Power and reliability are two of the quintessential factors that make the Honda Foreman 450 a recreational and utility ATV. If there’s anything that the quad ought to be, it’s not just a powerful workhorse, but as an all-terrain vehicle that can get the work done regardless of the task. Also, if there is something that makes this four-wheeler stand out among the rest in its class, its design gives it a superior edge over its competition. Apart from that, the Foreman 450 is a more robust and more effective successor to the Foreman 400.
Introduced in 1998, the Honda Foreman 450 was launched alongside the 395-cc HondaForeman 400. Amidst the success that the Foreman 400 has garnered from quad enthusiasts during its run, the Honda Foreman 450 is obviously several notches higher, making it a more robust and more powerful version of the latter.
With its 433-cubic centimetre engine displacement, the Foreman 450 boasts a tough, strapping engine that provides low-end torque. This aspect alone is what makes the 450 an ideal quad for folks who engage in backbreaking work. For that matter, it’s not a surprise that the Honda Foreman 450 is a common sight in farms, ranches, and the likes. Moreover, apart from being a mechanical beast of burden, the utilitarian Honda Foreman 450 has proven itself as a perfect ride for mudders, swamp trekkers, and trail explorers.
Performance is just one of the many aspects in which the Honda Foreman 450 excels. Among these features are the Electric Shift Program (ESP). With this The ESP provides the Foreman with an electronic automatic driveline configuration, which makes driving the 450 a breeze.
Also, thanks to the ESP, the 450 bagged the ATV Magazine’s ATV of the Year—which was a first in Honda’s powersports vehicle lineup. Aside from that, the Foreman 450 was also known for its robust build and superior engine which results in minimal upkeep and impressive fuel efficiency. Because of this, the Foreman 450 is one of those remarkable ATVs that was in a league of its own—a reliable, powerful, and heavy-duty ride that still commands the respect from veterans and hobbyists alike.
What Are the Different Models of the Honda Foreman 450?
The Honda Foreman 450 received the respect it deserved during its six-year production run. From 1998 to 2004, Honda simultaneously released two different variants of the FourTrax Foreman 450: the TRX450FM and the TRX450FE. While both models come with an on-demand 4×2 and 4×4 driveline selector, thanks to the TrakLox™ system, the former had a manual-shift configuration, while an electric shift or ESP for the latter.
Despite the difference in the transmission system, both the manual- and electric-drive Honda Foreman 450 lived up to the expectations of both sports quad enthusiasts and farm or ranch workers because of its power, multifunctional capability, and dependability. With that said, both the TRX450FM and the TRX450FE had become the poster ATVs for folks who deal with tough jobs, such as transporting cargoes, ploughing deep snow, or bringing home a 200-pound game. That is, apart from traversing challenging terrains like mud bogs, rocky dirt trails, water crossing and the likes.
How Much Does a Honda Foreman 450 Cost?
Presently, the price of a Honda Foreman 450 depends on the year of manufacture and whether the vehicle is bone stock or has mods mounted on it. Since there aren’t any Foreman 450 in production nowadays, finding one in mint condition can be a challenging undertaking. Thankfully, you can find reasonably priced Foreman 450s that are still in good condition and have an average mileage—which may probably be more or less 250 miles or so—on online trader sites. These websites provide valuable and current information on the trade-in and listing costs of vehicles, like the Foreman 450.
According to www.nadaguides.com, the average list price of a 2004 TRX450 with ESP fetches at $6,399, while the quad’s low and average retail values range from $1,765 and $2,325, respectively. On www.atv.com, however, a 2004 Honda Foreman FE has a base suggested retail price of $5,799. As per www.kellybluebook.com, the average list price of a 2004 TRX450FE is $3,270, while the trade-in price is $2,225, as of this writing.
Considering the price difference, you would be wise to note the overall condition of the unit since the Honda Foreman 450 can be subjected to extreme punishment given its reputation as a heavy-duty and powerful workhorse. Furthermore, a hefty price tag may be an indication that the model may have been modded, which makes the Foreman 450 a unique piece of equipment.
