The right job for the tool
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
; Much has happened in 4x4 ATV
land since the forerunner of the current Rubicon was introduced in 2001.
During that time there have not been
many major updates to the Rubicon,
but that hasn’t left it swilling mud or
sucking dust for a variety of reasons.
One reason is that the Rubicon simply works well. It also has that famous
Honda fit and finish, and, of course, it
will live a good long time with the
proper care. And, if you don’t like it
stock, the aftermarket is loaded with
parts to personalize the machine in
any way you see fit.
Honda really pays attention to
human engineering, and it shows.
The bodywork is smooth, with no
interference with the rider anywhere.
The fenders probably had their own
engineering team. They do a great
job at keeping unwanted trail trash
off the rider. At the edges, the plastic
fenders are black to shrug off brush
scratches. The standard-colored
areas of plastic (olive or red) are
glossy and smooth. The optional
NaturalGear Camo is matte, super
tough and an extra $550. Honda has
made every effort to keep the weight
of the Ruby low, and those efforts
extend to the seat. It isn’t as soft as
some, but has resilient foam that does
aid the suspension at isolating the
rider from abuse.
Attention to the human factor con-
tinues over to the controls. All are nat-
ural in placement, and they feel good
to the hand as well. The hand shifter
offers only four settings: reverse, neu-
tral, drive and low. You need to be
stopped to shift, and the engine won’t
startin gear without the front brake
on. Like most automatic quads, the
hand levers operate the brakes. The
one on the right controls two disc