The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.0
The reference to Honda and ATV's can be considered similar to excavator equipment and the well-known manufacturer based in Staffordshire. Although Honda certainly isn't the only ATV manufacturer in the market, they've had to keep their product range up to date to maintain their 53% overall market share. Here we look at the Foreman 500PS, a steady work horse targeted at the every-day agricultural user.
Reasons to buy
- Independent rear suspension allows for each wheel to move independently
At a glance
Honda TRX500 Foreman engine & suspension
Firstly the 500IRS PS delivers 475cc via the programmed fuel injection liquid cooled 4 stroke engine. Now to break down the abbreviations, "IRS" refers to the independent rear suspension which Honda recommends for improved comfort, traction and load handling capabilities. "PS" denotes the power steering, a real "must have" for ensuring you're fresh for the tasks once off the ATV and reduces kickback through the handlebars. For comfort, the longitudinally mounted engine keeps the crankshaft in line with the frame, providing driveshaft alignment to the wheels and reducing transmission losses. This in turn keeps the centre of gravity low, an essential safety attribute for ATV design.
Honda TRX500 Foreman ride and comfort
The pre-load rear suspension provides for 185mm of travel and as the term suggests is adjustable by the user. This simple method of cushioning is replicated on the front axle, allowing you to compensate for whatever load you have perched on the cargo racks. In addition to the driver a total of 120kg can be accommodated across the front and rear tubular steel sections. The axle mounted heavy duty rear hitch provides for up to 600kg of towing capacity which should cover the majority of complimentary transportation systems on the market. Once loaded up with stock feed, fencing equipment or just the farm dog, the Honda Foremans five speed wide ranging transmission benefits from the automatic clutch to provide smooth travel. To reduce the inevitable wheel spin in wet conditions a quick flick of the differential lock switch provides the essential traction to both the front and rear axles. A torque sensitive limited slip front differential provides for ease of steering.
Honda TRX500 Foreman braking and overall performance
Honda have considered the effect of winter operating conditions with the dual 190mm hydraulic brake discs incorporating the patented built-in scraper system to remove mud and snow. The well-established TraxLok® system, effectively an electromagnetic clutch provides uninterrupted switching between two and four-wheel drive. For added safety when descending on inclines the all-wheel transmission remains engaged for true 4WD braking.
Parking up to chat to the neighbour whilst the mud laden engine ticks over isn't an issue either thanks to the large radiator and cooling fan. An oil cooler also keeps transmission fluid in check and prevents heat from dissipating through to the rider.
Honda has ensured the longevity of the Foreman 500IRS PS by their computer engineered chassis and thick padded saddle. All of this within a 308kg ATV mass ensures a refill of the 14.7 litres fuel tank lasts as long as possible.
The Foreman TRX500 fits in well with the Honda product strapline of "Get it done".