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ATV, Dirt bike and UTV Reviews Reviews for various ATV's, Dirt bikes and UTV's.

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Old 05-15-2011, 11:44 PM
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Default BuggyMasters Massive Side by Side Review And ShootOut Thread

UPDATED 09/18/2016 - Added Honda Big Red MUV 700

Ok guys..it has taken a LONG time and LOT of money to make this happen but I am proud to say that I have owned just about every major side by side made. Did I mention that this was REALLY expensive. There are only a few machines that I didn't own simply because it was cost prohibitive. Those are the wildcat, xp 1000 and can am Maverick. So I'll review these as I owned them and then give my final analysis at the end. This is a long read but in order to get as much information to anyone that is looking into side by sides and wants to know pros and cons of each, this long read will be worth it. So here we go:

Yamaha Rhino Review






We have owned several of these machines. They have been around since 2004 as the Yamaha Rhino 660 and in 2008 they did a major mechanical re-design on them and turned them the Yamaha Rhino 700. Ours was in facta 2008 Yamaha Rhino 700. Going from a 660 to the 700 didn't just give you more engine. They really beefed the entire machine. All of the drive line coponents were beefed up. We are talking axles and associated parts. In addition to that you go from the carbureted engine to the fantastic fuel injected engine. No more choke. This is one hell of a machine. As you can tell from the pics, we decked ours out. Full cab, heater, wheels and tires, stereo, flamed body kit, bumpers, wind shield etc etc etc. Ours was loaded. Our 700 was governed at 41 mph top speed. We owned a few 660's as well and it is possible that some of the earlier ones didn't have a rev limiter on them but I can't confirm that because the one that made me think that I felt like may have had an aftermarket CDI box on it. It was pretty loaded too. Had a lift kit which is something that I would advise anyone against doing. One common thing that I see on vehicles with lift kits is busted axles. And they can be a pain (not to mention expensive) to deal with. How would you like to be in the middle of nowhere and pop an axle. Granted you may get home but these things are designed to work with a specific set of parameters. Go beyond that and there's no telling what can happen. Knock on wood but ours never gave us a problem. All of our mods were in accessories. We left the drivetrain stock, and it treated us well. In fact, many will tell you that the Rhino is as reliable as they come and I will agree. Treat it right and it will treat you right back. Ya, it's not the fastest one of the side by sides but for a machine to handle work and play at the same time, this is one hell of a machine. The power difference between the 660 and th 700 can be felt but either one runs well. Tilt bed on these too. Another thing different between the 700's and 660's is the braking system. For the 660, you don't have a disk at each rear wheel. There is one disk at the differential that controls the rear braking. I like a disk at each wheel and you get that with the 700. They left the centered disk in for the 2008 and up parking brake. These are single cylinder big piston machines. Lots of thump to them with plenty of torque. These also use the Yamaha Ultramatic transmission. This keeps you from free rolling down hills. Excellent system. Some have commented that it feels like it is binding but that's until you get used to the machine and understand what it is doing. These have a posi traction in the rear, then you can put it in four wheel drive and finally you can push another button to lock in the front wheels for true four wheel drive. They are about 56 inches wide and will fit in the back of a full sized truck. I should also mention that the digital dash in these was not standard until 2007. Earlier machines could get the dash as an add on. What I am not sure about is where the hour and odometer are stored at at. If it is in the dash, then you could potentially get a machine with 2000 hours on it, put a dash in it, and it show 0 hours at first start up. Don't knoe for a fact if that is the case but I suggest to people if you want a rhino, get a 2008 or newer but if you have to get a 660, go with teh 2007 or one that you can easily tell was very well taken care of. These machines are very capable. They can climb a mountain. We know. We did it. See our vids at you tube http://www.youtube.com/buggymasters and look for the Hatfield and McCoy video. It is rumored that Yamaha will be releasing their next version of this machine at the end of summer 2011. Supposed to maybe have a v-twin 900cc. Supposedly been done for two years but they needed to iron out the law suits. Seems people were getting hurt on Rhino's and tried to sue them. Yamaha fought back and has won every single case. Driver error. With the new side by sides stepping up the game, I am hoping that they will in fact release this new machine. I will be there to buy it.
Pros: Super reliable and very sell suited to either work or play.
Cons: Not the fastest machine. Come on Yamaha, step it up. We are waiting.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 8 out of 10



