Polaris Reveals 2019 Model Year Side-by-Sides

Polaris Industries revealed their 2019 model year side-by-side lineup last week with improvements across a host models. In the Ranger product line Ride Command technology will now be available for select Ranger XP 1000 models as a factory-installed package. The Range XP 1000 and Ranger Crew XP 1000 models now include a 20th anniversary edition and the new High Lifter Edition.

2019 model year RZRs feature aggressive styling and performance upgrades across the product lineup. Ride Command will be available in all RZR XP 1000 colors and the RZR XP 1000 Dynamix vehicles. The trail-ready RZR S4 1000 is now powered by a 100 hp engine.

The General lineup has been updated with performance and technology upgrades, as well as new colors and graphics. The following are more specific features for select models.

2019 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition

The 2019 model year Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition with redesigned half doors and improved driveline strength.

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition – $19,999 MSRP                                    2019 RANGER CREW XP 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition – 21,499 MSRP

  • Redesigned factory-installed half doors with new one-inch water drains
  • 82 hp engine
  • 11″ of suspension travel
  • 20% increase in overall driveline strength
  • New geared reverse transmission
  • 28″ Outlaw tires
  • 13.5″ of ground clearance
  • Crew version has 6-passenger capacity

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS RIDE COMMAND – $17,999 MSRP                                    2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS NorthStar Edition RIDE COMMAND – $25,999 MSRP

  • Ride Command technology is now available as a factory-installed package
  • Seven-inch glove-touch display features built-in navigation and front and rear cameras.
  • System provides vehicle diagnostics, allows smartphone connectivity and factory-installed in-dash speakers.
  • Topographical map allows consumers to better navigate trail overlays and drop waypoints to remember key locations
  • Interactive interface gives every type of rider the freedom to stay connected while hunting, working on their ranch, or trail riding.

2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS and Ranger XP 1000 EPS NorthStar Edition models

  • Available in four new color options including Steel Blue, Pearl White, Magnetic Gray and Polaris Pursuit® Camo.
Polaris 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th anniversary

The 2019 Ranger XP 1000 EPS 20th Anniversary edition with two-tone maroon and tan colors and embroidered seats.

2019 Ranger XP1000 EPS 20th Anniversary Limited Edition – $16,799 MSRP            2019 Ranger CREW XP 1000 EPS 20th Anniversary Limited Edition – $17,799

  • Two-tone maroon and tan color option
  • Custom embroidered seats
  • Limited production quantities
Polaris 2019 RZR S4 1000 EPS

The 2019 model year RZR S4 1000 EPS now features 100 hp.

Polaris 2019 RZR XP 1000

The 2019 RZR XP 1000 has new styling and LED lighting.

2019 RZR Xtreme Performance Lineup – Starting at $17,999 MSRP

  • Styling features a more aggressive cut with a chiseled muscular stance
  • LED accent lights
  • Brand-new LED headlights
  • Premium digital instrumentation
  • More storage
  • DYNAMIX active suspension and Ride Command technology now available on RZR XP 1000 models
  • Horsepower boost to 100 hp for the 2019 RZR S4 1000

2019 General – Starting at $16,299 MSRP

  • New colors and graphics
  • Factory-installed bronze wheels on the Ride Command edition

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Polaris Industries Reports Q2 2018 Results

2019 Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS

New models like the 2019 Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000 EPS helped drive side-by-side revenue for the quarter.

Polaris Industries reported their financial results for the second quarter of 2018. Second quarter 2018 revenue increased 10% year over year to $1.503 billion with the ORV/Snowmobile segment jumping 17% to $993 million and off-road vehicles, excluding PG&A, increased 19%. Some of the gains in ORV were because of the need to boost dealer inventory levels to match retail demand.

Earnings Call Highlights

The following are highlights from the earnings call related to the small, task-oriented vehicle market.

