Blazing Southern California Trails In The 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 Side-By-Side

July 2014 Powersport News

We finally got some seat time in Honda’s newest side-by-side, the Pioneer 500 and we came away from our day’s ride once again impressed with a Honda off-road vehicle.

We took to the trails in California’s San Bernardino National Forest east of Silverwood Lake and got to experience the Honda side-by-side on some tight, twisty 50-inch wide trails. The Pioneer 500 was a champ on those trails.

What impressed us the most? The nifty paddle shifters that are pretty much unlike anything you see in today’s side-by-sides would be near the top of our list. Shifting was easy and with the five speed transmission (in addition to reverse), traversing the ups and downs of the trails was easy. Descending hills was especially fun with the transmission providing much of the braking on those steep descents.

Honda’s proven 475cc four-stroke engine is the right power for this 50-inch wide side-by-side. It’s spunky, has good low-end torque and was very smooth from bottom to top.

Next would be the net/hardside door combo. Yes, the Pioneer has a net but how Honda designed it to work with a hardside door is pretty darn impressive. There is no messing with the nets and the door has an easy-to-open (and close) latch.

The Pioneer 500 is just now showing up in dealership showrooms. With a MSRP of $8,499, it’s an attractive vehicle for outdoorsman as well as those who might need a smaller work vehicle whether it’s on the farm or at a work site.

Look for a full report in the next issue of Dirt Toys Magazine.

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