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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday my friend and I went on a fun 57-mile ride into/through/around the Santa Rita mountains of southern Arizona, east of Sahuarita. We saw old cars, lots of whitetail deer, few people, and some great vistas.

I rode my 2016 Rancher 4x4, and he rode his 2003 Foreman 400 4x4. He's a big dude, but that Foreman got him in and out and everywhere we wanted to go - it's like a little mountain goat! It may not have the cc's, fuel injection, horsepower, liquid cooling, power steering, suspension, or clearance of my 2016 Rancher 4x4, but but we had an awesome day. He just sold a '97 Foreman 400 nearly identical to this 2003, and his '97 had over 3600 hours on it. So this one is a baby with just 360 hours on it. Here's a short clip of the '03 in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2itOYxS_KbY
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, the views from up high were awesome. In one picture I've got Sahuarita and Tucson in the same frame! Any day in the saddle is a great day.
 

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400 Foreman's are very capable machines, although I do prefer the 450's.

Your 420 has about 5.5hp on the 400 Foreman, but the Foreman has a gearing advantage of about 22%. 450 Foreman is within 2.5hp of the 420 with the same gearing advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Yes, thanks for the reply and the info. I think it's worth pointing out that I feel I have the true gearing advantage in my circumstances, and here's why:

1. I have not come across a situation yet in 1840 miles with my '16 Rancher where I needed, or wished I had lower gearing. So far, 1st has been low enough for all of my needs/wants.

2. I do LOTS of riding where open roads or paved roads are part of the loop, and my Rancher can cruise comfortably at 40mph (max speed 50mph), whereas the lower-geared older Foremans and Ranchers are comfortable at around 30 or less. For example, on this 57-mile loop in the mountains of southern AZ two days ago, some of the day was spent on wide, smooth, maintained dirt roads where my buddy was pushing the revs on his 400 get to the next trail. We are not promoting unsafe speeds, but my Rancher is safe and stable at 40mph. Point is, on this last ride, I felt the entire ride that I had the gearing advantage because my friend wanted to go faster, but couldn't.

3. I noticed that due to the lower gearing and lower horsepower, he was busier shifting all day, where I - for example - could hang in 2nd gear to do everything he was doing on the trails while he was bouncing between 1-3 gears.

In other words, gearing "advantage" depends on your ATV application and riding conditions. In my case, I have a definite gearing advantage. If I were doing serious low-speed rock crawling or large-tire mudding, I'd be wishing for lower gears.
 

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Yes, thanks for the reply and the info. I think it's worth pointing out that I feel I have the true gearing advantage in my circumstances, and here's why:

1. I have not come across a situation yet in 1840 miles with my '16 Rancher where I needed, or wished I had lower gearing. So far, 1st has been low enough for all of my needs/wants.

2. I do LOTS of riding where open roads or paved roads are part of the loop, and my Rancher can cruise comfortably at 40mph (max speed 50mph), whereas the lower-geared older Foremans and Ranchers are comfortable at around 30 or less. For example, on this 57-mile loop in the mountains of southern AZ two days ago, some of the day was spent on wide, smooth, maintained dirt roads where my buddy was pushing the revs on his 400 get to the next trail. We are not promoting unsafe speeds, but my Rancher is safe and stable at 40mph. Point is, on this last ride, I felt the entire ride that I had the gearing advantage because my friend wanted to go faster, but couldn't.

3. I noticed that due to the lower gearing and lower horsepower, he was busier shifting all day, where I - for example - could hang in 2nd gear to do everything he was doing on the trails while he was bouncing between 1-3 gears.

In other words, gearing "advantage" depends on your ATV application and riding conditions. In my case, I have a definite gearing advantage. If I were doing serious low-speed rock crawling or large-tire mudding, I'd be wishing for lower gears.
you forgot 4 !, utility's are not meant for speed !, they are built for work, this is where you need a low gear, pulling trailers , whatever ?, then you would wish you had that lower gear ratio !..lol.sport atvs ?, that's another breed all it's own, but utility atvs ?, no..they just don't work right if they are geared high.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Shadetree, you are exactly right, so here it is...

