Capture the Pioneer Spirit
The Grand Canyon’s scenic wagon trails once used by the pioneers of the West were the ideal place to experience Honda’s Pioneer. The combination of hard, flat roads, windy trails, and steep, rocky paths allowed riders to see how the machine handled an array of terrain. Not to mention, the breath-taking scenery and exhilarating experience of riding a UTV through the Grand Canyon.
We stayed at Bar 10 Ranch for the event. Located on the north rim of the canyon, the ranch has been hosting Grand Canyon visitors for decades. The ranch has more than 13,000 visitors per year, mainly tourists rafting down the Colorado River. In addition, Bar 10 is a working cattle ranch with grass fed North American Devon beef.
The Pioneer features several unique features for a UTV: an automatic transmission, convertible seats, and a rack-and-pinion steering system. The automatic transmission and torque convertor accurately made shifts up and down. The engine braking was also great on the steep, downhill sections of the trail. Another bonus of this transmission – there aren’t any CVT belts to wear out.
With most UTVs, you need a longer, crew cab to fit four seats. When Honda designed the Pioneer, they wanted to give the option of four seats without making the machine any longer. They achieved this with two front seats and two seats that fold out of the cargo box. After taking a ride in the back on some pretty rough trails, I can tell you that these optional seats are surprisingly comfortable.
Another design goal for the Pioneer was to build a durable, reliable machine with a $10,000 price point. To help achieve this, Honda made the decision to forgo power steering. However, they still wanted a UTV that was easy to drive. The solution is a simple rack-and-pinion steering system that is light, reliable, and requires low maintenance.
If you’re in the market for a UTV, you’ve probably noticed that most machines have doors, nets, and in some case, as in the Pioneer, they have both. Nets and doors may seem like a bit more of a hassle than having one or the other. But when you're riding through tight trails with brush, the combination helps keep you from getting scratched up.
At this time, Honda is offering two versions of the Pioneer: the 700 and
700-4. The Pioneer 700, which is the two-person machine, is available
for $9,999. The Pioneer 700-4 seats four people and starts at $11,699.
Want to know more? Click here to see the Pioneer in action and read more about the machine.
Honda recently hosted a group of journalists at the Grand Canyon to test the Pioneer.