Almost everyone knows that Honda has been leading the way to off-road adventures for decades with its history of producing dominant trail bikes and ATVs. However, Honda was the original company who ‘thought outside the box’ and became responsible for revolutionizing alternative vehicles for off-road mobility with its 1977 Honda FL250 Odyssey. Although it only had a single seat, the Odyssey was a cross between an off-road go-cart and a miniature buggy, but it was the genesis for what would become the modern side-by-side.
It took no imagination for other companies to look at the Odyssey platform and imagine a larger engine while squeezing an extra seat inside its frame, hence, the modern day side-by-side industry happened. And now, Honda is the ‘red standard’ of this industry with its already established Big Red® MUV, its Pioneer™ 700 and Pioneer 700-4, and the newest and smallest member, the Pioneer 500.
In 2008, Honda’s Big Red MUV was introduced as the company’s first multi-purpose utility vehicle, which was powered by a 675cc liquid-cooled OHV (overhead valve) single-cylinder four-stroke that performs well at high altitudes. The fuel-injected 675cc power plant also earned its way into the future when Honda chose to utilize it for the new Pioneer 700 (two seater), and it would also power the Pioneer 700-4, which could seat up to four people. So with a solid, proven engine, Honda’s engineering team went to work designing a platform capable of a rugged performance with sophisticated looks and an affordable price tag.
For the Pioneer 700, its rugged performance can be defined by Honda’s fully independent front and rear suspensions, which mean a smoother ride over rough terrain. It can be operated in two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive with front differential lock. It also features a 1500 pound towing capacity and can handle 1000 pounds of payload in its tilt bed which has a hydraulic-assist strut.
The Pioneer 700-4 has all the same features but it has an industry first; a convertible rear seating design that redefines versatility. This special feature allows for the full use of the bed and its tilt function or the ability to setup for the seating of either the two, three or four person seating configuration.
With their modish lines and contemporary form, the entire lineup of Honda’s side-by-sides look sporty and rugged. The safe and uniquely planned OCS (Occupant Protective Structure) cage and the over 60 accessories (genuineaccessories.honda.com) allow Honda’s side-by-sides to have an assortment of vehicle customizations.
One of the greatest of Honda’s achievements is their below-market prices of each of its side-by-sides. The industry leader takes no shortcuts but still delivers the highest quality for the lowest prices.