John Deere Gator 825i Review






This was/is John Deere's entry into the "real" side by side world. Gators have been around for quite sometime in many forms however this one is the first one that stepped to the plate as not just a farm/utility machine, but an actual contendor in all-around side by side for sport as well. This machine has one thing that towers over all others in the side by side market: It is the most comfortable ride of them all. Even the awesome Polaris Ranger's ride was 2nd to this machine. Just super comfortable!. As you can see in the pics, ours was decked out in just about every option you could get for these. They top out speedwise at about 46 mph and it was a steady pull the whole way. So not the fastes, not the slowest, but certainly comfortable. Ours had the bench seat in it but I think you can get it with buckets as well. Re-sale on them is very good thanks to the John Deere name. Over all, a great machine. The one "negative" to it is that I read the engines were sourced in China. Quite a surprise! It is a 3cylinder in-line too which makes that unique as well. I believe that John Deere has now even stepped up this machine and they are now producing a more powerful 850i (don't quote me on what they are calling it). Again, there isn't much bad to say about this machine. Good job guys!


Pros: The most comfortable ride of all side by sides to date for us. Cadillac style ride! All round good machine. No major negatives.
Cons: Engine's sourced from China? Really?
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 7 out of 10



Kawasaki Teryx Review





Our machine was a 2008 model which is the first year that Kawasaki finally came on board to the side by side world. This machine is as close to the Rhino in physical configuration as you could get. It is a few inches wider (still under 60). It is a faster machine with a top speed of about 48 mph. It uses Kawasaki's V-Twin 750 power plant and a drag race between this and the Rhino would be a great race to watch. Kawasaki uses an engine brake system that is very similar to the Yamaha ultramatic system in that it slows you down when your foot is off the gas so you don't free roll down hills. Some have commented that this system is common to break however ours was fine. These machines are not good on the resale side of things but that makes them good if you are a buyer because you can get them at a reasonable price. One good thing about the Kawasaki is they have a unique rear brake system. It is a sealed wet system that work beautifully and because it is sealed, the weather can't get to it. They have an unusual locker system for the front wheels when in four wheel drive. Seems as if it is cable operated. YOu pull a lever back that is next to the gear selector and that will lock your front wheels in. This compared to Yamaha land where it is push button activated. There are two negatives about this machine that stand out and are worth mentioning. One is the fact that every carbureted V-Twin kawasaki we have owned have one thing in common. They all had a spare set of spark plugs in a storage compartment somewhere. What sucks even more about that is they are not easy to change either. Because this is so common, that tells us that these machine may tend to foul spark plugs. We don't care to find out. We never had a problem with ours but we didn't own it for a long time either. The second negative about this machine is that ov all of the machines we have tested, it is noisy!! Kawasaki's engine brake system is just noisy. SOunds like a jet engine turning off when you deaccelerate. This is a commonly commented upon thing. Doesn't mean it is blowing up, that's just they way Kawasaki is. Our KFX700 was the same way. I will say that if I were ever to buy another one of these, I would without a doubt get a 2009 or newer. Not only are they fuel injected, thus eliminating your fouled plugs potential but they also have something that is great to have that the 2008's don't: A fuel gauge!!! Ya, I like to have that. There are two common versions of this machine that are worthy to note: The base machine and the LE. The LE gives you a roof and half windshield and more importantly, the bed tilts on the LE. Not on the base! I have also seen a MOnster Energy edition that looked pretty cool. Overall, not a bad machine. Just unique.

Pros: Comfortable machine.
Cons: No fuel gauge on 2008's. Loud engine noise. Non fuel injected models may like to foul plugs.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 6 out of 10



Polaris Ranger XP Review





We really enjoyed this machine. Ours was a 2009 Polaris Ranger 700 XP LE Special Edition. Ours was the Black Metallic edition. They also make a 500cc machine and the new ones are an 800cc machine. I suspect that the 850cc that goes in the big boy four wheeler will eventually make it into these as standard equipment and at 72 hp, that will be a fun engine to have in it! These machines got a face lift in 2009 and we really like the looks of them. The earlier ones were ok but ugly in comparison to the modern machines. Polaris does a fantastic job in the suspension department on these. Very comfortable riding UTV. Polaris also does a fantastic job in their drive engagement area. What I mean by that is they use electronic coils to engage the wheels and the result is that you can really get the best of all worlds in that department. For example, they have what is called a Turf mode. It is one wheel drive. Why would that be good? Imagine you are doing work around the house in your yard. Turn the wheel and hit the gas with any of the others that have posi traction and that tears up the grass. Turf mode saves your turf! Need posi? No problem, just flip the switch up one notch and you are there. Need four wheel drive? No problem, flip it up again and you got it. What is different though is the lack of a locker. I am not quite sure how they do it but Polaris will sense which wheel needs the power and give it to that wheel. At first you may think well when I want it in true four wheel drive, I want to be able to force it and I have to tell you that Polaris does a fantastic job with their system. It just works. What makes it better than one with a locker is that when you lock one in say for example on the yamaha, you can feel it in the steering wheel and it is very hard to steer. That's not the case in Polaris land. They have a great system. WHat they do need improvement in is their CVT system. This machine will free roll down hills. If you want any kind of engine braking you have to give it a little gas to engage the CVT. This does take some getting used to. There is a lot of chatter on the Polaris forum about belts and cvt systems having issues. Ours did fine but we treat our machines very well. I believe you could abuse the Rhino and it could take it. I feel like if you abuse the Ranger, you are going to pay for it but none the less this is a great machine. Something I should also mention about this machine is that it is the best steering of any of them. Super light steering and an awesome and noteworthy turning radius. Our 2009 was a full 60 inches wide and lots of room. One main advantage of this machine was the bench seat which allows three people comfortable seating. Our 700XP had a top speed of 50 mph and my buddy's 800xp does about 59 before it bounces off the rev limiter. The machine is very very stable at that speed as well. Like the Rhino, this machine is very capable of both work and play and leans towards the role of work. Short of the CVT system, we really liked this machine.

Pros: Comfortable and Capable machine. Looks great. Great 4wd system.
Cons: Don't feel it would hold up as well as the Yamaha and don't like the CVT system allowing it to free roll unless you give it gas.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 7 out of 10


Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 Review





Ok..here's one of the Big Boys. It took us forever to get our hands on one of these. There just aren't a lot of them. Like the 700 listed below, this one has all of the great utility features that one would need. Dump bed, bucket seats etc. Blah blah blah on that....here's the good stuff: This thing hauls ass! In fact, I would love to see some power curves on these machines just to verify my thought that I think this one has the fatest torque curve..even more than the mighty Can Am Commander reviewed below. This thing was fat across the board. BWWWwaaaaaaaaaaapppppp......As long as you have your foot in it that's what the thing sounds like. this VS the Can Am which is super powerful but in comparison it winds up more where as the Artic Cat is fat all the time and tapers off at the top. The Can Am just keeps going. There is a video somewhere on You tube showing a guy repeatedly launching his Artic cat from a dead stop and actually pulling the wheels off the ground. Pretty cool. Was happy to get to own one of these. BUT...and you knew there was a but coming...it did suffer from the same type of crap that I am now coming to expect from arctic cat and that is poor reliability. Their batting average is not very good with me at this point. While this one was leaking oil or anything like that, the second time I too, it out it starting firing off trouble codes out of the digital display. I tinkered with the connections at all of the fuel injection pieces and lo-and-behold the codes cleared but they came back a few days later. If Arctic Cat would just pay a little more attention to quality control, I would have loved to have rated this machine higher. BUT...thing is, I want to ride em. Not work on em and wonder what is going to break today. Fortunately these may be machines that defy the standard rules of supply and demand. Normally with a low supply the demand is high. There is not a lot of supply or these and while the rules say that should warrant a high demand which equals high price, that's just not the case with these because Arctic Cat does not have a high demand...Period. I've sold Arctic Cat four wheelers before and they are just not good sellers. Their history of reliability is well known among the masses. Ya...we have had others that were problem free but heck this machine here only had about 130 miles on it. It should have been problem free too. However, this thing exhilerating to drive. Love the power.

Pros: Awesome torque curve coming out of this engine. If you want a machine with a big set of balls, this may be the machine for you.
Cons: Still plagued with Arctic Cat reliability...or should I say lack of. I expect 0 problems for quite some time under normal riding. They again fall short.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 6 out of 10


Arctic Cat Prowler 700 Review





This machine...well...it just wasn't our favorite. We actually owned two of them. What was most notable about it was that in the case of the second one, it only had 232 miles on it and it leaked oil. Quite a bit too. How in the world can something that only has 232 miles on it be in this bad of shape. It also appeared that someone had had the head off of it too possibly. This is a physically large machine and probably the tallest of them. It is abou 60 inches wide and has a center console like the Rhino and Teryx. It's top speed was about 46 or so mph and this single cylinder machine had fair power. Standard posi rear end and you can put it in four wheel drive and lock it in for true four wheel drive as well. The suspension kinda sucked on it because it was a bit on the stiff side. One of the first things I noticed about it was that it felt top heavy. Likely the easiest machine to roll. Another noteworty bad thing about it was the parking brake system sucked. It used one like what you have in a car and it was broken on both of the machines that we owned. These do have a dump bed on them and it was very functional. Overall not a bad looking machine. Arctic Cat just released a sneak peak at a dealer show of their soon to be released sport machine and I will admit that it looks bad ass. However, due reliability concerns, we do not plan on owning another Arctic Car machine. The reliability is what scared me away from testing their mighty 1000cc XTV Prowler. I didn't want to drop the cash on it and then have it break and cost me even more money. I will say though in researching that big 1000cc machine it looked to be quite a beast of a machine. I guess if I come across one that is in fantastic shape for a great price, I may test it out but I am not willing to drop a ton of money on one.

Pros: Their 1000cc looks to be quite a power house. Pretty good looking machine.
Cons: Very poor reliability is evident. I like to ride them. Not work on them. Poor suspension. Poor resale.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 5 out of 10.



Can Am Commander 1000 Review





Oh...the Mighty Can Am Commander 1000. Behold the big bad boy contender itself. This is currently our keeper machine. We, once again, sold our beloved Rhino and this is what we replaced it with. We finally got sick and tired of waiting on Yamaha to release a new machine. This commander is the closest version of what we feel a new Rhino should be made into. All of the utility features you need...and then some...plus all the balls you need to spank just about anything else that comes up against it. we just waxed by buddy's Ranger 900 (not the RZR) this past weekend and it was cake work. This thing is flat out bad ass on the performance scale. And to top it off...it's comfortable to drive! When Can Am created this, they did a TON of research and they came up with a fantastic machine. BUT...and again..there's the but...you will definately pay for it. This thing is EXPENSIVE!!!! I don't think there is a more feature rich machine though out there. It will pretty much do whatever you want it to do. One thing that I am giving them major negative feedback on is their build quality is horrible. If you get one of these, be sure to go through the machine. We found several bolts just laying around in the engine cab area! We went over the whole machine tightening bolts here and there and just general looking it over. Also note that you have to do the first service at the dealership to the tune of $500. You can do it yourself but I am told that they have to reset the maintenance light on it. Also, like most machines their accessories are expensive but in Can Am land they are REALLY expensive. Ours topped out for the first time the other day, spanking my buddy's polaris, at 70 MPH and that's with a full cab on so that's like sending a brick in the wind. The 2013's all come with power steering which I would say is a good addition. Steering can be a little tough on these just because maybe the steering wheel is a little smaller than what we are used to in the Rhino or something. Not a deal breaker by any means though. We'll ride this thing out though and see how it goes. If Yamaha happens to put out a new machine now (and I'm sure they will now that I just dropped all of this cash when I got tired of waiting on them) we will certainly look back towards it. If you want all the balls with all the features of a utility machine at your disposal, this may be the machine for you.....if your wallet can stand the abuse.

Pros: Super powerful...super comfortable tons of good features. Good job.
Cons: Poor initial build quality and CHA-Ching...did I mention how expensive this thing is? They are getting a point knocked off for these two issues.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 7 out of 10



