PUTTING OUT POWER
The Honda Pioneer 500 sports the
same peppy, liquid-cooled, EFI, 475cc,
single-cylinder engine that is found in
the Rubicon line of Honda 4x4 ATVs.
In 2016 the Pioneer 500’s automatic
transmission was moved from gear to
gear by paddle shifter only. We know
that sounds weird—an automatic that
you shift—but it is truly an electronic
automatic transmission and not a CVT
with a belt. For 2017 you are able to
select from a fully automatic mode for
the five-speed, electric-shift transmis-
sion, or you can select manual mode
and use the handy (see what we did
there) paddle shifters. You can switch
between modes at any time, even on
the fly. Obviously, this machine is ori-
ented for work or towards hunting/
camping-type recreation. The Pioneer
500 can handle towing 1000 pounds
(the same or more than many small
FWD sedans), and the rear rack can
tackle 450 pounds.
While the Rubicon has plenty of
power, in the Pioneer, the same powerplant is motivating additional weight.
The Rubicon quad weighs just over
700 pounds, while the Pioneer 500 is
PIONEER Though the Pioneer’s track is as narrow as a quad, the interior is comfortable for two, and it has a robust safety cage, seat belts, doors and window nets for safety.