Area51 Project - French's '03 Honda Foreman 450es:
2003 Honda Foreman 450es
450cc Oil/Air Cooled Single Cylinder 4 Stroke
5-Speed Electric Shift Transmission
Factory Selectable 2wd/4wd
26" ITP Mud Lite XTR Radial Tires
12" ITP Chrome/Black Steel Wheels
Ricochet Aluminum Skid Plate Kit
Tubular Front & Rear Bumpers
48" Moose Snow Plow
WARN 2500lb winch
When French started riding with our crew many moons ago he was cruising the trails on a 1999 Polaris Sportsman 500 seen in the background above. It was a great bike when it ran properly and was outfitted with awesome Mud Bug tires. It had lots of power and a comfortable ride with its 500cc engine and independent rear suspension.
Unfortunately as the bike aged, power and comfy ride gave way to unreliability. Problems with the electrical system would lead to the electronic front hubs unlocking and so on.
Fortunately for Mark his father was looking to upgrade his very lightly used 2003 Honda Foreman to a new 660 Yamaha Grizzly, so they sold the Polaris and Mark upgraded to the much more reliable Foreman.
While Mark's dad owned the Foreman we spent an evening in the garage wiring in a thumb warmer and an upper headlight override switch so you could turn off the top light if carrying a large object on the front rack, therefore reducing glare.
When Mark got the bike it was very much stock minus some dealer installed accessories such as a Warn 2500lb winch, front & rear bumpers, and rear foot rest/fender protectors.
Mark's first official ride was the May 24 trip to Maffer's cabin in Tors Cove in 2005.
By labor day of that same year, Mark ditched the stock tires and rims for some much more aggressive treads! A set of 26" Maxxis Mudzillas were mounted on beautiful black and chrome ITP steel wheels
The Mudzillas were an awesome tire but were heavy. With a nearly 2" deep lug we found that riding bog often required the use of 1st gear to turn the tires when loaded with thick mud.
The following year the Mudzillas were sold and a set of 26" ITP Mud Lite XTR's installed which were a much better all round tire.
Mark was never afraid to make the bike work, successfully carrying out many moose over the years with absolutely no trouble!
Even this massive 16 point bull couldn't stop the Foreman "tank"!
When Mark built his new house the Foreman also doubled as snow plow working hard to keep his large driveway clear for quite a few winters.
In the fall of 2013 Mark retired the trusty Foreman trading it in for a brand new 2014 Yamaha Grizzly 700 which was a great upgrade in comfort, power, and trailability!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith