2020 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 Review and Test Ride
By Chris Yeloushan
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Table of Contents
Honda Rancher 420: Review – Consistently Dependable
The Honda Rancher 420 4X4 is one of the most consistent and dependable utility ATV’s on the market. With an MSRP starting at $6,399, I chose to test the Honda 5-speed foot shift model without power steering in olive green to demonstrate how easy it can be to get onto an ATV and have the time of your life social distancing without having to empty your wallet.
Honda Rancher 420: Engine, Horsepower, Top Speed, Weight and More
The Rancher is powered by Honda’s 420cc longitudinally mounted, liquid cooled SOHC, fuel injected engine producing 26hp at a top speed of 51 mph. It is both light and nimble for riders of any size weighing only 615lbs. The turning radius is an impressive 9.2ft. Measuring in with an overall length of 82.8” and width of 47.4” you can get the Rancher through the tightest trails and into almost any pick-up truck or small utility trailer by yourself.
The front suspension is an independent double wishbone setup resulting in 6.7” of travel. The rear suspension on this foot shift model has the classic swingarm and single shock that’s also 6.7” of travel. The overall ground clearance with the swingarm configuration is 7.2”. If you want another 2” of overall wheel travel and ground clearance, you have to upgrade to the Rancher AT Independent Rear Suspension model.
The tires are Maxxis M973 AT’s 24 x 8-12 on the front and 24 x 10-11 on the rear with the standard factory steel black wheels. The driveline is equipped with Honda’s TraxLok limited slip torque sensing front differential with front and rear solid axle driveshafts. The 4WD system allows you to easily switch from 2WD limited-slip on the fly using the large hand-lever just in front of your left knee. Most competitors use a push-button switch on the handlebars. However, there are no belts to worry about as the longitudinally mounted engine delivers power directly to the ground from the input of the throttle and lifting up and down of your left foot whether you are in 2WD or 4WD.
Honda Rancher 420: Braking System
The front brakes are dual hydraulic disc calipers up front while the rear has a single sealed mechanical drum mounted on the right rear wheel. While this rear brake system has been tried and true since Honda began building ATV’s, I would prefer discs on all four wheels. The parking brake is easily accessed on the left brake lever. The base Rancher comes with the manual foot-shift, 5-speed with reverse. On the foot-shift model, it requires you to use the left handlebar reverse shift actuator in conjunction with the foot-shift to put the Rancher in reverse. While it’s not my favorite, after a few times you get used to it.
Honda Rancher 420: Seat Height, Payload Capacity and Storage
Getting onto the Rancher, you quickly notice the low seat height of only 33.7 inches with an overall height of 46.2 inches. Honda’s large full floorboards and slotted steel foot pegs gives you plenty of stability during long trail rides or having to maneuver your body through any type of terrain. For 2020, the front and rear racks have stronger steel construction with a larger flat area that can now integrate with their new Pro-connect storage system to easily attach and detach Honda accessories. The front payload capacity is 66lbs while the rear holds 133lbs. The Rancher also includes a new water-resistant front storage box just behind the large front bumper that has 1.9L of storage for your mobile device or other small items that need to be protected from the elements.
Honda Rancher 420: Towing, Fuel Tank, and Digital Display
When you are ready to tow a trailer, the Rancher tows 848lbs with the factory installed hitch. One advantage of the swingarm configuration is that it places the load of a trailer or heavy gear on the back rack directly to the solid axle rather than the shocks when you use it for work rather than play. All you need to add is your trailer ball using the factory mount.
Honda relocated the Rancher’s fuel tank filler from the center to the right fairing making filling up the 3.9gallon fuel take simple without unnecessary spilling on the seat as past Honda models. The reserve tank is a generous 1.3 gallons.
The large digital LCD display provides a clear overview of the vehicle status including the odometer, trip-meter, hour-meter, clock, engine coolant temperature, gear indicator, 4WD indicator, and fuel gauge giving you everything you need to manage your riding experience.
Honda Rancher 420: My Final Take
Overall, the Rancher delivers any rider whether novice or experienced plenty of comfort, power and reliability to enjoy years of work or play at a very competitive price point.
- Comfortable, light, and nimble for any level of riding experience
- Low center of gravity with smooth consistent power in all gears
- Generous storage and hauling capability for work and play
- Lack of 12V power outlet
- Single sealed rear drum brake vs. all-wheel disc brakes
- Rear swing arm vs. independent rear suspension on all models
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More on Chris
Chris is a Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Rollick. Born and raised in his family’s outdoor recreational dealerships, he has been involved in everything outdoors since he could walk. His first dirt bike was a 1980 Honda Z50. Since then, he has ridden and owned everything including dirt bikes, ATV’s, SXS, and PWC’s. You will probably spot him on any given Sunday tearing up the trails of the Ocala National Forest. His passion over the last twenty years has been focused on helping dealers increase sales and build customer loyalty through America’s top consumer brands. Some of the top brands include Sam’s Club, AAA, Allstate, USAA, GEICO, Progressive, and Walmart. Members of these organizations are loyal and looking for a more efficient and straightforward buying and ownership experience. Chris has been dedicated to connecting members of these organizations with the nation’s top dealerships.
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