A year ago, the Honda Rancher underwent pretty much a complete transformation from front bumper to rear cargo rack. At that time, Honda officials told us that no parts in the 2014 Rancher’s frame came from the previous Rancher.
Most everyone thought that, with such a big transformation, that maybe Honda would maybe fine tune a couple of things for the 2015 Rancher.
Not hardly. For 2015, the Rancher Automatic DCT incorporates a new independent rear suspension. That’s a bit more than just fine tuning.
To house the new IRS, Honda had to redesign the frame of the Rancher and while doing so added more suspension travel, a new seat, larger front disc brakes and a larger cargo rack in the back.
We got a chance to throw a leg over the new Rancher in the Greenhorn Mountains of the Sequoia National Forest on the southern end of the Sierra Nevada Range near Lake Isabella this week and came away impressed with the ride the new IRS gives the Rancher.
All but one of the models Honda brought along for the ride had electric power steering, which makes the Rancher just that much more fun to ride.
The Rancher Automatic DCT is powered by the same 420cc engine as was in the 2014 model and features a five-speed automatic DCT with improved shift program and shaft drive that’s virtually maintenance-free. Of course, you also have the option of the push-button Electric Shift Program (ESP).
The rest of the Rancher series with swingarm rear suspension systems also returns for 2015, now equipped with Honda’s new, easy-actuation reverse lever.
We’ll have a full report in an upcoming issue of Dirt Toys Magazine.