2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review of Specs | TRX420 FourTrax

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– 2018 FourTrax Rancher TRX420 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review –

Confused by all of the different 2X4 and 4X4 2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV model options and variations? If so, you’re not the only one… Honda has tackled this problem over the last couple of years. Well, personally, I wouldn’t really call it a “problem” per say. Why is that? The upside to having so many different ATV model variations to choose from is that you can fine tune the ATV you want with all of the features you may need and trim the fat with features you don’t need. It’s a double-edged sword though and with all of these options it did nothing but confuse most people while also making it difficult for all dealers to keep every single model variation in every color in stock.

When the Rancher 350 was born, you only had a couple of options. Did you want 4×4 or 2×4 and did you want ES (electric shit) or manual shift? Those were the only options you had to choose from so life was easy. As with anything that evolves, it gets better and new technology is introduced etc and next thing we know were in the predicament we were in a couple of years ago when Honda started taking some models to chopping block. As the years rolled by Honda introduced a million different model variations of the Rancher 420 model lineup – it has gotten more and more confusing for everyone to understand the differences between them. It doesn’t help the fact that Honda uses acronyms like DCT / EPS / ESP / IRS / SRA / ES while also using the same FourTrax name on each and every model of the Rancher and that’s not even dipping into the Foreman, Recon, Rincon, Rubicon etc that also have “FourTrax” in their model names too.


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How did Honda try to remedy this situation when it comes to the Rancher 420 ATV model lineup? They went through and picked the best selling models and weeded out the rest, discontinuing a few of them last year. Here are the models that Honda wiped out last year and will still not be making their return for 2018.

Here are the TRX420 Rancher models that Honda discontinued and will NOT be making a return for 2018:

  • Rancher 420 2×4 ES -TRX420TE1 (Electric Shift)
  • Rancher 420 4×4 EPS – TRX420FM2 (Manual / Foot-Shift + Electric Power Steering)
  • Rancher 420 4×4 DCT – TRX420FA1 (Automatic DCT)

Helpful ATV Model Lineup Info / Links:

2018 Honda ATV Horsepower / Torque & MPG Comparison Chart of Performance Specs / Power-to-Weight Ratio Review

2018 Honda Rancher ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review – Click Here |

2018 Honda ATV Models Explained / Differences | Model ID Code FAQ - Learn all the FourTrax Model Differences / ATV Buyer's Guide

2018 Honda Four-Wheeler Models Explained / Model ID Code Explained – Click Here |

2018 Honda Rubicon 500 VS Foreman ATV Comparison Review + Differences Explained | TRX500 FourTrax Four-Wheeler Buyer's Guide / FAQ

2018 Honda Foreman VS Rubicon Differences Explained / Comparison Review – Click Here |

2018 Honda TRX420 Rancher ATV Models Explained / Comparison Review of Specs & Differences

2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review – Click Here |

2018 Honda Foreman 500 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review of Specs / TRX500 Review of all Model Numbers & ID Codes

2018 Honda Foreman 500 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review – Click Here |


2018 Honda Rancher ATV Model ID / Code Key:

  • TRX – Generic prefix for all Honda ATV Sport / Utility 2WD & 4WD models
  • 420 – 420 cc engine
  • T – Two Wheel Drive
  • F – Four Wheel Drive
  • A – Fully Automatic (DCT Transmission)
  • M – Manual Shift
  • E – Electric Shift – Automatic
  • 1 – No Power Steering / EPS
  • 2 – Power Steering / EPS
  • 5 – IRS / NO Power Steering (EPS)
  • 6 – IRS / Power Steering (EPS)
  • H – 2017 Model Year
  • DCT – Dual Clutch Transmission (Fully Automatic Transmission with Electric Shift option option to manually change gears via the ESP)
  • AT – Automatic (Fully Automatic Transmission with Electric Shift option to manually change gears via the ESP)
  • EPS – Electric Power Steering
  • ESP – Electric Shift Program (Normally referred to as ES)
  • ES – Electric Shift
  • IRS – Independent Rear Suspension
  • 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.

