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I don't want the ES due to it tying up one hand...cant decide on foot or auto for a rubicon...I am set on getting power steering but am now down to just deciding on a transmission... I think I may enjoy the ability to control gears by my foot as opposed to trail riding in automatic and depending on the bike to shift...any thoughts? I am not using this for hauling / working but just for pleasure riding and hitting some roads / trails.
 

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I have three footshift Foremen and one Rancher DCT. The wife wanted an automatic and that is the ONLY reason I have the DCT. A footshift is more reliable, less to go wrong. PERIOD. The DCT is a good system for an automatic, BUT there are simply more components to break.

I think you are wise to avoid the ES machines, simply because you have the added components that can fail without also having the added benefit of auto mode.

If you don't mind footshifting, I'd get the footshift all day long. Let's face it, twitching a foot to shift gears isn't hard, and there you ONLY have a mechanical linkage with the potential to break, not all the electronic crap that you add with both the ES and DCT machines. The wife's DCT runs great, but I've had to do a LOT of work to it, and IIRC it has something like 13 electrical connections on the bottom half of the motor. That is asking for trouble on something that is repeatedly submerged in mud and water.

I'm not sure when we became such a nation of lazy asses where twitching a foot is too hard so we add a bunch of computers, switches, and electric motors to keep us from having to twitch a foot.
 

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IMO, DCT is the way to go for what you wrote that you were going to do with the machine. DCT allows you to just put it in D and ride. Or, if you want to hold a gear for whatever the reason, ES mode is there if you care to utilize it. Jeep is correct on several points and mounts a valid argument. However, it really is going to come down to your preference and what you feel is right for the job you want your machine to do. IMO, you wont go wrong either way.
 

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manual shift, less trouble, last longer, doesn't cost a ton of money to fix it.
 

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You guys must be harder on equipment than me.... Its a Honda, I'm not too worried about it breaking or wearing out. I got the DCT. I have done my share of clicking a "semi auto" foot shift & didnt mind the change when i went to ES back in 08. If i want a foot shift i will ride a dirtbike. Unless its an R model wheeler :ph34r:
 

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You guys must be harder on equipment than me.... Its a Honda, I'm not too worried about it breaking or wearing out. I got the DCT. I have done my share of clicking a "semi auto" foot shift & didnt mind the change when i went to ES back in 08. If i want a foot shift i will ride a dirtbike. Unless its an R model wheeler :ph34r:
Well, if you search "ES won't shift" on google, you get a LOT of people who have problems with these added, and IMO, unneccesarily added components.

I have a DCT, and I bought it as a basketcase and rebuilt the whole thing so I got a pretty good look at what all is there, and what all can go wrong.

When I buy something like this I look for something that will last and that will do so without constant attention and/or repairs, and that means footshift. I'm a big fan of KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. I also keep most of my stuff forever. Still using the same Jeep, GMC pickup, outboard motor, mower, weedeater, and chainsaw I had in the early 90's when I was a teenager.

Most of the folks I ride with have Rubicons or Rincons, so I know more and more people want automatics these days. Of course, I also notice that none of them want to work on them when they have issues with them, so they bring them to me. They poke fun at me when I get my foot wet while out riding, but what they don't make fun of me about is my wheeler refusing to move, or getting hung up in gear, or refusing to shift....like ES machines do when one of those dozen+ sensors gets a little water in it.
 

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Oh i did the search a few years ago when i had to get my buddies 400ES shifting. I'm not denying there are less part or less to break in a foot shift, but to me, its a Honda & a newer one at that. Hopefully they live up to the name they have had & stay reliable. TBH My biggest gripe with ES is the delay in the shift vs the old hydrostatic drive :O
 

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Yeah the wife's DCT hunts for gear sometimes when you have a lot of throttle up and down while going up and down hills. The old Hondamatic was awesome in that regard. The ONLY thing I didn't like about the Hondamatic was the fact that it isn't serviceable, and it's $1000+ if it breaks.
 

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You guys must be harder on equipment than me.... Its a Honda, I'm not too worried about it breaking or wearing out. I got the DCT. I have done my share of clicking a "semi auto" foot shift & didnt mind the change when i went to ES back in 08. If i want a foot shift i will ride a dirtbike. Unless its an R model wheeler :ph34r:
Being hard on a machine ( atv ) has nothing to do with the fact that the es models don't hold up as long as the manual shifts do. fact : do a search on the forums here, see how many es models members have came here to search for help ?, then do a search for manual shift members having issues ?, my money say's es model problem's out weigh manual shifts problems about 8 to 1 here. ( just a guess..no paper to show !..lol ). I agree with jeep, people have gotten lazy, and Honda wanted to solve that by putting stupid buttons on atvs to make life simple ?, well..simple true !.. always breaking down ?..dang right !. not worth the time or money to own one in my book.
 

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Stay away from the electronic shift junk. I have a '10 Rancher ES sitting in the shop right now, and I'm about ready to dump it for a foot-shift Foreman. As everyone else as said, there is more to go wrong with them. Mine drops 5th gear above 40 mph and no one seems to know what's wrong with it. Wish I had bought a foot shift model from the get go. Live and learn.
 
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