4. Anybody who's watched the utility quad market in the past 6 years has noticed it's replacing the sport quad market, where people like me demand more fun from their utility quads. All of the makes have had to adapt. Honda adapted in 2014, stating that their new utility quads would be more fun in all aspects for the recreational rider, while still meeting the utility demands.

Honda nailed it with this Rancher. It's geared low enough for all of the off-roading I've done, and it's also geared low enough for the work I do with it, but it's quick enough to get down the road when I'm out to play on it. Thank you, Honda, and well done. If you'd kept the lower gearing of 15 years ago I would have been forced to buy another brand.
 
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Shadetree, you are exactly right, so here it is...

4. Anybody who's watched the utility quad market in the past 6 years has noticed it's replacing the sport quad market, where people like me demand more fun from their utility quads. All of the makes have had to adapt. Honda adapted in 2014, stating that their new utility quads would be more fun in all aspects for the recreational rider, while still meeting the utility demands.

Honda nailed it with this Rancher. It's geared low enough for all of the off-roading I've done, and it's also geared low enough for the work I do with it, but it's quick enough to get down the road when I'm out to play on it. Thank you, Honda, and well done. If you'd kept the lower gearing of 15 years ago I would have been forced to buy another brand.
well said ^^^^ !!!!.
 

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I love my 400
But I still like low geared atv's over Fast one's
my atv is more of a tool than a toy for me
and the more modern one's are getting farther and farther away from being tools
and just TOYS
great for smaller homeowners and weekend chores maybe, but for those that use a ATV for mostly ALL work
the new one's, seem to be parting ways
they cater to where the market and money is and it AIN"T in the work force area
I also think that is why they can all get away with lesser life span on things
consumers that play with toys, don;'t cry as loud as folks that loose money when things go down!

consumers will tolerate more problems I think
and based on treads I see all over, more and more atv's have issue's than yrs back!

JUST My 2 cents
 

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I love my 400
But I still like low geared atv's over Fast one's
my atv is more of a tool than a toy for me
and the more modern one's are getting farther and farther away from being tools
and just TOYS
great for smaller homeowners and weekend chores maybe, but for those that use a ATV for mostly ALL work
the new one's, seem to be parting ways
they cater to where the market and money is and it AIN"T in the work force area
I also think that is why they can all get away with lesser life span on things
consumers that play with toys, don;'t cry as loud as folks that loose money when things go down!

consumers will tolerate more problems I think
and based on treads I see all over, more and more atv's have issue's than yrs back!

JUST My 2 cents
my '89 trx350D foreman was built right back then !. and it does not have a 1st gear ?, it's called SL, which is super low...lol. and trust me, it's deff a low gear..lol. not built for speed one bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I love my 400
But I still like low geared atv's over Fast one's
my atv is more of a tool than a toy for me
and the more modern one's are getting farther and farther away from being tools
and just TOYS
great for smaller homeowners and weekend chores maybe, but for those that use a ATV for mostly ALL work
the new one's, seem to be parting ways
they cater to where the market and money is and it AIN"T in the work force area
I also think that is why they can all get away with lesser life span on things
consumers that play with toys, don;'t cry as loud as folks that loose money when things go down!

consumers will tolerate more problems I think
and based on treads I see all over, more and more atv's have issue's than yrs back!

JUST My 2 cents
That could certainly be. Time will tell. I think Honda has strayed least from still being a tool. Also, I have a personal hunch ATVs were built better in Japan, but that's just based on personal observations.
 

