Honda has extended its TRX500 (Foreman) range with the introduction of three new models; bringing independent rear suspension (IRS) and dual-clutch transmission (DCT) to the line-up for the first time. The new models are as follows: - TRX500FM5 (manual, IRS) - TRX500FA5 (automatic, IRS) - TRX500FA6 (automatic, IRS, power steering) All three build upon enhancements made to the last new models launched in January 2014 - most notably the stiffer, lighter double-cradle frame, redesigned EPS setting and enhanced fuel injection system - but with further developments based on customer and dealer feedback. One of the most fundamental changes is the move to IRS which delivers much improved performance capability, comfort and ride. IRS significantly contributes towards a 55% increase in towing capacity (600kg) and payload compared to previous models, as well as ramping up rack capacities to 45kg (front) and 85kg (rear). IRS also offers increased suspension travel of 215mm (front) and 185mm (rear), both of which can be adjusted to suit load and conditions. Additionally, the new frame, introduced in the January 2014 models and adjusted to accommodate Honda’s IRS system, delivers improved torsional rigidity for class leading handling and comfort, and a smoother ride. The TRX500FA5 and FA6 feature Honda’s dual range automatic gearbox, offering the choice of automatic or manual modes with Electric Shift Programme (ESP). The introduction of DCT in automatic mode – for the first time on the Foreman range – means reduced power loss which delivers fuel efficiency gains and a smoother ride. A new dual shift mapping programme takes feedback on how the bike is being ridden from the ECU, and changes gear accordingly. Tried and tested on Honda’s market-leading motorcycles for years, DCT contributes towards a 12.5% improvement in fuel economy compared to the outgoing models that the FA5 and FA6 replace. Other enhancements to the new TRX500FM5, FA5 and FA6 aim to increase capability, comfort and performance, including: High/Low box – providing low-range power for climbing steep slopes, pulling away and negotiating demanding terrain Dual-purpose reverse/parking brake lever – one hand operation; pull in for reverse, and push forward to engage parking brake Full coverage front bumper – tougher all-steel bumper which wraps around the headlights and features integrated mounts for a winch attachment High function racks - offering an increased cargo area with large steel plates including additional tie-down points New tyre construction – revised Maxxis tyres featuring a new tread pattern for increased grip and enhanced comfort and handling Brighter lights – 50 watt assist light, 35 watt headlights, with optimised light distribution Thicker, wider seat – thickness increased by two inches, more optimised shape and ‘gripper’ texture vinyl New grips – similar to those on Honda CRF motorcycles, half waffle texture design, diameter increased by 2mm for improved ergonomics and comfort The enhancements are a result of customer and dealer feedback, competitor benchmarking on handling, comfort and features, and an increased emphasis from Honda R&D on utility usage. The aim is to broaden the product offering to offer the most functional and capable range on the market, coupled with Honda’s continued commitment to the highest levels of durability, quality and reliability. The new models will be available with a two year warranty from Honda Authorised dealers from January 2015. At launch, the TRX500FM5 is priced at £7,200, the FA5 £7,490 and the FA6 £7,790 including VAT. ENDS Specifications EngineTRX500FM5TRX500FA5/6Type475cc liquid-cooled OHV longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke475cc liquid-cooled OHV longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-strokeBore & Stroke92.0mm x 71.5mm92.0mm x 71.5mmCompression ratio9.5:19.5:1Fuel SystemInductionProgrammed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), 36mm throttle bodyProgrammed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), 36mm throttle bodyFuel tank capacity14.7 litres (inc. 4.9l reserve14.7 litres (inc. 4.9l reserve)Electrical SystemIgnition systemFull-transistorised with electronic advanceFull-transistorised with electronic advanceStarterElectric with optional auxiliary recoilElectric with optional auxiliary recoilDrivetrainClutchAutomaticAutomaticTransmissionFive-speed with reverseAutomatic ESP five-speed with reverse and drive/lowDrivelineDirect front and rear driveshafts with TraxLok® and locking front differentialDirect front and rear driveshafts with TraxLok® and locking front differentialChassisDimensions (LxWxH)2147mm x 1205mm x 1237mm2147mm x 1205mm x 1237mmWheelbase1292mm1292mmGround clearance241mm241mmCurb weight*308kg319kg (FA5), 326kg (FA6)SuspensionFrontIndependent double-wishbone; 7.3 inches travelIndependent double-wishbone; 7.3 inches travelRearIndependent dual-arm, 8.5 inches travelIndependent dual-arm, 8.5 inches travelTyresFront25 x 8-1225 x 8-12Rear25 x 10-1225 x 10-12BrakesFrontDual hydraulic 190mm discDual hydraulic 190mm discRearSingle hydraulic 170mm discSingle hydraulic 170mm discCapacityTowing capacity600kg600kgFront rack capacity45kg45kgRear rack capacity85kg85kg*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.