* IRS is only available on DCT model Rancher

Model EXAMPLE: TRX420FM1J

Now lets put the key above to use…

  • What is a TRX420FM1J? It is a 420 Rancher Four Wheel Drive and Manual Shift without EPS and is a 2018 model. TRX = ATV / 420 = 420cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / M = Manual shift / 1 = No EPS / J = 2018.
  • What is a TRX420FA6J? It is a 420 Rancher Four Wheel Drive with a DCT Automatic Transmission, Independent Rear Suspension, Electric Power Steering and is a 2018 model. TRX = ATV / 420 = 420cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / A = DCT Automatic / 6 = IRS + EPS / J = 2018.

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Now, let’s get to what you came here for and that’s to do a breakdown on the entire 2018 FourTrax Rancher 420 ATV model lineup from Honda.

What we’re going to start off with first is breaking down the suspension options, steering options and transmission options for the 2018 TRX420 Rancher models:

Over the years, Honda’s liquid-cooled fuel-injected 420 cc FourTrax Rancher ATV series has built a huge number of loyal followers and for good reason. Whether the day calls for multiple tasks on a job site, chores around the homestead or a ride in the woods just for fun, the Rancher formula really hits a sweet spot by combining hard-working full-size ATV capabilities in a package with manageable dimensions. These are incredibly versatile machines packed full of Honda quality and reliability, and the Rancher’s pricing makes each model a real value in today’s market.

In large part, credit for the Ranchers’ extreme popularity and versatility must go to the multiple drivetrain configurations available to meet most any rider’s checklist. Honda just recently did a complete overhaul on the Rancher 420 model lineup from the frame up adding even more options and features than ever before. The FourTrax Rancher models feature an all-new chassis with a redesigned frame featuring new, longer-travel suspension plus a lot more, new IRS design etc. In addition, that new chassis can be easily identified because it’s wrapped in all-new bodywork with distinctively aggressive styling and added functionality.

When deciding on which model Rancher is the best to buy for your needs, I would start with the transmission decision first as all the other features go from there. As you can’t get some features with certain transmissions. Example: you can’t have a Manual / Foot Shift transmission with IRS or you can’t get an ES model with EPS. If you want IRS then you have to go with the DCT transmission and if you want EPS with EPS you’ll have to go with DCT which still gives you that Electric Shift feature as you don’t have to use the fully automatic mode on the DCT model Rancher. Confused yet haha? Let’s get started on explaining it all.

2018 Honda Rancher 420 Transmission Options

Now you have more options than ever when it comes to deciding what transmission choice is best for you and what you’ll be doing with your new 2018 TRX420 Rancher ATV.

Now, we’ll dive into your (3) different transmission options in detail with all of the nitty-gritty details on how they work etc. Honda’s unbeatable variation in drivetrain styles in this series gives consumers an extraordinary variety in choices: The two-wheel-drive FourTrax Rancher is available with a Manual / Foot Shift transmission or in ES configuration, featuring Honda’s highly regarded Electric Shift Program (ESP) that makes gear shifts as easy as touching a button; the FourTrax Rancher 4×4 (TRX420FM1) adds TraxLok 4WD capabilities; the FourTrax Rancher 4×4 ES (TRX420FE1) adds ESP push-button shifting to that 4WD equation; and the Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT (TRX420FA) features Honda’s heralded Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), a five-speed fully automatic transmission that also gives the rider the option of ESP mode.

  • Option 1. Manual / Foot Shift Transmission (Semi-automatic with No clutch)
    • Rancher 2×4 Manual Shift (TRX420TM1)
    • Rancher 4×4 Manual Shift (TRX420FM1)

First, there’s a traditional manual-shift five-speed that has proven to be extremely durable and is still favored by many riders.