  • The powersports market in North America is essentially flat to up slightly with Polaris ORV flat
  • ORV retail is growing in every region of the US
  • Ag markets have not slowed down at all at this point
  • ORV/Snowmobile segment sales were up 17% in Q2
  • Improved ORV demand for side-by-sides worldwide, and availability and sale of new models accelerated during the quarter helped drive sales
  • Polaris side-by-side North American retail sales up mid-single digits driven by new products and improved oil/gas and agriculture markets
  • Average selling prices for ORV increased 3% and promotional spending per unit decreased
  • Polaris gained market share in side-by-sides and ATV for the quarter
  • Production costs are increasing due to higher logistical and commodity costs
  • ORV helped drive international growth, particularly in Europe
  • Global Adjacent Markets sales increased 17% in the second quarter to $113 million, due to growth in Commercial, Government, and Defense businesses

Guidance for Full Year 2018

  • Management increased guidance for the Global Adjacents and ORV businesses with Global Adjacents expected to be up low-double digits % for the year and ORV/Snowmobiles up high-single digits %
  • ORV sales are expected to be up high single-digits percent from international results and pricing actions and slightly higher volumes

Learn more:  Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

Does Future Mobility Include LSVs?

GEM has been the market leader in LSVs for many years.

The falling cost of batteries and rise of autonomous driving technology has launched a new stage in the development of mobility technologies. These advances may be bad news for LSVs. For decades small-task oriented vehicles, and in particular by golf cars, have dominated the EV market in terms of production volume. Long before Tesla, golf car manufacturers produced hundreds of thousands of electric golf cars annually. Primarily for these vehicles were for golf courses, but for personal transportation as well. In addition, the large volume of used electric golf cars coming off of golf courses each year were finding their way into the personal transportation and utility markets. In smaller volumes they produced electric powered burden carriers and general utility vehicles for use in enclosed spaces such as factories and warehouses.

Speed and pricing hurt LSV adoption

Federal regulations in the late nineties lead to the development of Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), originally referred to as Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). The LSV classification created the opportunity to move small EVs out of gated and golf communities and relatively confined driving environments and onto public roads in large numbers. Unfortunately, for LSV manufacturers, the widespread adoption of LSVs for personal transportation has never occurred. In theory, LSVs would be a good choice as a second vehicle. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate and suitable for the short trips typical of many drivers. In practice, they are relatively expensive for their limited functionality, and to many they look like a glorified golf car.

With a 25 mph top speed, LSVs are too slow for real life driving where speeds are often 30-45 mph. Federal authorities, already concerned about LSV safety, are unwilling to compromise on safety requirements for higher speed Medium Speed Vehicles. The additional safety requirements for MSVs would make these vehicles relatively expensive compared to fully highway capable vehicles.

Pricing has always been an issue with LSVs, which typically cost around $10,000 on the low end. They find themselves competing against new, used and refurbished golf cars that can cost thousands of dollars less or comparably priced, but heavily customized golf cars. On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced highway capable vehicles available do not cost that much more and offer far greater functionality. As a result, the LSV market has never “taken off”. SVR’s research has shown that LSVs for personal use have only gained traction where local laws restrict the use of golf cars on public roads. The trend has been for local governments to allow more golf cars, modified golf cars and even UTVs on local roads.

Where LSV have found some success is on college and corporate campuses. In these environments the LSV safety features are worth the additional expense in the context of insurance and liability. The slower speed is another plus where administrators do not want employees speeding across pedestrian filled campus grounds. The utility LSV has proven to provide plenty of functionality and mobility in these confined environments at a reduced cost compared to pick-up trucks which they often replace. In addition, electric LSVs fit well into sustainability and green initiatives on these campuses.

Electric bikes and scooters offer an alternative

New battery and autonomous driving technologies are unlikely to change the fate of LSVs, and likely will make it worse. Batteries are becoming small enough, powerful enough and cheap enough to create new competitors to LSVs. Namely, a rash of electric bicycles and electric scooters have been entering the market. While costing thousands of dollars, electric bicycles have the potential to chip away at some of the LSV market. Have a short commute on local roads and don’t need to carry much with you. Why not use an electric bike? Need a quick way around urban areas and don’t want to worry about parking? How about an electric scooter.

There are electric bike and scooter sharing programs either already operating or in pilot programs in major cities. These options aren’t ideal in bad weather or for multiple passengers, but they can potentially reduce LSV usage. In fact, they may even provide competition to golf cars and Personal Transportation Vehicles (PTVs) within gated communities.

Autonomous vehicles take a new direction

May Mobility self-driving GEM

GEM configured by May Mobility for self-driving.

