ATV Honda Foreman 500
The Honda Foreman proved itself a do-it-all workhorse over the years. A favorite with ranchers and farmers, it could commonly be found pulling mowers, pushing plows, or out mending fences. You name it. If it was work, the Foreman could do it. Honda reliability and quality—with minimal maintenance requirements and a low MSRP—made for the perfect companion in the field. When looking to re-create the Foreman, Honda engineers had their work cut out for them. Those who purchased the Foreman in the past loved it. Honda would need to keep them in love with it by making it more desirable to the recreational-use market, all while keeping the ultra-affordable price point the same.
The all-new 2014 Foreman has been designed to reach the broader multipurpose ATV consumer market with improved trail-handling capabilities, yet it still appeals to the hard-core ranchers. It remains capable of everything its predecessor did in the field—only now more comfortable and capable than ever on the trail. Speaking of capability, the new Foreman was not only completely redesigned for comfort and handling, but it is also the first Honda ATV to feature a manual-locking differential. Diff-lock has been a touchy subject for many years with Honda. We’ve claimed its necessity for maximum performance, yet Big Red has been the lone holdout with this feature. Honda’s testing and the results of multiple consumer surveys claim that the average ATV consumer won’t see an advantage from a locking differential. This might be the case in typical riding or working scenarios, but we generally try to push our test machines harder and through worse conditions than your average trail ride. We also believe that a large portion of “average” ATV riders might actually end up in similar situations.
Regardless of “claims, ” “surveys, ” and “testing, ” the new Foreman still features Honda’s stellar TraxLok 2WD/4WD option with a torque-sensing front differential, but you can now flip a switch to manually lock up the front end when things begin getting ugly. The tried-and-true TraxLok system automatically engages when conditions get slippery, yet the rider has the final say on extreme traction when needed.
As for the rest of the machine, major changes define the reinvented Foreman. A completely new chassis was designed to house the same proven 475cc, OHV, liquid-cooled engine. This same proven motor is still longitudinally placed for optimal driveline efficiency and features the option for a conventional manual shift system or the ever-popular Electric Shift Program (ESP). The fuel-injection system has been remapped for increased power delivery, throttle response, and fuel efficiency, extending the new Foreman's range. This new computer-engineered, double-cradle frame design is 5 pounds lighter yet 20 percent stiffer for precise handling, the smoothest ride, and better load-handling ability. Redesigned suspension components work with the new chassis design, offering 7.3 inches of front and rear suspension travel and new adjustable shocks.
This new chassis, while designed to impress the multi-purpose recreational crowd, also improved upon the Foreman’s impressive working range. The new Foreman’s design raised rack capacity by a third more than the already-stellar numbers. The new Foreman is rated to safely carry 264 pounds on its racks, and clutching has been improved to tow an impressive 848 pounds with its heavy-duty trailer hitch.