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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rather than make different posts, i think I'll just start here and keep posting back as it gets miles.

9 - 34 miles:

Took it out and now have about 34 miles or so near Williams, AZ.

Cons: With all the postings about power ( or more accurately, gearing ) and the concerns i had, you just know it would have an issue, and it did. Climbing through a very rocky section, there were some stair step style boulders probably a foot high i had to cross going up hill. Upon rolling up to these, the machine spun in 2WD and slid over slightly. Then in 4wd, the rear tire of the machine edged up to the face of 1st boulder with the front tire in a similar position on the second, and no amount of throttle would get it to climb the face. Just bogged. Almost...but didn't quite do it. I let off and the gunned it and it finally went over. I am about 270, my buddy is about 300, and we were at around 7000 feet. No notable cargo weight.

This pissed me quite badly. This machine should be able to climb or spin the tires in such a situation.

Then....just to do the typical Honda Rincon/Big Red/Pioneer Jekyll and Hyde thing, it turns around and climbs a fairly steep hill....in second, with little effort???? WTF is it with these things?

TO BE FAIR, the rock incident happened with maybe 10 miles on the clock ( dirt road miles...not many hours for the mileage ). The hill was more like 30 miles. A short time after the hill, i faced a similar situation as the first rocks...but perhaps slightly tougher, and this time it pulled itself up and over.

More broken in making the difference? Hopefully.

Also: Steering is super light while moving...but i can see why some might complain if you have to turn while stationary.

Also: This is the 3rd Pioneer that i have driven, and all of them had the steering wheel off to the left.

Pluses: NOT beat up like i would have been on my quad. Despite dealer inflated tires, the thing seems to ride great.

Kinda dig the 3 speed ( most of the time ).
Seems very quiet.
Used very little fuel.
Very comfy.
I also found the engine braking better than i expected. It's interesting to hear the PCM cycle the IAC valve and slow the thing down...clearly evident through the exhaust tone.

In short, i love it...assuming the thing gets enough power as it breaks in to not have the 1st rocks incident repeated. Seems to be getting much better already. I really hope it does, cause i like this thing a bunch.

Fingers crossed! More when some miles rack up.
 

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Shifting patterns

In exchange for a manual shifting option like the Rincon or a High/Low like the other SxS's, as I understand it the Pioneer uses driving history to make shifting decisions. That being said your results make perfect sense. As your mileage increased, the data pool was larger to provide better shifting patterns that met your demands. I have to be honest, I did not know what to think about this feature but I would have to say your experience is a pretty compelling argument that whatever they did works! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Run in (break in) will lead to better power after the rings have meshed into the cylinder grooves and the rest of the engine parts seat and wear into their permanent position. Would it make that big of difference? (Making it up a harder climb at 30 miles than at 10). Maybe, but it think it's more likely your driving familiarity was a lot higher too.

Nice right up, thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I should clarify that the "rock incident" was from a dead stop at the base of the rock, so no driving technique was involved other that simply hitting the gas. Nor would the transmission adaptation have any affect. Rock crawling type of obstacle.

The hill was a rolling start. Nothing that couldn't be climbed in 2wd...even a sport quad, but steep enough to command attention. The real surprise was that it did it in second under relatively light throttle.

Once the tires are moving it seems to do whatever you could ask. On the rock, it was forced to start them under the max load for the situation from a dead stop. When it failed, i let off and it rolled back a few inches and hit it with just a skosh of momentum...and it went up. Unfortunately, there will not always be the opportunity to get a run.

Some will say this is nit-picky. I will say that my old Foreman i traded in would have sat there and a) climbed the rocks, or b) smoked the tires and hopped around until something broke.

At some point after break in, i will probably go back to the same obstacle...just to satisfy myself. I was pretty bummed about it yesterday, but after a nights sleep, i am fairly confident that at full power it would have done it.
 

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DG, I've got the same concern and it's really the only concern I have with my P4 but haven't said anything because I'm not sure if it's fully broke in or needs adjusting or something. Seems like it's not revving up enough. I wonder if Honda actually designed it to not spin because like you said, it will go up some very steep hills but just will not spin all four.