Specifications, Features, and Technical Details of the Honda Foreman 450
The Honda FourTrax Foreman 450 acquires its impressive power from an air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke, longitudinally-mounted overhead valve engine, which has a displacement of 433 cubic centimetres (26.4 cubic inches). It has a bore-and-stroke ratio of 90 x 68 millimetres (3.55 inches x 2.68 inches). Equipped with a 32-millimetre Keihin carburettor, the Foreman 450 produces a compression rate of 8.5:1.
For lubrication, the Foreman 450 uses Honda GN4 10W-40 4-Stroke Motorcycle Oil or any engine lubricant with an SAE 10W-40 classification. The oil crankcase of this quad has a capacity of 2.2 US quarts (2.08 litres) for an oil change.
Moreover, for the rear final gear case oil and differential oil, you can either use a Honda shaft drive oil or a hypoid gear oil SAE 80 for either component. The rear final gear case oil has a capacity of 3 US oz (90 cubic centimetres), while the differential has an 8.1 US oz (240 cubic centimetres) capacity.
The Honda Foreman 450 has a capacitor discharge ignition system. It also has an electric auxiliary recoil starter which serves as a backup. The quad uses a standard DPR7EA-9 (NGK) or an X22UPR-U9 (Denso) spark plug.
However, for riders living in colder climates, the manufacturer’s manual recommends DPR6EA-9 or X20UPR-U9 spark plugs instead of the standard ones. Moreover, for those who plan on doing extended high-speed riding with their Foreman 450, the DPR8EA-9 or X24UPR-U9 spark plugs would be an ideal choice for this recreational ATV.
This four-wheeler has a five-speed transmission and comes with reverse gear. A handlebar serves as the quad’s main steering system. Additionally, this all-terrain savage is equipped with the Electric Shift Program, which provides driving convenience to the Foreman 450. That’s because instead of a left foot lever, this quad uses twin push-button gear selectors situated on the left handlebar.
Furthermore, the Honda Foreman 450 is equipped with the TrakLoxTM driveline system, which enables riders to switch from 2WD to 4WD with just a press of a button. This feature makes the Honda Foreman 450 a reliable and versatile riding platform. Not only can this quad travel across the soft grassy knolls of a golf course, but also conquer challenging off-road terrains, like mud bogs and water crossings.
The front wheels of the quad have dual-sealed hydraulic front drum brakes. On the other hand, the rear wheel has a single-sealed mechanical drum brake. Both the front and rear braking systems are operated using the right and left brake levers, respectively. The parking brakes, meanwhile, can be activated by pressing the rear brake lever and locking it in place with a lock lever. Unlocking the brakes requires the rider to squeeze the rear brake lever, which causes the lock lever to release.
The Honda Foreman 450 has independent double-wishbone front suspension systems and a swing arm for its rear suspension. The front and rear wheels both have 5.9 inches (149.9 millimetres) of wheel travel and a turning radius of 11.5 feet. In addition, the rear suspension system is made of durable steel and has two rear shock absorbers, both of which ensures comfort and durability while riding any type of terrain.
The stock Foreman 450 comes with a set of Dunlop tyres. The front wheels are normally fitted with KT401C Dunlop 25 x 8-12, while KT128 Dunlop 25 x 10-12 for the rear wheels.
As for the tyre pressure, the recommended air pressure for both the front and rear tyres should be 3.6 PSI (25 kPa, 0.25 kgf/cm2). These values are also recommended if you are carrying heavy loads on your Foreman 450. The maximum and minimum tyre pressure should not exceed 4.0 PSI (20 kPa, 0.28 kgf/cm2) and 3.2 PSI (22 kPa, 0.22 kgf/cm2), respectively. These figures apply to both the front and rear tyres.
The recommended maximum weight capacity of the Honda Foreman 450, which refers to the combined weight of the rider, modifications/accessories, and cargo, should be 485 lbs (220 kg). The front cargo rack, meanwhile, could carry 66 lbs (30 kg), while the weight limit of the rear cargo rack should not go beyond 133 lbs (60 kg).
