Made for hard work and heavy hauls – the Honda Foreman 500 can deal with anything you throw at it. Many consider it to be the ultimate workhorse, offering exceptional performance and off-road capability. So you may be wondering what else it can do.
The Honda Foreman 500 is recognized as one of the best-selling ATVs in history. Tough and reliable, it is a popular choice for farmers, ranchers, construction workers, and trail riders. The electric shift, power steering features, and faultless 4WD provides excellent service in all conditions.
High-tech features, plush suspension, and unquestionable dependability form part of this hardworking beast’s appeal. Learn all this plus more of its attributes, as this guide helps determine whether the Honda Foreman 500 is the right quad for you.
About Honda Foreman 500
The Honda Foreman 500 is a high-performance all-terrain vehicle introduced in 2005. Its 500-class air-cooled, longitudinally-mounted OHV engine featured an entirely different driveline configuration than its smaller-displacement siblings. It had a broader front and rear track and was longer than the Honda Foreman 450. It also had better-revving than its precursor – thanks to its 15-percent power gain and its throttle position sensor. The Honda Foreman 500 also had the convenience of electric starting and a beefier clutch to handle the increased power output.
Honda Foreman 500 Price
The average price of the Honda Foreman 500 can range from $4,000 to $9,000, depending on the condition and added features. ESP versions are more expensive, usually $1,000 more than the base price.
Pre-owned Foreman 500’s can be found in online auctions, such as the 2008 Honda Foreman 500 4×4 or more recent models. Some second-hand ATVs come with a new battery or aftermarket, Honda Foreman 500 parts, Honda Foreman 500 lift kit, and a radiator. They also have low hours, and mileage doesn’t exceed 6,000.
2016 Honda Foreman 500, ESP, and titled quads are quite rare. Most available are 4x4s and manual 2WDs. Most auctioned four-wheelers only come with a bill of sale and have no titles. Foreman’s usually hold their value quite well due to their sturdy frame and add-ons. So be wary of quads that sell less than $1,000 since they may have hidden defects, such as non-functional shifting or a broken rear axle.
Honda Foreman 500 Specs and Features (2005 TRX500TM)
- Engine – Uses a longitudinally-mounted four-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder OHV engine. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 92 mm x 71.5 mm. The engine displacement is 475.3 cubic centimeters (28.99 cubic inches) delivered by a 36-mm constant vacuum VE carburetor, and its compression ratio is 8.3:1. It has a pressure and wet sump lubrication system with an oiled Urethane foam air filtration. The standalone engine weight is 121.7 lbs/55.2 Kg, and the fuel tank capacity is 4.17 US gallons/15.8 liters with a 0.87-gallon reserve.
- Drivetrain – Uses a five-speed mesh transmission, including reverse gear controls on the 2005 Honda Foreman 500. It has an automatic centrifugal and multi-plate wet clutch system. The primary reduction is 2.103 (61/29), and the final reduction is 3.153 (41/13) on both front and rear. It has a direct rear driveshaft with a front limited-slip differential that reduces torque steer for less steering effort. Its gearshift is left-foot-operated. The standard air-intake is attached to a plastic water snorkel, which prevents water ingestion when crossing shallow water. The first release of the Foreman 500 only offered 2WD, but succeeding trims provided two driveline modes.
- Ignition – It has a DC-CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) electric starter system with electronic advance and an auxiliary recoil backup starter. Its charging system is a triple-phase output alternator powered by a 12V, 200-CCA (Cold Crank Amp) Honda Foreman 500 battery with a dimension of 5.8 x 3.26 x 5.71 inches (L x W x H).
- Lubrication – Oil capacity differs with and without an oil filter change. At draining, it is 2.5 US quarts. The capacity is 2.6 US quarts at oil filter change, and at disassembly, it is 3.2 US quarts. To achieve top performance, use an SAE 10W-40 Pro Honda GN4 or HP4 (without molybdenum additives) 4-stroke oil or equivalent motor oil. Ensure that it has an API service classification of SG or higher or an MA JASO T 903 standard.
- Tires – The front wheels use Dunlop KT181 AT25 X 8-12 tires, while the rear wheels with Dunlop KT185 AT25 X 10-12 tires. Honda Foreman 500 tires mounted on wheels that are 25 inches in diameter with a steel composition. The vehicle wheelbase is 50.9 inches.
- Brakes – Dual-sealed hydraulic drum brakes are used for the front brakes, while a single-sealed 180-mm mechanical drum (larger in diameter than the TRX450) is used for the rear brakes. These disc brakes feature self-centering collet-style brake calipers with integrated scrapers that eliminate debris build-up.
- Suspension – Enclosed in a double-cradle frame is an independent double-wishbone front suspension with a double-tube damper. It allows 6.7 inches (170 mm) of travel and a dual-shock rear suspension that utilizes a swingarm. This suspension design lends to the overall turning radius of 9.8 feet, making for easier cornering angles.
- Dimensions – The length of the Honda Foreman 500 is 83 inches, and the width is 46.8 inches. Its height from the ground is 46 inches with a ground clearance of 7.5 inches. The seat height is 33.9 inches (retained from its TRX400FW predecessor). Front and rear treads are 36.3 and 36.4 inches, respectively. Dry weight is 558 lbs (253 Kg); GVWR can go up to 1,169 lbs – a combination of 584-lb curb weight and a maximum weight capacity of 485 lbs (220 Kg) that covers passengers and cargo.
- Exterior – The Honda Foreman 500 consists of a steel frame and plastic body material in olive, blue, or red that comes with footpegs, a full-length skid plate, a standard brush guard, and a CV boot cover. Its LCD dashboard includes a trip odometer, hour meter, and speedometer that provide mileage information. The quad has a total towing capacity of 850 lbs, with full fenders providing water protection. Front and rear cargo racks are durable. You can fit the rear with Honda Foreman 500 accessories such as a WARN 78100 ProVantage Plow Base/Push Tube Assembly (view on Amazon) for ranch work.
- Lighting – Two 30-watt headlights mounted on the front fenders and a 45-watt handlebar headlight all use multi-reflector lenses for superior light distribution. It also has a 5-watt taillight and a 1.7-watt indicator light (for oil, reverse, and neutral) that changed to LED for later trims.
- Electric Shift Program (ESP) – This feature came out for the TRX400FW and carried over to other Foreman models since. Upshifting and downshifting was simple, which made it easy for riders. An ECM monitors information from the quad’s four sensors to control the gear and clutch engagement speed, which ultimately varies according to rider style.
