Farmers, local park rangers find likely workhorse in Honda UTV

Farmers, local park rangers find likely workhorse in Honda UTV
By: Kole Rushmore Last Updated: February 24, 2020

When a local farmer came into Honda of Michigan City’s showroom, he was on the hunt for a true workhorse, rugged - for both work and play. That’s when Keith “Katfish” Jones, showed him the Honda Pioneer series.

“These things have a lot of different uses. He really liked how the Pioneer had the capabilities and power of a four-wheeler and the versatility of a pickup,” said Katfish, the general manager of Honda of Michigan City. “He was really wanting something that could haul a fertilizer tank with a sprayer on the back and the Pioneer could do that, plus some.”

With a 2,000 pound (one-ton) towing capacity, the capabilities of Pioneer are ideal for a farm, or otherwise. The Pioneer series is rooted as a Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) with the versatility ideal for any climate. (Hint - there’s a winter storm watch in Northwest Indiana on Feb. 25, y’all).

“You can do almost anything with a Pioneer,” Katfish said. “It can plow snow, spread salt, or fertilizer. Farmers use them on their farms and fields because they’re so powerful and I know a lot of families that pull a wagon or trailer behind them. The Dunes National Park has the Honda Pioneer 1000 because they’re so versatile when it comes to Northwest Indiana’s climate and terrain.”

A snowplow is one of the Pioneer’s many accessories, with a coated blade that is durable and corrosion-resistant. It can handle hills and uneven terrain with its shock- and impact-resistant features, and has adjustable gravel skids to control the plowing level. 

Katfish mentioned that one of the biggest advantages of the Pioneer series is that its vehicles are equipped with some of the same technology you can find in passenger vehicles. 

“They’re just like a car but you can drive them offroad,” he said. “While most of the other side-by-sides are belt driven, the Honda Pioneer isn’t. It’s all direct front and rear driveshafts.”

Don’t let this lean, mean, 4X4 machine intimidate you. They require low upkeep and are designed to keep both the driver and passenger(s) safe. The Occupant Protection Structure uses large-diameter tubing and meets the OSHA’s rollover protection standards.

“These machines are solid, very well put together, and pretty maintenance-free outside of regular oil changes,” he said. “They have complete roll bars on them to keep everyone in the Pioneer safe.”

There are a few different variations in the Pioneer series. Regardless of which one you fall in love with, these machines were engineered to work and play, bringing a new meaning to the word “workhorse.” Powering the Pioneer 1000 is Honda’s class-leading 999CC Twin-Cylinder engine, which uses the same Unicam cylinder head design found in the company’s motocross bikes. 

“They come in a few different sizes,” Katfish said. “You can get them in a 500 CC, 700 CC, or they make a 1000 CC and all three will throw you back in your seat.”

It’s not just great for work, however. The Pioneer is ideal for some good ol’fashioned four-wheelin’. 

“The Pioneer sits up higher than a lot of other side-by-side UTVs, which makes it great for any type of terrain. A lot of people are taking their Pioneer up to Silver Lake State Park to ride them on the sand dunes. Badlands Off-Road Park is also another favorite place to take the Pioneer,” he said.

If you ask any Pioneer owner what they love most about their UTV, the accessories and customization abilities are typically at the top of their list, right up there with its capabilities. From the option to seal up the inside cabin during the winter months to customizing seat covers and tire rims, Pioneer owners can create their dream side-by-side.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to accessories on these machines and customers love it,” Katfish said. “They’re enclosing the cabin, changing out the door panel, a windshield, roof, and mirrors.”

Want to learn more about any of the 2020 Honda Pioneer models? Be sure to contact, Honda of Michigan City, one of the best and most experienced teams on any of Honda’s power sport vehicles and accessories in the Region.