Moreover, the recommended weight limit for the Foreman 450’s towing capacity is a massive 850 lbs (385 kgf). On the other hand, the tongue weight should not exceed 30 lbs (14 kgf), while the maximum combined weight of the tongue hitch and rear cargo rack is 133 lbs (60 kg). Meanwhile, the dry weight of the Honda Foreman 450 is 582 lbs (264 kg).
According to the manufacturer’s manual, the 2004 Honda Foreman 450 requires PON 86 or higher. Also, this ATV uses unleaded gasoline would be a better choice because it does not produce as much residue as other fuel types out there, leaving you with a cleaner engine.
The quad’s manual also recommends the use of oxygenated fuel to meet the environmental standards. That is as long as the fuel is unleaded and meets the minimal PON grade.
As for Foreman 450’s fuel capacity, the fuel tank can carry up to 3.2 US gallons (12.1 litres). Apart from this, the quad has a reserve fuel tank that can take up to 0.71 US gallons (2.7 litres).
The powerful all-terrain vehicle measures up to 77.28 inches 1962.91 (millimetres) in length, 45.3 inches (1150.6 millimetres) in width and 45 inches (1143 millimetres) in height. This ATV has a seat height of 33.6 inches (853.4 millimetres).
Also, with the inclusion of the stock tyres, the Foreman 450 has a ground clearance of 7.7 inches (195.6 millimetres). Apart from that, it has a wheelbase of 15.2 inches (1275.1 millimetres).
The Honda Foreman 450 has a sturdy steel chassis, while its body material consists of durable plastic components. Apart from the footpegs, hand grips, brush guards, and a bash plate, this ATV also comes with stock front and rear fenders, fender flairs, and bumpers.
As for its electronics, the Foreman 450 has a digital instrumentation display which adds ergonomics and convenience to the rider. The instrumentation display includes a trip odometer, clock, hour meter, and speedometer, and instrumentation. It also has a gear position display, as well as a temperature warning light and a fuel level warning gauge. Moreover, the Foreman 450 has three headlights—two are mounted above the front fenders and one at the centre of the handlebar.
What Is the Top Speed of the Honda Foreman 450?
While several factors can affect the speed of this all-terrain quad, the maximum speed of a Honda Foreman 450 ranges from 40 to 45 MPH on a straight or levelled surface. For riders who wanted to make their Foreman run faster, most ATV veterans would recommend installing a new jet kit, exhaust pipe, and a quality air filter. With these components, you can increase the Foreman 450’s speed to about 46 to 49 MPH.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Having a Honda Foreman 450?
When it comes to advantages, the Honda Foreman 450 always comes in heavy. This is one of the main reasons this quad remains a favourite among ATV enthusiasts who engage with backbreaking tasks.
One of the features that owners find beneficial from this ATV is its manual gear shifting thumb-switch. Not only are the gear selectors easy to operate, but they also provide convenience because the riders do not have to take their hands off the handlebar to shift gears.
Unfortunately, owning a classic quad with a discontinued production also offers some disadvantages. For that matter, the pros and cons of owning a Honda Foreman 450 are as follows:
- Extremely Sturdy and Robust
Apart from their bulletproof engines, these all-terrain quads are highly lauded because of their durability. The Honda Foreman 450 is a heavy-duty ATV that can withstand any type of punishment. Whether it’s a mud hole or three-foot deep snow, this machine can survive these terrains.
- Easy to Maintain
Since the Foreman 450 has proven itself to be one of the toughest ORV during its time, maintenance has never been an issue to this mean machine. This is one of the reasons why riders love to ride this quad regardless of the terrain. Of course, that does not mean this quad does not need any TLC. With the right amount of care, this mule can last a long time.
- Operates Even Under Extreme Weather
Cold-starting an ATV can be a challenge even among the most experienced riders. This is the main reason why we ought to keep these four-wheelers inside the garage. Otherwise, you would end up with frozen fuel inside the crankcase. This scenario, however, does not happen to the Honda Foreman 450. You can cold-start these machines all the time without fail.