  • Option 2. Electric Shift (ES) or Electric Shift Program (ESP) on DCT Automatic models
    • Rancher ES 4×4 (TRX420FE1)

Next up, we have the Rancher with Honda’s Electric Shift (ES): a convenient alternative to the manual gearbox that makes gear shifts as easy as pressing the upshift or downshift button with your thumb. One large benefit to the ES option is that if you ever injured your left foot, leg, etc or ride with large boots you won’t have a problem with being able to change gears manually. With ESP, an onboard Electronic Control Module (ECM) monitors information from four sensors – engine rpm, countershaft speed, shift drum angle and shift spindle angle – to control the speed of the electric-shift motor’s gear and clutch engagement. Gear-engagement speed varies according to rider usage: The transmission shifts more quickly when the riding style turns sporty. A Neutral lockout at speeds greater than two mph ensures available engine braking when descending hills. For smooth shifting, the transmission cannot be shifted from Neutral to First gear or Reverse at engine speeds above 3000 rpm. ESP is not dependent on battery power; it operates whenever the engine is running. Should the rider ever need to shift manually, ES models are also equipped with an auxiliary shift lever in the toolkit. A lot of customers aren’t aware of this backup manual shifter just incase your ES should ever fail for any reason, Honda builds a backup to everything so you’ll never have to worry about your Rancher leaving you stranded in the woods.

  • Option 3. Dual Clutch Transmission / Automatic
    • Rancher DCT / EPS 4×4 (TRX420FA2)
    • Rancher DCT / IRS 4×4 (TRX420FA5)
    • Rancher DCT / IRS / EPS 4×4 (TRX420FA6)

A first in the world of ATVs, Honda’s premium Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) in the Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT model makes it a standout. The Rancher 4×4 Automatic DCT now employs a new-generation DCT with an elevated level of sophistication: new updated dual-zone shift logic offers improved adaptation to all riding conditions based on rider and vehicle inputs, effectively and intuitively adjusting shift points whether riding under normal or aggressive conditions. The result: the best-performing Automatic DCT we’ve ever put in an ATV that offers the right gear, at the right time, all the time, all automatically – to create a whole new level of riding compatibility. Thanks to this change, the DCT significantly reduces gear “hunting” – that is, shifting back and forth repeatedly between two gears—as it performs the most appropriate shift actions automatically. As a result, the net benefits to the rider are manyfold: better automatic transmission feel as the Rancher reacts more intuitively to the rider’s operational style and intentions; enhanced power feel; increased response; reduced engine lugging; plus less fatigue and more rider comfort.

The key to the DCT design is the innovative dual-clutch configuration coupled with a two-piece mainshaft. The first mainshaft has first, third and fifth gears all driven by the first clutch. The second mainshaft is sleeved over the first shaft. It carries second, fourth and reverse gears, and it’s driven by the second clutch. This designs allows two gears to be engaged at the same time, and each gear is pre-shifted before power is applied. Shifting is then accomplished by disengaging once clutch and engaging the other.

One advantage to this DCT system is extremely quick shifts for less driveline lurching between shifts, especially under load, which means the chassis attitude remains more consistent during gear changes. When engaging downhill slopes, this system also provides true controlled compression braking. In addition, this automatic five-speed transmission’s maintenance needs are greatly reduced, while power-transfer efficiency is improved to make the riding experience all the more enjoyable. Furthermore, since this DCT uses conventional transmission gears, it’s as rugged and durable as Honda’s conventional manual transmission. This fully automatic transmission also gives the rider the option of using the ESP push-button shifting mode as desired.


2018 Honda Rancher 420 Rear Suspension Options

With the 2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV model lineup you have (2) suspension options to choose from. You have the standard solid rear axle or independent rear suspension (IRS). You do have to pick and choose though when it comes to exactly what other features you want as not all transmission options are available on the Rancher with both suspension options. Example: You can not get a manual-shift 2018 Rancher with IRS. If you want IRS on your Rancher then you have to go with the DCT Automatic transmission. However, you do have the option of going with or without EPS (Electric Power Steering) if you want IRS.

  • Option 1. Solid Rear Axle
    • Rancher 2×4 Manual Shift (TRX420TM)
    • Rancher 4×4 Manual Shift (TRX420FM1)
    • Rancher ES 4×4 (TRX420FE1)
    • Rancher DCT / EPS (TRX420FA2)
  • Option 2. Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)
    • Rancher DCT / IRS (TRX420FA5)
    • Rancher DCT / IRS / EPS (TRX420FA6)


2018 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 TraxLok 4WD System

All 2018 FourTrax Rancher 4×4 models also feature the same TraxLok selectable 2WD/4WD capabilities that enable the rider to quickly shift between the nimble handling of a 2WD and the extra traction of a 4WD ATV. TraxLok incorporates a two-way mechanical roller clutch with a series of hardened-steel rollers that lock up in a mere six degrees of rotation for a smooth, virtually instantaneous response while either accelerating or decelerating on flat ground or an incline. This system also operates in Reverse. To ensure smooth operation, the TraxLok system only engages when the speed differential between the front and rear wheels is less than six mph. Once engaged, the system remains engaged on downhills for true 4WD braking.

