New IRS Highlights Honda 2015 ATV Line

Published in the October 2014 Issue October 2014

 Lee Edmunds, Honda manager of motorcycle marketing communications, highlighted all the changes for 2015 when he said, “This release really broadens our 2015 product line, especially on the ATV side. In addition to the most-popular selling, straight-axle swingarm-equipped Rancher and Foreman ATVs, our Rubicon family of ATVs is now also equipped with Independent Rear Suspension [IRS] to suit a wider range of riders and give the ATVs even more recreation capability. The new-generation Rancher Automatic DCT also has IRS for 2015, plus other new features shared throughout the Rancher and Foreman lines. We now have a complete line of IRS-equipped ATVs and a complete line of swingarm/axle ATVs to fit whatever needs our customers have.”

Here are some highlights of the Honda ATV line:


FourTrax Foreman Rubicon Series

For years, the Rubicon name anchored a well-respected position in the lineup of Honda’s high-end full-sized ATVs. Now that reputation grows with the introduction of an all-new Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) system in the full-size class. With this new chassis design, the Rubicon offers more fun and comfort than ever, and it’s still able to tackle just about any task at hand.

It’s easy to spot the all-new look of these machines. The new dual-shock IRS system combines increased suspension travel and chassis-tuning capabilities for superb handling plus all-day ride comfort. Beneath the new, aggressive look, the beauty runs deep. The long list of new features includes: new, longer-travel suspension front and rear with spring preload adjustability; increased ground clearance; rear disc brake; new, higher-wattage headlight; new handlebar grip design; new Maxxis tires with a more aggressive tread pattern for improved traction; roomier ergonomics plus a thick, plush seat for improved comfort; and a redesigned Electric Power Steering (EPS) system for reduced steering effort and less kickback. There’s also a full front differential lock for added traction when the going gets tough; speed over ride function for increased wheel speed in severe conditions; increased towing and hauling capacities; a new steel rack with flat plates for easier packing; a new, easy-to-use reverse gear selector and parking brake lever; and a sturdy full-coverage front bumper featuring integrated mounts for an accessory winch.

Packing a powerful 500-class engine, the Rubicon comes with two exclusive transmission options for its class, with a choice of either a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The DCT model incorporates a new drive/low-range sub-transmission that lowers the final-drive gear ratio for added versatility. The Rubicon is available with or without EPS and there is a new Deluxe package that includes custom-style aluminum wheels, special decals and special painted suspension components.


FourTrax Foreman Series

The popular Foreman family also returns in 2015 with its swingarm rear suspension system. This rugged, full-sized workhorse remains exceptionally affordable for its class, and is available with a manual transmission or Honda’s renowned Electric Shift Program (ESP) for push-button shifting, with the option of EPS. All versions incorporate the new one-lever engagement system for actuating reverse gear or the parking brake. MSRP: starting at $7,099.


FourTrax Rancher Series

For 2015, the Rancher Automatic DCT incorporates IRS and there’s more suspension travel at both ends—2.2 inches more in back—plus a new chassis, more ground clearance, a larger, more comfortable seat, larger front disc brakes for added stopping power, a new, larger rear carrier with flat plates for packing and tie-down convenience, and a new easy-to-engage reverse lever and it’s also available with an improved EPS system. The Rancher Automatic DCT is powered by a rugged 420cc engine and features a five-speed automatic DCT with improved shift program and shaft drive that’s virtually maintenance-free. Brighter headlights, increased electrical output, more fuel capacity, a larger, softer seat, and a new digital meter package are just a few features that add even more value to the Rancher Automatic DCT.

The rest of the Rancher series with swingarm rear suspension systems also return for 2015, now equipped with Honda’s new, easy-actuation reverse lever. The wealth of driveline options includes 2WD and 4WD models, manual transmissions, ESP for push-button shifting and automatic DCT. MSRP: starting at $5,199.

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