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Help me decide between 2 ATVs - Rancher and Foreman

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by benk777, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    I will be purchasing a used ATV to plow my 100 yard long uphill driveway, and have decided on a price range of $4-5k. I have found two that I am currently deciding between, the first is a 2007 Honda Rancher 4x4 with 700 miles for $4k. It has no winch or plow, so I would have to purchase/install those items. The other is a 2003 Honda Foreman 450ES 4x4 with 700 miles for $4k. It is equipped with a winch, plow, big wheel kit, and hand warmers.

    This will be my first ATV, so I am having a hard time deciding. I love the fact that the Rancher is only 2 years old, is fuel injected and liquid cooled, but it is completely stock with no accessories. How much would it cost me at a powersports place to buy/install a quality winch and plow? What value do I associate with the big wheel kit and handwarmers?

    Any assistance you can lend to help sway me would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Ben
     
  2. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Here are pics of each, if that helps.

    Thanks!

    Ben

    rancher6email.JPG

    4501.jpg
     
  3. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    If the 700 is in good shape you should get it IMO. Since it's newer and bigger it's worth having to buy a plow and winch IMO.
     
  4. JoeCool

    JoeCool Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 214

    It's a 420 Mercer, I would recommend the complete ready to use one. It will plow your snow and do anything else you ask the rest of the year for the next decade. I had a 2000 with 3000 miles on it and they were hard miles. Would buy another in a heartbeat. Cheers.
     
  5. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Sorry I miss read your post a thought you said it was a 700, but you said it has 700 miles. Now that I know that I think you should get the 20003. I know a guy that has one and he loves it. They are a very good machine.
     
  6. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    what other things is the ATV for?

    the Foreman is a better plowing machine.

    the Rancher will provide a better trail ride.

    I have both an 02 foreman and a 02 Rancher

    for trial riding and fun the Rancher Hands down.

    when you want the extra snort for something you want the foreman.

    if I had to pick just one it would be the foreman but I lean towards %70 for work getting thing's done
    snow plowing/skiding logs pulling a trialer full of wood out of the back 40
    and %30 for fun

    if I was tipping the other way and doing %70 fun riding around and such and then %30 work
    I'd go rancher instead.

    sublime out.
     
  7. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    The rancher is a good bike, and fuel injection for other brands has been a much needed improvement. But Hondas heated carbs work so well you wont notice the difference in fuel delivery. The foreman is a much more substantial platform for plowing and serious offroading. it has selectable 4x4 and the handlebar mounted headlight is a godsend. Once you;ve owned a foreman you will wonder why ALL atv's dont come with a handlebar mounted headlight. the foreman is absolutely the toughest atv on the planet, gears seem to be in just the right place for the amount of power provided. Aftermarket wheels in those kits are typically around 4-500, the lifts kits will go for around 100 depending on what brand it is. highlifter.com will quickly become your best friend when it comes to parts for the foreman. they have snow plow springs, customs shocks, lifts, etc. the tires pictured look like mud lights, which are a great all around tire. Bottom line, for this duty I'd always pick the foreman. see if you can get him haggled down to 3500 :D
     
  8. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks for the replies. This will be my first ever ATV, and it will be used primarily for plowing, although I would like to think I'll have a chance to have some fun with it every now and then. I keep leaning towards the 07 Rancher because in my mind, newer equals "more time until it starts to fail". I really want an ATV that needs little maintenance besides the regular (oil changes, lube), so that if there is snow on the driveway I can start it up right away and plow...no questions asked.

    I'm a bit nervous because either way, I'm making my decision by this Friday.

    Ben
     
  9. 06Sierra

    06Sierra PlowSite.com Addict
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,329

    You can't go wrong with either one. Price a winch, with synthetic, and a plow and see if you want to spend that much more on it. Handwarmers don't cost that much. As for the tires, the stock ones will be fine for plowing.
     
  10. -Iron Mike-

    -Iron Mike- Member
    Messages: 35

    Both are great machines, but unless you really want the newer bike just because it's newer and don't mind dropping an additional +/- grand to add a winch and plow set-up to the Rancher, I'd go with the "Ready-To-Run" Foreman.
     
  11. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    the ONLY negative the Foreman has EVER had is drum brakes. as long as you don't submerge them, you'll never have any trouble out of them. but if you do, buy an extra set of pads to keep on hand in case you need a brake job. (I'll sell you a new set that I have left over :))

    If you wanna have the darned near perfect work bike, buy a disk brake kit for it and its done. I don't wanna over emphasize this point because most people have no trouble at all with the brakes. they are easy to work on and easy to adjust.

