You are here: News > Insights

You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

On test: Honda Fourtrax ATV


Now in its sixth year of production, the Honda Fourtrax is ageing well and really looks the part.

Twitter Facebook

Our model was a TRX 420 FA specced with switchable electric or automatic shift transmission and independent rear suspension (IRS).


Unlike the rest of the test ATVs, which use a belt driven-derived CVT, Honda has stuck with a five-speed sequential gearbox for this range of bike.


This can be operated in manual mode using handle bar-mounted buttons, or switched to automatic. In manual it is very natural to drive, much like changing gear with your foot. However, because your left hand is occupied with gear changing duties, it means you cannot carry anything.


A quick flick into auto mode soon solves this though, which is very impressive. It pretty much changes gear when you would expect and adapts depending on the load. For extra oomph, it has a kick-down function.


However, electronic nannying means the bike does need to be absolutely stationary when changing from forward to reverse, which can make manoeuvring around the yard a bit frustrating at times.


But with all these electronics, how reliable will they be when faced with the rigors of farming?


For day-to-day duties, the Honda is an excellent bike.


Plenty of torque and power is delivered smoothly from its 420cc engine and it rides well across a variety of conditions.


The riding position, compared to the others, is nice and low, with well-positioned bars, resulting in a balanced machine.



It probably does not quite have the convenience of driving a CVT, even in automatic mode, but as we expected, and as the fuel consumption table shows, by keeping the revs down and the gears up, it was pretty frugal, especially with a laden trailer.


Having a more traditional transmission means the Honda has proper engine braking, which instilled a lot of confidence when towing a trailer downhill.


However, hitching up to a trailer is no fun. The ball is located just too far in and under the rear of the bike, which makes for a lot of back straining while you are trying to hold a drawbar in the air and manoeuvre it into place. If you were doing this a lot, I think you would soon be considering one of the others.


Storage is limited too, with only a small box at the rear.



  • Engine: 420cc liquid-cooled
  • Transmission: five-speed, electric or automatic shift
  • Suspension: Independent double-wishbone front and rear
  • Braking: Double disc (front) / single disc (rear)
  • Tyres: 24 x 8-12 (front)24 x 10-11 (rear)
  • Fuel capacity: 13.3 litres
  • Dimensions: 2,055mm (L) x 1,172mm (W) x 1,163 (H)
  • Wheelbase: 1,255mm
  • Ground clearance: 231mm
  • Unladen weight: 271.5kg
  • Load rack capacity: 30kg (front), 60kg (rear)
  • Towing capacity: 385kg
  • RRP: £7,806
Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More Insights

On-test: Downsized D-Max still impresses

Popular with farmers up and down the country, Isuzu has really made a name for itself in the pick-up world. But will smaller engines in its latest D-Max models be a turn-off?

Buyer’s guide: New Holland TM190 tractor

New Holland’s TM190 was perhaps not the firm’s finest hour. But with its issues resolved and upgrades completed early in its life time, its value as a solid secondhand power unit has become much more widely accepted.

User story: Organic matter preservation drives drill choice

After several years of experimentation, one Northumberland farm has settled on a drilling regime which suites its soils and farming principals.

User story: Weigh cells offer improved payload accuracy

When it comes to making the most of payload potential, one Northants contractor has opted for on-board weighing on his trailers.

Trailers: hire or buy to carry the load?

Need extra haulage? There is an increasing trend for hiring trailers, but busy contractors may prefer to keep their wheels in-house.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds