2016 Honda Foreman 500 ATV Review / Specs – TRX500FM1 Overview

Detailed 2016 FourTrax Foreman 500 Specs & Features

The definitive do-it-all workhorse ATV recently received a brand new chassis with more suspension travel, electronic diff. lock, adjustable spring preload front and rear plus improved durability. Also upgraded are bodywork, rider comfort, electrical system, headlights and EPS option; the engine is also 10% more fuel-efficient.


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A Honda ATV is not only the ultimate workhorse but also 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. Each is built with the quality, technology and reliability that only Honda can inject and last for years, providing unstoppable service ­in all conditions and weathers. The TRX500 Foreman is the benchmark do-it-all ATV. It’s the full-power, full-sized machine in the Honda range, made for hard work and hauling heavy loads.

With switchable 2/4wd for speed or grip and powerful hydraulic disc brakes to match, the Foreman covers rough ground with ease. And its longitudinally mounted single-cylinder drives hard through a five-speed gearbox and automatic clutch.

  • 2016 Foreman 500 ATV Horsepower: 28.7 HP @ 6,250 RPM
  • 2016 Foreman 500 ATV Torque: 28 lb/ft TQ @ 5,000 RPM
  • 2016 Foreman 500 ATV Miles Per Gallon: 33.6 MPG

Are you familiar with the different model variations of the 2016 Foreman 500? If not, here’s a guide that breaks down all of the details:

When it comes to the 2016 Honda Foreman 500, you have multiple 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) and EPS (Electric Power Steering) vs not having EPS.

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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
  • G – 2016 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: TRX500FM1G

Now lets put the key above to use… What is a TRX500FM1G? It is a 500 Foreman Manual Shift without EPS and is a 2016 model. TRX = ATV / 500 = 500cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / M = Manual shift / 1 = No EPS / G = 2016.

2016 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

2016 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

2016 Honda Foreman 500 Overview of Features

Frame

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

The independent double wishbone design gets an extra .6 travel, giving a total of 7.2 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

The 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 is again increased 15mm to 185mm.

TraxLok

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Electrical Power Steering / EPS (Optional)

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

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

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. 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.

2016 Honda Foreman 500 Model Lineup Options

Honda’s line of FourTrax Foreman ATVs gives you what you want, without breaking the bank. In terms of hard-working value, the Foreman line is unbeatable, offering proven features like powerful 475cc overhead-valve engines with fuel injection, TraxLok selectable 2WD/4WD, and a dependable five-speed transmission. Our proven swingarm rear suspension is a great feature on a hard-working ATV like this. Sick of fighting ruts, rocks, and sidehills? Then get a Foreman with Honda’s revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS)—the smartest, most innovative power steering you’ll ever experience on an ATV. Our push-button Electric Shift Program (ESP) is a big boost when you’re wearing winter boots covered with mud. Don’t want to deal with the added electronics of the Electric Shift (ES)? You can still get the Foreman 500 with a manual foot-shift transmission.

  1. 2016 Foreman 500 Manual Shift / TRX500FM1 – MSRP Price – $7,099
  2. 2016 Foreman 500 Manual Shift + Electric Power Steering (EPS) / TRX500FM2 – MSRP Price – $7,799
  3. 2016 Foreman 500 Electric Shift (ES) TRX500FE1 – MSRP Price $7,349
  4. 2016 Foreman 500 Electric Shift (ES) + Electric Power Steering (EPS) / TRX500FE2 – MSRP Price $8,049

2016 Honda Foreman 500 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review / Specs

Foreman Features

  • 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.
  • New 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
  • New enclosed-axle type swingarm with optimized stiffness for improved toughness and durability, and excellent handling performance.
  • New 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.
  • New, aggressively styled bodywork provides improved mud and water protection.
  • Revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS)-EPS model only.
  • New 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.
  • New 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.
  • New fuel pump is derived from Honda automobile technology. It mounts in the fuel tank for better heat isolation and offers increased filter life.
  • New plastic CV joint boots are more durable and tear-resistant.
  • New 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.
  • 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.
  • Increased ground clearance to 7.5 inches.
  • Increased ACG output
  • GYZ16 wet-type battery.
  • Swingarm pivot rubber bushings.

2016 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 biggest news focuses on the recently finished up all-new chassis built on a new 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.

This new chassis offers increased stiffness (up 20 percent over the 2013 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.

An all-new enclosed-axle-type swingarm 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 new 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.

New 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 for 2014 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.

New 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 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 now 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 for 2014 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 new, 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.

2016 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 2014 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 a brand-new 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 2016 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.

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.


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