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It's a fun little machine for sure. I got mine about 5-6 months ago and have about 500 miles on it so far. I mainly use it to ride around with the family and explore some of the easier trails but I've also hauled a decent amount of wood out of a rutted, muddy/snowy part of my woods with it and it performs impressively. It fits down most Atv trails but because of its size, speeds are usually a bit slower.

It's geared extremly low thru the first 3 gears. 1st gear is labeled "low" on the display and it's over before 5mph. I usually start out in 2nd. 4th and 5th gear are cruising gears and the top speed is 40mph with 2 - 200lbs adults.

My biggest complaint about the Pioneer 500 is the suspension. Suspension travel is only 6" and the stock shocks were definitely tuned for working. Even when set to the softest preload position, it's a little bit rough. I've heard that removing the rear swaybar allows the rear shocks to fully compress but I've yet to try it.

It comes extremly bare from the factory so I've customized mine a little bit. Ive added the Honda front bumper, hard roof and rear cargo tray. I've also swapped the tires/rims to 26" ITP terracross XDs on 12" ITP hurricane rims and purchased a warn provantage 3500s winch that I've yet to install.

It's a great machine and everyone who has had the chance to ride it has come away impressed. My friend is looking to buy one for his family as well after spending a weekend here riding. I don't think your family will be disappointed.
 

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After driving both a Razr and a Pioneer, I would definitely take the Pioneer. It handles better, rides better and the transmission in the Pioneer works much smoother than the belt drive in the Razr.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm still on the fence for what to get her....

Some of the less expensive rides are getting my attention... Polaris 450 with EPS to name one.

With that you get power steering, IRS, 4wd (all 4 wheels), and all for around $6,000.

For a woman who will never be "giving it hell" or running it hard... The Polaris sounds like a good fit.

And she doesn't want gears...

I'm buying two machines, one for her and one for our 9 year old son ... Buying for the kid is a daunting task, none of the kids ATV's have both ground clearance and suspension travel.... You either get one or the other, not both.

My Rubicon is first and foremost a work machine.... These other 2 will be just for play, we've decided a trip or 2 each year to Royal Blue sounds like fun...

I know the kids machine will limit our trail options, as well the wife's lack of riding experience... But I want to get them both something they can grow "with".... Not grow "out of".


Tough choices...

Odd as it is.... Polaris may just get my business on both machines.

The 450 EPS for her and a Sportsman 110 for him.... But Arctic Cat is still in the running for the kid, for ground clearance.... The AC has almost 8", the Polaris only has 4"...
 

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Ya I'm in the same boat as you still undecided....still will keep my 420 but like to get a sxs and to have a spare bike when one breaks down ..looking at the wildcat trail edition or the pioneer 500 used...
 

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I know this is an old thread, but ...

I was set on the Pioneer 500. I had looked around and determined that's what I wanted. I had a neighbor who let me drive his Pioneer 1000 and I was sold. But I wanted a smaller unit for less money.

So I went looking at prices.

Then another neighbor brought his Pioneer 500 over and I drove it.

Too much noise. Engine noise. Just deafening. We had to yell at each other even tho' we were head to head side by side.

So I ended up with the Rancher 420 as I was still sold on Honda and the shaft drive.

In fairness, my neighbor with the 500 had a windshield, hard top and back window or windshield on it which I'm sure held in the noise more. But still it was too much.

On the 420 I did wear ear plugs for a while, but I discovered that the 420 is not too noisy, and the trails here all involve 4000 feet of increase in elevation, and the plugs restrict the pressure change in my head.

Ever the 500 owner said he was surprised when he drove the 1000 as to how much quieter than the 500 it was.

I have elsewhere read about this issue on the internet. I was surprised no one mentioned it here. I realize the op here made his choice long ago, probably.

It's surprising this would be the case with a Honda. I have had many of their motorcycles, and they sound about like a sewing machine. Purring like kittens. But the Pioneer 500, how can it be so noisy?
dc
 
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