2081 Honda Rancher 420 Camo ATV Review / Specs - Four Wheeler 4x4 Quad

In addition, when TraxLok 4WD mode is engaged, a torque-sensitive limited-slip front differential reduces steering effort for a lighter feel. This torque-sensitive limited-slip front differential automatically sends power to whichever front wheel has the most grip. This system also allows both wheels to maintain essentially the same speed and drive regardless of traction conditions. It also virtually eliminates torque steer and drastically reduces the effort necessary to initiate a turn, thus shortening the turning radius and improving handling.

To top things off, the Rancher 4×4 model and 4×4 Automatic DCT Rancher also offer the option of Electric Power Steering. Below you’ll find a chart that helps with quick correlation between models and technical features, and in the accompanying sidebar you’ll find additional detailed information regarding these different transmission systems and TraxLok technology. But regardless of how you look at things, it all adds up to a wealth of wonderful Rancher choices for off-road work or play.


2018 Rancher Models with Electric Power Steering (EPS)

If you want EPS (Electric Power Steering) on you 2018 Honda Rancher 420, your options are now going to get smaller… If you want EPS on your Rancher 420 you now have to get the DCT Automatic Transmission. You do however have the option of going with a straight axle or IRS (Independent Rear Suspension).

  • Option 1. Rancher DCT / EPS (TRX420FA2)
    • TRX420FA2 = Rancher 420 with Automatic DCT Transmission, Straight Axle and Electric Power Steering
  • Option 2. Rancher DCT / IRS / EPS (TRX420FA6)
    • TRX420FA6 = Rancher 420 with Automatic DCT Transmission, Independent Rear Suspension and Electric Power Steering

Honda’s Electric Power Steering (available on the following 2018 Rancher 420 models: TRX420FA2, TRX420FA6) has torque sensors that measure how much force you’re applying and tailors how much extra assist you need. The specially engineered mounting system increases stiffness and enhances control even more. It makes your life way easier, especially when riding over ruts, rocks, logs, or on sidehills. Aboard the Ranchers that incorporate Honda’s Electric Power Steering, a new attachment layout using a three-point mount for the EPS mechanism makes the entire unit more rigid in its placement than ever before, and that makes for even more precise steering. 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 EPS feature when comparing MSRP to MSRP is an added cost of $700 to the price versus a non power steering model Rancher 420.

What makes EPS so revolutionary? Start with the power assistance, which means your Rancher takes significantly less effort to steer in all conditions. This is similar to the benefit of power steering in an automobile. What makes Honda’s EPS so significant in an ATV application is the amount of steering damping it provides, which means a significant reduction in the kickback through the handlebar that a rider feels when encountering a rock or other obstacle. Put simply: This system reduces the jarring in rough terrain. Rocks that normally try to deflect the wheels and create a workout for the rider can now be addressed with ease. The suspension moves up and down without the handlebars moving side to side. Yet through its multiple sensors and ATV-specific design, the system keeps you directly connected, offering great feedback and natural steering feel. And the system works at idle, which means you get maximum assistance when you find yourself wedged between a rock and a hard place. With EPS, you can more easily steer right out of these predicaments. With EPS, it reduces steering effort and damps out the majority of bump-induced jarring a rider feels in rough terrain, which can dramatically reduce rider fatigue. There is simply less for the rider to deal with, especially in rocky, rutted terrain.

