Powersports / ATV / Recreation
Introduced in 2003, Honda's Rincon climbs to new highs in 2006
For 2006, Honda's flagship ATV, the FourTrax® Rincon®, takes on a whole new persona thanks to a wealth of improvements, including a larger engine with programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI), new chassis elements and new colors that include NaturalGear™ Camouflage.
Revolution on four wheels
In 2003, the Rincon broke new ground with more Honda firsts than any ATV in recent history. It boasted Honda's largest liquid-cooled four-stroke ATV engine, first automobile-style automatic ATV transmission, SUV-style radial Dunlop tires, a new rear center hydraulic disc brake system mounted on the rear propeller shaft and Honda's first fully independent rear suspension system. And that's just the short list. The Rincon also boasted Traxlok®, enabling riders to switch between 2WD and 4WD with a simple thumb-operated switch, Electric Shift Program (ESP®) that allows shifting by simply pushing buttons on the left handlebar and a torque-sensing front differential that reduces torque steer for lighter steering effort in 4WD.
The following year, Honda added a Rincon GPScape™ model, featuring a GPS unit contained within the standard meter assembly and featuring storage for up to 100 waypoints, digital compass function indicating travel direction and an automatic compensating clock.
Nothing else even came close to the Rincon's technical sophistication.
Bigger. And better.
Now, in 2006, the Rincon models take another great leap forward with an engine that grows in displacement from 649cc to 675cc, reflecting the new TRX®680F model designation. This boost comes by way of a larger bore in the single-cylinder powerplant, growing from 100mm to 102mm. Also, the cylinder is now of cast-sleeve design, which permits cylinder boring to an oversize of plus 0.25mm should the need ever occur. In addition, the Rincon now sports a new camshaft for added power, a new exhaust system to ensure quiet running, a rollover sensor that cuts engine power in the event the machine overturns, plus another Honda ATV first--a PGM-FI system with 40mm throttle body that replaces the carburetor used in previous Rincon.
These changes result in eight percent more torque at a higher rpm peak--up from 4500 rpm to 5000 rpm. Meanwhile, the horsepower peak remains at 6000 rpm, although peak power jumps approximately seven percent compared to the 2005 Rincon, changes that yield a higher top speed than before. More durable crankshaft bearings and beefed-up transmission gears ensure durability over the long haul with the Rincon's additional power.
PGM-FI makes the world a better place
The Rincon's PGM-FI system boasts a high-tech 12-hole split-pattern fuel injector to maximize fuel distribution to both intake valves. There's also a high-pressure fuel pump with a built-in reservoir to feed the system.
In general, fuel injection brings a wealth of smart-think benefits that can adjust to real-world variables in a seamless, automatic fashion--all of which makes the riding experience that much more enjoyable. In addition to increased power output, some of these other benefits include improved fuel consumption; the elimination of the choke circuitry for easy cold starting; automatic altitude compensation to 12,000 feet; automatic temperature compensation from -13o to +104o Fahrenheit; faster engine warm-up; and smoother idle control, thanks to the idle air control valve (IACV), which establishes a basic idle setting of 1400 rpm, plus or minus 50 rpm.
And to improve overall drivability, the Rincon's automotive-style torque converter also features improvements in 2006 that allow for faster warm-up to better accommodate cold-weather riding.
As would be expected, the shift from carburetion to PGM-FI dictates the deletion of a fuel petcock with a reserve setting. Now the PGM-FI-equipped Rincon incorporates a fuel gauge, and when the fuel level reaches the E symbol a low-fuel warning light begins to blink. At that point, about 1.1 gallons of fuel remain in the tank, enough for approximately 28 miles of reserve range.
More innovative thinking went into the Rincon's high-pressure fuel pump. For a fuel pump to provide consistent fuel delivery, it needs to be submerged in fuel. Other manufacturers place the pump in the main fuel tank, but this can reduce fuel capacity. For the Rincon, Honda designed a separate aluminum tank to house the fuel pump, mounted out of harm's way in front of the engine between the top shock towers. This allows the Rincon to maintain its fuel capacity. The sub tank also works as a trap for contaminants, and includes a drain in the tank to purge any particulates that worked their way into the system.
Battery capacity also has been increased significantly in 2006, from 14AH to 18AH, but if at some point the battery becomes discharged to the extent that the electric starter will not function, the Rincon still offers an auxiliary recoil starter, which incorporates an automatic internal decompression system for easier starting.
Tougher. And smarter.
For 2006, the Rincon also features a reusable urethane air filter that can be washed, unlike paper filters. Also, should the filter become immersed in water it can still be reused; paper filters, by comparison, are destroyed by water immersion.
This year the Rincon also gets new dual front disc brakes for added stopping power. These 180mm disc brakes feature Honda's self-centering collet-style brake calipers first introduced to the ATV line in 2005. These calipers also feature patented integrated scrapers to eliminate buildup of debris such as mud or ice.
In addition, new valving in the rear suspension make the Rincon more adept than ever when the going gets rough, and other enhancements make the shock action smoother in operation than in the previous unit as well.
A big difference that's hard to see
To top it all off, this year the Rincon sports a camouflage pattern, one scientifically designed by NaturalGear Camouflage. For riders who are looking for a machine with a highly effective camo pattern, this new option will certainly become a favorite.
Let's see: With more power, better drivability, improved rear suspension and stronger brakes, plus the option of camouflage bodywork, you could say Honda's flagship has only strengthened its grip at the top of the big-displacement ATV ranks.