- TraxLok – This intuitive wheel-drive-changing system allowed riders to shift between two-wheel and four-wheel drive. It came out with the 2006 Honda Foreman 500. TraxLok provided extra traction and only engaged when the speed difference between the front and back wheels was less than 6 mph.
- Electric Power Steering (EPS) – This cutting-edge technology was first introduced on the 1993 Acura NSX and first seen on the 2007 Honda Foreman 500. EPS adjusts the steering assist and feel by providing light steering assistance at low speeds and acting as a steering damper that reduces undesirable kickback through the handlebars when riding rough terrain on full throttle.
- Programmable Fuel Injection (PGM FI) – It is Honda’s proprietary digital electronic fuel injection system for internal combustion engines with port injection used in the company’s sport motorcycles as early as the ’80s and incorporated into the Foreman lineage starting with the 2013 Honda Foreman 500. This feature enabled cleaner emissions and delivered power and torque needed for tough jobs.
Honda Foreman 500 Common Problems
1. Tie Rod Separation
Some of the Foreman 500 4×4 and 4×4 ES units released during its first production year were part of a recall order. A total of 27 consumer reports triggered the recall. The main issue was steering rod separation, which caused the driver to lose steering control. This flaw posed a risk as the ATV tended to crash. The majority of the affected quads were 350-cc Ranchers, 500-cc Rubicons, and 650-cc Rincons.
2. Steering Shaft Breaking
CSPC issued a recall order for 21,000 units of 2013 and 2012 Honda Foreman 500 FE/FM models due to concerns with this part of the vehicle causing crash hazards. Honda received a total of 18 reports. Although there were no injury reports, two riders got involved in a crash. The recall order instructed consumers who purchased the affected units to contact their nearest Honda dealer for a free repair.
3. Shifting Problems
Some Honda enthusiasts stay away from ESP-equipped Foreman 500s because of this problem and advise owners to keep a shifter wrench with them at all times. A band-aid fix for this would be to stop the bike and turn off the engine, then turn it back on, down-shift to neutral, and crank and shift to your desired gear in the shortest time possible. For a longer-term repair, you will need to do the following:
- Check the cable and cable switch
- Check the battery charge and its ability to maintain it (this is usually the culprit)
- Inspect the engine oil level
- Check the angle sensor to see if it needs replacement
- Take the clutch and transmission apart for cleaning and repair
Refer to your service manual for guidance. If all your mechanical repair attempts fail, send your ATV to a shop.
4. Ignition Problem
You know you have this problem when you do not get display lights when turning the key. Should you encounter this, the first thing you will need to look at is the fuse. Check the power coming out of the fuse box. Do not immediately rule out the fuse just because it is not blown. There is a possibility that a good fuse may not make a good connection with the female connector and therefore impede delivering power to the quad. Doing this usually points out to replacing all your fuses, which would solve your problem.
Another probable cause is that your starter is defective, resulting in your quad not turning over. Determining this as the cause of your problem requires an electric starter replacement.
5. Leaking Carb
Two leading causes of a leaking carb are either a clogged valve in the carb float bowl or a hole in the float itself. If you still have an original Honda OEM carburetor, rebuild it with an OEM float needle and float seat than get a cheap replacement carb. This is the best time to change to non-ethanol, which is better for ATV/UTV machines. While you’re at it, check on the gasket’s condition and the rubber O-rings. Replace, as needed.
Another remedy would be to take the drain screw at the bottom of the carburetor, turn the petcock on, let the carb drain, and then put the carb back in. This recommendation is not very common but it helps get rid of the overflow. Some even tap the carb with a wrench while draining to ensure the float is not stuck inside. Make this procedure more fool-proof by cleaning out your carb regularly and replacing your fuel filter following tank flushing. You may also check my previous article on the Honda Foreman 400 and see if any of the troubleshooting tips I shared there applies to your four-wheeler.
2014 Honda Foreman 500 owners avoid this hassle since these models already had PGM FI.
6. Throttle Icing
If your Foreman runs fine at idle but dies when put in gear, then you might experience this. This problem occurs when the vacuum-operated slide across the throttle causes the moisture in the air to freeze onto the butterfly valve, causing your quad to run poorly and die. The problem is also tough to reproduce as it might only happen in certain ambient air temperatures. Putting a new spark plug, cleaning the spark arrestor, and using gas line antifreeze will help alleviate the issue but not entirely resolve it.
It is best to inspect the carb for signs of ice. Or check if a wire has come unplugged, or if there is grounding against the frame. Begin by looking into the gear-shift mechanism and follow the wires from there. If you find no issues in this area, get the CDI, coil, or stator checked. You’ll need your service manual and a multimeter in checking resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Honda Foreman 500 top speed? The top speed of the Honda Foreman 500 is 45 mph. However, some owners have claimed to go as fast as 58 mph with no lift kits or mods.
- What is high mileage for Honda Foreman 500? 8,000 miles is high mileage, considering that the Honda Foreman 500 is designed to carry heavy loads. 3,000 miles and less are relatively standard and regarded as low mileage.
- Is there a year model I should avoid when buying a Honda Foreman 500? Despite having two product recalls, there is not a specific bad year model for Honda Foreman 500. Of course, owners and enthusiasts will have differences in opinion. Make sure to research and investigate the vehicle’s history before making a purchase.
- How much HP does a Honda Foreman 500 have? The horsepower for the Honda Foreman 500 is 30 hp. It may be more if you upgrade the factory muffler and breather box to open up the Foreman. You should not do this if you hunt, since the engine will be noisier and may not pass noise limits on hunting grounds.
Honda Motor Company Ltd. has launched the sport ATV industry and revolutionized the rider experience. It continues to do with the creation of the Honda Foreman 500 and the introduction of technological innovations such as the Electric Shift Program, TraxLok, Electric Power Steering, and Programmable Fuel Injection. The Japanese manufacturer carries on with its legacy of producing top-of-the-line automobiles, power equipment, and commuter motorcycle models. Honda is a world leader in robotics, AI, mobility, and energy solutions.
Conclusion – Honda Foreman 500
Since its launch to this day, this four-wheeler has always raised excitement. Even ATV magazines attest to its reliability – recommending the Foreman as one of the best ATV purchases consumers will ever make. Generally, this workhorse has received nothing but positive feedback from its users. So get yourself a Honda Foreman 500 and enjoy everything it has to offer.
The TRX500FM1 is equipped with features to make hard-work much easier. To provide unmatched reliability there are a host of developments including a chassis that is 20% stiffer than the previous model, new generation CV boots improve the durability of running gear, a revised swing-arm and new adjustable longer travel suspension add to the package. There is no question this ATV is built tough. Hard wearing body work gives the model a distinctive, no nonsense appearance.