Polaris RZR-S Review



Yep. We owned a 2010 Polaris RZR-S. And I have to say, wow what a machine. Of all the machines we owned, this one is the funnest of them all. In fact, the only real con worth mentioning on these is this serves very little in the way of a utility machine. We found that we missed having the bed to haul junk around in. But from the sport perspective, just wow. There are a couple configurations of these that are worth mentioning. You have your base RZR. This is a trail machine with a width of 50 inches. Up from there is your RZR LE. You don't just get the fancy auto grade paint out of that, you also get the totally awesome Fox racing shocks and I am here to tell you that those things make a world of difference. Also with the LE you get the nicer looking wheels. The RZR-S was born for the 2009 model year. Here's what is important to note about the S: For 2009 and 2010, getting the S (which is 60" wide by the way thanks to factory long travel suspension) got you the Fox suspension. Polaris changed for 2011 and the price of the RZR-S actually went down! Great at first until you realize that the base model S does NOT come with the Fox shocks. You have to get an LE if you want that and I'll say again, that it is worth every penny. You just can't beat the good ol' RZR S if you want the ultimate in buggies. Just a blast to drive.You can jump it, sling it around and just have a ton of fun, and we did! The S also has a header based exhaust system out of this In-Line twin 800cc engine. Unlike the Ranger XP, this machine didn't free roll down hills. It felt just right. This is definately the fastest of the side by sides we owned as well. What I am not sure about with these is the reliability. The RZR forums are abound with things that have been broken but in Polaris' defense, these machines get ridden harder than any of the others on a regular basis. It will be relative to the rider/owner and how it is treated. They mighty XP900 is available as well if you have the cash and I am sure it flies but it should be noted that it is a whopping 64" wide. Great for you west coasters with open spaces but for us guys in the woods of the east coast, it's out of my list of machines that I will own because that's too wide to go down a lot of the trails we have. The RZR-S does a fantastic job though. Just an awesome machine. If you need any utility out of a side by side, this is not the machine for you but if you are all sport, I don't think you can beat it. Plus it looks great too. Seems like it may be a little tight in the interior room department but hontestly it felt great. Great job Polaris. Great job.

Pros: Fun..Fun..and more fun.
Cons: Very minimal utility features. This thing is all sport.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 9 out of 10



Kawasaki Mule Review



Ahhh...the little mule 610. They make a few different sizes of these things. This is what I call the baby. Despite the fact that they call it a 610, this is actually a 400cc machine. Like the Polaris it is four wheel drive and you can go any where from 1 wheel drive up to four wheel drive and lock it in. These are a straight axle machine though. Not a ton of ground clearance. The bigger models have a 600cc plus engine but like this baby mule, it is slow too. These machines are work machines. Ya, you can play with them too and in the case of my buddy's bigger mule we definately played with it in the woods and it survived but that's not really what they are intended for. These have a bench seat which on our little 610, was really only comfortable for two people unless you were hauling around kids which would allow you to fit three. The bigger machine (I think they call them a 3010) hauled three around a bit more comfortably. Our 610 had a governed top speed of 25 mph and the bigger machine that my friend owned was no faster than that either. On the other hand, my father in law has a 610 like ours and that thing has over 1500 farm hours on it. It just got it's second belt put on and the only other thing we ever had to do was put a starter on it. Very reliable machine. I consider these more like a gas golf cart with a dump bed. You can't do a ton of off roading with them but at least with the case of the bigger one, it can be done. We did it.

Pros: They appear to be very reliable and serve their function well
Cons: Slow. Low ground clearance with the straight axle rear end.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 7 out of 10.


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Old 02-02-2014, 04:18 PM
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Default Honda Pioneer 700 Review

Honda Big Red 700 MUV Review






If you didn't know it, it was Honda who gave us our buggy hobby that we love so much that you are on BuggyMasters. It was them who came up with the most awesome Honda Odyssey and the even more awesome Honda Pilot. Many people hear those names and think of the minivan and the SUV but, no, they were actually originally designated to Honda's two stroke fun machines. Super fun...so much so that people eventually got crazy on them...then the lawyers got involved...and after just a few short years they just quit making them.

That didn't stop other companies from seeing the potential...and the profits. The only downsides to those Honda bad boys was that they were single seaters. Other companies decided to take it another step further, and gave them two seats, a dump bed, and made them utility machines and thus the side by sides were born.

Honda stayed out of the game for quite a long time and finally they saw the light, so to speak, and the Big Red was born. Or should we say re-born. The name was originally married to Honda's 3-wheelers of the 80's (which were great machines as well...but again..crazy people...lawyers...you get the picture) but Honda felt their new side by side was worthy of name. Plus it was Big...and it was Red...so why not.

And big it is! This is one of the biggest side by sides on the market, period. And in fact, when it came out it was the biggest on the market coming in at a whopping 64" wide and over 1400 lbs!! But these facts have some pros and some cons. For example, it has a ton of cabin space! And it is really a comfortable ride. In fact, the only machine that rides as good as this is the John Deere gator 825 that we reviewed above. An no other machine has this much room on the inside from a drivers perspective. Now, as to the cons, it's big and heavy so you are not going to be winning any drag races with it. It's not "slow" per se (guessing a top speed of about 40mph) but other than the baby mule 610, it is one of the slowest of the bunch. In addition, at 64 inches wide, this could cause you problems in public riding areas as many places design their trails for 60" machines. With the new big Polaris machines coming in equally as wide, this should be less and less of a problem as time goes on.

It is quite capable in the utility department. It will take 1000lbs in the bed and you can tow 1500 lbs. I would have liked to have seen a little more clearance out of it. It's just over 10 inches and most other machines have around 12. The drivetrain is borrowed from the Rincon ATV and carries it's 3-speed car like transmission. So ya...it shifts just like a car! So much like a car that it even has a torque converter. There are a couple things to consider about this type of transmission. Most of our other side by sides are belt driven. So if the belt breaks, you simply pull the cover, put on your new belt, put the cover back on and go on your merry way. The Honda...well.. no belt. So maybe since you don't have a belt to worry about that's just one less thing to worry about. BUT...If the transmission goes on this Big Red, it's not going to be as easy as swapping out a belt. How well it will hold up we just don't know. We have had a few of these and all of them have been fine. Maybe Honda has the right idea. I'd like to tell you how many hours and miles we have trouble free with it but that leads me to our other con: There is no hour meter and there is no Speedometer/Odometer! Not sure what they were thinking on this one! None the less, any one that we have had with this configuration was still running strong without issue. We like these!

Pros: Big and comfortable! Lots of room and fantastic ride. If you are looking for mostly utility, this might be the machine for you.
Cons: Big and heavy. You are not going to win any races with these. If you are looking for mostly sport, this is not the ATV for you.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 7 out of 10.

Honda Pioneer 700 Review






After Honda's 1st attempt into the side by side market with the bohemoth Big Red, Honda decided the needed to make some refinments and try to come up with something that people would love. This is where the Pioneer was born. The Big Red was huge and frankly it was ugly. They shrank the machine down to 60 inches, and put in some rather nice styling cues which many believe they stoled from the Polaris Ranger. Seems what they really did is put together many side by sides into one and came up with the Polaris. This has pros and cons.

For example the machine looks very similar to a Polaris Ranger in the front end and it really is a pretty good looking machine. On the bad side, driving the machine feels like driving the Kawasaki Mule 610. Despite being a 60in wide machine, the interior space feels very small from the drivers perspective. In addition, the machine rides like the mule too. This is not a good thing at all. In fact this machine is near the top of the worst ride list. It is very bouncy and my wife hated riding in it after owning machines with excellent ride characteristics like the Polaris Ranger or the Can Am Commander. Even the Rhino without the Fox suspension rode better.

The powerplant in these is the same 680 (+/-) cc that was in the Big Red and their Rincon ATV. What makes the Honda unique among all side by sides is they actually have a car style 3-spd automatic transmission using a torque converter as well! This, like many other aspects of this machine, has pros and cons. On the good side is the fact that without the belts driven transmission like the other side by sides, you don't have the belt noise! The Kawasaki Teryx for example makes you feel like you are sitting on top of a jet engine. The Pioneer has no transmission noise. Quite impressive. BUT...and there's that but again, I would hate to be at the losing end of the wallet when this thing breaks. Who knows, maybe in won't but I'd hate to have to pay for it if it does break. I've talked to people in ATV land that talked about the transmissin breaking and just listening to what it cost them to fix it will make your wallet scream bloody murder.

Also to consider is that just like in a car, an automatic transmission costs you in the rear wheel horsepower department. The Pioneer comes in at the bottom area of the power department of all side by sides we have owned. If being the fastest machine out there is not on your important list and that auto trans is appealing, this is a non issue. If you want fast, look elsewhere. In addition, I was very disappointed in the camming on this machine. The machine seems to run out of umphh at the top of 2nd gear and you can actually feel it seat of the pants.