One thing we need to remember is we won't be in these extreme situations all the time.

Here is a vid I did testing it out yesterday.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DG, I've got the same concern and it's really the only concern I have with my P4 but haven't said anything because I'm not sure if it's fully broke in or needs adjusting or something. Seems like it's not revving up enough. I wonder if Honda actually designed it to not spin because like you said, it will go up some very steep hills but just will not spin all four.

One thing we need to remember is we won't be in these extreme situations all the time.

Here is a vid I did testing it out yesterday.

True, but that's when you really need it to perform!

That 1st vid is exactly what happened. How many miles at that point? Fully warm?

How many miles in the second vid?

Your videos have me bummed again!

If this is what a Pioneer does when confronted with a steep climb, it will soon be sitting on another dealers lot for sale. NO EXCUSE FOR THIS!
 

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Thanks for the clarification. You need to consider the torque converter and it's stall speed if you talking about starting against an obstacle from a dead stop. I don't think it will ever function the way you are looking for it to function. Mechanically it's just not made to do it.
 
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mine has never bogged like that video at all.. my 700-4 would spin the tires in that same situation :\ but your not the first to report this.. maybe something needs to be adjusted..it doesn't seem to be putting the proper torque down .. tell them what you're experiencing at your dealership when you take it in for the first service.. by the way I have 25 miles on mine so its just barely broke in.. I couldn't see that being the issue..
 

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I agree Moose, Honda has to be careful to keep their outstanding reliability reputation. It could start hopping and jarring and damage something and be in the shop with everybody complaining.

On a side note I want to say.....IMO... If we go way back in time when Honda had the top of the line ATC's and the legendary TRX 250R. and then the sue happy people that would not accept responsibility for there own negligents and now Honda is forced to keep these things so safe that it's kind of pathetic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the clarification. You need to consider the torque converter and it's stall speed if you talking about starting against an obstacle from a dead stop.
I do.
The torque converter should compensate for the taller gearing, given its torque multiplication capabilities. And if an off-road machine isn't for climbing rocks, what is it for?

I'd bet any other SxS wouldn't sit and bog in these situations.

As illuminati said, these things are hit and miss. I think mine would have spun the tire there too. Hopefully mk700 will let us know the millage at the time of the videos.
 

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mine has never bogged like that video at all.. my 700-4 would spin the tires in that same situation :\ but your not the first to report this.. maybe something needs to be adjusted..it doesn't seem to be putting the proper torque down .. tell them what you're experiencing at your dealership when you take it in for the first service.. by the way I have 25 miles on mine so its just barely broke in.. I couldn't see that being the issue..
That's good news about the tire spin. I will let my dealer know.

I'm at about 56 miles. Both vids were done the same day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's good news about the tire spin. I will let my dealer know.

I'm at about 56 miles. Both vids were done the same day.
What elevation?

Please let me know what your dealer says.

FWIW, a lot of people seem to sense the machine running better after the first oil change. Don't imagine Honda uses anything but regular oil from the factory. Maybe its just placebo effect...
 

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About 6000 ft. and I'll let you know. I want to get about 100 miles before I take it in.

Edit: Don't get bummed DG. We'll get our wheels a spinning somehow.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
About 6000 ft. and I'll let you know. I want to get about 100 miles before I take it in.

Edit: Don't get bummed DG. We'll get our wheels a spinning somehow.:D
I hope so!

OK...I'm getting a little wound up here, and there is no reason to do so yet. The machine is too new to pass judgment on right now. It's just that i saw these complaints and thought there were outside factors or problems with the machine. I trusted Honda to "know better", and they better not let me down.
 

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I do.
The torque converter should compensate for the taller gearing, given its torque multiplication capabilities. And if an off-road machine isn't for climbing rocks, what is it for?

I'd bet any other SxS wouldn't sit and bog in these situations.