The 5-speed manual transmission with reverse is also built to last and designed to give you maximum control. Front diff lock will help this model crawl out of anywhere and with an improved weight carrying and towing capacity the 500FM1 simply works where other ATVs can’t. For New Zealand’s demanding farming conditions the 475cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, fuel-injected engine is dedicated to the cause, and if you are looking for an ATV that will get you to that remote fishing spot and back then look no further.
BOOK A TEST RIDE
Honda Unveils Updated 2020 ATV Lineup
During Power Lab 2019, Honda's powersports dealer experiential event held south of Dallas at TexPlex Park, Honda unveiled its 2020 ATV lineup, which includes important updates to the FourTrax® Foreman®, Foreman Rubicon and Rancher® multipurpose models. Additional multipurpose models making a return are the Recon® and Rincon®, while the TRX®250X and TRX90X sport models also return for 2020.
Made in Timmonsville, South Carolina, Honda's ATV lineup is the industry's most popular, offering models that are ready for hard work and serious play, and that are so user-friendly that riders won't want to climb off. For 2020, the Foreman, Rubicon and Rancher all get an improved reverse lever, making the process of changing directions easier than ever. In addition, all three now come with racks that readily accept Honda's new Pro-Connect line of modular cargo accessories. And significantly, the Foreman and Rubicon both get larger engines for increased power.
"Honda's history in the ATV market is unmatched, thanks in part to a consistently strong lineup of capable, versatile models," said Chris Cox, American Honda's Manager of Experiential Marketing/Public Relations. "For 2020, we're excited to offer significant improvements to our three most important models, which now perform better than ever."
FourTrax Foreman Rubicon
For 2020, Honda's extremely popular, do-it-all 500-class FourTrax Foreman Rubicon benefits from more of the very qualities that have long made this model such a popular choice with customers. All Rubicon models still come standard with Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) for exceptional traction and comfort, and they now get a 43cc displacement increase to 518cc, adding power where it's used most, in the low- and middle-rpm ranges. On non-manual models, engaging the reverse gear is now a simple operation accomplished electronically via a single lever that fits a wide range of hand sizes and can be operated easily and quickly, without the need to engage neutral. Four Rubicon models are offered, three of which come with a high-tech Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), and those three now feature manual-shift override capability so that riders can command gear changes at will, even in automatic mode—enabling use of engine braking for situations like corner entry and descents. (Automatic mode takes over again a few seconds after manual inputs.) The Rubicon models' front and rear cargo racks now have expanded planar surfaces for more carrying options, and they integrate with Honda's new Pro-Connect line of modular accessories. Off-road-legal in all 50 states, all Rubicon models get a new front grill, as well as an updated 50-watt LED assist headlight and a 1.9-liter front utility box that can be accessed from the rider cockpit when stopped.
- FourTrax Foreman Rubicon DCT EPS Deluxe: Honda Phantom Camo®, Matte Green Metallic
- FourTrax Foreman Rubicon DCT EPS: Red, Olive
- FourTrax Foreman Rubicon DCT: Red, Olive
- FourTrax Foreman Rubicon 4x4 EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Matte Molasses Brown
- Price:Starting at $8,699
- Availability: Summer 2019
FourTrax Foreman 4x4
The real workhorse in Honda's multipurpose ATV lineup, the FourTrax Foreman 4x4 is ready to tackle any job—now more than ever thanks to a displacement increase to 518cc that delivers stronger acceleration and improved towing performance. All three Foreman models have swingarm rear suspension that keeps weight low and provides a great, unsprung platform for a tow hitch. For 2020, they have the same new assist light, front utility box, and front and rear Pro-Connect-compatible racks as the Rubicon, and the flagship Foreman 4x4 ES EPS gets the new, simpler reverse lever, which is particularly welcome for jobs like plowing that involve frequent transitions between forward and reverse motion.
- FourTrax Foreman 4x4 ES EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Reactor Blue
- FourTrax Foreman 4X4 EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Olive
- FourTrax Foreman 4x4: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Olive
- Price:Starting at $7,399
- Availability: Summer 2019
No ATV is offered in more variations than Honda's FourTrax Rancher, and no ATV has been sold in greater numbers. With no fewer than eight different models offering myriad combinations of transmission (automatic DCT, Electric Shift ProgramTM and manual), rear suspension (swingarm and independent dual arm) and steering types—plus two- and four-wheel drive—the 420cc Rancher family packs maneuverability and muscle into a tough ATV that is ready for any activity. All Ranchers receive the new Pro-Connect-compatible racks and front utility box, and the two automatic transmission types (DCT and ESP®) get the improved reverse lever and manual-override capability.
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4 AT IRS EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Moose Brown
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4 AT IRS: Red, Olive
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4 AT EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Active Yellow
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4 EPS: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Olive
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4 ES: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Olive
- FourTrax Rancher 4x4: Honda Phantom Camo, Red, Olive
- FourTrax Rancher ES: Red, Olive
- FourTrax Rancher: Red, Olive
- Price:Starting at $5,499
- Availability: Summer 2019
Powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 675cc single-cylinder engine, the FourTrax Rincon is Honda's largest-displacement ATV. Noted for the plush ride delivered by its Independent Rear Suspension, the Rincon is also capable of hard work. The engine is mounted longitudinally to align the crankshaft with the vehicle's direction of travel for more direct connection with the rear axle, and an automatic three-speed transmission with hydraulic torque converter is standard.
- Color: Honda Phantom Camo, Red
- Availability: Summer 2019
Even Honda's smallest multi-purpose ATV is up to the big jobs. The air-cooled, overhead-valve 229cc engine brings legendary reliability and user-friendly power delivery. Combine that with a lightweight and supremely nimble chassis and you've got a great-handling, fun, hardworking, machine. Transmission options include manual foot shifting or Honda's ESP handlebar-mounted push-button gear selector.
- Color: Red, Olive
- Availability: Summer 2019
When enjoyment is on the agenda, sign up Honda's friendly, fun TRX250X and see where the trail leads. This popular sport model's longitudinally mounted, air-cooled overhead-valve 229cc engine helps to keep vehicle weight low for nimble handling, and the SportClutch™ boasts the best of both worlds—anti-stall technology but with manual-override capability. Independent double-wishbone front suspension and a rear swingarm keep things smooth during spirited riding.
- Color: Red, Metallic Blue
- Availability: Summer 2019
The ideal choice for getting young riders started on a lifetime appreciation of the great outdoors, Honda's dependable, fun TRX90X sport ATV is great for learning riding skills while having a ball. The 86cc single-overhead-cam engine possesses enough torque to keep up with the bigger ATVs on family rides yet has Honda's trademark user-friendly power delivery. Best of all, Honda quality means the TRX90X can bring multiple generations of new riders into the sport.
