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Finding Your Way is as Simple as GPSCAPE

How do you make the worlds best all-around ATV even better?
By making it even more versatile.

When they were introduced in 2000, Hondas FourTrax Rancher family quickly secured its role as the ATV benchmark for pure versatility and fun. And now with the new 2004 FourTrax Rancher Automatic (AT) and Rancher AT with optional GPSCAPE, Hondas taken those familial traits and kicked them up a notch.

Rancher GPSCAPEAt first glance, your eyes sweep over SUV style cues taken directly from the radical Rincon. The Rancher shares the same high fender line that provides a lighter, airy appearance; reinforcing bumps on the fenders that lend a taut, modern look; and tighter integration of the bumpers, headlights and taillights for a refined and free-flowing style.

The Ranchers all-new air-cooled single-cylinder OHV four-stroke dry-sump engine has fresh reserves of power and torque that put extra punch behind its newly refined appearance. Honda engineers increased bore and stroke to 85.0mm by 70.0mm (compared to the 2003 Rancher engines, 78.5mm by 68.0mm) for a sizable 21 percent displacement increase, from 329cc to 397cc. Fire it up and thumb the throttle, and you'll instantly notice the extra displacement yields big jumps in torque and horsepower20 percent and 10 percent respectively.

Coupled to the ATs all-new engine cases is a version of the Hondamatic automatic transmission used in Hondas FourTrax Foreman Rubicon, one engineered to be smaller and more efficient than ever before. Hondas exclusive Electronic Shift Program (ESP) still offers precision manual control, and the addition of Hondas innovative TraxLok system allows the rider to select 2WD or 4WD via a simple thumb-operated switch. A 32mm carb, now with 20 watts of heating power, makes for easier starting in cold weather, and for hot weather the Ranchers oil cooler now has three extra rows.

Hondas 2004 Ranchers also enjoy a variety of technological advantages over their competition, which aids the Ranchers ability to play just as hard as they work. A longitudinally mounted powerplant provides direct drive-shaft alignment to both front and rear wheels (4WD model only), reducing frictional losses compared to a conventional setup. The muscular engine is also remarkably compact, thanks to an innovative design that includes an industry first, a unique dry-sump system that places the oil tank inside the crankcases. The system contributes to a low engine height, and optimal placement of the engine in the chassis for a lower center of gravity and better handling. Plus, in another industry first for Honda ATVs, the 2004 model offers an optional GPS system, GPSCAPE just one more thing that keeps the Rancher AT a step ahead of the competition.

Rancher GPSCAPEThe Rancher AT chassis matches the powertrains sophistication, with independent front suspension, sealed drum brakes and a torque-sensing limited-slip front differential that minimizes torque steer and reduces steering effort when 4WD is engaged. Load-carrying capacity remains exactly the same: A 10-pound weight increase over the existing Rancher is matched by a 10-pound increase in GVWR, to 1068 pounds, while rack capacities stay unchanged at 66 pounds at the front and 133 pounds at the rear. At 850 pounds, towing capacity is also identical to the existing Rancher, with a hitch as standard equipment.

With more power, a more sophisticated version of Hondas revolutionary Hondamatic automatic transmission, and the industry's first integrated GPS system, the 2004 FourTrax Rancher AT/FourTrax Rancher AT GPSCAPE models establish even higher standards of performance and versatility. And that's the kind of thinking and technology that will ensure the Ranchers status as the best all-around ATV the world has ever seen.

Picture it:
You're out riding your ATV, and you get lost. Every landmark you memorized looks identical. Or this: You're a hunter or fisherman, and you find the perfect spot. By the time the next season rolls around, though, the location has fallen out of your head to make room for more important information, such as the theme song to Gilligan's Island.

Rancher GPSCAPE DisplayIf you were aboard Hondas FourTrax Rancher AT with optional GPSCAPE, though, you'd be golden. GPSCAPE could tell you precisely how to get back home. It could also tell you where that perfect location iseven 10 years later. And it does so with disarming ease and simplicity.

Under research and development for three years, Hondas GPSCAPE employs the fundamentals of Global Positioning Satellite technology. A radio receiver picks up signals from at least four of 24 ground-controlled satellites orbiting the Earth. The signals allow the receiver to calculate its distance from the satellites, and from that it calculates its your exact position on the planet.

Sophisticated, yet extraordinarily simple in operation, the weatherproof GPSCAPE system lives in the Rancher ATs instrument housing. Below the LCD readouts for the speedometer and gear indicator are Mode and WPT (Way Point) buttons. The Mode button allows the rider to select GPSCAPE, as well as a compass, a clock, odometer, tripmeter, or hourmeter. Selecting GPSCAPE also causes an arrow circumscribed by a circle to appear on the LCD display. The WPT allows the rider to select and store a way point; that is, the current location. Doing so locks-in your location on the face of the Earth, so the rider can find the way back to that point. The arrow on the LCD face points the direction to the chosen way point. As an added convenience, GPSCAPE can store up to 100 way points especially useful if a rider is in unfamiliar territory.

Other GPSCAPE features include the ability to override a way point. Just ride to a new location and number it with an old way-point number; the old location is then erased. And GPSCAPE can recall any of its 100 way points for up to 10 years; even if the Ranchers battery goes dead, the information stays in the GPSCAPE systems memory for that long. What's more, selecting the compass function via the Mode button transforms the circumscribed arrow on the LCD panel to a compass. Plus, experienced users will be able to program in specific latitude and longitude figures.

Although GPS devices have been around for more than a decade, Hondas GPSCAPE offers several advantages compared to hand-held units. For instance, GPSCAPE is always with the vehicle; you don't have to worry about setting it down somewhere and losing it, or running over it, or dropping it into a lake or stream. GPSCAPE also runs off the Ranchers battery, which means its backlit display will stay illuminated at night when you need it to; hand-held GPS units typically wont last more than about one-and-a-half hours when backlighting their displays.

Perhaps what's most important, though, is the ease and simplicity of operation of Hondas GPSCAPE. That's what could make the difference between getting home in time for dinner, rather than suffering the same fate as the denizens of Gilligan's Island.

2004 FourTrax Rancher AT/FourTrax Rancher AT GPSCAPE Specifications
Model TRX400FA / TRX400FGA (with GPS)

  • Rancher GPSCAPEEngine: Type 397cc air-cooled OHV dry-sump longitudinally mounted single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Bore and Stroke: 85mm x 70mm
  • Carburetion: 32mm CV
  • Ignition: DC CDI
  • Starter: Electric with auxiliary recoil
  • Transmission: Fully automatic hydromechanical, continuously variable,
    with electronic controls
  • Driveline: Direct front and rear drive-shafts with torque-sensing limited-slip front differential
  • Suspension:
    Independent double-wishbone; 5.9 inches travel
         Rear: Swingarm with single shock; 5.9 inches travel
  • Brakes:
    Triple-sealed hydraulic drum
         Rear: Sealed mechanical drum
  • Tires:
    24 x 8-12
         Rear: 24 x 10-11
  • Length: 80 inches (2031mm)
  • Width: 43.9 inches (1114mm)
  • Height: 45.2 inches (1147mm)
  • Seat Height: 32.4 inches
  • Ground Clearance: 7.2 inches
  • Wheelbase: 49.1 inches
  • Turning Radius: 10.8 feet
  • Dry Weight: 559 pounds
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gallons, including 1.1-gallon reserve
  • Colors: Red, Olive, Yellow

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