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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Forum,
I’m on the verge of pulling the trigger on one of these bikes and am trying to determine if it’s worth it to step up to the Rubicon.

My uses would be: Snow plowing in winter (maybe 2-4x/mo, usually not more than 6-8 inches), plowing 50x60 garden each spring, hauling small lawn cart around, but overall more pleasure riding than work. I’m in a flat area but there are sand dunes and trails a few hours north that I’d eventually hit, nothing terribly steep or rocky though.

I’m looking at both of these models and all I see as major differences are engine size, and the Rubi can lock the front differential whereas the Rancher just has Traxlok. Otherwise it seems like Honda has built this particular version of the Rancher as a less powerful Rubicon — hauls a little less, racks support a little less, but same brakes, ground clearance, length/w/h, transmission and steering.

I have price quotes, Rancher would be ~$7300 out the door, Rubicon closer to $8400. I’m having a tough time justifying an extra $1100 for 2.5 more HP and locking differential, unless those are worth a lot more than I’m thinking they are for my purposes.

Are the Ranchers still geared a little more sporty than the Rubi’s? Would I really need the locking differential since the DCT transmission will get me a low range gear box? Will I really need the extra power for tilling the garden? Am I missing something else (seating, lighting, electric power output, etc.)?

I’m okay spending the money if it’s worth it, but at this point I’m thinking of putting that extra $1100 difference towards my plow setup, other accessories and helmets. Any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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I have a 2016 Rubi ES DX, & my buddy has a 2011 Rancher ES ESP IRS. I can take him out of the hole & if i get a big enough jump he cant catch me at all. Does that help? lol... seriously, IF I was going to plow i would def/ get the 500.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Appreciate the response.

I don't mind paying the premium if it's worth it, but I don't want to be wasteful either. We only get 12" snow storms once every 3-5 years, most are around 6" and I've seen tons of videos of folks easily plowing 12"+ with 420's, which really made me question whether the extra expense is justified. I'm not using this for business purposes, just helping maintain my 1.3 acre yard and plow my 150' asphalt driveway. Is this really one of those things where I should buy more than I think I need (like gun safes)?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guess I'm going with the Rubicon. This is my first atv, wife says I better plan on keeping it for 20 years, it's already more $ than she thought it would end up being. If I'm locked in for a long time, I'm going big.

I have a feeling she's going to want her own in a couple of years, same thing happened with the first rifle I ever bought.
 

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I would get the bigger unit, the Rubicon and not look back. Keep in mind, I am saying that as a Honda Rancher owner. The last thing you want to do is buy small, be disappointed and try to trade it in and go up, YIKES....
 

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Hello Forum,
I’m on the verge of pulling the trigger on one of these bikes and am trying to determine if it’s worth it to step up to the Rubicon.

My uses would be: Snow plowing in winter (maybe 2-4x/mo, usually not more than 6-8 inches), plowing 50x60 garden each spring, hauling small lawn cart around, but overall more pleasure riding than work. I’m in a flat area but there are sand dunes and trails a few hours north that I’d eventually hit, nothing terribly steep or rocky though.

I’m looking at both of these models and all I see as major differences are engine size, and the Rubi can lock the front differential whereas the Rancher just has Traxlok. Otherwise it seems like Honda has built this particular version of the Rancher as a less powerful Rubicon — hauls a little less, racks support a little less, but same brakes, ground clearance, length/w/h, transmission and steering.

I have price quotes, Rancher would be ~$7300 out the door, Rubicon closer to $8400. I’m having a tough time justifying an extra $1100 for 2.5 more HP and locking differential, unless those are worth a lot more than I’m thinking they are for my purposes.

Are the Ranchers still geared a little more sporty than the Rubi’s? Would I really need the locking differential since the DCT transmission will get me a low range gear box? Will I really need the extra power for tilling the garden? Am I missing something else (seating, lighting, electric power output, etc.)?

I’m okay spending the money if it’s worth it, but at this point I’m thinking of putting that extra $1100 difference towards my plow setup, other accessories and helmets. Any thoughts are appreciated!
I am a very happy 2016 Rancher owner, but if I were going to use it for what you're mentioning, I would go for the Rubi for these reasons:

1. More weight will help with your intended purposes, and the Rubi is a lot heavier than the Rancher.
2. Differential lock up front will make a tremendous difference for your intended uses, get the Rubi.
3. The Rubi you're talking about has low range, that would AGAIN help for your intended uses. Get the Rubi.
 

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I get the idea of a differential lock, and I have a Rancher. Judging by the steep and rocky hills that I do climb, if the differential lock is actually necessary, I probably shouldn't be going there.
 

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I would buy the foreman over the rancher!! Rubicon over the foremen!! To many advantages over the rancher. Diff lock, 12 inch rims, lower gear (better for bigger tires) 12 volt accessory port, and a full front bumper. O ya 25 inch tires vs 24s and with the Rubicon dct you get low range!
 

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I would buy the Rincon over all of those, you know, Honda's "flagship" model :eek
 
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