- Color: Red, Olive, White
- Availability: Fall 2019
# # #
ABOUT AMERICAN HONDA
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and Side-by-Sides in the U.S. American Honda's Powersports Division conducts the sales, marketing and operational activities for these products through independent authorized Honda retail dealers. For more information on Honda products, go to powersports.honda.com.
– Detailed 2019 FourTrax Foreman 500 ATV Buyer’s Guide: Price, R&D Development, HP & TQ + More! –
It’s that time of the year again guys! Time for all of the manufacturers to start releasing their 2019 ATV models and that means it is time to start going over all of the different models from Honda and what sets them apart from each other etc.
Today, we’re going to break down one of the two FourTrax Foreman TRX500 ATV models that are available for 2019 (not counting the Rubicon 500 models are they are entirely different four-wheelers, even tough they do technically have the “Foreman” nameplate in their model name they’ll be covered separately). This page will be covering the 2019 Foreman 500 Manual-Shift also known as Foot-Shift model (TRX500FM1). Why only one model? That way you can compare the differences between them a little easier instead of just generically comparing the specs between the two of them. It used to be incredibly confusing for most people as you had four different Foreman model variations and then six different model variations of the Foreman Rubicon to choose from. Speaking of the Foreman Rubicon, for the sake of keeping things simple and easy to understand we’re going to call the Foreman Rubicon just “Rubicon” as they are technically two worlds apart from each other when it comes to the nitty-gritty specs. Are you familiar with the differences when comparing the Foreman VS Rubicon? If not, check out my Detailed Rubicon VS Foreman Model Differences Breakdown by Clicking Here. I’ll also have separate review pages for each of the 2019 Rubicon models too so make sure to check those out by clicking over to the 2019 ATV Model Lineup page.
2019 Foreman 500 VS 2018 Foreman 500 Changes? The only changes to the 2019 Foreman 500 when you compare it to last year’s model comes in the way of colors. Honda almost always does red and olive and then they’ll throw a wildcard color in there. Last year it was vapor white and for this year on this specific model we have yellow to replace the outgoing vapor white.
2019 Honda ATV Model Announcement #1 – Click Here
2019 Honda ATV Model Announcement #2 – Click Here
The Foreman 500 is considered Honda’s do-it-all workhorse ATV that recently received a brand new chassis with more suspension travel, electronic diff. lock, adjustable spring preload front and rear plus improved durability. Also upgraded in the last big overhaul was the bodywork, rider comfort, electrical system, headlights; and the engine is also 10% more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model Foreman.
Not planning on using your Foreman as the ultimate workhorse? That’s fine as she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to hitting the trails and mountains for some recreational fun or even the mud pits for those that are into that type of riding with switchable 2/4wd and a front differential lock that all previous generation Foreman models didn’t have. Each is built with the quality, technology and reliability that only Honda can inject and last for years, providing unstoppable service in all conditions – which I’m sure is one of the main reasons why we all love Honda. Is the 2019 Foreman 500 perfect? Nope. Could it be better with some changes thrown at it? Yes. Cough cough disc brakes in the rear (if you’re listening Honda haha) as well as some other slight tweaks but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still an awesome package.
Now let’s dive into all of the details on the 2019 Honda FourTrax Foreman 500 4×4… Some of the information below will be missing or marked as TBA as Honda hasn’t made some of the information “official” at this time. I will update this page on those few details once everything has been set in stone so-to-say.
2019 Foreman 500 Performance Numbers:
- 2019 Foreman 500 ATV Horsepower: 28.7 HP @ 6,250 RPM
- 2019 Foreman 500 ATV Torque: 28 lb/ft TQ @ 5,000 RPM
- 2019 Foreman 500 ATV Miles Per Gallon: 33.6 MPG
2019 Foreman 500 Price / MSRP:
- 2019 Foreman 500 (TRX500FM1): $7,299
2019 Foreman 500 Release Date:
- You will be able to find the 2019 Foreman 500 model on showroom floor’s in August 2018.
2019 Honda TRX500 Foreman Color Options:
- TRX500FM1 Foreman: Active Yellow, Red, Olive Green
- TRX500FE2 Foreman: Zest Orange, Red, Phantom Camo
- TRX500FM6 Foreman Rubicon EPS: Shale Blue, Red, Olive Green
- TRX500FA5 Foreman Rubicon DCT: Red, Olive Green
- TRX500FA6 Foreman Rubicon DCT / EPS: Red, Olive Green
- TRX500FA7 Foreman Rubicon Deluxe: Matte Gray Metallic (painted plastic), Phantom Camo
* Phantom Camo available for a $500 MSRP / Price increase (except for 2019 Rubicon Deluxe DCT / EPS in Phantom Camo)
2019 Honda TRX500 Foreman Model Lineup Options / Explained + Prices:
- TRX500FM1 Foreman: 4×4 Manual / Foot-Shift model with straight axle | MSRP / Price – $7,299
- TRX500FE2 Foreman ES / EPS: 4×4 ES plus EPS model with straight axle (ES = Electric Shift) & (EPS = Electric Power Steering) | MSRP / Price – $8,199
- TRX500FM6 Foreman Rubicon EPS: 4×4 Manual / Foot-Shift model with EPS and straight axle (EPS = Electric Power Steering) | MSRP / Price – $8,699
- TRX500FA5 Foreman Rubicon DCT: 4×4 DCT Automatic model with IRS (IRS = Independent Rear Suspension) | MSRP / Price – $8,599
- TRX500FA6 Foreman Rubicon DCT / EPS: 4×4 DCT Automatic model with EPS and IRS (EPS = Electric Power Steering) & (IRS = Independent Rear Suspension) | MSRP / Price – $9,299
- TRX500FA7 Foreman Rubicon Deluxe: 4×4 DCT Automatic model with EPS and IRS plus Painted Matte Gray Metallic Plastics or Phantom Camo finish and Painted Red Suspension (EPS = Electric Power Steering) & (IRS = Independent Rear Suspension) | MSRP / Price – $9,799
|Foreman 4×4 (TRX500FM1)||Foreman ES / EPS (TRX500FE2)||Foreman|
4×4 EPS (TRX500FM6)
4×4 DCT (TRX500FA5)
DCT / EPS (TRX500FA6)
DCT / EPS Deluxe (TRX500FA7)
|Straight Axle Rear Suspension||X||X|
|Electric Shift (ES)||X|
w/ Drive / Low Range
Power Steering (EPS)
Wheels & Red
Are you familiar with the different model variations of the 2019 Foreman 500?If not, here’s a guide that breaks down all of the details:
When it comes to the 2019 Honda Foreman 500, you have couple of model options to choose from depending on what features you would like to have. What kind of features am I referring to? Below, I will cover all of them which are the choice of Manual Shift vs ES (Electric Shift) then ES + EPS (Electric Power Steering). There used to be even more model options on the Foreman to choose from but Honda has cut it down over the last two years to make things easier to understand. For 2019, the Rubicon 500 model lineup gives you more model options / variations to choose from like IRS, DCT or Manual-Shift Transmissions and with or without EPS as well as Deluxe packages.
