Weekend in Jackman Maine with Tracks
my Pioneer 700-4 is equipped for street use in New Hampshire, but cannot be registered as a snowmobile because I'm overweight and too wide. I am OK in Maine for now. I have been having issues with cold starts and sure enough on the -1 degree morning I killed the battery and then the large jump pack I brought with me. I ended up with either and another jump pack from a guy who just had the same issue with his brand new Ski Doo.
I have a brand new set of 2014 Camoplast UTV specific tracks installed, Honda windshield, Honda Hardtop and back soft panel, my own directionals, LED light bars front and rear, my own wiper set up, and Harbor Freight 5K winch on a KFI mount. (KFI 72" snowplow with track extensions installed last night. More to come on that)
Performance: Tracks are geared down 1/3 on flat hard pack on dirt road back home I can hit the rev limiter at about 42MPH on the speedometer, which I am calculating is really 28MPH.
During the trip on some significant inclines up mountains I slowed to 12-15 MPH. actual 8 to 10 MPH. This was with two people two 5 gallon jerry cans, large container of tow ropes, tools, clothing, etc... In general 29 to 32 MPH actual 20 to 21 MPH, and down hill actual of 28MPH.
I am disappointed with the uphill performance it drops off significantly, I had to stop several times to get the tranny to shift down to where it should of been. I immediately started thinking turbo, big bore kit, exhaust, tuner, etc... Even a small high rev diesel engine swap ( I am getting dimensions for one made in India now)
I was Impressed with the fact I drove off past the few deep snow tracks, where I could see someone had been buried and plowed right through in just 4WD. I slowed a bit but kept on moving. The thing is like a tank or a dozer. We had no issues with our size and because of the slow speed we did not have to worry about crashes. According to a very knowledgeable Maine authority the only issue we might of had was bridge width. We did not see any bridges.
Comfort - the late day moguls created by snowmobiles were a breeze. The Pioneer just floated over the tops. I did have a couple of rubs front the tracks, but I feel this is just an adjustment. The snow whipping around the back depositing in the bed and in the space between the HONDA hard roof and soft rear window was unbelievable. My wife and I were like snowmen, the interior was full of snow, the windshield however stayed clean. I have a set of soft doors, but was not able to install in time. I will have to fab some kind of shield to go between the roof and the soft curtain, it was like someone had a snow gun pointed inside. We stopped for lunch with 20 or so other snowmobiles and they were nice and dry, while we looked like snowmen. Next year the doors, roof filler plate and heater will be installed, and I hope a power improvement. I do not need more speed, I just need to be able to maintain speed.
All in All - I give the machine a thumbs up. I would not have a UTV with a centrifugal clutch for anything, that is one reason I waited for the Honda, the other is the reliability.
I am taking it into the Honda dealer for the cold start issue this week.
I am open to any opinions, proven results, etc about getting the performance I am looking for.