Your Honda Pioneer lives off-road most of the time. When you’re cruising around your property, it’ll chew through rough terrain no problem. But before you take it on the road, you need to know if you can actually go the speed limit. Otherwise, you’ll be the person leading a long line of angry motorists just waiting their turn to pass you with a few choice words.
We’re taking a quick look at the Honda Pioneer 1000’s top speed and seeing how it compares to the Pioneer 700 and 500. Even if the Honda Pioneer and all its iterations aren’t designed to be the fastest vehicles on four wheels, top speed is a valuable spec, and one we know you’re curious about.
The top speed of a side-by-side is limited by its performance, so you might be tempted to look at just the horsepower and declare that more horsepower equals more better.
While more horsepower is certainly an important performance indicator, it’s just one of several. The three features that work together to define any vehicle’s top speed are:
The drivetrain plays a super important role in your UTV’s ability to get going, but it’s really tough to define. You’d have to look at every gear reduction, every inefficiency, and all the spinning weight to really understand how it affects your top speed.
So let’s look at the quick and dirty performance info we get from weight and horsepower specs. By looking at the horsepower-to-weight ratio, you get a decent sense of any vehicle’s performance—the lower the ratio, the better.
Here are the horsepower-to-weight ratios of the Honda Pioneer 1000, 700, and 500.
So, just by looking at the horsepower-to-weight ratio, we should expect the 1000 to be the fastest. And even though the 500 has a lot less horsepower than the 700, they have a virtually identical ratio. Will they have the same top speed? Let’s find out.
The Honda Pioneer 1000’s top speed is 67 MPH. That’s a pretty useful speed—it’s higher than the maximum speed limit in 9 states and just 3 MPH slower than the maximum speed (70 MPH) in another 22.
If your Pioneer 1000 is street legal where you live, you’ll likely have plenty of speed to get around on and off the trail.
That being said, running your Pioneer at highway speeds for a long period of time can wear it out quickly. It’s built for off-road action more than long-haul traveling.
The Honda Pioneer 700’s top speed is 45 MPH. It won’t keep up on every road out there, but it’s no slouch either. It’s fast enough to make short work of chores and rip through trails if that’s your thing.
Plus, it’ll get you down most roads without causing a traffic jam.
The Honda Pioneer 500’s top speed is 40 MPH. But wait a minute. Didn’t we say that the Pioneer 500 and 700 had the same horsepower-to-weight ratio? Does the difference in top speed come from the drivetrain?
In this case, the top speed of both the Pioneer 500 and 700 is limited by the speed limiter on the machine. Both machines are capable of going faster, but their speed is capped by the ECU—the onboard computer that controls every aspect of your UTV.
Even if they didn’t have a limiter, they wouldn’t reach the Pioneer 1000’s 67 MPH. They just don’t have the power to get there.
All the extra horsepower the Honda Pioneer 1000’s bigger engine puts out gives it the edge over the 500 and 700. Even though it weighs more, the Pioneer 1000’s top speed isn’t limited by the ECU and it has a better horsepower-to-weight ratio.
Put it all together and the Honda Pioneer 1000 wins on speed. If that’s all you need out of your Pioneer, then you’re good to go.
After you get the perfect Pioneer for you, check out our guide on how to get more out of your Honda Pioneer.