Four-wheel fun comes in different sizes. ATV just happen to be one of them. We recently had the opportunity to test Honda’s all-new ’15 Foreman Rubicon 4x4 on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in West Virginia. This versatile ATV goes beyond the standard utility quad by offering performance-driven options and a new suspension design that ties in well with its aggressively styled body and legendary 475cc fuel-injected engine. The Honda Rubicon is the first manual-shift fullsize ATV with independent rear suspension (IRS), offering up to 81⁄2 inches of travel. In the front, independent double-wishbone suspension delivers 7.3 inches of travel. One of the benefits to IRS is increased ground clearance (9.8 inches on the Rubicon 4x4), perfect for tackling lumpy trails.
To keep with the model’s utility heritage, Honda increased the payload capacity of the Foreman Rubicon by 44 percent (front rack, 99 pounds; rear rack, 187 pounds) and the towing capacity by 55 percent (1,322 pounds). The new double-cradle steel frame offers increased stiffness and better torsional rigidity for precise handling and a smooth ride—making this ATV a good choice for work or play.
Some additional features on the Honda Rubicon that piqued our interest are the Honda TraxLok 2WD/4WD system, front electronic differential lock, transmission options (automatic dual clutch [DST] or manual shift), electric power steering, and new drive/low-range subtransmission, which lowers the final-drive gear ratio for even more crawling power.
The Honda Foreman Rubicon 4x4 is heralded as the best-handling and most comfortable ATV Honda ever. We’ve thrown our leg over a few Hondas over the years and would agree that this new machine has good power-to-weight ratio, can maneuver with ease through fast or technical terrain, and is comfortable to ride. If you’ve been looking for a fullsize ATV that works hard and plays hard, the Honda Foreman Rubicon 4x4 may be the best quad to be had.
2015 Honda Foreman Rubicon 4x4 TRX500FM5, TRX500FM6 (with EPS), TRX500FM6 Deluxe (with EPS)
Engine Type: 475cc liquid-cooled OHV longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore & Stroke (mm): 92.0x71.5
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Induction: Programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI), 36mm throttle body
Ignition: Full-transistorized with electronic advance
Starter: Electric with optional auxiliary recoil
Transmission: 5-speed with reverse
Driveline: Direct front and rear driveshafts with TraxLok and locking front differential
Type: Independent double-wishbone; 7.3 in. travel (front); independent dual-arm; 8.5 in. travel (rear)
Brakes: Dual hydraulic 190mm discs (front); single hydraulic 170mm disc (rear)
Tires: 25x8-12 Maxxis front, 25x10-12 Maxxis rear
Seat Height: 36.1
Ground Clearance: 9.8
Turning Radius (ft): 11.5
Fuel Capacity (gal): 3.9, including 1.3 reserve
Curb Weight (lb): 679 (TRX500FM5); 696 (TRX500FM6); 688 (TRX500FM6 Deluxe). Includes all standard equipment, required fluids, and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.
Colors: Rubicon 4x4 Red, Olive Rubicon 4x4 EPS Red, Honda Phantom Camo Rubicon 4x4 EPS Deluxe White
Note: Meets current EPA and CARB off-road emissions standards.