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I think Honda and a few very early other brand models were targeted at Work<
A few yrs after 4 wheelers came out, the other brands for sure started to target more of the fun side and less of the work
, more suspension, and rider friendly options
Honda, was sure the last of the WORK atv's, but even Honda, branches off if you ask me from its core
and to be honest
I think so there there FAME for being super reliable
there still great atv;'s, NOT bashing
but Like Shade said, some of the OLDER models, were build to just LAST, nothing fancy at all, but they ran and ran and ran
and GOT Honda its FAME for super reliable hard working atv's

and IMO, Honda still rides on the shirttail, of there OLDER models, all that fa of super reliable and long lasting
when from what I see, newer models, will NOT be running 10-20-30 yrs down the road as them earlier one's did!

ALL brands are more into disposable products, where they last JUST long enough to make folks feel OK when time to replace every "X" many yrs

and its NOT just ATV;'s, its most things made today

long gone are the days of wanting a reputation for making long lasting products
its all about market share and profit margins
they all seem like they could care less about repeat business, as SO many people out there to replace those that don't be!
 

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Yes the taller gearing would be better on the trails and open road, not sure how much taller the 420's 5th gear is compared to the Foreman's 5th never took the time to calculate it.

SL is just what they called first gear back then. SL in the 350 is no different than 1st in the 400/450 Foreman. The early 300's had SL-1-2-3-4 also then were switched later on, the only thing that changed was what they stamped on the side of the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I think Honda and a few very early other brand models were targeted at Work<
A few yrs after 4 wheelers came out, the other brands for sure started to target more of the fun side and less of the work
, more suspension, and rider friendly options
Honda, was sure the last of the WORK atv's, but even Honda, branches off if you ask me from its core
and to be honest
I think so there there FAME for being super reliable
there still great atv;'s, NOT bashing
but Like Shade said, some of the OLDER models, were build to just LAST, nothing fancy at all, but they ran and ran and ran
and GOT Honda its FAME for super reliable hard working atv's

and IMO, Honda still rides on the shirttail, of there OLDER models, all that fa of super reliable and long lasting
when from what I see, newer models, will NOT be running 10-20-30 yrs down the road as them earlier one's did!

ALL brands are more into disposable products, where they last JUST long enough to make folks feel OK when time to replace every "X" many yrs

and its NOT just ATV;'s, its most things made today

long gone are the days of wanting a reputation for making long lasting products
its all about market share and profit margins
they all seem like they could care less about repeat business, as SO many people out there to replace those that don't be!
Yes, I was discussing this with a friend last week. Have you noticed how Polaris is CONSTANTLY innovating and changing/updating. They have succeeded at creating excitement, and it shows in their sales. I don't see as many people like me around anymore who are excited by a product that follows more of the "if it aint broke don't fix it" motto and I see that Honda seems to find what works well then produce it for years before changing anything. I prefer the peace of mind of a proven product. But the market seems to prefer the excitement of new and different and trendy.

And, I put $7500 of my own money there to prove it. :)
 
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I think Honda and a few very early other brand models were targeted at Work<
A few yrs after 4 wheelers came out, the other brands for sure started to target more of the fun side and less of the work
, more suspension, and rider friendly options
Honda, was sure the last of the WORK atv's, but even Honda, branches off if you ask me from its core
and to be honest
I think so there there FAME for being super reliable
there still great atv;'s, NOT bashing
but Like Shade said, some of the OLDER models, were build to just LAST, nothing fancy at all, but they ran and ran and ran
and GOT Honda its FAME for super reliable hard working atv's

and IMO, Honda still rides on the shirttail, of there OLDER models, all that fa of super reliable and long lasting
when from what I see, newer models, will NOT be running 10-20-30 yrs down the road as them earlier one's did!

ALL brands are more into disposable products, where they last JUST long enough to make folks feel OK when time to replace every "X" many yrs

and its NOT just ATV;'s, its most things made today

long gone are the days of wanting a reputation for making long lasting products
its all about market share and profit margins
they all seem like they could care less about repeat business, as SO many people out there to replace those that don't be!
Yes, I was discussing this with a friend last week. Have you noticed how Polaris is CONSTANTLY innovating and changing/updating. They have succeeded at creating excitement, and it shows in their sales. I don't see as many people like me around anymore who are excited by a product that follows more of the "if it aint broke don't fix it" motto and I see that Honda seems to find what works well then produce it for years before changing anything. I prefer the peace of mind of a proven product. But the market seems to prefer the excitement of new and different and trendy.

