2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Differences Explained / Comparison Review / Specs + More in FourTrax Buyer’s Guide!

– This 2021 Honda FourTrax Rancher ATV Buyer’s Guide will help answer: “What’s the difference between all of the 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV models?” –

2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Review / Specs | TRX420 FourTrax 4x4

 

Alright guys, today we’re going to take a look at the 2021 Honda Rancher 420 model lineup and go over all of the model differences and explain what’s different between all of them. It can be quite confusing at first because you have 8 different Ranchers but once you break down a few things and see how Honda splits them up in their categories it’s pretty easy to decipher and then figure out which one you want, which one suits your needs the best and of course which one fits into your budget. As the Rancher can go from being fairly affordable at $5,499 and jump all the way up to $8,699. Definitely quite the jump.

Before we dive into explaining model by model. I always like to tell people to keep a few things in the back of their head that they need to be deciding on. One, what type of transmission do you want? Honda has three different transmission options in the Rancher lineup alone. You have your option that has been a staple in Honda’s ATVs for many decades, the manual shift option also known as foot-shift (pictured below). It’s a semi-automatic 5 speed gearbox where you can shift up and down with the shifter by your left foot. There’s no clutch, just let off the throttle and click away.


Follow me on:

 HondaPro KevinFacebookHondaPro Kevin InstagramHondaPro Kevin TwitterHondaPro Kevin YouTubeHondaPro Kevin Pinterest<


Support HondaPro Kevin Blog | Amazon
Want to help Support this website? Click Here for more details...

Honda Rancher Manual Shift | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

Then you have the ES models, short for electric shift (pictured below). You have the same transmission as the manual shift model but instead of shifting with your foot, you shift electronically by clicking up and down arrows on the left side of the handlebar. A lot of people refer to this as an automatic but technically it’s not an automatic as you still have to shift gears at all times.

Honda Electric Shift (ES) ATV

Then you have the DCT automatic transmission, short for Dual Clutch Transmission (pictured below). The name confuses some people as they hear clutch and automatically think that it has a manual clutch but that is just the type of automatic transmission that Honda is using currently. With the DCT transmission on the Rancher you can change from Automatic mode to (ESP) which means Electric Shift Program so you can manually change gears by clicking the Up and Down arrows.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

Honda Rancher DCT Controls | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

They’ve had a couple of different styles with automatic transmissions over the years for their ATVs but shortly after introducing the DCT transmission into their motorcycle side of the business back in 2010 with the VFR1200F, they decided this tech needed to make its way offroad and brought it to their ATVs starting in 2014. Fast forward to now and Honda has countless DCT ATV models, side by side models and motorcycles. Oddly enough, they barely use this technology in their car lineup and that’s where all of the other manufacturers are using DCT setups. The only Honda car to utilize the DCT tech is the new NSX and it’s not exactly on the cheap side with a new NSX starting at over $150,000.

Honda DCT Automatic Transmission for Motorcycles & ATV & SxS / UTV PowerSprots

Back on topic though. Then the next thing is do you want a straight axle or independent rear suspension? And are you considering electric power steering or no? Transmission type, rear suspension and steering types, those are key decisions that need to be made before you can iron out exactly which model you want as some of those options aren’t available with the other.

Honda Rancher Solid Rear Axle | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

Honda Rancher IRS | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

Honda Rancher EPS | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!And one more quick thing. If I say DCT then you know I’m referring to an Automatic transmission and if I say EPS then that is referring to Electric Power Steering. ES is short for Electric Shift and ESP is short for Electric Shift Program. Oh and another one, when I say FourTrax I am not referring to a certain model as all of Honda’s utility ATV models now have FourTrax in their name whether they are two-wheel drive models or four-wheel drive. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start getting to some of the models. We’ll start with the cheapest of the bunch:

2021 Honda Rancher 420 2×4 | TRX420TM1 Explained…

Its official name from Honda is the 2021 Honda FourTrax Rancher and it’s model ID is TRX420TM1. TRX is generic for ATVs with Honda and then the 420 refers to its engine size. The T means two wheel drive and the M means Manual shift while the 1 means it does not have power steering. Next to the Recon 250, which Honda technically didn’t build for 2021, this is your cheapest and more bare bones ATV that you can buy with an MSRP of $5,499. It comes in two color options, you have red and olive green. 

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 2×4 | TRX420TM1
    • Price: $5,499
  • Key info: This is a two-wheel drive manual shift Rancher 420 with a solid rear axle.

