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2009 Honda Big Red Preview



Honda is making a first foray into the side-by-side utility ATV market. Their highly-anticipated machine is expected to set new standards in both utility and recreation. Thanks to automotive-based technology and design, the 2009 Big Red might very well become the benchmark in this extremely competitive segment.

A first MUV for Honda
Unlike the Polaris RZR and Yamaha Rhino, the Big Red is first and foremost a utility vehicle. Some will remember the name from the late three-wheel vehicle lineup of the '80s. The new Big Red is the manufacturer's first-ever side-by-side ATV. It's arguably a very smart move for Honda, as the MUV segment (Multi-Use Vehicle) is blooming. One could say that the timing is perfect, especially for fans of the Japanese brand.

According to Honda engineers, the new Big Red is designed for customers who demand a reliable, comfortable and commanding utility vehicle. Its multiple patents and innovative features will separate it from the other, more conservative segment contenders. Highlights include rubber-mounted bucket seats designed to comfortably fit a wide range of body types and reduce fatigue on long drives. There's also a specially designed, tilting cargo bed with a nonskid, high-durability floor.

A familiar engine
While detailed information on the new Big Red is currently unavailable, we do know that it will use the same OHV single-cylinder engine as the Rincon 680. This 675-cc, liquid-cooled powertrain is lubricated by a semi-dry sump system, a unique feature that considerably lowers the center of gravity. It also benefits from an electronic fuel injection system with a 40-mm throttle body. Power is distributed by a 3-speed automatic transmission featuring an electronically-controlled torque converter. Unlike the gearbox of the Rincon 680, the Big Red's incorporates a short/long final drive -- a must for such a vehicle.

Naysayers could not envision the day when Honda would introduce a side-by-side utility ATV. The all-new Big Red comes as a big surprise (a pretty exciting one, actually). This is one tough yet simple MUV that can handle almost anything you throw at it.

Photo Credit : Honda