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When on the Rubicon, ( in ESP Mode ) can you hear the gears shift, like you can on all ES Ranchers, and ES Foremans, etc?
2004 Polaris Sportsman 700
27' ITP 589 M/S Tires
3000 lb. Warn Winch
You can not hear anything while your moving except an RPM change. It does not feel like a manual, or have a clunk like a semi-auto. The tranny just bleeds less oil pressure from the pump for a higher ‘gear’. The higher the ‘gear’, the less high pressure bled off. In ESP, it just changes how much is bled off by the angle of a swash plate. There are 5 preset angles (or gears). The shifting between them is smoother than an airshifter on a bike, its not as instantaneous though. No gears to mesh, just a different hydraulic pump ‘output’ at the rate of a servo that moves the swashplate. It is smoooooth, but noticeable.
I wouldn’t want this on a CBR954, but I like it on a quad. I ride over 90% ESP now.
another thing to add, from WHAT I'VE READ, you can actually power-shift the transmission on the automatic hondas with the ESP mode, meaning you dont have to let up on the gas when you hit the upshift button. Dont try this with any of the ES model foremans, ranchers or recons, but in theory you can do it with the rubicon and rincon and the rancher AT too.
The Hondamatic is a hydromechanical continuously variable transmission, no gears with the exception to the ones driven by the control motor that changes the angle of the swash plate.
When you peg the throttle and shift to the next "gear" it feals and sounds more like an automatic transmision with a shift kit installed. Smooth as a babys bum but very precise.
That ability and feel is why we bought our Rubicon. In about two more summers when we reach 10,000 miles and purchase a new ATV, if no other Hondas have a Hondamatic transmission, we will buy another Rubicon.
Best transmission in ANY ATV!
2001 Rubicon: Honda Red
17,052 miles & 1943 hours
Dependability; the "real" way out.
They have Hi / Lo range if that's what you're referring to. That makes 10 gears with the 5 speed. I agree that ther Rubicon tranny is by far the best ever built for ATVs. Makes the belt drive seem like prehistoric junk. I too will be buying another Rubicon if mine ever wears out.