And, I put $7500 of my own money there to prove it. :)
I have a similar mindset. I was very excited to find a leftover 2015 Rubicon without power steering and had a foot shift. It is exactly like my 2005 foreman that I absolutely loved but had to get rid of a while back. And, I read reviews on things differently than most. When looking for a truck last year, I was between the 2016 Toyota Tacoma and the 2016 Nissan Frontier. After reading the reviews, the excitement was around the Tacoma with the new engine, body, and gearing. The reviews on the Nissan were just blah. Outdated 9 year old design, uninspiring etc... I bought the Nissan because it was a 9 year old design and the biggest complaint was that it was 9 years old.

I bought into the speed and excitement with a can am outlander in the past. It was fun, but I got over that and missed the confidence I had in my Honda.

Everyone is looking for something different and it's great to have options to meet most of those needs. Some want the tried and true item and will give up the bling factor to get it. And others scoff at reliability in order to have speed and shiny stuff. Neither way is wrong as long as you are out having fun and aren't an a55hole about it to those with differing opinions

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think Honda and a few very early other brand models were targeted at Work<
A few yrs after 4 wheelers came out, the other brands for sure started to target more of the fun side and less of the work
, more suspension, and rider friendly options
Honda, was sure the last of the WORK atv's, but even Honda, branches off if you ask me from its core
and to be honest
I think so there there FAME for being super reliable
there still great atv;'s, NOT bashing
but Like Shade said, some of the OLDER models, were build to just LAST, nothing fancy at all, but they ran and ran and ran
and GOT Honda its FAME for super reliable hard working atv's

and IMO, Honda still rides on the shirttail, of there OLDER models, all that fa of super reliable and long lasting
when from what I see, newer models, will NOT be running 10-20-30 yrs down the road as them earlier one's did!

ALL brands are more into disposable products, where they last JUST long enough to make folks feel OK when time to replace every "X" many yrs

and its NOT just ATV;'s, its most things made today

long gone are the days of wanting a reputation for making long lasting products
its all about market share and profit margins
they all seem like they could care less about repeat business, as SO many people out there to replace those that don't be!
Yes, I was discussing this with a friend last week. Have you noticed how Polaris is CONSTANTLY innovating and changing/updating. They have succeeded at creating excitement, and it shows in their sales. I don't see as many people like me around anymore who are excited by a product that follows more of the "if it aint broke don't fix it" motto and I see that Honda seems to find what works well then produce it for years before changing anything. I prefer the peace of mind of a proven product. But the market seems to prefer the excitement of new and different and trendy.

And, I put $7500 of my own money there to prove it. :)
I have a similar mindset. I was very excited to find a leftover 2015 Rubicon without power steering and had a foot shift. It is exactly like my 2005 foreman that I absolutely loved but had to get rid of a while back. And, I read reviews on things differently than most. When looking for a truck last year, I was between the 2016 Toyota Tacoma and the 2016 Nissan Frontier. After reading the reviews, the excitement was around the Tacoma with the new engine, body, and gearing. The reviews on the Nissan were just blah. Outdated 9 year old design, uninspiring etc... I bought the Nissan because it was a 9 year old design and the biggest complaint was that it was 9 years old.

I bought into the speed and excitement with a can am outlander in the past. It was fun, but I got over that and missed the confidence I had in my Honda.

Everyone is looking for something different and it's great to have options to meet most of those needs. Some want the tried and true item and will give up the bling factor to get it. And others scoff at reliability in order to have speed and shiny stuff. Neither way is wrong as long as you are out having fun and aren't an a55hole about it to those with differing opinions

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Absolutely. Like-minded.
 
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