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2021 Rubicon DCT test drive

wataboy

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Dec 22, 2016
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So before the 700-4 I had a 2002 Kodiak 400 4wd CVT that I, like a dummy sold to my neighbor thinking the 700-4 would be the do-all machine. In hindsight I should've kept the Kody as a companion to the Pioneer since my daughter doesn't like driving it because "It's too much like driving a car".(and I must agree there's something about a set of handlebars and straddling a seat that gives a greater sense of fun/freedom)

Anyway I bought a 2000 Big Bear 400 2wd a couple of years ago thinking it would suffice but we never cozied up to the foot shifter action. It was too notchy and required too much pressure even when warm and the auto-clutch adjusted per the manual. I've had Hondas in the past & know what good shifter feels like. So I sold the BB today and am looking at going back to something automatic and 4wd.

I think I have it narrowed down between a Kodiak 450(the newer ones are basically like my old one except w/ IRS & FI) and a Rancher 420 DCT. I'm very familiar with Yammie's CVT and think it's the best on the market. Never had a lick of trouble out of my old one. So to compare I went to test drive a DCT today at the local dealer. I rode the Rubicon just because it was the easiest to get out the door.

The DCT in auto mode gave me a weird feeling. When you ride a foot shift (or even the DCT in manual mode) your body anticipates the gearing up/down motion and braces itself accordingly cause you know when that motion will take place but with the DCT in auto it catches you off-guard and you move forward/back a little before your reflexes react. It wasn't too bad and probably something you'd get use to over time but I thought it worth mentioning. I've also heard the DCT's shift smoother after they get some miles on them. What was fun was banging through the gears without releasing the throttle.

I guess now I need to test a Kodiak to see if it's as good as I remember it being. :p
 
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Adam490

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So before the 700-4 I had a 2002 Kodiak 400 4wd CVT that I, like a dummy sold to my neighbor thinking the 700-4 would be the do-all machine. In hindsight I should've kept the Kody as a companion to the Pioneer since my daughter doesn't like driving it because "It's too much like driving a car".(and I must agree there's something about a set of handlebars and straddling a seat that gives a greater sense of fun/freedom)

Anyway I bought a 2000 Big Bear 400 2wd a couple of years ago thinking it would suffice but we never cozied up to the foot shifter action. It was too notchy and required too much pressure even when warm and the auto-clutch adjusted per the manual. I've had Hondas in the past & know what good shifter feels like. So I sold the BB today and am looking at going back to something automatic and 4wd.

I think I have it narrowed down between a Kodiak 450(the newer ones are basically like my old one except w/ IRS & FI) and a Rancher 420 DCT. I'm very familiar with Yammie's CVT and think it's the best on the market. Never had a lick of trouble out of my old one. So to compare I went to test drive a DCT today at the local dealer. I rode the Rubicon just because it was the easiest to get out the door.

The DCT in auto mode gave me a weird feeling. When you ride a foot shift (or even the DCT in manual mode) your body anticipates the gearing up/down motion and braces itself accordingly cause you know when that motion will take place but with the DCT in auto it catches you off-guard and you move forward/back a little before your reflexes react. It wasn't too bad and probably something you'd get use to over time but I thought it worth mentioning. I've also heard the DCT's shift smoother after they get some miles on them. What was fun was banging through the gears without releasing the throttle.

I guess now I need to test a Kodiak to see if it's as good as I remember it being. :p
I have a 2018 Rubicon DCT/EPS and it's been a fantastic machine. I think I have about 750 miles on it, so it's just a baby still. It plays in mud pretty regularly and the only thing I have replaced other than wheel bearings is an o2 sensor. Pretty sure the o2 crapping out was due to fouling from not riding it regularly.
 
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Backwoods

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So before the 700-4 I had a 2002 Kodiak 400 4wd CVT that I, like a dummy sold to my neighbor thinking the 700-4 would be the do-all machine. In hindsight I should've kept the Kody as a companion to the Pioneer since my daughter doesn't like driving it because "It's too much like driving a car".(and I must agree there's something about a set of handlebars and straddling a seat that gives a greater sense of fun/freedom)

Anyway I bought a 2000 Big Bear 400 2wd a couple of years ago thinking it would suffice but we never cozied up to the foot shifter action. It was too notchy and required too much pressure even when warm and the auto-clutch adjusted per the manual. I've had Hondas in the past & know what good shifter feels like. So I sold the BB today and am looking at going back to something automatic and 4wd.

I think I have it narrowed down between a Kodiak 450(the newer ones are basically like my old one except w/ IRS & FI) and a Rancher 420 DCT. I'm very familiar with Yammie's CVT and think it's the best on the market. Never had a lick of trouble out of my old one. So to compare I went to test drive a DCT today at the local dealer. I rode the Rubicon just because it was the easiest to get out the door.

The DCT in auto mode gave me a weird feeling. When you ride a foot shift (or even the DCT in manual mode) your body anticipates the gearing up/down motion and braces itself accordingly cause you know when that motion will take place but with the DCT in auto it catches you off-guard and you move forward/back a little before your reflexes react. It wasn't too bad and probably something you'd get use to over time but I thought it worth mentioning. I've also heard the DCT's shift smoother after they get some miles on them. What was fun was banging through the gears without releasing the throttle.

I guess now I need to test a Kodiak to see if it's as good as I remember it being. :p
I had a 05 kodiak 450 bought new i should have kept it. I had a rubicon 04 model also new the kodiak was way better to me . It was the first year they had IRS . I. Sure the Honda is much improved now with all the changes over the years.
 
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Sheetmetalfab

JOEBIDENMYEAR
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On tough low range riding its important to shift to manual mode so it won't shift at a bad moment.
Even in manual it will downshift at bad times.
( think steep climb wheelie over)

Run in a lower gear at higher rpm to avoid this.
 
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wataboy

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Dec 22, 2016
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Had a chance this weekend to read through the 2020 Rubicon DCT owners manual online and found this on pgs 94-96:

5. When speed increases, release the throttle and upshift to 2nd gear by pressing the upshift switch once. 6. Repeat this sequence to progressively upshift to 3rd, 4th and 5th (top) gear.

Learning when to shift gears comes with experience. Keep the following tips in mind:
• As a general rule, shift while moving in a straight line.
Close the throttle completely before shifting. Improper shifting may damage the engine, transmission, and drivetrain.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but I thought one of the joys of a DCT was no-lift shifts. All the high-end sports-cars and even VW and Kia models tout this. Did I mess up the demo I rode by doing this?
 
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Mudder

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Have a 2016 Rancher 420, DCT, IRS, PS. No issues shifting without letting up on throttle in manual mode. Its a great machine. Best downhill engine braking on local hills in auto mode. And now there is talk about a new P520 with DCT.
As far as owners manuals, they also say not to let the engine get wet, Ha Ha.
 
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