CASCADE - Honda Motorsports took over the Bull Run Ranch in Cascade last week.
The automaker is releasing the 2023 model of the Pioneer 1000-6 side-by-side UTV.
The Honda team was in town for two weeks welcoming numerous media outlets and Honda dealers to test the new product.
It was a brisk and sunny day on the Ranch and the final day that welcomed Sports City Cyclery in Great Falls and Yellowstone Motorsports from Bozeman.
A four-vehicle caravan, loaded up for a two-hour ride through the property.
Bull Run Ranch is home to many variations of terrain, from the regular dirt/gravel road, creek crossings, and windy brush-filled roads.
“That power steering on it. It's effortless like, if they didn't warn me about it beforehand, I wouldn't have realized I was driving a side by side,” said Chase Wadley from Yellowstone Motorsports.
He and three others tested the new model and its upgraded features, including a longer wheelbase, a five-passenger setup, and a dual-clutch transmission, which doesn’t include a chain belt like its competitors.
“No need to worry about a belt snapping and getting stuck remotely. When we build it, when we test it, and we bring it to the customer and present the product to our local dealers that the customer knows it's going to last and it's going to be reliable for him,” said Colin Miller with the Honda Powersports Communications Department.
Miller and the Honda team are visiting from South Carolina and Georgia. The weather held up for the final ride of the road trip, but it wasn’t as gracious for the earlier trips, which Miller said gives the real working experience.
The new UTV is made for the working farmer or rancher.
“You can actually have your full crew, whether you're out tending your fences, rounding up your cattle, going through working on your farm. You can take all of your crew out there with their gear, like you mentioned, also to you can load up the bed so you can take all your supplies out there. You can even if you need to grab a trailer, you can hook up the trailer. It’s a real versatile machine in that aspect,” said Miller.
Scott Dailey from Sports City Cyclery in Great Falls noted the new vehicle doesn’t sacrifice hauling space in the bed like the last vehicle and compare the driving ability to the 2022 model.
“Previously, they were there were five passengers in the back. They had two seats, and that was where two people sat in the back. So now you can have a lot more gear or if you killed an animal, you have a spot with the animal and your gear or more people,” Dailey said.
For the outdoorsman in Montana or the working man or woman in Montana, Honda believes that this is one of its best UTVs to hit the market. Miller also shared that this vehicle will most likely be used on ranches in Texas, but to grasp the machine’s full capabilities, Montana is the best place to market to its dealers and audience.
“With Honda, we’re known for our quality and reliability, right, across all of our product lines, whether it’s motorcycles, side-by-sides, or ATVs. That’s really what we’ve made our name with,” Miller said, adding, “So we know that when we come out with a new product, it needs to be durable, reliable, have the quality that our customers expect… it’s really made for getting to remote spaces if you need to.”
“Can't wait to actually sell some more of them, but it's a lot more fun than you realize. Just being in a machine that's built for this stuff to where you can just spin a corner, hit a rock, and keep going," said Wadley.