What Is the Difference Between Honda Rubicon and Foreman?

Honda sells 5 different utility and recreation ATVs, and 2 different sport ATVs. Some of the differences between them are quite significant, whereas some models are very similar. Today, I will cover the differences between the Honda Rubicon and the Honda Foreman.

Overall, the Honda Rubicon has about 35% towing capacity, and 10% more weight capacity on the front and rear rack compared to the Honda Foreman. The Honda Rubicon is also available in blue, whereas, the Foreman is not.

There are quite a few specifications such as the wheel size, ground clearance, and whether the transmission is available in manual or automatic. Below, I will provide a side-by-side comparison of each of the different specs, so you can see how they differ. As well as, how they compare price-wise, and if the difference in price is worth it.

ATV Rider in the action on Honda TRX700XX two

Side by Side Comparison: Rubicon vs Foreman

Here’s a table with some of the key specifications for both the Honda Rubicon and the Honda Foreman:

SpecHonda RubiconHonda Foreman
Engine Size518cc518cc
Height48.6 inches48.0 inches
Length84.5 inches82.8 inches
Manual or automaticManual and automaticManual and automatic
Towing capacity1322 pounds848 pounds
Front rack weight capacity99 pounds88 pounds
Rear rack weight capacity187 pounds176 pounds
Wheel size25 inches25 inches
Fuel capacity3.9 gallons3.9 gallons
Reserve fuel tank capacity1.3 gallons1.3 gallons
Weight700 pounds to 730 pounds636 pounds to 654 pounds
*2022 version of the Honda Rancher and Honda Foreman.

The Honda Foreman is slightly smaller than the Honda Rubicon. However, interestingly, the engine size, fuel tank capacity, and wheel size are the same. I’ve taken each of these metrics and converted them to a percentage in the table below. So, you can be an idea of just how different these two Honda ATV models are.

SpecPercentage that the Honda Foreman has of the Rubicon
Engine Sizesame
Towing capacity (weight)64%
Wheel sizesame
Front rack weight capacity89%
Rear rack weight capacity94%
Fuel capacitysame
Reserve fuel tank capacitysame

The table is a bit tricky to understand what the percentages mean. Simply put, the percentage is how much the Honda Foreman has compared to the Honda Rubicon. For example, if it says 89%. It means the Honda Foreman is 89% of what the Honda Rubicon has.

From the table, you can see that, although they are only slightly different in size. The weight capacity is very different. The Honda Rancher can tow significantly more weight – 35%. The front and rear rack can also carry 6% to 10% more weight. This means the Honda Rubicon is more versatile as a utility vehicle. Because it can carry more weight when it’s needed.

Each of the different Honda ATVs comes in a range of colors. Each model is available in 4 colors or more. But, they are slightly different in the exact colors they have. The Honda Rancher and Honda Foreman are available in a few different models. There are 6 Honda Rancher models and 3 Honda Foreman models.

Color OptionHonda Rancher number of modelsHonda Foreman number of models
Red6 out of 83 out of 3
Blue1 out of 80 out of 3
Olive5 out of 82 out of 3
Harvest beige0 out of 81 out of 3
Camo5 out of 83 out of 3

If you have a preference for a particular color it can be a deciding factor for whether you choose a Honda Rancher or a Honda Foreman.

ATV Rider in the action on Honda TRX700XX

How the price compares Honda Rubicon vs Honda Foreman

The cheapest Honda Rubicon model is $5,599. Whereas, the cheapest Honda Foreman is $8,799. This is a significant difference, with the Honda Foreman being $3,000 more expensive than the Honda Rubicon. 

The most expensive Honda Rubicon is $8,299. Whereas, the most expensive Honda Foreman is $9,999. The price difference for the most expensive models of the Foreman and Rubicon is less extreme. And the most expensive Honda Foreman is only $1,700 more expensive than the most expensive Honda Rubicon.

Value for money: Rubicon vs Foreman

The Honda Rubicon is by far the better option based on value for money. I’m scratching my head to figure out why anyone would get a Honda Foreman over a Honda Rubicon. The Honda Rubicon outperforms the Honda Foreman for utility. It’s also about 3,000 less expensive. It’s overwhelmingly clear that the Honda Rubicon is the better option.

Factors that differ for the different Rubicon and Foreman models

There are 8 different Honda Rubicon models and 3 different Honda Foreman models. There are a few differences between each of the different models. The factors that differ are:

  • Whether they have electric power steering
  • Whether it’s manual or automatic
  • Whether it has an electric shift program (EPS)
  • Whether it has electric reverse

Both the Honda Rubicon and the Honda Foreman have one model that is a manual transmission and all the rest are automatic. Both the Rubicon and Foreman also have one model that does not have electric power steering, whereas, all the others do. The same is true for electric reverse, where only one model doesn’t have it, and the rest do.

The difference is due to the transmission. For the model that has a manual transmission, it doesn’t have electronic reverse. For more info about the type of transmission that Honda ATVs, refer to this article I put together that explains whether Honda ATVs have a clutch. It covers what the dual-clutch system (DCT) is, which was invented by Honda.