As illuminati said, these things are hit and miss. I think mine would have spun the tire there too. Hopefully mk700 will let us know the millage at the time of the videos.
If your at idle tight upon rocks on both the front and back wheels. You are basically in a brake stall. There is no torque multiplication, just the mechanical force of the engine with the limited RPM of whatever the stall is on the Pioneer. It will never do what your ATV did. It's too heavy and only has 34 hp plus twice the riders weight.

I bet your right about any other SxS. But most have way more HP and CC's at about the same weight. Plus belts are and advantage sometimes to an automotive automatic tranny. A little slip can be just what you need.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not bashing the Pioneer. I love my Pioneer. She is awesome and we will be together until either of our wheels fall off. I'm just not trying to give you a false sense of hope about what to expect at 200 miles.

And it will spin the tires and climb rocks and all that jazz, just not the biggest rocks or the coolest burn outs. Think middle of the road. A mix of sport and utility.

Plus there's always an intake upgrade, power commander, and bigger pipe. Strip some weight, octane booster. Can probably squeeze another 15% out of that engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If your at idle tight upon rocks on both the front and back wheels. You are basically in a brake stall. There is no torque multiplication, just the mechanical force of the engine with the limited RPM of whatever the stall is on the Pioneer.
From Torque Converters - Unlocking The Secrets - Car Craft Magazine

"...But the catch is that this torque multiplication doesn't last very long. The multiplication factor is based on the speed difference between the turbine and impeller. At stall speed, the impeller is spinning at engine rpm and the turbine is stopped. This creates the greatest speed difference between the turbine and the impeller and therefore the maximum torque multiplication. Once the brakes (or the transbrake) is released and the vehicle begins to move, the turbine spins up and the speed difference between the two diminishes. Generally, by the time you reach the 60-foot mark on the dragstrip, torque multiplication is effectively eliminated and the turbine and impeller speeds are close to achieving what converter manufacturers call coupling speed... "

So far as i can find out, the Pioneer uses a 3 element TQ just like a car ( minus the lockup clutch ), so this moment of tire meets rock should have been its best.

I also respectively disagree that it shouldn't do what my quad did. Yes its twice as heavy with twice as many people, but it has almost twice the HP and engine. This is not an HP issue anyway...its a gearing issue, and if this is what it does, then Honda should have had the good sense to give it lower gearing. I find the power perfectly acceptable for my casual trail riding.

But...i digress. This may not even be an issue. I'll find out soon enough.
 

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From Torque Converters - Unlocking The Secrets - Car Craft Magazine

"...But the catch is that this torque multiplication doesn't last very long. The multiplication factor is based on the speed difference between the turbine and impeller. At stall speed, the impeller is spinning at engine rpm and the turbine is stopped. This creates the greatest speed difference between the turbine and the impeller and therefore the maximum torque multiplication. Once the brakes (or the transbrake) is released and the vehicle begins to move, the turbine spins up and the speed difference between the two diminishes. Generally, by the time you reach the 60-foot mark on the dragstrip, torque multiplication is effectively eliminated and the turbine and impeller speeds are close to achieving what converter manufacturers call coupling speed... "

So far as i can find out, the Pioneer uses a 3 element TQ just like a car ( minus the lockup clutch ), so this moment of tire meets rock should have been its best.
Yes that's exactly what I was talking about. However, the rock or "brake" if you will was never released. As you creeped into the rock and stopped. Then hit the gas and experienced your "bogged down" . That was the beginning of your brake stall.

I pulled this definition from the same site you referenced. It's a little cleaner cut.

Brake Stall: The rpm the engine cannot exceed with the brakes locked and the driveshaft not spinning. Brake stall isn't usually an accurate measuring tool since the engine often overpowers the wheels before the true stall speed is reached.

In this case, the engine couldn't overpower the rocks (brakes). That's why you bogged. That was your stall RPM.

