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My 2018 Rubicon Review and Critique


dook

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I bought a 2018 Rubicon with IRS, DCT, power steering, low range and deluxe package.  I thought I would pass on my observations for others thinking of buying. 

I could have bought a new one for not much more money, but since they quit putting low range in Rubicons I bought a used one. I wanted a foot shift, but couldn't find one with low range so I bought this one.

Power steering: This is the first EPS quad I ever rode. I'm an old school keep it simple kind of guy, but I love EPS. When I first rode this thing, I was amazed at the tight turning radius, Then it dawned on me that it only seems tighter because with EPS I make better use of the steering. Yes yes yes.

DCT automatic shift. I like it, but I would still rather have foot shift. Not only because of simplicity and reliability, but because with foot shift manual transmissions I know the exact moment it will engage, no surprise lunge. If you ask me, DCT is a waste of money. I think they sell 8 times as many DCT as foot shift because they make 8 times as many, not because of demand. I like to ride one handed, I find I don't get tired as fast. Otherwise I would keep it in ES mode. I like to do my own shifting.

Engine. I love the water cooled engine, so much quieter and I expect it to last much longer than an air cooled one. The fuel injection is wonderful and the gas mileage was a pleasant surprise. I don't buy into the "longitudinally mounted" sales talk. Horsepower is not lost by gears and shafts changing direction, it is lost by friction and slippage. This engine is mounted way too high, forcing them to make the seat much higher than it should be.  I don't like the resulting high center of gravity. A cylinder at a 45 degree angle under the gas tank instead of the seat is a better design. Power and smoothness is more than adequate.

Suspension. I have the shocks all adjusted to the softest setting and wish the springs were a little weaker. Otherwise I like the IRS.

Ride quality/rider fatigue:  This is the main reason I bought a Rubicon. I'm old. I love my Kingquad 300's but I hurt all over after 50 miles. I had High expectations of the Rubicon. The foam in the seat seems to be of very high quality and absorbs bumps well. There is one major flaw in the design of the Rubicon that impacts the ride quality....they mounted the handlebars much too far away from the seat.  About 5 inches too far. I find myself riding with my bottom on the front third of the seat and even then wishing I didn't have to reach so far for the grips.  Now I'm 5'11" so about average size rider. A short guy would be riding this thing all hunkered over like a kid on a crotch rocket bike with his neck kinked and peeking thru his eyebrows to see where he's going. That kind of riding has it's place, but not on a utility quad designed and marketed for ride quality. Vertical spine is comfort.

I thought about finding different handlebars, but the cables might not fit, or bind when I turn.  If I was about 6',6", I probably wouldn't notice.

If I find a small frame Rancher with EPS and IRS, I will buy it. If it is as  good a ride quality as the Rubicon, I'll sell the Rubicon, otherwise I will keep both.

 

Edited by dook
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Another thing to add: The suspension travel is overdone, IMO. Unless you're jumping off a ramp and "getting air" or carrying a moose carcass on the rack, you're never going to utilize more than 4" of that travel. The excessive travel neccessitates the high racks which contribute to high center of gravity, especially if you have something like a weed spray tank mounted on one.

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