Honda has replaced its Foreman 500 ATV with the more powerful Foreman 520, with many of the detail developments made to the newcomer also passing to the still popular Fourtrax 420 range. But are these upgrades enough to keep Honda ahead of the pack?

Honda remains the player to beat in the utility ATV market in the UK, typically taking over 50% of the overall market and an even more dominant 71% plus of the 300-499cc sector. The firm’s Fourtrax 420 is the key seller in the UK and Ireland. This model is offered in five variants, too, from an entry-level foot shift manual through to a range-topping dual clutch auto with independent rear suspension.

Such a wide Fourtrax 420 choice helps ensure Honda can pretty much tick all the essential boxes for most end user needs. But what if the job entails routinely towing a heavy trailer? Here matters get more involved, at least that is for those who adhere to the rated towing capacities. A Fourtrax 420, regardless of its spec, has a listed towing capacity of 385kg, and the same rating will still apply to the latest mono-shock, rigid beam Foreman 520 models (see specification table).

In a comparison between a 420 model and mono-shock 520, the main consideration here is that the latter has access to more power and torque so will tug a full load more easily in difficult going. On paper, incidentally, the stats for the 420 and outgoing 500 are actually relatively close, the 420 developing 26.6hp at 6,250rpm and 33.4Nm of torque at 5,000rpm, while the 500 delivers 27hp and just shy of 38.0Nm.

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