Honda Foreman ATV Model ID / Code Key:
- TRX – Generic prefix for all Honda ATV Sport / Utility 2WD & 4WD models
- 500 – 500 cc engine
- F – Four Wheel Drive
- M – Manual Shift
- E – Electric Shift – Automatic
- 1 – No Power Steering / EPS
- 2 – Power Steering / EPS
- K – 2019 Model Year
- EPS – Electric Power Steering
- ESP – Electric Shift Program (Normally referred to as ES)
- ES – Electric Shift
- FourTrax – Honda uses this as a generic model name for all of their utility ATV models in the lineup. Some confuse FourTrax as a certain model from Honda or that it means 4×4 but that is not the case as even 2×4 models use FourTrax.
* All Utility style ATVs (with racks) are automatic in the sense that they don’t have a clutch to use, commonly referred to as having a semi-automatic clutch.
Model EXAMPLE: TRX500FM1K
Now lets put the key above to use…What is a TRX500FM1J? It is a 500 Foreman Manual Shift without EPS and is a 2019 model. TRX = ATV / 500 = 500cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / M = Manual shift / 1 = No EPS / K = 2019.
2019 Honda 500 Foreman Transmission Options:
- Manual / Foot Shift (No clutch)
- ES / Electric Shift – Change Gears manually by clicking an Up and Down button on the left handlebar
- * The only other transmission option in the 500cc ATV class from Honda would be the DCT if you go to the Rubicon 500
2019 Honda 500 Foreman Steering Options:
- Manual Steering (only available on manual / foot-shift model)
- EPS / Electric Power Steering (only available on ES / Electric Shift model)
2019 Honda 500 Foreman Rear Suspension Options:
- The standard Foreman is only available with a SRA / Solid Rear Axle
- * The only other rear suspension option in the 500cc ATV class from Honda would be the IRS if you go to the Rubicon 500
2019 Honda Foreman 500 Overview of Features
Frame | Foreman 500
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) was used to redesign the frame and it’s 20% stiffer than the previous model – and 5 pounds lighter. Its rigidity balance has been carefully tuned to reduce harshness and give a smoother ride; the overall result is more precise handling and control plus improved stability.
Front Suspension | Foreman 500
The independent double wishbone design gives a total of 7.28 inches for better front tire traction, steering accuracy and rider comfort. The suspension settings have been revised and spring preload can now be adjusted to suit loads carried.
Rear Suspension | Foreman 500
The solid rear drive shaft axle is now enclosed for greater protection and support of the drive bearings. The rear disc brake has been re-sited inside the right rear wheel, out of harm’s way. Rubber bushings absorb loads between frame and swingarm at the pivot point; they’re bonded to an inner and outer collar so debris cannot intrude. Suspension travel was recently increased and is now set at 7.28 inches to match the front and has preload adjustability too.
TraxLok | Foreman 500
TraxLok allows easy selection on the move of either 2wd or 4wd – 2wd gives lighter steering on flat ground, while 4wd maximizes traction. A differential locker system has been added; at the push of a button the Foreman will go from 2wd to 4wd with the TraxLok differential engaged; rotating the switch locks out the diff. in 4wd mode. An LED indicator light shows diff. lock engagement.
Speed Over Ride | Foreman 500
Speed is limited to 20mph in normal use, but a Speed Over Ride feature is integrated into the starter button. For speeds up to 40mph (and to get the increased wheel speed needed to deal with deep mud) the starter can be pushed and held.
CV Joint Protection | Foreman 500
Plastic CV Joint boots have replaced rubber. The revised inboard and outboard boot guard layout improves protection and the plastic boots themselves have 65% greater puncture resistance and twice the tear strength. Sealed steering knuckle bearings add durability.
Styling | Foreman 500
The Foreman’s new bodywork maintains its ability to protect from mud and flying debris, plus the unique floorboards that allow the rider’s feet to grip the footrests while keeping away mud and debris. The one-piece tank cover and side panels can be removed without tools and give immediate access to the engine, the fuel tank, intake system and electrical components.
Increasing practicality the steel front rack can now carry and extra 22 lbs, at 88 lbs total; the rear rack has been beefed up to haul 176 lbs. The maximum weight capacity is now 551 lbs.
Lighting | Foreman 500
New dual front headlights feature 35/35W bulbs, as opposed to 30/30W giving increased output with light distribution more focused in low and high beam. The assist light now operates independently of the main headlights – it can be off when on low beam, and turns on with high beam. It can also be turned off if the front rack is loaded.
Instruments | Foreman 500
The digital odometer, trip and hour meter are joined by a clock, coolant temperature gauge, ‘maintenance minder’ system (hours and mile/km) and diff. lock indicator.
Electric Power Steering / EPS (Optional) | Foreman 500
The EPS unit now mounts in three places rather than two adding a greater rigidity balance to the steering. It features a revised ECU map that significantly reduces low speed steering effort whether loaded or unloaded. Kickback is also decreased, aiding rider comfort and the steering’s linearity/damping is enhanced.
Electrical system | Foreman 500
The Alternating Current Generator (ACG) has been upgraded 16% from 416W output to 481W, giving an improved margin for running electrical accessories. A wet-type GYZ16 battery has replaced the dry-type YTX14 unit. It features 16Ah capacity and offers improved reliability.
Engine | Foreman 500
A real ATV powerhouse the 475cc liquid-cooled OHV engine is unchanged. Unique to Honda it’s longitudinally mounted and ensures a low center of gravity, plus delivers direct and efficient drive top to the drive shafts. This setup allows for the Foreman 500 to have an 850 lb towing capacity. The fuel injection and air-intake system have been fine-tuned to give even smoother power delivery and throttle feel; a new automotive-spec fuel pump increases durability and is easier to service. It uses a cam lock ring and O-ring to secure it in the tank and its filter now has a 60,000+ mile life.
The 10% increase in fuel economy – with no loss of drivability or power – has been achieved by using a ‘leaner’ fuel map for when cruising, and a ‘richer’ map at high engine speed and large throttle openings. An 02 lambda sensor in the exhaust constantly adjusts the fueling, lowering emissions.
