The side-by-side utility vehicle segment is rapidly expanding in Canada, with 8 active manufacturers and nearly 50 different models to choose from. Thanks to automotive-based technology and design, not to mention innovative solutions and Honda's legendary quality, the 2009 Big Red
stands out from the pack.
|This new machine incidentally becomes the first-ever side-by-side utility vehicle of the same Japanese manufacturer that invented ATVs some 30 years ago.
Unlike the sportier Polaris RZR
and Yamaha Rhino, "Big Red" is primarily a workhorse designed for consumers who demand a big, reliable, comfortable and user-friendly utility vehicle. It is the first-ever side-by-side utility vehicle from Honda, who originally invented the ATV some 30 years ago. Unique transmission
For Big Red, Honda relied on the same OHV single-cylinder engine as the Rincon 680, the 675-cc, liquid-cooled four-stroke single, lubricated by a semi-dry sump system, a unique feature that considerably lowers the engine/transmission combo, as well as the machine's overall center of gravity. While the throttle is tricky to modulate on takeoff, the engine provides gobs of user-friendly low speed torque -- a must for delicate manoeuvring as well as hard work.
Torque is transmitted through an automotive-style automatic gearbox, featuring a hydraulic torque converter, and using an Electronic Control Module (ECM) to select one of three forward and one reverse gear. It also comes with three driver-selectable drive modes: 2WD with open rear differential, 4WD with rear differential locked, and 4WD with all differentials locked.
Low-end grunt combined with the added traction of the lockable 4WD system allows Big Red to overcome obstacles without breaking a sweat. Moreover, it can tow heavy loads in tough conditions (sand, mud and natural hurdles like rocks and roots) with disconcerting ease given the size of the vehicle.
|Power is distributed by an automotive-style automatic transmission featuring a hydraulic torque converter.