Comfortable ergonomics and direct power delivery, useful digital displays, cheaper price tag
Subpar payload and towing capacities, rear swingarm suspension and drum brake
A dependable and comfortable work machine that knows its limits.
Honda’s FourTrax Rancher and Rancher ES are not the most technologically advanced ATVs on the market today, but they’re hard to beat for the price. These two-wheel-drive models are geared at less technical terrain but excel at their created purpose: a day’s work. Comfort and consistency are the shining parts of the base and ES models, showing up with enthusiastic power delivery and maneuverable capability.
Updates for 2022
No updates for 2022 other than a $100 price increase on the base and ES trim models.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
2022 Honda FourTrax Rancher MSRP: $5,599
2022 Honda FourTrax Rancher ES MSRP: $5,899
Between the two-wheel-drive Honda FourTrax offerings, the only difference arises between how you shift the two models. While both the base and ES trims offer a semi-automatic, foot shiftable five-speed transmission, the ES model features Honda’s Electronic Shifting Program. For $300 more, you can select gears up and down with the tap of a button on the handlebar. The ES model also features Honda’s digital instrument package, which offers a gear position indicator, speedometer, fuel level, and cooling temperature among other standard instrumentation features.
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 420cc single-cylinder engine feels eager in large part due to its layout. Mounted longitudinally in the frame, the engine and transmission put power directly to a rear driveshaft without any differentials slowing the energy transfer. The base FourTrax Rancher and ES trim do not come equipped with the DCT transmission available on some of the 4×4 FourTrax Rancher models, but the semi-automatic foot or handlebar shifting five-speed is amicable for trail work. The ES trim line is equipped with Honda’s Electric Shift Program and can be shifted through buttons on the handlebar. Although slightly lacking in displacement and missing out on new transmission technology, the base FourTrax Rancher and ES line showcase a direct and consistent powerplant with predictable shifting and capability.
Equipped with independent double wishbone up front and single-shock swingarm out back, the base and ES models have 6.7 inches of suspension travel. This clearance is generally on par with the competition but is bested by few competitors and within its own product line. The FourTrax 4×4 IRS models offer 7.3 inches and 8.5 inches of front and rear suspension travel, respectively, as well as a dual-arm independent rear suspension. Manual steering is the only option on both the base and ES models. Maxxis provides the rubber for the Honda FourTrax Rancher series with the M973 tire sticking to the trail on the base and ES models.
Two 190mm discs slow the FourTrax Rancher down from the front with a 160mm mechanical drum providing assistance from the rear. The combination is tried and true and works effectively, though rear discs would be a welcome addition.
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
Honda designed the FourTrax Rancher model with a comfortable workday in mind and it shows. Instead of flat floorboards, it has footpegs with protective covers. Similarly, the handlebar controls and switch gear are easily accessible. The suspension is preload adjustable and the engine and exhaust are rubber mounted, and both of these features allow for a more plush ride. Honda’s thick foam, contoured seat continues with the plush precedent for a comfortable ride all day.
The 199-pound payload is divided between the front and rear racks, split 66 pounds to front and 133 pounds to the rear. Honda’s payload capacity is light for the segment. Towing capacity remains the same between the FourTrax Rancher 2WD and 4WD models at 848 pounds, also down from its competition by a few hundred pounds.
The base FourTrax Rancher offers little in the form of electronics, though its 2WD drive configuration and price make it a bare-bones but competitive option. Honda’s ES trim, like the rest of the FourTrax Rancher line, comes standard with the Digital Instrumentation package. This package includes a gear position indicator, tripmeter, fuel level indicator, clock, speedometer, coolant temperature, odometer, and Honda’s Maintenance Minder. The ES trim level comes with an electric reverse release button on the handlebar, allowing the rider to quickly change in and out of reverse.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Honda includes a transferable 12-month, limited warranty with purchase. Honda also offers extended coverage through a HondaCare Protection Plan.
2022 Honda FourTrax Rancher Specs
|Engine:||OHV liquid-cooled longitudinally mounted four-stroke single|
|Bore x Stroke:||86.5 x 71.5mm|
|Transmission:||5-speed w/ reverse, foot shift manual (base) / ESP (ES)|
|Front Suspension:||Independent double wishbone; 6.7 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Swingarm w/ single shock; 6.7 in. travel|
|Front Brakes:||Dual 190mm hydraulic discs|
|Rear Brakes:||Sealed 160mm mechanical drum|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||Maxxis; AT24x8-12 / 24×10-11|
|Rack Capacity, Front/Rear:||66 lb./133 lb.|
|Towing Capacity:||848 lb.|
|Seat Height:||33.7 in.|
|Ground Clearance:||7.2 in.|
|Turning Radius:||9.2 ft.|
|Claimed Wet Weight:||580 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.9 gal. including 1.3 gal. reserve|
|Warranty:||1-year transferable, limited warranty|