Similarly autonomous driving technology may very well reduce the potential footprint for LSVs. Google has used some LSVs for the testing of their autonomous driving technology.  You could argue from a standpoint of safety that the more controlled environment of gated communities could be a good entry point for the technology. But it appears the major players are starting with highway capable vehicles. There have been some instances of LSVs with the technology being tested for limited use scenarios such as shuttle runs. Currently, the relative expense of the autonomous driving technology compared to the cost of an LSV is likely too high. The economics favor installation on premium vehicles or rental/sharing fleets with the flexibility for high volume usage.

Nuro autonomous vehicle

This Fall Kroger will be using passengerless autonomous vehicles from startup Nuro to deliver groceries to customers.

Starship Technologies Delivery Robot

Starship Technologies is rolling out a robotic delivery service on college and corporate campuses this year.

Even in the commercial use of LSVs or their slightly faster cousins in Europe for tasks like urban delivery, autonomous driving technology may undercut the application of these vehicles. There are a number of startups developing autonomous delivery vehicles for operation on streets. However, they are passenger less or even smaller and slower for use on sidewalks. The last vestige for the LSV may remain the college or corporate campus, but even the autonomous shuttle could cut into some of that usage. We may be witnessing the highpoint for the use of LSVs right now.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

 

 

Road Use Regulation Roundup: June 2018

golf cart signThe following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since January, 2018.

Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • This roundup saw more legislation related to allowing LSVs on roads as opposed to golf cars and ATVs/UTVs but it is too early to tell if this represents a long term trend and reversal of previous legislative trends favoring golf cars and UTVs.
  • Of special note is legislation in California that is focusing on the development of a regional multi-city plan for LSV transportation. I believe this is the first time a regional approach has been covered in the roundup.
  • Most of the legislative activity occurred in the Midwest and Southeast.

Highland Village, TX – The City Council approved an ordinance allowing the use of NEVs, LSVs and golf cars in the city with certain restrictions.

Myrtle Beach, SC – The City Council passed an ordinance requiring businesses that rent golf cars to get $10 tags on each vehicle.

Glendale, MO – City officials passed an ordinance allowing golf cars to be used on city streets provided they have certain safety features.

Bay St. Louis & Waveland, MS – The state passed legislation that allows the use of LSVs on certain city streets.

Oxford, MS – The owner of a local LSV taxi service requested that the city lower the minimum driving age of such vehicles from 21 years old to address a driver shortage. They lowered it to 20 years old.

Audubon, IA – City Supervisors will likely pass an ordinance allowing the use of ATVs/UTVs on county roads if they have certain safety features.

Newport, RI – The City Council passed an ordinance allowing the use of electric LSVs on local roads.

SanDiego, CA – State legislation is being considered that would allow the use of LSVs on a county wide basis. The legislation, backed by North County cities, would allow for the implementation of regional LSV transportation plans.

Cincinnati, OH – The City Council passed an ordinance creating a three year pilot program for the use of LSVs in the Central Business District and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods.

Augusta, GA – The City Commission is considering an ordinance that will allow the use of personal transportation vehicles (PTVs) in the central business district. They would initially be used to provide prearranged tours as opposed to taxi service, and could eventually lead to PTV permits for individual owners.

Sanibel Island, FL – The City Council denied the application for the opening of a seven vehicle LSV rental business citing concerns about traffic, safety and the concept being inconsistent with city planning aimed at reducing auto ridership.

Kawasaki Launches Mule PRO-MX UTV Line

2019 Kawasaki Mule PRO-MX EPS

The Mule PRO-MX EPS is part of the new PRO-MX product line from Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Mule PRO-MX EPS LE

The Mule PRO-MX EPS LE adds a roof and aluminum wheels.

Kawasaki Mule PRO-MX EPS Camo

The Mule PRO-MX EPS Camo rounds out the new product line from Kawasaki.

Kawasaki has expanded their Mule PRO series of utility vehicles with the launch of the all new Mule PRO-MX product line for 2019. Positioned as a mid-size compact crossover vehicle for work or play, the MX  product line is smaller in size and price, and features less horsepower, less cargo capacity and less towing capacity than the Mule PRO-FX or Mule PRO-FXR models (SVR recently posted some reviews of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR). The PRO-MX models seat two rather than three passengers or six in the case of the PRO-FXT models.

