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I had been researching the big bore market for quite some time after selling my previous quad. A '92 Suzuki King Quad which in its own right was one of the best, if not the best in its day. I did a lot of searching, reading, riding and talking before being sold on an '03 650 Kawasaki Prairie originally. I only kept the bike for 2 days before re-selling it back to the dealer. Basically I was already used to an Independent rear end quad coming from the King. So I decdided to be paitent and not jump in too quick again and continued looking. I needed IRS I felt because of the very rugged mountain trails and terrian here. I have always been a Honda fan for their quality and service.

So now I have opted for the '05 Rincon non-gps model. Basically it has about the same amount of drawbacks as the Prairie 650 did, only in different areas. No one can judge for themselves until they have ridden these bikes in the types of terrians where they will be used. Others' opinions are hard to draw conclusions from. So I decided to try the Rincon because I had read it was more of a trail bike.

First off Power/Motor. A big debated issue with the Rincon. When I first got the bike home it felt quick and nible. Not as quick or strong on the bottom as the 650 Prairie though. It did have a bad sputter or hesitation right on the bottom if you hit WOT. So I got the dyno jet kit and installed some different jets and re-adjusted the carb. This did help. The hesititation is gone completely now and the quad has a little more low end. After I did this mod I also installed a K&N High Flow Air filter. Now the Rincon will wheelie if you hit WOT and pull back on the bars pretty good. Power is good and is ample for this bike but is not its strong point or key feature like the Prairie. It's only part of the package. I would also rate this Honda motor above any in terms of reliability and quality. Honda's strong point has always been the longevity and dependability of their engines in pacticular.
One thing that kind of eerks me about this engine is the cold natured beast. It is very cold natured and it hasn't even gotten real cold here yet but needs the choke to start usually and then often dies or takes a very ample amount of time to warm up. I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give the Rincon a 7 in Power/Engine.

Handling/Ride/Tranny. Probably the Rincon's strongest feature is the suspension and handling ability. Although even that is somewhat hampered by the 3 speed transmission in certain conditions and no low speed engine braking.(More on that in a minute). The quad handles and turns very easily and with precision. It's easy to break the rearend loose and power slide this quad also. It is a blast to ride this quad on open roads, logging roads, or fire roads. The faster, the better it likes it and you always feel in control. It isn't overly plush either like some have reported the Sportsmans to be. It's more on the sporty side with the IRS ground clearance. Also the quad isn't too big or bulkish feeling on the trails either.

Here's the problem. If you are going to be riding the Rincon in very steep or moderatley steep trail conditions you may have trouble. And not just decending or downhilling. The 3 speed's 1st gear is pretty tall and it's too tall for serious trail riding in very rugged and steep conditions. You can not lug or crawl at very slow speed on technical trails with this bike. It is simply not made to go slow with. Up or down. Up you are always giving it more throttle than you should have to and going down is probably worse because there is NO engine braking at slow speed. The quad basically freewheels like it was in neutruel when downhilling. It's not a big problem unless your riding conditions are of this kind. Great in the flat or hilly country but where I live there are some of the most steep rugged mountain trails around. I am an experinced rider and it's made me hold my breath on a couple occasions when decending steep inclines.

Also when climbing you need a lot of low end power to creep or crawl or to blast up a short steep incline while using only a small amount of throttle to remain in control. It fails there also because of the tall first gear. You can do it, just not as well as others with a low first gear or low range or manual transmission. Another note about the tranny, as with the engine, as the oil also flows through the tranny it takes an ample amount of time for it to warm up and shift correctly. When first started, it may want to rev high before really moving and does not perform as well as it does after being ridden for 5-10 minutes. So fast speed handling I will give the Rincon a 9. Slow speed handling in the above conditions a 3.

Finish Style and Build. That's where Honda truly shines and is really what sold me on this bike at the dealership. The Honda quality is second to none and the plastic and finish on this bike are outstanding. Truly the best looking, built big bore I have seen. The LCD display is great also as are the brakes. Some have complained about front drums but I have no problems with them and the rear disc will stop you in a heartbeat. And you will be needing to if riding in the steep terrian!! Also with Honda there are no belts, period. Which even if you like belt trannys it's still one less thing to go wrong. The low maintenance factor is also key with Honda as oil changes are about it, besides the brakes with this bike. I just completed my 100 mile first service and it was no problem for me. Another thing I noticed coming from a Prairie is the quietness of this bike. Which is another plus for me, it is very quiet, more so than the belt driven CVT type quads. Another note having no reverse override is a bummer.
Also the shaking at idle complaint is bogus to me. I could care less if the bike shakes or not. It smooths right out as soon as throttle is applied. But this is a problem for some? So in this department Build/Style I give the Rincon a 10. Odds and Ends. I feel the Rincon is a GOOD bike but not a great one. It has good features for certain people in certain conditions it may be perfect. For me it is not, and much like the Prairie which had good engine braking, it lacks certain features I think would really help my style of riding. So there are trade offs with each brand.
Best decide which fits you best and don't simply make up your mind in the dealer's parking lot. There are not too many steep hills there!! Keep that in mind when deciding. I may keep the Rincon for awhile longer or may sell it if the opportunity comes. I am looking at trying a 750 Kawasaki Brute Force out now as many have said it is a complete package that has more of the features that would suit my conditions better.
 

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Atvboy,
I enjoyed your analysis of the Rincon. I have had mine for over a year now and truly love it. Sometimes when I see the new machines from the other makers, I get envious, but not for very long. I have done some technical riding with my Rincon in GA, PA, and UT. Several areas that could be improved are a lower 1st gear. This hasn't been problem yet, but would be nice. Now I have to apply more power than I like to get over some rocks that I wouldn't have to do it the gearing was lower. The engine braking issue is really not a problem for me. Once you get used to the brakes it is a non-issue. In UT, I was following some of the "other" quads in some preety rugged terrain and there were several times that they couldn't make it ober a rock until they shifted into low range. I went over them no problem. I was impressed with the Rincon performance. The more I ride it, the more the little things don't bother me.

John
 

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Hi ATVboy, I'm in NC also and I know what you're talking about with the hills.Also, your thread was a very good analysis.Be careful of the 750 Brute though.They are fast and sem like a complete package.One of my friends bought one 3 mos ago and it's been in the shop for different things more than it's been on the trails.Recently he rolled it backwards into a shallow creek bed, just an easy rollover, nothing too bad, and it twisted his frame, broke one front tie rod and cracked the block.To me it seems to be put together very weakly. Just my opinion, and the guy who still has it in the shop too...lol.Like you said though, they all have thier good and bad points, just need to find what pleases you and go with it.
 

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one trick for descending steep hills is throw it in 4wd and use the back brake,i can stop mine on any hill doing this..i ride at windrock in middle tn and there are plenty of hills here...i agree though following some one who has a low gear(grizz),you better give them lots of room on a steep hill becuase you will catch them real quick if you rely on our engine breaking..
 
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