For most people that means extended riding days. New riding areas and experiences will open up because this technology will make them more accessible to more people. It will make hauling loads easier for people who use their ATV for farming and other industrial applications, especially such chores as plowing or towing. It will allow people who are not as strong to extend their riding envelope of time and effort. EPS completely changes the ATV riding experience. While the system adds a couple of pounds to the weight of the standard Rancher 420, the EPS-equipped Rancher responds to rider inputs as if it were 75 pounds lighter. The Honda EPS system is mounted in line with the steering stem, and its 15-pound weight is carried low and close to the Foreman’s center of gravity so handling is not compromised. The lighter steering feel more than makes up for the extra weight. The self-contained ECU is carried in a tray just forward of the oil cooler. Adding icing to the cake, Honda’s EPS system is also self-contained, totally enclosed and watertight, eliminating the need for any maintenance whatsoever.

Is EPS / Electric Power Steering worth it on the Rancher? In my opinion, yes. It is worth its weight in gold but again that is just my opinion. When Honda first introduced EPS back in 2007 on the Foreman – I thought to myself “Why would anyone want power steering on an ATV?“. That was my thoughts on the EPS mechanism though until I finally had the change to ride the Rancher, Foreman and Rubicon with EPS and see it in action. If you don’t think that you want to spend the extra money for the power steering on your new Honda ATV – don’t ever ride one with EPS and you won’t know what you’re missing is my recommendation. It’s well worth the money the next day after trail riding for hours when you’re upper back and shoulders, arms etc aren’t sore. If you plan on keeping the ATV and riding it regularly, you’ll thank yourself for paying the extra $$ for the EPS. It’s not for everyone though and some don’t want EPS as they don’t want to worry about more electronics down the road and the possibility of it failing etc.


2018 Rancher 420 Engine / Performance Info

In the engine department, all Ranchers make good use of the rugged and proven OHV liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 420cc engine. In signature Honda style, these Rancher engines are longitudinally mounted to allow direct driveshaft alignment to both front and rear wheels for maximum drivetrain efficiency. The overhead-valve design provides compact engine dimensions for excellent ground clearance while maintaining a broad, easy-to-use powerband.

Newer mapping for the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system combined with new oxygen sensor feedback technology improves power delivery and throttle response, while also improving emissions and fuel efficiency for greater range and reduced tailpipe emissions. All models feature super-heavy-duty clutch construction for excellent driveability and towing capability.

2018 Rancher 420 Horsepower / Performance Differences:

You’ll notice that there are two different horsepower ratings for the 2018 Rancher 420 model lineup. Honda tunes the engine on the DCT model to where they make slightly more horsepower than the standard manual transmission with Foot-Shift and ES (Electric Shift).

  • 2018 Rancher 420 Models TRX420TM1 / TRX420FM1 / TRX420FE1:
    • Horsepower: 26.6 HP @ 6,250 RPM
    • Torque: 24.6 lb/ft TQ @ 5,000 RPM
    • Miles Per Gallon: 41.4 MPG
  • 2018 Rancher 420 DCT Models TRX420FA2 / TRX420FA5 / TRX420FA6:
    • Horsepower:27 HP @ 6,250 RPM
    • Torque: 24.6 lb/ft TQ @ 5,000 RPM
    • Miles Per Gallon: 41.4 MPG

2018 Rancher 420 Gauges / Instruments

All 2018 Honda Rancher 420 models feature the exact same electronic digital gauge cluster setup you see pictured below except for (1) model and that is the Rancher 2×4 (TRX420TM1J) model. On the Rancher 2×4 model all you get are what I call “dummy lights” and they only light up to let you know when you’re in Neutral and Reverse as well as a Water Temperature and Check Engine light.

Honda Rancher 420 Gauges / Display - Review / ATV Specs - Four Wheeler 4x4 Quad TRX420


2018 Rancher 420 Seat Differences

When comparing the 2018 Rancher TRX420 model lineup you have (2) different seats that Honda uses. All Rancher IRS models have a slightly longer and wider seat.

  • Option 1. Longer / Wider Seat
    • Rancher DCT / IRS (TRX420FA5)
    • Rancher DCT / IRS / EPS (TRX420FA6)

2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Review / Specs - 4x4 Four Wheeler TRX420

  • Option 2. Smaller Seat
    • Rancher 2×4 Manual Shift (TRX420TM)
    • Rancher 4×4 Manual Shift (TRX420FM1)
    • Rancher ES 4×4 (TRX420FE1)
    • Rancher DCT / EPS (TRX420FA2)

2018 Honda Rancher ES 420 ATV Review / Specs - HP & TQ Performance Rating - TRX420 Four Wheeler


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2018 Rancher 420 ATV Model ID Codes / Numbers Explained

Now, we’re going to dive into the model ID numbers / codes for each of the Rancher models. Why? Because this is some of the most important and key information you need to decipher exactly what you’re looking at. It will tell you right off the bat whether this Rancher has ES or manual shift or DCT, straight axle or IRS, EPS etc.