The PRO-MX UTVs are powered by a 695cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder DOHC liquid cooled engine mated to a CVT, and has selectable 2WD/4WD/4WD  with rear differential lock along with engine braking. Additional features include:

  • Seating for 2-passengers
  • Speed-sensitive EPS
  • Doors
  • Steel front bumper
  • Steel cargo screen
  • 10.6″ of ground clearance
  • 25″ tires
  • Multi-function digital display
  • Halogen headlights
  • Two LED auxiliary headlamps
  • Tilt adjustable steering wheel

Models in the PRO-MX lineup are 60″ wide compared to 64″ for FX and FXT models and have a 700 lb. rather 999 lb. capacity cargo box as well as the ability to tow up to 1,500 lb. compared to 2,000 lb.

The Mule PRO-MX EPS has an MSRP of $11,999 and is available in Timberline Green or Bright White. The Mule PRO-MX EPS LE is priced at $12,499 and comes in Firecracker Red. LE features include a hard plastic roof and aluminum wheels. The Mule PRO-MX EPS Camo is priced at $12,649 and adds Camouflage Truetimber HTC Green bodywork and a plastic roof.  Learn more:  Kawasaki.com

SVR’s Take:  Over the last several years Kawasaki has transitioned to making their PRO series of utility vehicles the dominant part of their UTV offerings. There are now 18 different models across the Mule PRO FX, FXT, FXR, DX and now MX product lines. The MX models fill in a price point between the smaller more consumer oriented Mule SX line and the rest of the Mule PRO product lines designed for heavier duty utility use.  The price point is similar to their Mule 4000 and 4010 models but the MX models offer more in the way of crossover capabilities.  Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2019 Can-Am UTV Models Unveiled

Can-Am just unveiled their 2019 side-by-side lineup. Rather than introduce completely new models, this round of vehicles includes a host of upgrades across the 2019 Can-Am side-by-side offerings.

2019 Can-Am Defender HD8

The 2019 Can-Am Defender HD8 features upgrades such as more towing capacity and a longer warranty.

Numerous advances to the Defender utility-recreation side-by-side family delivers resourceful solutions for various off-road undertakings. The addition of a class-leading tow rating — now rated at an industry-leading 2,500-lb. (1,134 kg) for units with the HD8 and HD10 engines and a 1-year limited warranty on all Defender 2019 (USA and Canada) models brings more value and a tougher design to owners.

Defender HD8 now has a standard lockable rear differential system, 27 in. (68.6 cm) Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tire. Defender XT CAB and MAX XT CAB vehicles get a revised 12-in. (30.5) ground clearance supply ample traction and additional space for overcoming demanding obstacles.

2019 Can-Am Defender X mr

The 2019 Defender X mr comes with lower gear ranges and large shocks.

The specialized, mud-ready Defender X mr is fortified with the industry’s top ground clearance at 15-in. (38.1 cm), suspension travel and shock size, with a new larger shock bore. Engineering revisions reduced the lower ranges for both the HIGH and LOW range, while a new lockable rear differential system, with eight total selective modes, makes the specialty X mr even more capable in and out of the mud. The system is even calibrated to prevent turf tearing. The Defender XT-P package now features Smart-Lok traction system with TRAIL mode for maximum footing in every condition, but especially in slow-speed maneuvering. The Defender Lone Star edition receives its own unique and prominent badging, improved cast-aluminum wheels and, like the Defender Mossy Oak Hunting Edition package tougher protective equipment for more resilience in challenging terrain.

2019 Maverick X3 X ds Turbo

Like the rest Maverick X3 lineup, the Maverick X3 Max X ds now features a Smart-Lok front differential and new Dynamic Power Steering system.

2019 Maverick X3 Max X ds

The 2019 MAX versions receive similar upgrades as well.

The invigorating Maverick X3 and Maverick X3 MAX X-package super-sport side-by-sides all receive Smart-Lok, a fully lockable on-the-fly front differential with electronically controlled automatic modes for maximum traction and precision cornering. All X3 side-by-side vehicles get a new high-torque, tri-mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) system to improve low-speed riding and enhance input feedback to the driver for a more complete driving experience. Significant engineering adjustments were also made to enhance overall comfort and dependability. The Can-Am engineering team redesigned the front sway bar link to be more durable, which also enhances cornering. A new electrical cover better protects the engine control unit (ECU).