Had to come back and add this paragraph. In fact, I can't believe I forgot because this was THE deal breaker for me in not keeping this machine. We have one patch on one of our trails that is essentially two ruts from trucks running through it in the past. Any side by side that goes down this trails gets in these ruts. The Pioneer drug its belly the whole way through it!!! This was the first full size machine that made be think about ground clearance! I think they have it listed at 10" and after research, of all the full size machines, that's the lowest of the bunch and the fact that I noticed it makes it worth noting. Curing this would take some bigger tires (or something else along those lines...maybe a lift kit) so it just added to my disappointment in the machine.

This machine does have one factor about it that shines quite brightly and that is the price. In an age where a side by side costs as much as a nice car I can't believe I am complimenting a manufacturer on having a price of $9999 but compared to others, that is hard to beat. Just remember, you get what you pay for. Not that this is a bad machine, but when you've owned just about every one made, you have something to compare it too and the Pioneer falls short in many ways, simply in comparison to what else is out there. The machine as a whole is not bad. Just not top of the line. Look towards a Can Am Commander or Polaris but be prepared to pay for it if you go into Can Am land. Also, the dealers are claiming that these things are selling before they even hit their floors so they are commanding full price for them. I found no dealer willing to come off that sticker price at the time of this writing.

There are two other things that I would like to give kudos to Honda for. One is their accessories are very well done. In the one pic you see the machine in stock form, and the other after we put a full cab on it. The prices of the accessories were typical but they fit rather well and installs required only moderate mechanical skills. This machine is the best of all of them when it comes to owning a machine that leans well to heater installation. They had a perfect spot for it under the hood and install was not too painful.

The 2nd thing is that they were very smart in coming up with a 4-seater model (called the 4P) that uses the bed for rear seats...from the factory! Very clever Honda.

Lastly, I will say this: It's a Honda!!! Those words have brought security to many in the area of reliability. Will it be as reliable as the reputation perceives it to be? Only time will tell.

Pros: Excellent price point compared to others. Quiet drivetrain compliments of the auto trans.
Cons: Lower ground clearance! Ride and power are both at the lower end of the bunch. I was hoping for more from Honda but you get what you pay for.
BuggyMasters Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10


2008 Yamaha Rhino 700




The number one pick for BuggyMasters after adding the big boy machines:

About now, some of you may be saying "Hey, you already reviewed this machine". So why am I mentioning it again? Because this is STILL our machine of choice. So much though that it actually made me do something I have never done before and that I am not very likely to do again: It got me to buy it twice! Yep. We sold it about two months ago and I told the guy if he ever sold it, hit me up first. He did and I bought it back. It is currently in our Man Room and will remain there until something else is put out that I feel I will like better. Yep, despite the fact that I rated the RZR-S higher, that's only because for it's purpose, the RZR-S does a spectacular job. What it does't do is everything that I need it to do. We found out real quick just how much we enjoyed the ability for a machine to double as both a Sport machine and a Utility machine. The RZR can't do it. I would have rated the Rhino a 9 as well had Yamaha stepped up their game by now and got that new Rhino released. It is only because the Rhino is under powererd compared to all of the other modern machines that I took a point off. Otherwise, you just can't beat it. Not if you are looking for all sport, go the route of the RZR but shop wisely. Those things are commonly abused. If you need one that does a little bit of everything, the Rhino is our first choice. The Polaris Ranger would be next in line but the reason I like the Rhino better is because I don't like that CVT system that Polaris uses on the Ranger. Granted, my friend that got me hooked on Side by Sides rides his XP800 as a sport and utility machine all the time. That is just his flavor. I like the bucket seats. That's my flavor. To Arctic Cat: You guys really need to work on the reliability factor. To Kawasaki on the Teryx, not a bad machine. Put some dynomat in that thing to quiet it down. The Mule...well it's just too much like a golf cart.

If speed and power were my number one concerns, the Can Am would be the machine of choice. Loved the big Arctic Cat but reliability is way low on it. In it just for fun with minimal or no utility? Then look to the land of Polaris. Granted the new Can Am Maverick is out now with a whopping 101 HP but it will have a whopping price tag on it too. My Polaris was very reliable for me. The Maverick is so new at the time of this writing I'd have to give it time to prove itself.

I hope this thread shedded some light on these things for somebody.
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