Honda’s Local Side-by-Side (SxS) lineup is expanding with the imminent arrival of the Pioneer 520.
Due to its release in Australia in May, the 520 is built on the same platform as the Pioneer 500 and retains the two-seat capacity of that model, but adds a larger capacity single-cylinder engine, modified suspension and a Convenient tilting / tilting loading platform that can hold over 200 kg.
MTB outing, SxS entry
The release of the Pioneer 520 is part of a growing line of Honda SxS, which will fill the void when all Honda utility ATVs are withdrawn from Australian dealers later this year.
Honda is joining forces with Yamaha and Polaris in removing all of their utility ATVs from the Australian market, rather than installing the controversial Operator Protection Device (OPD) that will become mandatory on all new utility ATVs sold here from October 11. 2021.
Honda has presented evidence that OPDs can cause more injury than they prevent and, like Yamaha and Polaris, believe the science behind their introduction has not been tested, adding that alternative safety measures would be more. effective.
âSafety standards must be evidence-based, both in terms of criteria and testing methods, in accordance with internationally accepted standards. Honda has provided research to show the negative results of the governments proposal, but unfortunately that was not taken into account and we are here in this position, âsaid the general manager of Honda Australia Motorcycle and Power Equipment, Robert Toscano, when Honda’s withdrawal was announced on March 31, 2020.
With the impending retirement of all Honda ATVs, the focus is on their SxS lineup, where the next Pioneer 520 comes into play, joining the existing Pioneer 500, Pioneer 700 and Pioneer 1000.
Based on the Pioneer 500, the 520 shares most of this model’s components and is broadly similar in size, including the same width of 1,270mm and wheelbase of 1,855mm.
The main difference is that the 520 upgrades the 475cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder engine to a 518cc single-cylinder with revised shift mapping. and more power (although no actual kW or Nm is provided).
The oversized engine is mated to the same five-speed automatic transmission, which includes reverse gear and offers manual gear changes via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Like the 500, the 520 also offers the selectable two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive “ Traxlok ”, ensuring maximum traction when you need it most, aided by off-road tires with aggressive tread pattern. .
The Pioneer 520’s suspension package is the same as the 500’s, featuring independent double wishbones with preload adjustable shocks and dual rate springs at each end, but this setup has been improved to accommodate the additional weight. the 520. The front suspension travel is also slightly less, at 147 mm for the 520, compared to 149 mm for the 500.
The other major change on the Pioneer 520 is the incorporation of a tilting rear cargo bed instead of a luggage rack. Measuring 658mm x 983mm x 249m (L x W x H), the tub can support 204 kg and includes a flip-up tailgate, tie-down points in the tub and a lever operated tilt function with gas spring assist .
The inclusion of the loading tank does not affect the towing capacity of the 520, which at 453 kg is the same as the 500, but it adds to the overall length of the SxS and increases the curb weight from 466kg to 482kg.
Most of the other features of the Pioneer 520 are the same as the Pioneer 500, including dual 200mm front disc brakes and 170mm single rear disc brakes, heavy duty front grab bar, 12-inch wheels, 35W dual headlights, a removable hardtop, comfortable seats and a multi-function LCD instrument display.
As with the Pioneer 500, the Pioneer 520 features an Occupant Protection Structure roll cage, rear hinged half doors, side nets and three-point seat belts.
Billed as both a farm and a fun machine, the new Pioneer 520 costs $ 17,600 (approx, see your Honda dealer for specific pricing), an increase of $ 500 (approx) over the Pioneer 500.