Many new components and the expansion of the existing co-branded partnership agreements with Lonestar Racing, S3 Power Sports and others, have once again grown the Can-Am genuine accessory lineup for 2019. All-new accessories include convenient roof racks, MTX speakers, window nets, ATV Windshields, batteries accessories and much more, providing consumers with more adaptable customization options to meet their needs.

2019 Can-Am Side-By-Side Vehicle Lineup Colorations
• Phoenix Orange — Maverick X3 X ds / Maverick X3 MAX X ds
• Gold, Can-Am Red & Hyper Silver — Maverick X3 X rs / Maverick X3 MAX X rs
• Hyper Silver: Defender DPS HD10 / Defender MAX DPS HD10 / Defender XT HD8 / HD10 / Defender XT CAB HD8 / HD10 / Defender MAX XT HD8 / HD10
• Boreal Green — Commander XT 800R / 1000R / Commander MAX XT 1000
• Carbon Black & Octane Blue — Commander XT 800R / XT 1000R
• New graphics on Carbon Black & Sunburst Yellow X mr packages – Maverick X3 X mr Turbo / X mr Turbo R / Defender X mr

Learn more:  Can-am.brp.com

Textron Launches Prowler Pro UTVs

2019 Textron Off road Prowler Pro

The new 2019 Prowler Pro from Textron Off Road with a 50 hp gas engine.

Textron Off Road recently announced the addition of the Prowler Pro and Prowler Pro XT to their UTV lineup. Targeted at farmers and hunters the Prowler Pro is powered by a 50 hp, 812cc EFI gas engine. Designed to be a “whisper-quiet”, the engine is paired with vibration reducing mounts and a muffler with rubber isolator. The vehicle features a drive-by-wire throttle and CVT drive system that is programmed to compensate for unintended “foot bounce” on rough terrain. Additional key features include:

  • 3 passenger capacity
  • 2/4WD with selectable locking rear differential
  • Double A-arm suspension with gas charged twin tube shocks
  • 10″/9.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.75″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ Pro terrain tires
  • Dual piston front calipers and single piston rear calipers
  • 1,000 lb. cargo dump box
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Tilt steering
  • Customizable speed control
  • Removable passenger seats
  • Behind-seat storage
  • Dual high/low beam halogen headlights and LED taillights
  • Digital gauge
  • ROPS

The Prowler Pro comes standard rack-and-pinion steering and 12-inch steel wheels in Marsh Green for $11,399. The Prowler Pro XT comes in Dynamic Charcoal or Fire Red and includes electronic power steering and 14-inch machined aluminum wheels for $12,999. All vehicles are sold with a 12-month warranty and will be available in dealerships in May.

Learn more:  Textronoffroad.com

SVR’s Take:  After purchasing Arctic Cat Textron first consolidated and pared down their lineup of vehicles across a number of brands and product lineups and put them under the Textron Off Road macro brand. Since then they have launched a number of new models and are building out their vehicle offerings across a number of segments including performance, sport, crossover and work utility. Textron looks like it could become a major competitor to the traditional powersports companies in the market. The company has significant financial and manufacturing resources as well as engineering expertise to draw upon from its other high tech businesses. One of the keys to success will be building out a dealer network to have the geographical reach and proper distribution channels to reach all the customer segments they are targeting.  Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Yamaha Announces New 2019 Wolverine X2 UTVs

2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2

The new Wolverine X2 side-by-side for 2019 from Yamaha.

Yamaha has revealed new utility vehicles for model year 2019 including the all new Wolverine X2 and updates to their YXZ line of sport side-by-sides. Compared to the current Wolverine the Wolverine X2 features:

  • All-new styling and maximum visibility
  • 847cc DOHC, eight-valve, parallel twin-cylinder engine compared to the 708cc engine
  • All-new 600-pound-rated dump bed compared to a 300 lb. dump bed
  • 2,000 pound towing capacity compared to a 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • New Ultramatic CVT
  • Pre-Wiring for Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS

Additional key features include:

  • Two-passenger capacity
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD
  • Electric power steering
  • Independent double wishbone suspension with anti-sway bar
  • 8.7″/8.9″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 11″ of ground clearance
  • Hydraulic disc brakes with shaft mounted parking brake
  • 26″ Maxxis MU75/MU76 tires
  • High back bolstered bucket seats
  • Adjustable driver seat and steering column
  • Doors
  • Fenders
  • LED High/Low headlights
  • New LCD display
  • Noise and vibration dampening features
  • 6 month limited factory warranty

The Wolverine X2 is available in Graphite and has an MSRP of $12,699.

