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Discussion Starter #1
Im sure ill be in the process of getting a new atv at some point and was wondering what would be better a foreman 500 i would get the (foot shift model) or the rubicon (again i would get just the base model) i had a buddy that had one and it seemed to do very well. but never really got a chance to ride it? so was wanting peoples opinion in reliablity mainly and if the hondamatic trans and being able to switch drive modes worth it?
 

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Johnny, Each is as reliable as the other. They both have about the same ground clearance, and they both have the same engine. Yes, being able to switch drive modes is nice and a feature worth considering.

Honestly, I would put the two of the side by side; compare features and price, and pick the one that would best suit your needs and likes.

The Hondamatic transmissions are extremely reliable. Remember, when you come to a forum, such as this, you're only going to hear from the very few who do have a problem (with anything). However, you never hear from those who have no problems. Honda sells about 8 automatics to every manual shift (of all models).

To increase the reliability of any model, keep it as close to stock as possible. (Stock size tires, or maybe an inch or two larger, but no larger than 2" over stock. Avoid lifts, snorkels, and don't take the machine swimming).
 

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The Rubicon comes with a 499cc 4 valve engine and a carburetor, and I believe it comes with a back up recoil. The trans on these is super smooth and made to tow, but an expensive repair if it ever went bad but I believe them to be very good.

The Foreman has a bigger bore Rancher engine with 475cc and a 2 valve head,,both machines are pushrod engines and EFI on the Foreman. Can't really go wrong with either machine, but for me the Rubicon would get my vote for its extra power and super smooth shifting tranny...Test ride them both and decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ive rode a froeman 500 but it want a brand new one. and i would probably end up with a snorkel (snorkel mainly just for insurance) and atleast 27in tires. i love the mud but am not interested in just riding in creeks up past the my third headlight. thats why i ask about the reliability of the hondamatic in conditions like that. i have never owned an automatic before so a part of me would like it but dont want to regret it.
 

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Don't be afraid of the automatic, they are dependable.
I use mine for plowing snow, mowing weeds, spraying weeds and playing when the work is done!

 

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I like my Foreman and I do not regret my purchase. I have not ridden a Rubicon with the hondamatic but I have ridden the rancher AT and I thought that the automatic option on the rancher was a joke. Not knocking the ranchers as I think they are an awesome machine. I'm just saying that if I bought one I would always have it in electric shift mode because the automatic seems very choppy trying to shift through the gears.

Having said all this, I've heard nothing but great things about the automatic on the Rubicon. I'm going to keep my Foreman forever but once it is paid off I'm going to be on the hunt for an automatic. My first stop will be testing out the Rubicon and Rincon to see if their automatics are any smoother than the rancher AT. Maybe by then the rancher will have a smoother automatic transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes i have heard the same thing about the rancher At. and i think when im in the process of getting a new atv i will look into the rubicon. i love foot shifts but looking for something diff i think. thanks for your input guys im glad no ones had any trouble out of there rubicons.
 

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Johnny, Don't be afraid of the automatics AT ALL. Most of the people who say negative things about the automatics have never owned one, and have only listened to problems from the very few who have had a problem (with an automatic). Honda sells 8 times more automatics than manual shifts, and they work very well. The Rubicon absolutely has the smoothest transmission of all the models; whether it is in manual shift mode (ESP) or full automatic. It's transmission shifts as smooth as a car transmission does. However, it is just a 3-speed transmission. The 3-speed works well because it has a good, strong engine behind it. But, if you're going to be doing a fair amount of work with your atv, you'll be happier with a 5-speed transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I dont do any work really with my atv soo thts not a problem and im jus afraid of running into a problem because of the cost. but im starting another thread now about a 04 project rubicon im going to look at sunday
 

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Once the rubicon is updated with EFI and better brakes like the foreman, I might get one. Very unique tranny
 
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