- 2019 Foreman 500 Horsepower: 28.7 HP @ 6,250 RPM
- 2019 Foreman 500 Torque: 28 lb/ft TQ @ 5,000 RPM
- 2019 Foreman 500 Miles Per Gallon: 33.6 MPG
- Recently updated double-cradle steel frame developed with Computer Aided Engineering features increased stiffness (up 20 percent) and reduced weight for even more precise handling and a smoother ride.
- Front and rear suspension features an increase in travel to 7.3 inches at both ends plus new shocks for a plush and controlled ride.
- The Foreman’s TraxLok 2WD/4WD system now offers three drive modes: 2WD; 4WD with TraxLok torque-sensing front differential; and a new 4WD mode with locking front differential to optimize traction.
- This new TraxLok system also features a Speed Override mode that can be engaged when the front differential is locked, which allows increased wheel speed under severe conditions such as deep mud.
- Optional Electric Power Steering (EPS) system incorporates new ECU mapping for improved linearity in steering response, reduced low-speed steering effort for enhanced maneuverability and decreased kickback traits for improved all-around steering action.
- Load capacity for both front and rear carriers has been increased to 88 pounds in front, 176 pounds for the rear.
- Heavy-duty trailer hitch with 848-pound towing capacity.
- Twin-headlight system has been redesigned and now features 35-watt headlights with a more focused light distribution pattern for improved visibility after dark.
- Assembled in Timmonsville, South Carolina, using domestically and globally sourced parts.
- Transferable one-year limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
Foreman Engine / Drivetrain
- Powerful liquid-cooled 475cc single-cylinder OHV four-stroke engine is longitudinally mounted in the frame allowing direct driveshaft alignment to front and rear wheels for improved drivetrain efficiency.
- Overhead-valve design creates a compact engine for excellent ground clearance while maintaining a broad, easy-to-use powerband.
- Super-heavy-duty automatic clutch with a low-rpm engagement point for excellent driveability and towing capability.
- Newly changed mapping for the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system improves power delivery and throttle response, and increases fuel efficiency for greater range.
- The Foreman 4×4 ES model features a five-speed transmission with Reverse and an ultra-low first gear, and Honda’s exclusive Electric Shift Program (ESP) for easy shifts with the touch of handlebar-mounted buttons.
- Stainless-steel exhaust system includes a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler designed for quiet operation without servicing for long-lasting performance.
- Automotive-style fuel pump and 60,000+ mile fuel filter
Foreman Chassis / Suspension
- Adjustable spring preload on all shocks allows suspension tuning to match varying loads and riding conditions
- Recently added enclosed-axle type swingarm with optimized stiffness for improved toughness and durability, and excellent handling performance.
- Newer rubber swingarm pivot bushings yield increased low-speed ride comfort and increased durability.
- Rear brake is located inside the right rear wheel for improved durability and increased ground clearance.
- All-new one-piece tank/side cover allows easy access (no tools required) for maintenance.
- Aggressively styled bodywork provides improved mud and water protection.
- Revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS)-EPS model only.
- Newly added three-point mounting setup for the EPS system makes the entire steering mechanism more rigid for even more precise steering.
- Increased AC generator output of 481 watts to allow powering more electrical accessories.
- New Honda Phantom Camo blends into a wide range of field environments, and new Honda application processes provide better graphic durability and improved resistance to fuel spillage.
- Newly added meter display with added functions like a Maintenance Minder system that notifies when it is time for service.
- Top assist light now operates independently of front headlights so it can be turned off while carrying a load on the front carrier.
- Fuel pump is derived from Honda automobile technology. It mounts in the fuel tank for better heat isolation and offers increased filter life.
- Newly added plastic CV joint boots are more durable and tear-resistant.
- Newly sealed steering knuckle bearings for extended durability.
- Newly optimized rider triangle for added comfort.
- A 20mm (0.8 inch) increase in seat foam thickness and softer seat foam increase rider comfort over previous model.
- Dual front hydraulic disc brakes and sealed mechanical rear drum brake for strong stopping power.
- Full-length synthetic lower skidplate with integrated front brush guard.
- Ground clearance at 7.5 inches.
- Towing capacity of 850 lbs.
- Increased ACG output
- GYZ16 wet-type battery.
- Swingarm pivot rubber bushings.
2019 Honda Foreman 500 Development
The FourTrax Foreman series of Honda ATVs has carved out an enviable reputation for making life easier-and a good deal more fun. No matter what’s on the to-do list, these hard-working ATVs can help you tackle the big jobs, and they also know how to have plenty of fun when it’s time for that well-earned getaway. Now that reputation grows stronger than ever as the next generation of Foreman models arrive with an all-new chassis, upgraded suspension components, new 2WD/4WD drive system featuring an all-new locking front differential, fresh styling and more.
Machines to Match the Job
The manual-shift FourTrax Foreman 4×4 is the machine of choice for riders who prefer a conventional gearbox, while the FourTrax Foreman 4×4 ES boasts Honda’s renowned Electric Shift Program (ESP) that delivers push-button convenience for upshifts and downshifts. Both versions can be had with the option of a new, updated Electric Power Steering system as well, and both come equipped with a powerful liquid-cooled 500-class engine that’s as durable and reliable as it is strong-just what you’d expect from Honda. Adding to the Foreman’s already impressive versatility, owners can select add-ons from a wide assortment of Honda accessories that increase comfort, work capabilities and convenience.
Better Riding Through CAE
The Foreman 500 features a double-cradle steel frame that wraps around the engine, developed with the use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) to design and analyze every part of the vehicle, this in-depth analysis allowed the development team to confirm the design of every part before a prototype vehicle was ever built, and then fine-tune the actual mechanicals.
The current Foreman’s chassis offers increased stiffness (up 20 percent over the previous generation Foreman) to accommodate higher operating loads, along with improved compliance for a smoother ride while simultaneously delivering even more precise handling. Honda’s CAE studies also analyzed major masses to achieve the lightest weight possible; as a result, this new frame also yields a five-pound reduction in weight over the previous-generation’s frame.
Honda recently went back to an enclosed-axle-type swingarm which further enhances strength and rigidity in the chassis. A sturdy sleeve over the rear axle not only strengthens it but also gives better protection, and it allows the swingarm to support more of the rear-wheel loads-a thoughtful design that adds to driveline durability. To enhance rider comfort, this new swingarm mounts in new rubber swingarm pivot bushings that absorb loads at the swingarm/frame junction. As another plus, since these rubber bushings are bonded to the inner and outer swingarm collars, dirt can’t enter the swingarm pivot area to cause wear-and that increases long-term durability. In addition, this rear-axle design locates the sealed mechanical rear drum brake in a more shielded area inside the right rear wheel for improved protection and more ground clearance-now increased to 7.5 inches. In addition, dual front hydraulic disc brakes add strong stopping power.
