2015 Honda Pioneer 500 First Look 0

In early 2013 Honda announced the end of its Big Red UTV, clearing the road for a new model, the Pioneer. Honda has now revealed it will expand its presence in the UTV segment in 2015 with another, smaller iteration of the Pioneer – the Pioneer 500.

Honda's new Pioneer 500 is compact and affordable.

Honda’s new Pioneer 500 is compact and affordable.

The Pioneer 500 is a compact version of its larger sibling, powered by a 475cc liquid-cooled Single. It features an electric-shift five-speed transmission with reverse gear, engaged by paddle shifters located on the steering column. Fueling is managed by a Programmed Fuel Injection system with 36mm throttle bodies and power is delivered to the wheels via direct front and rear driveshafts.

Independent double-wishbone suspension set-ups on the front and rear sport 5.9 inches of travel, with the back-end offering pre-load adjustability. Dual hydraulic brakes pinch 190mm discs out front and 200mm discs in the rear.

Size, or lack thereof, is one of the key features of the new Pioneer 500. Measuring 50 inches wide, the 500 can explore size-limited trails and fit into the back of a pick-up. It’s got a 73.1-inch wheelbase, 9.6 inches of ground clearance and a turning radius of 13 feet. Claimed weight is listed at 1010 pounds, almost 400 pounds less than the standard Pioneer model as tested in the 2014 Honda Pioneer First Ride.

The 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 is 50 inches wide, allowing it to explore tighter OHV trails.

The 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 is 50 inches wide, allowing it to explore tighter OHV trails.

Despite its stature, the Pioneer 500 is built to handle work as well, with a rear rack payload capacity of 450 pounds and a 1000 pound towing capacity.

Additional rider amenities include a single-unit door/net on both the driver and passenger sides, a Roll-Over Protection Structure which conforms to OSHA requirements as well three-point seat belts.

The 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 is small enough to fit in a standard truck bed.

The 2015 Honda Pioneer 500 is small enough to fit in a standard truck bed.

Lee Edmunds, Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications, said of the Pioneer 500 in a company press release, “My first drive in the Pioneer 500 was an eye-opener. It’s really fun to drive, and the paddle shifters bring a whole different kind of experience that helps make it a blast. If you’ve been thinking about a side-by-side purchase, the Pioneer 500 will definitely put a grin on your face whether you’re taking care of jobs around your property or taking off on a weekend adventure.”

MSRP is listed at $8499 and available colorways include Red, Olive, Yellow and Honda Phantom Camo. Honda also plans to offer a host of Genuine and Signature accessories, from plow blades and winches to skid plates and windscreens.

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