2018 Honda Rancher 420 2×4 / 2WD ATV Model Options:

We will start with the Rancher 2×4 model options that are available and then work our way up to all the different 4×4 Rancher 420 model options that are available for 2017. After the breakdown on the model ID / Codes, I will go more in-depth and go into the true features on all the different Rancher 420 models.

  • 1.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 2×4 – MSRP Price – TBD
  • 1.) Model ID: TRX420TM1J
  • 1.) EXPLAINED — The TRX = ATV. The 420 in the model “TRX420” = engine size is 420 cc. Then the “T” after the engine size = Two Wheel Drive. The “M” stands for Manual Shift. The “1” means no Power Steering / EPS. The “J” stands for 2018.

2018 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 / 4WD ATV Model Options:

* Below, you start to have more options in the 420 Rancher ATV model lineup like an Automatic Transmission (DCT), Independent Rear Suspension (IRS), Electronic Power Steering (EPS) etc

  • 1.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 4×4 – MSRP Price – TBD
  • 1.) Model ID: TRX420FM1J
  • 1.) EXPLAINED — The TRX = ATV. The 420 in the model “TRX420” = engine size is 420 cc. Then the “F” after the engine size = Four Wheel Drive. The “M” stands for Manual Shift. The “1” means no Power Steering / EPS. The “J” stands for 2018.

  • 1.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher ES 420 4×4 – MSRP Price – TBD
  • 1.) Model ID: TRX420FE1J
  • 1.) EXPLAINED — The TRX = ATV. The 420 in the model “TRX420” = engine size is 420 cc. Then the “F” after the engine size = Four Wheel Drive. The “E” stands for Electric Shift / ES. The “1” means no Power Steering / EPS. The “J” stands for 2018.

  • 2.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher DCT / EPS 420 4×4 – MSRP Price – TBD
  • 2. Model ID: TRX420FA2J
  • 1. EXPLAINED — The TRX = ATV. The 420 in the model “TRX420” = engine size is 420 cc. Then the “F” after the engine size = Four Wheel Drive. The “A” stands for Automatic / DCT. The “2” means Electric Power Steering / EPS. The “J” stands for 2017.

  • 1.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 DCT / IRS 4×4 – MSRP Price $7,399
  • 2.) 2018 Honda FourTrax Rancher 420 DCT / IRS / EPS 4×4 – MSRP Price $8,099
  • 1.) Model ID: TRX420FA5J
  • 2.) Model ID: TRX420FA6J
  • 1.) EXPLAINED — The TRX = ATV. The 420 in the model “TRX420” = engine size is 420 cc. Then the “F” after the engine size = Four Wheel Drive. The “A” stands for Automatic / DCT. The “5” means IRS with no Electric Power Steering / EPS. The “J” stands for 2018.
  • 2.) EXPLAINED — Everything is the same as the above model except you see it has an “6” which means it has Electric Power Steering / EPS.

2018 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Chart

Rancher 2×4

(TRX420TM1)

Rancher 4×4

(TRX420FM1)

Rancher ES 4×4

(TRX420FE1)

Rancher DCT EPS 4×4

(TRX420FA2)

Rancher DCT IRS 4×4

(TRX420FA5)

Rancher DCT IRS EPS 4×4

(TRX420FA6)

Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)
Solid Rear Axle
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Electric Shift
Manual Shift
DCT Automatic Transmission

2018 Honda 420 Rancher Color Options

  • TRX420TM1: Red, Olive Green
  • TXR420FM1: Orange, Red, Olive Green
  • TXR420FE1: Red, Olive Green, Phantom Camo
  • TRX420FA2: Vapor White, Red, Phantom Camo
  • TXR420FA5: Red, Olive Green
  • TRX420FA6: Active Yellow, Phantom Camo

* Phantom Camo available on 4×4 models $450 MSRP / Price increase

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Below, you will find a quick breakdown on some of the Features & Specs between split into two categories below as that is the easiest way to split them up since technically they have different frames / suspension based on if it has IRS vs Straight-Axle.