2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2 R-Spec SE

The Wolverine X2 R-Spec SE is part of Yamaha’s new recreation lineup for 2019.

In addition to the Wolverine X2 Yamaha’s 2019 recreation lineup includes the Wolverine X2 R-Spec and the Wolverine R-Spec SE. The Wolverine X2 R-Spec comes with a suntop, aluminum wheels, KYB piggyback shocks, over fenders and is available in Ridge Red or Alpine White for $14,499 or Realtree Edge camo for $14,949. The Wolverine X2 R-Spec SE further adds painted bodywork, color-matched interior and is available in Tactical Black or Backcountry Blue for $15,299.

For the YXZ1000R sport line the changes for 2019 include:

  • New styling
  • A relocated radiator
  • Updated suspension
  • A new ROPS design to increase comfort
  • 29″ Maxxis M917/918 tires instead of 27″Maxxis MU09/10 tires

The sport line includes the base YXZ1000R, the YXZ1000R SE, the YXZ1000R SS and the  YXZ1000R SS SE. The SS models add the Yamaha Sport shift with paddle shifters and auto clutch. The SE versions add beadlock wheels and a suntop. The YXZ line will be available in September and the MSRP has not been published yet.

Learn more:  Yamahamotorsports

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR Reviews

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR

New for 2018 is the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR shown here in Atomic Silver.

One of the key additions to Kawasaki’s 2018 utility vehicle lineup is the new Mule Pro-FXR. The Pro-FXR builds on their successful Pro-FX and Pro-FXT models with new styling highlights and recreational features. In the styling department the Mule Pro-FXR features a “truck like appearance” with painted bodywork, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers and contoured two-tone seats. For recreational riding the FXR is shorter than the other Pro Mules (about 12″ shorter than the FX) and sports a shorter turning radius (14.0 ft. compared to 16.0 ft. for the FX) and higher ground clearance (about 0.5″). Pricing for the Mule Pro-FXR starts at $14,999. Other key features of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR include:

  • 812cc, DOHC, 3-cylinder engine with EFI
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD with rear differential lock
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 10.8″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. steel cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity

Below are highlights from reviews of the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR by trade publications and enthusiasts.

The reviews are generally positive for the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR.   This isn’t a high performance trail riding UTV, but a solid performer with a good sized engine, smooth riding suspension, smaller size and tighter turning radius than the Mule Pro-FX and a comfortable cabin. Some of the common comments from across the reviews include:

  • Quiet
  • Smooth ride
  • Handles tougher trail conditions well

ATV.com – Kawasaki sponsored test drive event at Hearst Ranch in California. Rugged and rocky terrain.

  • More of a trail machine without sacrificing too much of the work capabilities
  • Hybrid of the Mule Pro-FX and Teryx
  • Foot shorter than Pro-FX but with same passenger, cargo and towing capacity
  • Wheelbase is more than a foot shorter producing a tighter turning radius
  • Quieter than other Mules. Can hold a conversation on the trail.
  • Shocks smoothed out the bumps on rougher trail sections
  • Not peppy or as responsive as a Teryx but plenty of power delivered smoothly
  • Good stability down hills
  • Good choice for trail riders looking more for comfort and features over performance

Totallandscapecare.com – Kawasaki sponsored test drive event at Hearst Ranch in California.

  • Noticeable truck-like and upscale styling
  • Comfortable cabin and driving experience with contoured seating, padded steering, spacious cabin and speed sensitive power steering
  • Smooth ride
  • Vehicle handles steep drops smoothly thanks to the CVT transmission and engine braking
  • Rubber mounted engine is quiet

NLGhostWolf – Consumer review – Trail riding in Newfoundland, Canada

  • Quiet
  • Very smooth suspension
  • Loves the persimmon red color
  • Very impressed with the vehicle

Consumer Review – Riding on Ozark Mountain logging roads with some snow on the ground

