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OK gents, we all know the old TRX 300's and 350's were some of the best ATV's made, fact !!!
Question is, if you were looking for one with more power, say a 400 / 500+, what did Honda make that was as good as the 300 / 350 ? What model is / was in the same league for being so long lived?

I'm not buying one, just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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95-03 foreman 400
98-04 foreman 450S/FM
05-11 foreman 500FM
00-06 Rancher 350FM


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i'll be able to chime in on the '05 trx500fm before summer hits here, ( I hope anyway ? )..lol. early ranchers suck, too many problems with carbs leaking, and shift drums breaking off the ends at the switch.
 

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Funny, I have 13,500kms and 1400 hours on mine. Hard hard kms. Shift drum was replaced under warranty in 2001. Granted it has had some minor issues but it's still going, just starting now to smoke under load/high rpm. Carb has never been touched on it as it's never sat, I've replaced the starter twice and the brushes 4 times, couple cables, couple seats, wheel bearings once, it's due for rear bearings, ball joints and rod ends now. Brakes quit recently. It's taken more abuse than I've ever dished out to any of the 300's I've had.


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Funny, I have 13,500kms and 1400 hours on mine. Hard hard kms. Shift drum was replaced under warranty in 2001. Granted it has had some minor issues but it's still going, just starting now to smoke under load/high rpm. Carb has never been touched on it as it's never sat, I've replaced the starter twice and the brushes 4 times, couple cables, couple seats, wheel bearings once, it's due for rear bearings, ball joints and rod ends now. Brakes quit recently. It's taken more abuse than I've ever dished out to any of the 300's I've had.


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I guess it depends on the rider ?, but I know for a fact, the early trx350 ranchers had a bad problem with the shift drums, and leaking carbs from defective float needle seats, and !!!, the valve seats would work their way out of the heads when warmed up ( forgot about the valve problem..lol ).
 

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This one has sure had a hot supper, it's on the same maintenance schedule as my lawn mower. Run it until something is wrong, fix it enough to get it working again, repeat. Still has the original diff fluid in it from the fall of 2000....


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The 08-13 420 Ranchers, manual shift. No carb, better traction than the 300-350s. Run forever on a tank of gas.

The manual shift 2015/16 Rubicon, even better traction than the Rancher and still good on fuel with a little better low end.
 

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The 08-13 420 Ranchers, manual shift. No carb, better traction than the 300-350s. Run forever on a tank of gas.

The manual shift 2015/16 Rubicon, even better traction than the Rancher and still good on fuel with a little better low end.
I think Honda dropped the ball on the trx420's ?, they designed the rear axle the same as the old trx300's, open axle, no support on the outer ends ?, this puts a lot of strain on the axle splines, ring gear splines, and the hub splines. they should have made the trx420's with a full axle carrier tube ?, then they would last longer.
 

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420's are good, I'd take one over a 300 anyday, but as far as cheap/simple to keep running I think the machines I listed have it beat being they are carbed and air cooled. No argument that the 420 is a superior machine though. 350's did have the better rear end.


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420's are good, I'd take one over a 300 anyday, but as far as cheap/simple to keep running I think the machines I listed have it beat being they are carbed and air cooled. No argument that the 420 is a superior machine though. 350's did have the better rear end.


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My boss recently bought an 09 trx420, it's a dream to ride, I can't deny that. Power is also plentiful, the downside for me is the rear shock, even on its hardest setting is still very very soft. Apart from the shock and the rear end being an open axle it's a good machine so far, can't fault it.
 
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