2018 Rancher 420 Models with a Straight Axle (TRX420TM / TRX420FM1 / TRX420FE1 / TXR420FA2)

Features: 

  • Double-cradle steel chassis with a redesigned frame developed with Computer Aided Engineering features increased stiffness (up 20 percent) for even more precise handling and a smoother ride.
  • Newer front and rear suspension features an increase in travel to 6.7 inches at both ends, plus new shocks for a plush and controlled ride.
  • 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.
  • All-new double-cradle steel frame developed with Computer Aided Engineering features increased stiffness (up 20 percent) for even more precise handling and a smoother ride.
  • Honda TraxLok 2WD/4WD system offers two drive modes: 2WD and 4WD with TraxLok torque-sensing front differential.
  • Optional Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is a next-generation setup that 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.
  • Heavy-duty trailer hitch with 848-pound towing capacity.
  • Assembled in Timmonsville, South Carolina, using domestically and globally sourced parts.
  • Transferable one-year limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

Engine / Drivetrain: 

  • Rugged OHV liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 420cc longitudinally mounted engine allows direct driveshaft alignment to both front and rear wheels for maximum drivetrain efficiency.
  • Overhead-valve design provides compact engine dimensions for excellent ground clearance while maintaining a broad, easy-to-use powerband.
  • Five-speed transmission with Reverse includes an ultra-low First gear. The Rancher ES model incorporates Honda’s exclusive ESP for easy shifts with the touch of a handlebar-mounted button.
  • The Automatic DCT provides the compact size and strength of a manual transmission (no belts to slip, break or burn out) with the convenience of an automatic transmission, while giving the rider the option of push-button manual control via Honda’s Electric Shift Program (ESP). The Automatic DCT features a dual shift-mapping program that automatically selects between two transmission shifting modes—either Cruise or Sport mode—for optimum shift timing depending on the rider’s pattern of throttle operation. During aggressive use, the Sport mode kicks in and holds the transmission in gear longer before shifting to deliver more aggressive performance. During more casual operation, the Cruise mode allows the transmission to shift up sooner for more casual performance and enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • Stainless-steel exhaust system includes a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler designed for quiet operation without servicing for long-lasting performance.
  • Super-heavy-duty automatic clutch with a low-rpm engagement point for excellent driveability and towing capability.
  • In addition to the fully automatic transmission mode, riders can also employ Honda’s exclusive Electric Shift Program (ESP) for easy shifts with the touch of handlebar-mounted buttons.
  • Newer mapping for the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system improves power delivery and throttle response, and increases fuel efficiency for greater range.
  • Handy TraxLok 2WD/4WD selector lever, mounted on the left-front panel, allows 4WD when needed for the tough stuff and 2WD when conditions permit.
  • Stainless-steel exhaust system includes a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler designed for quiet operation without servicing for long-lasting performance.

Chassis / Suspension:

  • Adjustable spring preload now featured on all shocks to allow suspension tuning to match varying loads and riding conditions.
  • Now offers an enclosed-axle type swingarm with optimized stiffness for improved toughness and durability, and excellent handling performance.
  • Rubber swingarm pivot bushings yield increased low-speed ride comfort and increased durability.
  • Rear brake is now located inside the right rear wheel for improved durability and increased ground clearance.
  • The Rancher now offers a tighter turning radius of 9.2 feet.
  • One-piece tank/side cover allows easy access (no tools required) for maintenance.
  • Aggressively styled bodywork also provides better mud protection.
  • Revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS)—EPS model only.
  • 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 450 watts to allow powering more electrical accessories.
  • New Honda Phantom Camo blends into a wide range of field environments, and new Honda application procedures provide better graphic durability and improved resistance to fuel spillage.
  • Meter display with added functions like a Maintenance Minder system that notifies when it is time for
    service.
  • Fuel pump is derived from Honda automobile technology. It mounts in the fuel tank for better heat isolation and offers increased filter life.
  • Newer plastic CV joint boots are more durable and tear-resistant.
  • Newer sealed steering knuckle bearings for extended durability.
  • Newly optimized rider triangle for added comfort.
  • Recently added 20mm (0.8 inch) increase in seat foam thickness and softer seat foam increase rider comfort.
  • 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.
  • Front carrier capacity is 66 pounds and rear is 133 pounds.

