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I am looking at purchasing a used TRX400 and have two model years I am looking at. What I am wondering is if there have been major engineering advancements between the years 2005 and 2012. Be it chassis, suspension, power plant, brakes etc.

The 2005 is in 'showroom condition' with very little miles on it and is all stock, while the 2012 as been jetted and has an aftermarket pipe and it was probably ridden more tan the 2005.

This will be for my experienced 14 year son.

Any education on this will help me with my decision.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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First thing to clarify, the 2012 you're looking at is a TRX420, not a 400.

The 400AT Ranchers were only available 2004 through 2007.

The TRX420 ranchers first came out in 2007, and the new TRX420 Rancher AT came out in 2008.

The machines are so different from one another, the list would be almost endless and there share almost no parts and the drivetrains run on completely different principles.

But really all you need to know is the 04 to 07 400's are basically junk. Not worth paying money for at least. There is a reason why I am one of the few ramaining members on this forum that still owns one. Click on my username and look at some of my old posts, and others old posts, for the reasons why you want to avoid buying a 400.

The 420's are mechanically sound and engineered machines though. No reservations there.
 

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The 420's are mechanically sound and engineered machines though. No reservations there.
I've no experience of a 400, but I would describe the 420 as being designed by engineers of the 'white coat' variety rather than the 'overalls' variety. For example to do any real maintenance work on them, you have to take the plastic footwells off. Trouble is that plastic is held together by metal nuts and bolt which are facing areas areas which are exposed to mud, snow, salt etc. In fact any element that means that the nuts will rust and because they are holding down plastic you aren't able to use the usual method of working on rusty nuts and bolt i.e. heat.
But apart from those little niggles, I agree that the 420 are good machines.
 

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I think there is a disconnect in models discussed above because I am looking at:

2012 Honda TRX? 400X Reviews, Prices, and Specs

and a:

2005 Honda TRX? 400EX Reviews, Prices, and Specs

one is an 'x' and the other is an 'ex'. I am not looking for a rancher.

Thanks for any additional information.

Mark
Ok sorry, I should have asked to clarify. Used to everyone referring to the sport quads as 400EX or sportrax, and the utilities as TRX400, etc. Now that you've clarified I'm sure others will jump in.
 

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Only difference i am aware of is plastics design, and gas tank, all cosmetic to my understanding. I feel like the newer ones look alot more like the same years 450r's cosmetic wise. The frame has very minor tweaks to fit the different plastic and gas tank. They also changed the header pipe to a different material that dissapates heat better so im told. But i cant confirm that. I would go with the 05. But be sure to call your local honda dealer with the vin# to be sure they did the recall on the reverse detent. They had problems with people going into reverse while downshifting and fixed it free at the honda dealer. My .02
 
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