    You will also find the handlebar electric shifter to be far more useful than the style used on the rancher. Its handy, allows you to put your feet up on the dry seat for high water crossings and is about as bulletproof as it gets (along with the rest of the bike)
     
  12. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    One more vote for the Foreman here. Have no fear in buying a 2003 with 700 hours, the thing is literally still "new". The 2007 could have just as many problems, same hours. The Foremans (even Hondas in general) are borderline indestructable for the type of job you'll be using it for. I'm sure some on here will disagree with the facts, but Honda has proven to be the most reliable ATV by far. Good Luck.
     
  13. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    Thanks again for all of the replies. I checked both listings this morning and now I see that the Foreman is listed as a 2006 Foreman 450ES. I don't think this is possible, and if not, I don't find this very confidence inspiring. Also to clarify on the prices, both were originally priced at $4500, and I was able to talk the Rancher down to $4000. I have not discussed the price with the Foreman owner yet. But I am thinking that at $4000 each, I might go with the Foreman.

    Does anyone here know if that model of Foreman has an odometer and hours meter? I just want to be able to verify the miles and trust it. With the conversations I have had with the Rancher owner, I am confident that the hours/miles stated are accurate.

    About plows, even if I go with the Foreman I might want to change out the plow to a "tapered" version to throw the snow. Any recommendations? I think I would want the type that are "quick connect", that you can drive up to and connect to so that I can easily take it on and off.

    Thanks!

    Ben
     
  14. JoeCool

    JoeCool Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 214

    Foreman will have hour meter and odometer, 2006 I believe it was still available in the Foreman model. If you plan to change blades then you should negotiate without the plow pricing. You will not find the ability to plow much if any more snow with a tapered blade. Looks cool though, lol.
     
  15. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    So the tapered style plow won't help me throw the snow further from the driveway? I want to prevent the driveway from getting smaller as the winter goes on.

    Thanks.

    Ben
     
  16. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    the foremans all the way back to at least 1998 and probably further back had an odometer, trip meter, speedometer, hour meter built in to the headlight housing.

    ps that picture IS NOT a 2006 Foreman. in 2006 they were 500s and had the newer body style more like the Rancher.
     
  17. rondoo98

    rondoo98 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    my uncle has a long drive he has a Foreman works good id go with Foreman
     
  18. benk777

    benk777 Member
    Messages: 36

    I spoke with the Foreman owner over lunch, and it is indeed a 2003 Foreman 450 ES. He wasn't sure of the brand of plow, but the winch is a Warn. We agreed on a price of $4000, and after the feedback I have received here, I have decided on the Foreman.

    Since I have decided on the Foreman, I do have a few questions. Can anyone tell what type of tires those are in the picture? I have heard about a modification for the reverse lockout? Can someone explain? Anything else I should know as a potential owner of a Foreman 450 ES as my first ATV?

    Thanks.

    Ben
     
  19. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    i would NOT recommend the reverse lockout override. once you get used to it, it will just become part of the motions you perform while plowing. You dont wanna be flying down the driveway, get close to the end, start downshifting and end up in reverse, while you're still moving forward....baaaaaaad bad bad bad!!

    the picture is too small to tell for sure, but the front tires look like mudlights and the rears look like 589s, but would have to see a bigger version to confirm. both good tires tho.
     
  20. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    the Reverse look out is a nice to have. espicaly in winter when you have on winter gloves and pushing the little red button alot is a pain.

    I think on the ES models the shift motor wont allow the quad to shift in Revers unless your stopped.

    to due the Bypass you get some Plastic zip Ties and where you push in the Red Button and pull the brake back to shift into Revers there is another cable that is pulled also you just zip yout plastic ties into the Gap on the Lower Reverse Cable not the actual Brake cable and then your in effect keeping the Reverse cable pulled out all the time.

    I have had this done on both of my quads since 2005 and have yet to have any problems.

    Tire look like Mudlights to me.
    Good tire for all around general use.
    they will wear fast on the pavement though. as most ATV tires due.
    If you have the c

    Check the front brakes make sure they are working and will stop the Quad.

    Mud and water are bad for the stock front Drums on the Foremans'

    you can get a Disc conversion kit which is pricey but well worth it if your gonna take it out and play in the nasty stuff for snow plowing and some trail use the stock drums will due fine.

    a County Blade will let you roll the snow farther as when it come's off the end of hte blade it's at a high angle with less curve.

    if you go with the foreman I'd run that blade that's on it this year and then if you really don't like it go to a County version for next.

    sublime out.