2021 Honda Rancher ES 420 2×4 | TRX420TE1 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher ES and its model ID is TRX420TE1. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for engine size and T for two wheel drive. The E comes in for Electric shift as this is the ES model and 1 means it does not have power steering. This model is identical to the last one we talked about but it has the ES transmission and you also get an electronic gauge cluster instead of just getting the dummy lights for Neutral, Check Engine, Low fuel, Water temp and Reverse while also giving you an odometer, trip meter, hour meter and maintenance minder system that helps you keep track on when Honda’s thinks you should do oil changes etc. The electric shift transmission and gauges do bump the price up a bit and brings the MSRP up to $5,799. When it comes to color options, you have the same red and olive green to choose from. 

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ES 2×4 | TRX420TE1
    • Price: $5,799
  • Key info: This is a two-wheel drive Electric Shift Rancher 420 with a solid rear axle.

Now, we’re getting into the 4×4 models.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 | TRX420FM1 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FM1. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for engine size and then the F means four-wheel drive. Then the M means Manual shift and the 1 means it does not have power steering. This is the cheapest 4×4 ATV you can get into from Honda with an MSRP of $6,499. This puts you at $1,000 more than the Rancher 2×4 and for that $1,000, you not only get four-wheel drive but you also get the electronic gauge cluster like the ES model we just talked about and then this feature now carries on as standard equipment for all of the 4×4 models that we’ll continue to talk about. When it comes to color options, you have the usual red and olive green as well as the option of Honda’s phantom camo. It’s not cheap though as it does come at a $500 premium so your $6,499 ATV is now $6,999.

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 | TRX420FM1
    • Price: $6,499 – $6,999 (camo)
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive manual shift Rancher 420 with a solid rear axle.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 EPS 4×4 | TRX420FM2 Explained…

Next up is the HondaFourTrax Rancher EPS 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FM2. This model is identical to the previous except for that we’re adding power steering. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for engine size and F for four-wheel drive with the M for Manual shift but then we change to a number 2 because it does have Electric Power Steering. Adding Honda’s electric power steering bumps the price up an additional $700 to the manual shift 4×4 Rancher making it come in at $7,199 for the standard red and olive green colors while the phantom camo drives it up to $7,699. There are no other changes to this model other than the addition of power steering.

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 EPS 4×4 | TRX420FM2
    • Price: $7,199 – $7,699 (camo)
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive manual shift Rancher 420 with Electric Power Steering (EPS) and a solid rear axle.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 ES 4×4 | TRX420FE1 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher ES 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FE1. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for engine size, F for four-wheel drive and then the E means Electric shift again with the 1 referring to it not having power steering. This is an easy one to explain, take the Rancher ES 2×4 and add four-wheel drive and here you go. There are no other changes to the ATV. On color options for the Rancher ES 4×4, you have red, green and phantom camo. Pricing for this one is exactly $1,000 more than the 2×4 model, it comes in at $6,799 for the standard colors and don’t forget the $500 premium for Honda’s phantom camo bringing it up to $7,299.

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ES 4×4 | TRX420FE1
    • Price: $6,799 – $7,299 (camo)
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive Electric Shift (ES) Rancher 420 with a solid rear axle.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT EPS 4×4 | TXR420FA2 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher DCT EPS 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FA2. TRX for ATV and 420 for engine, F for four-wheel drive and then the A for Automatic transmission and 2 means that it does have Electric Power Steering. This model has Honda’s DCT automatic transmission where you can flip a button and put it into Automatic mode to where you can just hit the throttle and go or you can flip the button and put it into ESP which is the Electric Shift Program and that allows you to manually change gears via the Electric Shift buttons on the left side of the handlebar. This model and all of the models we’ve mentioned so far all have a straight axle, we’ll be diving into the Rancher models with independent rear suspension (IRS) next. Thanks to the addition of the DCT automatic transmission and power steering, the price has went up as well with this model coming in at $7,699 for the standard shale blue and red colors with the phantom camo coming in at $8,199.

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT EPS 4×4 | TRX420FA2
    • Price: $7,699 – $8,199 (camo)
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive Rancher with a DCT Automatic transmission, Electric Power Steering (EPS) and a solid rear axle.

Now, we’re jumping into the Rancher models with IRS and all of them also have the DCT automatic transmission by default. With the next models, you also get a larger and more comfortable seat (pictured below) than the previous straight axle models. 

