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Honda Rancher 420: Owners’ Report

December 18, 2014
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Honda’s popular Rancher models have been around since the year 2000. At first they had 325cc air-cooled engines, but in 2007 they switched to 420cc liquid-cooled engines, with various other updates. The newer 420-version Rancher is what this month’s “Owners’ Report” will focus on. It includes the foot-shift models as well as the push-button electric shift. Some had the power-steering option, but most didn’t.

If a highly reliable and easy-handling 4×4 is important to you, then the Rancher 420 should be on your list. That’s what the owners listed as the top two things they like about their quads. In fact, every single owner marked “excellent” for durability and quality. One thing to note is that the Rancher is one of the few 4x4s that still has a drum rear brake, and several owners did complain about having to replace brake shoes.

For 2015, Honda changed their Ranchers to the new dual-clutch transmission, with the option of shifting yourself or allowing it to do that on its own. You also have the option of a swingarm or independent rear suspension.

Model year
(of surveys received)
2013………………………………15%
2012………………………………..5%
2011………………………………14%
2010………………………………30%
2009………………………………15%
2008………………………………..7%
2007………………………………14%
Types of riding
Leisure trail riding….HHHH
Fast trail riding…………..HHH
Work & hauling………….HHH
Snow ………………………….HHH
Hunting & fishing………….HH
Mud……………………………….HH
The one thing you like most about your Rancher
Reliable…………………..HHHH
Good handling…………..HHH
Push-button shift……………HH
Right size……………………….HH
Versatility…………………………H
Fuel injection…………………..H
Power steering…………………H
No CVT belt……………………..H
Everything……………………….H
The one thing you like least
Nothing………………………….HH
Suspension………………………H
Ground clearance……………H
Tires………………………………….H
Rear brake……………………….H
Small storage…………………..H
Reverse procedure………….H
No diff-lock……………………….H
Exhaust…………………………….H
Wheels……………………………..H
Metal racks………………………H
If you could improve one thing on your quad
Suspension…………………HHH
Nothing………………………….HH
Diff-lock…………………………….H
Automatic shift…………………H
Exhaust…………………………….H
Ground clearance……………H
2 to 4WD switch……………….H
During normal usage, what broke, malfunctioned or prematurely wore out?
Nothing……………………HHHH
Brakes………………………………H
What accessories have you added?
Winch………………………HHHH
Tires…………………………HHHH
Wheels………………………..HHH
Exhaust………………………….HH
Seat……………………………….HH
Skid plates……………………….H
Snow plow……………………….H
EFI controller……………………H
Cargo bag……………………….H
Cover……………………………….H
Snorkels……………………………H
Happy with the outcome?
Yes………………………………100%
No…………………………………..0%
How do you rate your ATV’s durability?
Excellent……………………..100%
Okay……………………………….0%
Poor………………………………..0%
How do you rate its quality & attention to detail?
Excellent……………………..100%
Okay……………………………….0%
Poor………………………………..0%
How do you rate its performance
compared to other quads in its class?
Excellent……………………….46%
Okay……………………………..54%
Poor………………………………..0%
How do you rate your local Honda dealer?
Excellent……………………….38%
Okay……………………………..62%
Poor………………………………..0%
Would you recommend a friend to buy a Rancher?
Yes………………………………100%
No…………………………………..0%
If you were to buy another ATV, what would it be?
Newer Rancher …………HHH
Grizzly 700……………………..HH
Honda Rincon……………….HH
UTV………………………………..HH
Honda 400X……………………..H
Can-Am Renegade…………H
Polaris Scrambler……………H
Honda Rubicon………………..H
What dream ATV would you like to see the manufacturers
offer?
Honda sport 4×4………….HHH
Fast Honda UTV…………HHH
Honda Mud Pro……………….H
Grizzly 1000………………………H
HHHH = most responses
HHH = many responses
HH = some responses

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