Apparently Honda didn’t expend all available 2014 R&D capacity on the Pioneer 700 and 700-4. A cadre of engineers was available to modernize and upgrade the popular FourTrax Foreman and Rancher ATVs with enough changes to make them a whole new generation. Both models gain brand-new frames, suspension with increased travel, and a bold new look. The new bodywork is blockier in front with larger fender openings. The look is actually closer to 4x4s from other Japanese manufacturers than to the 2013 Honda look. We have always been fans of the Rancher and the Foreman, but we will welcome more suspension and the more modern look.
Honda’s liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 420cc FourTrax Rancher series may have the new frame, and suspension returns with the familiar (and plentiful) choices in drivetrain styles: Honda’s Electric Shift Program (ESP) push-button shifting, Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), a five-speed fully automatic transmission that also gives the rider the option of ESP mode, and a traditional manual-shift gearbox. Most models offer the option of Electric Power Steering. Colors are Honda Phantom Camo Olive and red orange. Prices haven’t been determined, but Honda is shooting at price points.
The FourTrax Foreman series of ATVs has the new frame, suspension and bodywork upgrades, but also get a locking front differential for the first time. None of the other Honda ATVs have a locking diff. The Foreman also offers the option of EPS on most models. You can choose the ESP automatic transmission or manual-shift auto-clutch model. Colors are Honda Phantom Camo Olive, red and blue, but the prices haven’t been set yet.
The TRX450R, TRX400X, TRX250X and TRX90X have not changed, but they are back for 2014 and should prove as popular as ever. The venerable 300EX has not returned for ’14.