This latest chassis also features completely redesigned front and rear suspension components that offer increased travel. These all-new shocks feature brand-new damping characteristics plus an increase to 7.3 inches of travel at each corner for a plush yet well-controlled ride. Adjustable spring preload capabilities front and rear allow quick and easy suspension tuning to match varying loads and riding conditions. Also, new sealed steering knuckle bearings extend durability, and a full-length composite lower skidplate with integrated front brush guard adds protection for the mechanicals.
Recent improvements have also been added to the Foreman models that incorporate Honda’s Electric Power Steering. A new mounting system incorporates three anchoring points for the EPS mechanism and that locates the entire unit more solidly in place. As a result, these models now return even more precise steering than before. This EPS system is a next-generation setup that incorporates new settings for improved linearity in steering response, reduced low-speed steering effort for enhanced maneuverability and decreased kickback traits for improved all-around steering action.
The Foreman Formula for Power
Much of the Foreman’s stellar reputation among ATV riders can be traced to its muscular liquid-cooled 475cc single-cylinder OHV four-stroke engine that has earned proven creds for power and performance since its introduction. The overhead-valve design churns out a broad, easy-to-use powerband from an engine with a shorter cylinder head and notably compact dimensions. Furthermore, this reduced engine height works to lower the machine’s center of gravity (CG) for better handling while also helping to yield excellent ground clearance. Because the engine is mounted longitudinally in the frame (front-to-back in the chassis) it allows direct driveshaft alignment to the front and rear wheels, thereby eliminating unnecessary power-sapping right-angle changes in the flow of power. That means the Foreman enjoys improved drivetrain efficiency compared to designs from other manufacturers with conventional engine mounting.
Recent mapping adjustments for the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system combined with new oxygen sensor feedback technology improves power delivery and throttle response, while also improving engine emissions and increasing fuel economy for greater range. All models feature super-heavy-duty clutch construction for excellent driveability and towing capability. Elsewhere in the drivetrain, new tougher, plastic CV joint boots add long-term durability thanks to their more puncture- and tear-resistant qualities.
Another first in the Honda ATV lineup, the Foreman incorporates a new 2WD/4WD drive system with the added benefit of a selectable, locking front differential for extra pull when the going gets really tough. As a result, this system now offers three drive modes: 2WD; 4WD with TraxLok torque-sensing front differential; and now a new 4WD mode with locked front differential for maximum traction. This new TraxLok system also features a Speed Override mode that can be engaged when the front differential is locked, which allows increased wheel speed under severe conditions such as deep mud.
Sweating the Details
Other changes in the last overhaul include a new fuel pump that is derived from Honda automobile technology, which mounts in the fuel tank for better heat isolation and increased filter life. AC generator output has also been boosted to 481 watts-a 16 percent increase-to allow powering of more electrical accessories. The stainless-steel exhaust system includes a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler designed for quiet operation without servicing for long-lasting performance.
The aggressively styled bodywork on all the Foreman models also provides more effective mud protection, and now there’s a one-piece tank/side cover that allows easy access (no tools required) for maintenance to the air intake, electrical components, engine, fuel tank and more. Outdoorsmen who prefer an ATV that blends in with the background will love the new Honda Phantom Camo scheme. In addition to its excellent camouflage properties for use in a wide range of field environments, new Honda manufacturing processes also provide better graphic adhesion of the camo scheme, excellent durability and improved resistance to fuel spillage to keep things looking better, longer. Also, load capacity for both front and rear carriers has increased 33 percent to a total of 264 pounds-88 pounds up front and 176 pounds on the rear-to keep the Foreman ready for a hard day’s work.
A newly upgraded meter display for the Foreman line features handy added functions: clock, coolant temperature gauge, a “maintenance minder” system that tracks both hours of run time, plus miles driven and a differential lock indicator. For improved visibility after dark, the twin-headlight system has been redesigned and now features 35-watt headlights with a more focused light distribution pattern. As another thoughtful and practical touch, the top assist light now operates independently of the front headlights; it can be turned off while carrying a load on the front carrier to eliminate reflected light bounce-back. A newly optimized rider triangle promotes added comfort, while a 0.8 inch-increase in seat foam thickness and softer seat foam density add further to rider comfort.
The Foreman is very feature-rich in stock configuration, yet Honda Genuine Accessories offers another 17 accessories that can make life even more pleasant and allow this favorite among ATVs to work even harder and more efficiently.
And in the end, that’s what the Foreman is really all about: This is an efficient, hard-working and versatile machine that gets even better in so many ways for 2014. Thanks to its completely redesigned chassis, new selectable 2WD/4WD drive system featuring a locking front differential, greater load capacity, added drivetrain durability, fresh styling and more, this new Foreman series is the perfect way to lighten the load when work calls, or get far away from it all when it’s time to have some weekend fun.
Honda FourTrax Foreman Expands 4×4 Capabilities
Innovative Honda technology plays a big role in giving Honda ATVs a decisive advantage. Honda’s 2WD/4WD drive system is a prime example of such technology, and the FourTrax Foreman 4×4 models now feature a new, selectable locking front differential with a fully locked mode that provides even more traction in really tough terrain.
The basic TraxLok 2WD/4WD system has long served riders well aboard Honda 4×4 ATVs. TraxLok utilizes a two-way mechanical roller clutch incorporating a series of hardened-steel rollers. These rollers lock up in a mere six degrees of rotation, which makes for a smooth, virtually instantaneous response either accelerating or decelerating on flat ground or on an incline.
In addition, the system also operates when Reverse gear is engaged. To promote smooth operation, the TraxLok system engages only when the speed differential between the front and rear wheels is less than six mph. Once engaged, the system remains engaged on downhills to deliver true 4WD braking.
The FourTrax Foreman 4×4 ATVs feature TraxLok system that incorporates the option of engaging a locked front differential. As before, riders can enjoy the option of an easily selectable 2WD or 4WD mode. However, the Foreman now has the capacity to operate in a third mode: a locked front differential in 4×4 mode that gets power to both front wheels equally, effectively locking them together, for maximum traction in challenging terrain. This option is very easy for the rider to engage; after pressing the 4WD selector button on the right-side handlebar, just rotate the differential lock switch and it’s set to go. An indicator light on the instrument display shows when the differential lock is engaged.
