (Foot) Shift
E = Electric Shift
A = Automatic
P = Power Steering
G = GPScape
S = Manual (Foot) Shift
ES = Electric Shift
FW = Four wheel drive
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I have a Rubicon. It is White. It has big tires. I like my Can-am better.....when it works.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac102004 View Post
Who told you to make a sticky you can't even make a frickin paragraph LOL I reject your explanation and substitute my own.....


Let me translate....

Let's start with the prefix, 3 letters, as follows:
Honda trikes = ATC Prefix
Honda Quads = TRX Prefix
Honda Side by Side = MUV (to 2013) SXS (2014+)

Next have size of machine, just a note this is not exact engine displacement, just advertised size. You'll see 250, 300, 400, 450, 500, 650, 680 etc.

Lastly we have our features, options etc. This differs from model years so we'll break it down a little bit here. We'll focus on quads, trikes are a whole different animal.

Prior to 1988, there was only one 4wd (350) and the others were 2wd, nothing major to worry about, but know that the 350 is a fourtrax and the 350D is a Foreman.

Starting in 1988 we have the TRX300FW FW from this point forward will mean Four Wheel Drive. No suffix = two wheel drive

Starting in 1998 Honda brought out the 450 Foreman, this was labeled 450S and 450ES, 450S was a footshift, 450ES was electric shift. 300 Fourtrax and 400 Foreman still used FW for their 4x4 model(s)

2000 We see the 350 Rancher hit the markets. This was the beginning of a new lettering system. No more FW, it becomes just F, or T for two wheel drive; which is followed by M for foot shift or E for Electric shift. ex. TRX350FM is four wheel drive and foot shift. At this point the 400 Foreman is still using the FW lettering, as well as the 300 Fourtrax (last year for this model)

2001 Brings another new letter. A for automatic transmission. Which is found on the new Rubicon platform. TRX500FA

2002 the S and ES lettering is dropped from the 450 Foreman and they adopt the "new" style lettering, same as the Rancher/Rubicon. ex. TRX450S becomes TRX450FM

2004 we see another new letter. G for GPScape, Honda's in dash GPS system. This one is a little different as they kind of inserted it in the middle of the letters, for obvious reasons. ex. TRX650FGA vs. TRX650FA (Non-GPS)

2007 Brings another new letter. P, for power steering. Appears first on the 500 Foreman. ex. TRX500FPE which would be a 500 Foreman electric shift, with power steering.

So up uptil 2013 this is fine and dandy. Unfortunately beyond that it becomes somewhat more difficult. While the T/F and M/E/A will remain, Honda decided to shorten it up and just stick a number after it. So a TRX500FM1 is a Foreman, a TRX500FM7 is a Rubicon, both are footshift, and both are fourwheel drive, but are totally different machines....I haven't quite figured out any pattern to it, so I'll leave it at that.

Other things worth mentioning. EX, R, and ER are all sport models, as well as X and XX. None of them really mean anything other than the E in ER which is electric start.

Recap:
T = Two Wheel Drive
F = Four Wheel Drive
M = Manualv (Foot) Shift
E = Electric Shift
A = Automatic
P = Power Steering
G = GPScape
S = Manual (Foot) Shift
ES = Electric Shift
FW = Four wheel drive
and you were forced to read and click on it ?!..lol. never claimed to be a typist ?, but I dang sure can tear a motor apart, put it back together !..lmfao.
jay10 likes this.

'89 trx350D foreman 4x4...'85 vf700c magna, '83 cx650c , '03 trx450fm foreman 4x4 , 2015 Yamaha waverunner fx cruiser ho

Last edited by shadetree; 11-30-2016 at 10:35 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 06:58 AM
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Wasn't forced but it's like a public service lol Your a mod, you should have just pasted what I wrote into yours at the beginning and deleted my post LOL

I have a Rubicon. It is White. It has big tires. I like my Can-am better.....when it works.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:59 AM
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What muddies the water for me is that my 2004 TRX450FM has "Foreman S" on both sides of the plastic covering the fuel tank. When I called the local Honda dealer about torque specs and told them I had a 2004 TRX450FM they paused and said "You mean a 450 Foreman S with Trax Lok?" LOL
On some websites looking at parts for my 1997 TRX300, some for the choices are TRX300P or TRX300A (can't remember which it was now or which site). WTH does that mean? lol
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doobie View Post
What muddies the water for me is that my 2004 TRX450FM has "Foreman S" on both sides of the plastic covering the fuel tank. When I called the local Honda dealer about torque specs and told them I had a 2004 TRX450FM they paused and said "You mean a 450 Foreman S with Trax Lok?" LOL
On some websites looking at parts for my 1997 TRX300, some for the choices are TRX300P or TRX300A (can't remember which it was now or which site). WTH does that mean? lol
I have seen sometimes the 300 will have a letter behind it other than A for 2wd or FW for 4wd , and that letter is the year of the bike , like 300P which would be a 1993 ----------the 450 S and FM is basically the same thing in different model years
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 06:51 AM
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What does the "s" mean on a 95 trx 300 fourtrax?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

1995 Honda TRX300 Fourtrax 2x4
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 07:25 AM
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it means 1995 , that is what I ride , there is a sticker on the frame under the seat that has TRX300FW S
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 07:28 AM
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the extra letter to designate the year doesn't always show up on those frame stickers
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 08:14 AM
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I think the main thing about this post is the want of everyone to help people that need it.

Maybe another approach would be better,
To better help you please answer the following questions:

1. What year make and model do have?
2. Is it two or four wheel drive?
3. Is it a foot shift, thumb shift, automatic with a thumb shift?
4. Can you post a picture of you machine?

If we can get these answers first, the everyone else can tell them what the have. Of course then you may get a few of these:

I have a 2000 Kaw with brown stuff coming out the tail pipe.

https://image.spreadshirtmedia.com/i...ight%3D178.png
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