Mechanic working installing Clutch system

Honda Rubicon and Foreman vs. Other Honda ATVs

To get an idea of which of the Honda rec/utility ATVs is the best, and how they compare to each other, I’ve taken some of the key metrics and compiled them in the table below. For each metric, I ranked them from best to worst. 

The ATV that is the best in each category, I gave a 1 for first place. And then ranked them. As you may know, the rules for a tie are that the ATV after a tie is downgraded to the next position.

For example, if there are two ATVs tied for 2nd place, the next rank is 4th, not 3rd. Here you can see how each ATV model compares to each other for each of the different factors.

SpecHonda RinconHonda RubiconHonda ForemanHonda RancherHonda Recon
Engine Size12245
Towing capacity21225
Front rack weight capacity31235
Rear rack weight capacity41235
Wheel size11145
Fuel capacity12225
Reserve fuel tank capacity41115

I’ve then taken each of the scores and totaled them. The lowest score is the best overall, whereas, a higher score is the worst. Here’s a table that shows a ranking from the best to the worst:

Honda ATV modelRanking (Best to worst)

As you can see the Honda Rubicon is the best. Interestingly it was the best by quite a large margin. The next two, the Foreman and Rincon were quite close for their total score. Whereas, the Rancher was quite a bit worse. And the Recon was by far the worst.

This isn’t very surprising because the Honda Recon is designed to be a more compact ATV, that is used primarily to get around. It’s far less bulky and has a tighter turning angle. Now, let’s look at a table to see how the price of each of the Honda ATVs compares to how good it is.

Honda ATV modelRanking (best to worst)Price
Rubicon1$5,599 to $8,299
Foreman2$7,499 to $8,449
Rancher4$8,799 to $9,999
Recon5$4,499 to $4,749

In my opinion, it’s best to disregard the Honda Recon when trying to evaluate the best Honda ATV model. The reason is that it’s in a different class, and is significantly different from the other models. It’s much smaller and has a smaller engine. Therefore, pricewise we’re comparing the Rubicon, Foreman, Rincon, and Rancher.

It can be seen from the table that not only is the Rubicon the best in terms of the different specifications but the cheapest model is also the cheapest overall. The most expensive model is also cheaper than the most expensive model of the other Honda ATVs. 

But, in the case of the Honda Foreman only by a few hundred dollars. The second-best model is also the second cheapest. So, out of all the Honda rec/utility ATVs, your best options by far are the Rubicon and then the Foreman.

Another key consideration with ATVs is how reliable they are. I did an in-depth analysis of each of the top ATV brands such as Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Polaris to find out how they compare based on a range of different factors. If you’re interested in how Honda ATVs compare check out this article about whether Honda ATVs are good.

ATV Rider in the action on Honda

Is the Honda Rubicon Better Than the Honda Foreman?

There are a range of different options for Honda ATVs. The Honda Rubicon and the Honda Foreman are very similar to each other, compared to the other options. So, here’s a rundown of which is better: the Honda Rubicon or the Honda Foreman.

Overall, the Honda Rubicon is better. It has more weight capacity on the front and rear racks. As well as, 35% more towing power. However, the engine size, and size of the ATV are only 5% different, with the Rubicon being larger. The Honda Rubicon is also considerably cheaper than the Honda Foreman.

The Honda Rubicon and Honda Foreman have almost identical color options. But, each model has 1 color that is unique to it, that the other does not have. The Honda Rubicon is available in blue, whereas, the Honda Foreman isn’t. And the Honda Foreman is available in Harvest beige, whereas, the Honda Rubicon is not.

What’s the Most Powerful Honda ATV

It’s helpful to have a powerful ATV for using it as a work vehicle, as well as, for recreation. Out of all the Honda ATVs, here’s which model is the most powerful.

Overall, the Honda Rubicon is the most powerful Honda ATV. The Honda Rincon has a slightly bigger engine than the Rubicon. But, the Honda Rubicon has a significantly higher towing capacity, as well as, more weight capacity for the front and rear rack compared to all the other Honda ATV models.

The Honda Rubicon has 55% more towing capacity compared to the next closest Honda ATV. But, surprisingly it weighs virtually the same and has virtually the same sized motor as all the other ATV models.

Is the Honda Rubicon a Good Quad

There are many different ATVs available on the market and there are around 5 very well-known brands. It can be difficult to know how good different ATVs are compared to each other, or whether they’re good overall. So, here’s a summary of whether the Honda Rubicon is a good option.

Overall, the Honda Rubicon is a good quad. Based on a range of factors Honda ATVs are the best out of all the ATV brands based on reliability, availability of the models, and the length of the warranty they provide. Of all the Honda rec/utility ATVs the Honda Rubicon is also the best.

Therefore, the Honda Rubicon can be considered the best ATV on the market. It not only has the best performance for towing, and carrying capacity. But, also is the cheapest of the full-sized rec/utility ATVs that Honda sells.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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