2018 Honda Rancher 420 Models with IRS (TRX420FA5 / TRX420FA6)

Features:

  • The Automatic DCT provides the compact size and strength of a manual transmission (no belts to slip, break or burn out) with the convenience of an automatic transmission, while giving the rider the option of push-button manual control via Honda’s Electric Shift Program (ESP). The Automatic DCT features a new dual shift-mapping program that automatically selects between two transmission shifting modes—either Cruise or Sport mode—for optimum shift timing depending on the rider’s pattern of throttle operation. During aggressive use, the Sport mode kicks in and holds the transmission in gear longer before shifting to deliver more aggressive performance. During more casual operation, the Cruise mode allows the transmission to shift up sooner for more casual performance and enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • Double-cradle steel frame developed with Computer Aided Engineering features increased stiffness (up 20 percent) for even more precise handling and a smoother ride.
  • Independent double-wishbone front suspension gains additional inches of travel.
  • Independent dual-arm rear suspension design offers a more optimal shock ratio and increased suspension stroke for a gain of 2.2 inches of travel.
  • Newer dual-purpose lever makes it easier than ever to engage Reverse gear as well as setting the parking brake. Simply pull the lever to engage Reverse; push the lever to set the parking brake.
  • Honda TraxLok 2WD/4WD system offers two drive modes: 2WD and 4WD with TraxLok torque-sensing front differential.
  • Optional Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is a next-generation setup that 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.
  • 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.

Engine / Drivetrain:

  • Rugged OHV liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 420cc longitudinally mounted engine allows direct driveshaft alignment to both front and rear wheels for maximum drivetrain efficiency.
  • Overhead-valve design provides compact engine dimensions 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.
  • In addition to the fully automatic transmission mode, riders can also employ Honda’s exclusive Electric Shift Program (ESP) for easy shifts with the touch of handlebar-mounted buttons.
  • Newer mapping for the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system improves power delivery and throttle response, and increases fuel efficiency for greater range.
  • Handy TraxLok 2WD/4WD selector lever, mounted on the left-front panel, allows 4WD when needed for the tough stuff and 2WD when conditions permit.
  • Stainless-steel exhaust system includes a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler designed for quiet operation without servicing for long-lasting performance.

Chassis / Suspension:

  • Adjustable spring preload now featured on all shocks to allow suspension tuning to match varying loads and riding conditions.
  • One-piece tank/side cover allows easy access (no tools required) for maintenance.
  • Aggressively styled bodywork provides better mud protection than ever before.
  • Rear fender and IRS decals separate this Rancher from the rest of the lineup.
  • Revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS)—EPS model only.
  • 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 450 watts to power more electrical accessories.
  • New high-performance, maintenance-free Yuasa GYZ16H battery for added dependability.
  • Honda Phantom Camo blends into a wide range of field environments, and the application procedures provide better graphic durability and improved resistance to fuel spillage.
  • Digital meter display with added functions like a Maintenance Minder system that notifies when it is time for service.
  • Fuel pump is derived from Honda automobile technology. It mounts in the fuel tank for better heat isolation and offers increased filter life.
  • Larger 3.9 gallon fuel tank (including 1.3 gallon reserve) so you can ride farther between fill ups.
  • Newer plastic CV joint boots are more durable and tear-resistant.
  • Newer sealed steering knuckle bearings for extended durability.
  • Newly optimized rider triangle ergonomics for added comfort.
  • Recently added 20mm (0.8 inch) increase in seat foam thickness and softer seat foam increase rider comfort.
  • Larger 190mm dual hydraulic disc brakes up front and 170mm hydraulic disc brake in back for strong stopping power.
  • Full-length synthetic lower skidplate with integrated front brush guard.
  • Front carrier capacity is 66 pounds and larger rear carrier is 133 pounds.

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