When trail conditions call for slower speeds, the Pioneer has the edge in suspension comfort.
The Honda pulled this full-size, 500-pound ATV trailer easily. It is rated to pull 2000
lower gearing than the Honda—low
enough that we chose to do some
of our rock crawling in high range.
We were worried about the belt, but
never felt or smelled any hint that we
were abusing it. Suffice it to say that
there is plenty of power and a wide
range of “gearing” options with the
CVT. But, you will feel a gap between
low and high that we’d like to see a
little closer, but it never caused any
problems for us.
For the low-speed, choppy trails
and climbs we spent a lot of time
on, the Honda is noticeably smoother
with suspension that passes less of
the trail chop to the driver and passenger. When the Pioneer 1000-5 EPS
or Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe are heavily
loaded, their self-leveling rear suspension uses a series of hydraulic
chambers to automatically adjust to
the correct ride height. The General
got better when softening the compression, and we have heard that
the Fox shocks get smoother with
more miles on them. If you want the
General suspension to absorb more,
hit the same bumps harder and faster.
As the speed in the rough increases,
the Polaris is smoother and better
controlled, and you feel the additional
inches of travel. The Fox shocks have
three compression settings you can
choose from, operated by an easy-to-turn knob. Push the Honda in the
rough and the ride gets a little wal-lowy, and it has less composure in
whoops. Neither of these cars should
be your first choice for whoops. They
aren’t designed for that.
So for work, hunting, camping and
other activities where blasting the
rough would leave your stuff bouncing out on the trail, the Honda has
a comfort edge that is hard to deny.
fectly smooth on initial engagement.
Engine braking is great, and it is set
to provide just what you want in most
cases. Mash the throttle and accelera-
tion is rapid enough to squat the rear
suspension some and push you back
in the seat. The riding area closest to
us had UTV-legal trails that are either
easy roads or severely steep, rutted,
rocky and filled with obstacles that
keep speeds down. As a result, the
General had little significant power
advantage over the Pioneer. When
things opened up, there is a signifi-
In low range the Polaris has much
Another benefit of the Deluxe General is this six-speaker
You will need to look for something heavier to reach the
General payload: 600 pounds of firewood won’t fit in the compact bed.