- Outstanding Ergonomics
Aside from performance, we believe that user experience should come in second when riding an ATV. That’s because some manufacturers tend to sacrifice their quad’s ergonomics over other features, like speed or power. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the Honda Foreman 450.
Additionally, like the gear shift selector, the Foreman’s other controls, such as the 2WD/4WD selector and electric start switch, are situated perfectly on the handlebar. This setup gives the rider quick access to these push-button switches.
Apart from that, its seat is just the right height, and that does not put stress on the rider’s knees. Additionally, the vinyl seat cover has the right cushion that anyone can spend hours sitting on the vehicle while accomplishing a backbreaking task.
- Unavailability of Brand New Units
Let’s face it, these quads have not been in production since 2004. Therefore, finding a brand new unit is close to nil. The only Foreman 450s that you will find are second-hand models, and when it comes to pre-loved ATVs, it’s difficult not to come across one that has mechanical issues. Often, a second-hand unit would have problems with the rear axle because of the rust buildup in the splines. In other instances, the rear drum brakes may malfunction after all those years of riding across countless mudholes and shallow water crossings.
- Mechanical Issues in Second-hand Units
Since the Honda Foreman 450 has a nasty reputation for being tough and sturdy, most people often find themselves putting this to the test. As a result, the Foreman gets subjected to various types of abuse, so it’s difficult not to find one that has been subjected to different mechanical concerns. Besides, despite the availability of cheap replacement parts, the idea of replacing the problematic component could prove exhaustive especially if it happens frequently.
Additional Pros and Cons
Performance-wise, the Honda Foreman 450 is an impressive piece of equipment. However, when it comes to rider preference, this quad falls short in some aspects.
One of which is its top speed. Because it was built to be a workhorse, most owners can’t get any faster than 45 MPH. However, while some riders would argue that a higher top speed could prove disastrous, it wouldn’t hurt to gain a few 5 or 6 MPH out of this machine, especially among trail enthusiasts. With that said, here are additional pros and cons of a Honda Foreman 450.
- Optimal fuel efficiency
- Super-low first gear provides excellent driveability and increased hauling capability
- Lighter weight as compared to other ATVs in the 450-class
- Triple front headlights provide ample lighting, especially at night or in snowy weather.
- Multi-role transport/towing platform
- Wide turning radius translates to a low manoeuvrability
- Slow acceleration due to manual-automatic transmission
What Makes the Honda Foreman 450 an Excellent Workhorse?
The Honda Foreman 450 is a mighty quad in every way. With its 433-cc engine, this four-wheeler creates tons of towing power, making it an ideal vehicle for carrying heavy loads, the terrain notwithstanding. In addition, the longitudinal layout of its engine gives the Foreman 450—like its predecessor, the Foreman 400—provides this quad with a lower centre of gravity and increases the efficiency of its drivetrain.
Moreover, the Foreman 450 has created a benchmark on what utility ATVs should be capable of given its capacity to operate under extreme weather. Because of these qualities, the Honda Foreman 450 became a household name in places where you would find back-breaking work, such as fruit orchards, cattle ranches. Also, the 450 has proven itself as an excellent vehicle for hunting and hauling game. These features helped cement this four-wheeler’s reputation as one of the toughest work mules ever that the ATV community has ever witnessed.
About the Manufacturer
Established in 1948, Honda Motor Co, Ltd. is one of the leading companies that are at the forefront of the production of automobiles, motorcycles, and personal power machines, among others. The Honda Foreman 450 is one among the many vehicles this Japanese firm has manufactured. The company also invests in the manufacture and development of jet and motorsports engines, robotics, AI, and other technologically innovative products.
Final Takeaway—Honda Foreman 450
Overall, the Honda Foreman 450 is a versatile ATV that can carry out back-breaking tasks without fail, while at the same time, provide riders with an easy, comfortable and convenient ride. Because of its durability and tough-as-a-mule characteristics, a mint Foreman 450 can outperform any competition in its class, old or new.
With that said, if you happen to run into this classic yet powerful quad, chances are you are looking at a true gem. Of course, we won’t be too surprised if you end up buying it because a Honda Foreman 450 that’s in perfect condition is so worth it.