In addition, the Foreman features a Speed Override mode that can be engaged when the front differential is locked, which allows increased wheel speed under severe conditions such as deep mud. When riding with the front differential locked, speeds in normal usage are limited to 20 mph. However, when encountering conditions such as deep mud that slows the ATV while the wheels spin, pushing and holding the starter button for the Speed Override function allows higher wheel speeds for extra pulling power-quite a benefit when the going gets tough.
Without a doubt, Honda’s TraxLok 2WD/4WD system adds a significant degree of versatility to 4×4 Honda ATVs, and these new additions to the FourTrax Foreman 4×4 TraxLok system reflect Honda’s commitment to advancing Honda ATV technology to benefit riders in real-world conditions.
2019 Foreman 500 Honda Genuine Accessories: Windscreen, Soft Rack Bag (front), Soft Rack Bag (rear), Fender Bag, Outdoor Storage Cover, Heated Grips, Plow Blade, Plow Push Tube, Plow Mount Kit, Winch Kit, Winch Mount Kit, Recoil Starter, Front A-Arm Guards, Aluminum Frame Skidplate, Side Pocket Net, Accessory Sub Harness. Warranty: Because we’re so confident in the quality of each of our Honda Genuine accessories, we’re pleased to offer one of the best warranties in the industry. One-year warranty begins on the day accessories are purchased by the customer.
|Model||FourTrax Foreman 4×4 ES EPS|
|FourTrax Foreman 4×4|
|Engine Type||475cc liquid-cooled OHV longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Bore x Stroke||92.0mm x 71.5mm|
|Induction||Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), 36mm throttle body|
|Ignition||Full-transistorized w/ electronic advance|
|Transmission||ESP 5-speed + Reverse||5-speed + Reverse|
|Driveline||Direct front and rear driveshafts w/ TraxLok and locking front differential|
|Starter||Electric w/ optional auxiliary recoil|
|Front||Independent double-wishbone; 7.3 in. travel|
|Rear||Swingarm w/ single shock; 7.3 in. travel|
|Front||Dual hydraulic 190mm discs|
|Rear||Sealed 160mm mechanical drum|
|Front||25 x 8-12|
|Rear||25 x 10-12|
|Seat Height||34.2 in.|
|Ground Clearance||7.5 in.|
|Turning Radius||10.5 ft.|
|Fuel Capacity||3.9 gal.incl. 1.3-gal. reserve|
|Colors||TBA||Red, Yellow, Olive Green|
|Curb Weight*||646 lbs.||633 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluid
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500cc quad honda
Honda updates Foreman ATV range with more powerful TRX 520
ATV market leader Honda has replaced its long-serving Foreman 500 with a new model that brings more power and a slicker automatic transmission.
The new 520 runs a 518cc engine – up from its predecessor’s 475cc – that will deliver 4% more torque at low-ish engine speeds to provide marginally punchier acceleration and better pulling power.
Output, on paper, is around 30hp, up from 28.7hp for the 500.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Honda ATVs often look underpowered compared with their rivals (some of which pack 40hp or more) because the Foreman’s mechanical transmission tends to be far more efficient than belt-driven equivalents.
The latest increase in engine capacity is the result of emissions regulations that forced a minor redesign, but the single-cylinder motor has remained largely unchanged.
In fact, only the bore has grown – common components including the block, crank and pistons are unaffected.
That news should please Foreman buyers, as the engine is relatively uncomplicated with a dry sump and overhead valves.
The company also claims its counterbalance shaft gives near twin-cylinder vibration levels, though from our experience it does little to eliminate body shudders at low revs.
Other 520-specific improvements include a brighter handlebar headlight, a beefed-up bull bar and redesigned front grille.
See also: ATV buyers guide 2019-20
420 and 520 changes
The rest of Honda’s ATV updates apply to both the Foreman 520 and Fourtrax 420.
The latter remains the UK’s best-selling quad bike and is a major contributor to the 71.6% share the company enjoys in the 300-499cc market.
The most significant change applies to the electric shift and double-clutch (DCT) gearboxes, where gear shift mapping has been fine-tuned to deliver better-timed, slicker changes.
In auto mode, sensors monitor the throttle opening to automatically decide whether to work in sports mode – where it holds on to gears up to 3,500-4,000rpm – or cruise mode, where revs rarely exceed 2,000rpm.
The base-spec model with manual transmission will continue to use foot-operated shifting.
Honda remains the obvious exception among the big ATV makers in its unwavering commitment to the mechanical five-speed transmission, whether in electric-shift or DCT guise.
In comparison, most of its rivals now favour the buttery-smooth acceleration offered by a belt-based CVT.
The old-school box may deliver slightly lumpier acceleration, but it comes with obvious perks, including reduced driveline maintenance, lower working engine revs and better fuel economy.
Honda also claims its engine braking is far superior, although in our most recent comparison tests the difference in this area is less stark than it used to be.
The other improvement in the transmission department is the ability to override automatic gear shifts.
This means the rider can now down-shift when approaching a hill without changing the driving mode and, after a few seconds, the bike will revert to automatic shifting.
On electric-shift and DCT models, Honda has also improved the way in which reverse is selected.
This was previously a clunky, two-handed affair that involved dropping to neutral and pulling the brake while pushing a button.
There’s now an electric trigger on the back of the handlebar.
Riders can engage reverse from any gear at speeds of less than 3mph.
Guards, racks and storage
New guards now cover the full length of the suspension arms and also protect the driveshafts and CV joints.
Front and rear racks have been redesigned to provide extra lash-down points.
They’re now powder-coated, which means they should last longer, and have a greater surface area, although their maximum carrying capacity remains pretty modest.
There’s also a new 1.9-litre waterproof storage box below the front rack to improve the cubby hole count.
Prices start at £6,425 for a low-spec TRX 420FM1 with manual gear shifting and no power steering, while a range-topping TRX 520 FA6 is £8,600.
Honda Foreman 520 FA6
- Engine 518cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder four-stroke
- Transmission Automatic dual-clutch two-range, five-speed
- Differential Locking front diff
- Suspension Double wishbone (front), independent dual arm (rear)
- Ground clearance 24cm
- Turning circle 7m
- Towing capacity 600kg
- Rack payload 45kg (front), 85kg (rear)
- Curb weight 331kg
- Price £8,600
ATV buyers guide
You can see all the specs and prices for ATVs, UTVs and pickups on sale in the UK in our annual buyers guide.
We’ll also be running a comparison test of the Fourtrax 420 against four of its rivals – Suzuki’s King Quad, the Yamaha Kodiak, Can-Am Outlander and Polaris Sportsman – in the 18 October issue of Farmers Weekly.
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