  • Tougher and rides better than a Polaris Ranger
  • No wheel slippage up the hill
  • “Very happy with this Mule”
  • Had a Mule 4010 but a rougher ride

Dealer Walkaround and Review – Mainland Cycle Center of Texas

  • Shorter wheelbase
  • Cargo bed a little shorter
  • Smaller size but many of the same features we like on the Mule Pro-FX
  • 46 mph top speed
  • Fully independent suspension
  • New 27” Duro Power Grip tires
  • Same 812 cc motor that we really like; really smooth
  • Quiet in the cabin
  • New front facia and bumper with aluminum inserts
  • Better feedback from suspension than Mule Pro-FX, less floaty
  • Easy opening doors rather than nets
  • Contoured bench seats are more comfortable
  • Steel bottom 1,000 lb. cargo bed
  • Easy assisted bed dump
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Rear differential is overbuilt
  • 3 yr warranty
  • New glove box door is easier to open
  • Plenty of cabin storage
  • Hard top is standard
  • Built-in under driver seat storage
  • Nice tight turning radius
  • Good ground clearance
  • Sporty machine for both work and trail riding

 

Honda Recalls 65,000 Pioneer 1000 UTVs

The 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000 EPS is one of the models being recalled.

Honda is recalling approximately 65,000 Pioneer 1000 utility vehicles because potential muffler overheating may cause a plastic heat shield to melt or catch fire. Consumers should immediately stop using the vehicles and contact a Honda powersports dealer for a free inspection and repair. Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly. The recall involves model year 2016, 2017 and some 2018 three passenger and five passenger Pioneer 1000 vehicles. The vehicles were sold from October 2015 through April 2018. The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hazard:  The muffler can overheat, causing the plastic heat shield to melt or catch fire, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date:  May 15, 2018

Units:  About 65,000

Consumer Contact:  American Honda toll-free at 866-784-1870 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at http://powersports.honda.com and click on “Recall Information” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves all model year 2016 through 2017, and some model year 2018 Honda Pioneer 1000 Vehicles. The recalled vehicles were sold in various colors including: red, blue, green, gray and yellow. The name “HONDA” is on the front, sides and the rear of the vehicle. The model name Pioneer 1000 is printed on a label located on both sides of the vehicle, near the rear. The serial number (VIN #) is stamped in the frame at the left rear, below the tilt-up bed/seat. The following model numbers and serial number ranges are being recalled:

 

MY Model VIN Start
2016 Pioneer 1000 3P

(SXS10M3*)

1HFVE04**G4000001 — 1HFVE04**G4008403
2016 Pioneer 1000 5P

(SXS10M5*)

1HFVE04**G4000001 — 1HFVE04**G4010507
2017 Pioneer 1000 3P

(SXS10M3*)

1HFVE04**H4100001 — 1HFVE04**H4102101
2017 Pioneer 1000 5P

(SXS10M5*)

1HFVE04**H4100001 — 1HFVE04**H4103000
2018 Pioneer 1000 3P

(SXS10M3*)

1HFVE04**G4200001 — 1HFVE04**G4203360
2018 Pioneer 1000 5P

(SXS10M5*)

1HFVE04**G4200001 — 1HFVE04**G4207379

* Variable character

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact an authorized Honda Powersports dealer to schedule an appointment for a free inspection and repair. Honda is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received 22 reports of the muffler plastic heat shield melting and three reports of muffler plastic heat shield fires. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Authorized Honda Powersports dealers nationwide from October 2015 through April 2018 for between $14,000 and $22,000.

Manufacturer(s):  American Honda Motor Company Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Manufactured In:  United States

Recall number:  18-742

Learn More:  CPSC.gov

SVR’s Take:  This is another very large recall for the industry and once again related to an overheating and heat shield issue that can create a fire hazard. While massive recalls by Polaris have probably received the most attention in the industry, other manufacturers have had very large recalls as well.

Horsepower is one of the key vehicle specifications that manufacturers use to differentiate their offerings. This has created an atmosphere of one-upsmanship regarding engine size with each vehicle introduction trying to outdo the last in terms of horsepower. Given the large number of recalls in recent years related to overheating and/or fire hazards one has to wonder if the industry’s expertise in engine technology has outpaced their expertise in handling the additional heat output by these increasingly powerful engines. SVR has been tracking utility vehicle recalls for the past several years.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com