My background. Almost a decade of on track drag racing (with a turbo 400 auto tranny). I have done off roading for the past 20 years. In both trucks, dirt bikes, 3 wheelers, atvs, and SxS. I have raced sport bikes and modified Harley's. I am the mechanic on everything I have ever owned, raced, or drove down the road. I'm not looking stuff up on the net to just argue a point. I'm just trying to tell you why this happened.

Taking it in, maybe they can tweak it a little and get you the extra that's missing on your machine. It's very possible that something is off. It is the first year of production. However, if you find yourself in this situation again, any little rock or nudge you can get to the machine can be enough to overcome that stall. A little force can go a long way.

Read more: How to Select the Right Torque Converter - Car Craft Magazine
 

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what grade gas are you using ???? at 6000+feet we run the highest octain we can buy (91 octain) in the ATVs and we ride from 4000-10,000 feet and it helps
i dont know if there is a clutch adjustment on the pioneer (im also having a brainfart as its almost the same as the rincon and i cant recall if it has one ) but if there is try that
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes that's exactly what I was talking about. However, the rock or "brake" if you will was never released. As you creeped into the rock and stopped. Then hit the gas and experienced your "bogged down" . That was the beginning of your brake stall.

I pulled this definition from the same site you referenced. It's a little cleaner cut.

Brake Stall: The rpm the engine cannot exceed with the brakes locked and the driveshaft not spinning. Brake stall isn't usually an accurate measuring tool since the engine often overpowers the wheels before the true stall speed is reached.

In this case, the engine couldn't overpower the rocks (brakes). That's why you bogged. That was your stall RPM.

My background. Almost a decade of on track drag racing (with a turbo 400 auto tranny). I have done off roading for the past 20 years. In both trucks, dirt bikes, 3 wheelers, atvs, and SxS. I have raced sport bikes and modified Harley's. I am the mechanic on everything I have ever owned, raced, or drove down the road. I'm not looking stuff up on the net to just argue a point. I'm just trying to tell you why this happened.

Taking it in, maybe they can tweak it a little and get you the extra that's missing on your machine. It's very possible that something is off. It is the first year of production. However, if you find yourself in this situation again, any little rock or nudge you can get to the machine can be enough to overcome that stall. A little force can go a long way.

Read more: How to Select the Right Torque Converter - Car Craft Magazine
My background: 8 ASE certifications, including transmissions. In and out of the auto repair field for 2 decades ( thankfully, currently out ). I also spin the wrenches on everything I own...unless there is a very good reason to let someone else do it. So I didn't just look this up...I knew it long before SxS's even existed.

When said tire had power applied to it, it had the choice to either climb the rock or exceed available traction. It did neither, and as such, it is the 1st vehicle I have ever owned that lacked the ability to do what it was designed to do, and there is no magical tweaking that will fix it ( it runs too well for something to be amiss ). I see this as a major design flaw, while it doesn't seem to bother you, so the Pioneer will serve you well.
As for me, I already know why this happened, and if it doesn't remedy itself with some more miles, I might as well have brought an $11K golf cart.

To argue about this is pointless. Have a good day and Enjoy making sawdust.
 

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You will notice the machines run better (stronger) the more miles you get on them. As far as the stall part you can expect that from time to time in certain situations. The Rincon does the same thing and usually a few throttle "blips" gets it going. I have even had a Rincon with a gear reduction stall in certain situations, just too much traction to get things going. With that said I have also had about every other 4 wheeler out there do the same (I have built some good running wheelers also).

I won't lie, Honda should have installed a low gear in these plus the atv line (Rincon) but they tried to save money getting the extra out of the electronic side. For most, that is enough for what the machine is designed for. I ride pretty extreme situations a lot of the times and have been in the same situation where the machine wouldn't overcome the traction.

My best advice is to get some miles on it and on the 2nd oil change adjust the valve tappets and just see what it does. I'm pretty sure it will get better for you but there will always be that chance of powering it out, just like every other machine out there. The nice thing about getting powered out is your not snapping axles and drive shafts (I've done that plenty also.. lol). A little "finesse" will get you going most of the time when it does happen though.
 
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