2021 Rancher Seat | 2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT IRS 4×4 | TRX420FA5 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher DCT IRS 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FA5. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for the engine size, F for four-wheel drive and A for Automatic transmission and then the 5 means that it has IRS but does not have power steering. Just like I mentioned in the last DCT automatic model, you can change from Automatic mode over to ESP and manually change gears by clicking a button if you’d like. With this model you’re ditching the straight axle in the back in favor of independent rear suspension and not only do you get more suspension travel and additional ground clearance, you also get rid of the rear drum brake that is on all straight axle Honda ATVs in favor of a centrally mounted rear disk brake. This model only comes in two color options and they are red and olive green again with its price tag coming in at $7,499.

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT IRS 4×4 | TRX420FA5
    • Price: $7,499
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive Rancher with a DCT Automatic transmission and Independent Rear Suspension (IRS).

2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT IRS EPS 4×4 | TRX420FA6 Explained…

Next up is the Honda FourTrax Rancher DCT IRS EPS 4×4 and its model ID is TRX420FA6. Again, TRX for ATV and 420 for the engine size, F for four-wheel drive and A for Automatic transmission and then the 6 means that it does have Electric Power Steering with IRS. This model is identical to the last one but we’re now adding Electric Power Steering into the mix. Everything is the same, except that and with adding power steering it bumps the price tag up to $8,199 and $8,699 if you want camo. 

  • 2021 Honda Rancher 420 DCT IRS EPS 4×4 | TRX420FA6
    • Price: $8,199 – $8,699 (camo)
  • Key info: This is a four-wheel drive Rancher with a DCT Automatic transmission, Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS).

And that’s the entire 2021 Honda Rancher ATV model lineup. What are some of the key spec differences between them that we may not have covered in detail? One is just how much of a difference the IRS makes. With the TRX420FA5 / TRX420FA6 models you jump up to 8.5 inches of rear suspension travel compared to 6.7 inches on the straight axle models and the front also changes with an increase from 6.7 to 7.3 inches. Ground clearance is also increased from 7.2 inches to 9.2 inches. All straight axle models have a single 160mm sealed mechanical drum brake in the rear whereas the IRS models have a single hydraulic caliper disc brake with a 170mm disc.

2021 Honda Rancher 420 ATV Model Lineup Comparison Review + Differences Explained!

The IRS models also come in a bit longer in the length department at 84.6 inches compared to 82.8 inches. They also have a taller seat height at 34.9 inches compared to 33.7 inches. The wheelbase is slightly longer by 1 inch as well. You also have a larger turning radius with the IRS models circling in at 11.5 ft compared to 9.2 ft. Due to all of these differences, their weights all come in differently with the lightest coming in at 580 lbs and the heaviest at 676 lbs.

And that’s it for the differences between all of the models in Honda’s 2021 Rancher lineup. When it comes to other details like fuel capacity, payload capacity on the front and rear racks, the new pro-connect system on the racks, towing capacity, engine specs and storage – they are all the same. 

You may stumble across other models out there like the TRX420FA1 which was the Honda FourTrax Rancher DCT 4×4 without EPS and a straight axle but that one as well as the TRX420FE2 which was the FourTrax Rancher ES 4×4 with EPS. Using the key below, you’ll be able to break downThose models have been dropped from the lineup and aren’t available in 2021. That’s not to say Honda won’t offer them again in the future as they have always played around with the model variations and brought some back to the lineup after a short hiatus. 

2021 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)
  • M – 2021 Model Year (You won’t always see this last letter or number depending on the year actually used. Most websites and dealers don’t show it or mention it etc but if they do, you know what it means.)
    • 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.

Model EXAMPLE: TRX420FM1M

Now lets put the key above to use…

  • What is a TRX420FM1M? It is a 420 Rancher Four Wheel Drive and Manual Shift without EPS and is a 2021 model. TRX = ATV / 420 = 420cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / M = Manual shift / 1 = No EPS / M = 2021.
  • What is a TRX420FA6M? It is a 420 Rancher Four Wheel Drive with a DCT Automatic Transmission, Independent Rear Suspension, Electric Power Steering and is a 2021 model year. TRX = ATV / 420 = 420cc / F = Four Wheel Drive / A = DCT Automatic / 6 = IRS + EPS / M = 2021.

* IRS is only available on DCT model Ranchers.

I believe I touched on almost everything or at least some of the key points. I hope it answers some questions that you may have had with Honda’s confusing ATV model lineup. If you have any questions, post them below and I’ll help out but thanks again for watching guys and for all of the continued support, we’ll see you in the next one. 


Menu