Honda power steering takes the strain out of riding

Anyone spending extended periods on ATVs will know how bicep-curling it can be manouvering trailers in and out of tight lambing sheds all day, or traversing over hilly and often bumpy hillside.

To alleviate some of the hard work, Honda has added an electric power steering model to its TRX420 line-up. The new FPM model retains features like a five-speed transmission, 420cc engine and electric-shift switchable 4×4, but gains the company’s new EPS system.

This mounts to the steering stem and uses several components to reduce feedback and make turning easier. The setup includes a torsion bar, sensors, ECU, slider pins, a motor, worm gear, nylon ring gear and an input and output shaft. Alongside all this, the EPS system also includes rubber bushes on either end of the worm gear to reduce free play and chatter. This means that, the faster the ATV travels, the less feedback there is. The system doesn’t just measure speed, but also handlebar torque input from the operator.

Engineers have also added additional 2WD and 4WD maps to the ECU in order to reduce the resistance felt by the rider. Essentially, with the EPS and additional mapping, the TRX produces a lighter steering effort and reduced steering angles which makes it particularly effective at slow speeds in 4×4, and even 2WD control has been vastly improved.

According to Honda, everything is one solid unit developed solely for ATVs and different from that used in cars. Although Honda says the system is speed sensitive, it takes a little bit of getting used too. The steering is so responsive you get the feeling that one wrong move at speed will leave you donut-ing before you know it. But the system’s effectiveness is proven at the end of the day, when it’s still possible to turn over a tup, or lift a few bags of cake effortlessly (almost).

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