smaller roots, rocks and ruts won’t
phase the shocks. Larger obstacles
will gobble the 10. 3 inches of ground
clearance, and the full-length skid plate
will protect the underbelly. It articulates
well, despite the torsion bar that fights
body roll in turns.
HOW IS IT IN THE DEEP STUFF?
Got gills? The huge still airbox rides
behind the cab, and it draws air from
behind the passenger’s seat. There’s
no CVT belt to worry about, and the
Blackstone tires are fairly aggressive,
but ground clearance is only 10. 3
inches. It’ll get stuck in deeper ruts, and
there’s less splash protection than with
Big Red. Taller tires will tax the three-speed transmission and 675cc engine
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
It’s awesome! Vibration is super low,
thanks to the engine-mounting system,
and Honda fitted vinyl barriers under
the seats and a seal behind the cabin
to keep dust away from occupants
and the engine intake. Exhaust noise
is pleasant, and the intake noise in the
cab is minimal. The front benchseat
and folding rear seats are plush and
comfortable, and the controls all have
a light feel. However, weights on the
seat belts lock the belts on braking and
during G-outs that mimic braking.
HOW ARE THE BRAKES?
Excellent. We like to see four-wheel
disc brakes, but the three-disc system
on the Pioneer 700 works well and
stops the UTV quickly. The parking
brake is strong as well, and there’s
an ignition cut-out when the P-brake
is engaged. Also, the transmission
ECM creates more engine braking on
downhills. Good stuff.
WHAT ABOUT DURABILITY?
Hey, it’s a Honda! We only got a few
HOW GOOD IS THE HANDLING?
Better than Big Red! With longer
A-arms all around, aggressive tires ( 8
inches in front), less body overhang and
less weight, the Pioneer 700 4 turns
sharper and more predictably than
the Big Red, despite a 28mm-longer
wheelbase. It tracks well and goes
where you point it, and the Pioneer is
more stable at speed—until you bottom
it out and upset the chassis. The 2P
Pioneer is 171 pounds lighter than Big
Red, and the Pioneer 4 is 37 pounds
less, but it carries more human cargo.
We hope the Pioneer Sport 700 has
adjustable piggyback shocks, but until
then, Race Tech will be all over the
WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND ROOTS?
You’ll barely feel them. Honda tuned
the shocks for a plush ride, and the
turn performance is sporty enough to
be fun. Rock crawlers may want a low
HOW’S THE NEW SUSPENSION?
Ample and plush. With 2 more
inches of travel, front and rear, than
the Big Red, the Pioneer is capable
of greater trail speeds, and the ride
is plush. It has more travel than the
Rhino, Viking, Teryx and Teryx4, but the
Honda shocks don’t have piggyback
reservoirs like the Kawasakis or Sport/
SE Yamahas. Hard drivers will blow
through the 7. 9 inches of front travel
pretty easily, and the two-ply front tire
collapses when the shock bottoms.
Rear travel is 9.1 inches, and the rear
tires have four-ply construction. Balance
is good between the front and rear,
but only the rear shocks are preload
Styling is RZR-like, and the front bumper
doubles as a grab bar, unless you go with an
accessory winch. The dual 37.5-watt headlights look mean too, and the hood eases
access to the brake-fluid reservoir, fuses and
Here’s the frame with the front upright
attached. Eight bolts pinch the frame halves
together, while lugs keep alignment correct.
Check out that long oil-emulsion shock and
locking front diff.
Removing a center panel reveals the huge still airbox between the
rear floorboards, and the intake is ducted behind the passenger seat,
where Honda took great pain to seal the area from dust.
From right, dash-mounted levers control drive mode (2WD/4WD/diff-
lock), range selection (R/N/F) and the parking brake. The non-tilting
steering wheel is comfortable.