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  #1  
Old 05-26-2010, 10:57 AM
Weekend Warrior
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Default Rubicon for work? (Hydrostatic tranny)

OK so in a few months im going to get a Honda ATV, what i cant decide is What transmission i need/want. Its main use will be pulling small trailers around hilly property.

Now i am sure the Rincon, Rubicon, And Foreman, can all do thise task.
What i want to know is, which do you think is best suited for this task?
I have been leaning towards the Hydrostatic but i cant seem to find out if it is as tough as the 5 speed.

On a side note I grew up with foot shift, but have used the ES alot, is there any reason why i see people hating on the ES, or is that just there preference?

Basically help me spend my money! and hopefully in a few months I can come back here as a owner.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:19 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Though the Rincon can pull a trailer, it is a pretty tall geared 3 speed with no low range, and is best suited for fast trail riding. Also, IRS tends to squat under the hitch weight of a trailer, where on solid rear axle machines the hitch is generally bolted to the axle so the hitch weight isn't on the suspension.

The Rubicon's hydrostatic transmission is similar in design to that often seen on tractors, and it is well suited for low speed/high torque tasks like plowing and towing. It has excellent engine hold back, and a good reputation for reliability if cared for. It does hold a lot of engine oil, and the solid rear axle doesn't ride as well as an IRS machine when going over really rough stuff at speed. There are occasional angle sensor, shift motor, and other problems on the web.

By comparison, the Foreman is air/oil cooled and has two valves, where the Rubicon is 4 valve and liquid cooled. Seat of the pants, there isn't much difference in power. There have been a few threads on the big tire/clutch kit type forums about 1st gear breaking, but overall it has an excellent reputation for reliability. Suspension is pretty much the same as the Rubicon.

If you decide on a Foreman, if you don't mind foot shift I'd get a foot shift (actually, I did). On the other hand, if you really prefer the push buttons, I'd say get it. The newer ES bikes seem to be more reliable than in the past, though you occasionally see a thead about a bad angle sensor. Still, if ES was what I wanted, I'd get it, and if some day I had to put an angle sensor on it I wouldn't think of it as a big deal.

In a nutshell, I wouldn't get the Rincon if trailer towing is your main use. If you prefer an automatic get the Rubicon, and if not get a Foreman of your preference.

I should also note the Rubicon can emulate a geared transmission by letting you select between 5 preset ratios with push buttons when in the manual mode...
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2010, 05:40 PM
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OH no i lost my whole post, heres second try....

OK sounds like i am going to go for the Rubicon.

Angle sensor, researched that some, and it seems like a problem that was recalled, or came from playing submarine, I cant seem to find out much more then that. any further light on this issue? I don't feel comfortable working on the ATV myself besides oil and other small things.

I'M not going to play submarine with it. I will do all preventative maintenance, and bringing it in after its first few tanks of gas.

I plan on changing the oil to "Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40" before even driving it, and once again around 100 miles to get rid of any metal shavings before they become pasted on to the motor/transmission.

I will also change the differential oil right away and once again around 100 miles for the same reason stated above. I would like to find a mobile 1 synthetic for that too. any suggestions for southern Mississippi climate?

Also is 100 miles the right time to change, or should i do it sooner or later?
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:49 AM
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i changed the oil at 50 miles on my rubicon when i first got it back in november 09. the rubicon is honda's cadillac workhorse. the hydrostatic tranny is made FOR towing / plowing, and seems to be a perfect fit for what you need. you won't be disappointed. i highly recommend getting power steering right away (i will never buy another quad without it!)
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  #5  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:14 AM
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Initial oil change I believe is due at 20 hours or 100 miles. After that every 100 hours. I just reset the "oil change" light, and change twice a year or when the light comes on, whichever comes first. (The "change oil" thing can be reset even if it hasn't come on yet).

Oil should be rated API SG or higher, AND JASO MA (the Rubicon has a wet centrifugal clutch). The Jaso rating is motorcycle specific, and indicates the oil is suitable for wet clutches.

Personally, I'd stick with genuine Honda filters, and I probably wouldn't switch to synthetic until the 2nd oil change.

Don't forget to do the valve adjustment at break in.

The axles take 80w rated GL-5. Personally I run Redline synthetic 75W-90. For most people (not playing submarine) changing the axle oil every other year is sufficient.

The coolant is traditional chemistry (ethylene glycol) so it should also be changed every two years. Silicates designed to prevent corrosion in automotive coolant may be to abrasive for the smaller water pumps in quads. I'd recommend Honda coolant, or another motorcycle specific premix.


As far as the angle sensor goes, it isn't difficult to change, though having the factory service manual is a must (there is a process to re-initialize the computer after changing it). Since you are going to do your own service (good idea) I'd HIGHLY suggest buying the factory manual.

I think you can mitigate the likelyhood of an angle sensor or other electrical gremlin by hitting all the connectors with dielectric grease right off the bat. Unhook the neg battery cable before unplugging things.

Anyway, let us know when you get your machine! (post pics).
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:57 AM
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Since you will be doing your own maintenance, this article will help you understand how the Rubicon transmission works:

SHIFTLESS WONDER! - HONDAMATICTM AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - HONDA'S CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION - Dirtbike at Off-Road.com
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2010, 11:35 AM
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I should have also mentioned- don't neglect the air filter.

I really like Honda Pro's bio-filter kit. Once you get the factory petro based oil out with some kerosene or diesel, followed by soap, you just clean the filter with the included powdered cleaner and warm water.

The bio-oil is sticky and seems to do well at catching a lot of dirt, and resists water and gas, but using the included special soap it is easy to get it perfectly clean quickly, without the smell of the usual solvents.
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680 Rincon camo, Foreman headlight, Warn XT30, Guru bumper
500 Foreman, Warn 2.5

Patio Hauler 394F 5th wheel toyhauler
Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie dually w/jake
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2010, 03:03 PM
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Now for the long wait. I have so much $$$ going out right now, just acquired some new property out in the country Nice and hilly with thousands and thousands of acres adjacent that i will be able to ride on. Finally a good place for Paintball too!

Im looking at months before posting any pics here so dont think i am ignoring yall.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:03 PM
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2006, 500, atv, change, honda, hydraulic, hydrostatic, made, oil, pulling, pulls, rubicon, small, tow, tractor, transmission



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