Ok crew, I am a new member and have been on the fence for at least 2 years. Last spring I decided that when it was time to purchase a machine if was going to be a Honda, but that was the easy part. Now I cannot decide which model is going to suite me best. Before you knock me I have been to the local dealer and checked out/sat in the machines,however they will not let me ride the units (in town with not much room) So I need some real world feedback. Right now my thought is just get the base 700 2 seater as it should do what I would like it to do.
My uses for this machine will be 50% trail riding/mud holes with some friends riding ATV's. 25% carrying loads around my property that may include a loaded trailer, and 25% putting around the property with my wife and son just to be outside. I am in my 30's so hauling ass and jumping things no longer appeals to me. My son is 2 so I dont see any issues with him fitting between us for the next couple years, but here are my concerns;
If we have another kid could I add a roll cage kit and some rear seats to the bed until they are old enough for their own machines, or when my son out gows the ability to fit in between us? (this would only be for out and about on my property, would not be doing serious trail riding with a setup like this) Another part of going with the 2 seater is I would be able to dump stone, mulch, dirt etc into the bed with my tractor, where as a roll cage would prevent me to from being able to do that.
Is the 3 speed transmission usable without the paddle shifters? We ride Haspin Acres in Indiana a lot and there are plenty of moderate/steep hills, would I have issues going with the base 700 relying on the automatic transmission to shift for me in technical, rocky, semi steep (I am kinda girly and afraid of hills now-uh-days)
With no low range does it feel like its lacking power if you get in some thick mud, or pulling a heavy load. I could see me pulling loads of 1200-1600lbs around my property (including trailer weight) on occasion.
I know the options of going up the the delux model and I just dont want to spend the extra coin for that. So you guys out there with this machine, am I going to be a happy camper by buying the base 700 2 seater? Should I go with the 1000 because it will offer more room for me/wife/son without adding a cage if we have no more children? Plus the added power and low range for pulling and hauling loads around my property?
P.S. I feel like I have read every review out there and watched all the youtube videos. I feel like it would be a solid choice but I need to hear from you owners firsthand. Should be buying in the next month or so, look forward to seeing you all out there.