Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
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I've been riding quads/SxS since about 1989 or thereabouts.. The Pioneer is the 1st i've ever had with a diff lock.
I can't say that not having one ever stopped me from getting where i was going on a quad...but it certainly made the task much harder. Keep in mind i am not a mudder...or a hardcore rock-crawler, for either of which a locker is mandatory. Also, a locker has a clear advantage when pulling loads that are right on the limit of what the machine can do ( traction wise ).
Now, i am fully convinced a SxS is a different animal. I have already used diff lock to extract myself from a several situations where the Pioneer was only digging holes otherwise. When a quad gets stuck, you can manipulate it a lot of times and get it out...but when a much-heavier SxS gets stuck....it's REALLY hard to get it going again. To me, any SxS...even one meant only for casual trail riding...has to have a locker.
As for me personally, there is the principle of this. Every other SxS has one. Honda last year acknowledged that this is what the people want by finally putting it on the Foreman and the new Pioneer. Now, for reasons that mystify me, the new 50" machine from Japan i have been waiting for doesn't have one.
Is cost an issue? I'd gladly pay the extra $500-1000 for this machine with a locker. Of course, then there is the matter of 24" tires and 1994 spec suspension...but that is a topic for another thread. I wouldn't care what the specs say...if it works well.
Now, i have been thinking about something. The new 500 seems largely based on the 500 Foreman, which has a locking diff. I have never seen one in person.
Looking at what pics we can find of the innards of the 500P, it looks like it uses a different front diff then the old Honda limited slip diffs. Looks much wider...in fact, it could well be the same one used on the 700. If that's the case, $500 or so gets you a brand new locking, drop in diff for the 500...if all the spline counts are the same. All you have to do is rig up a shifter for the lock and not kill yourself. If not from the 700, then maybe from the Foreman...which i believe is electric..
I haven't paid much attention over the last few years, but in my experience, Honda re-uses diffs often. I don't see then tooling up an all-new diff just for the 500. It would be easier to just omit the locking parts, block them off with a blank plate, and give you an open diff. So there could well be a way to lock the 500 with factory parts. Time will tell....and maybe TooDeep can elaborate on this.
Last edited by DG Rider; 05-18-2014 at 06:45 PM.