HONDA UPGRADES PIONEER RANGE; DCT IS TECHNOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHT
August 5, 2015
Honda Pioneer 1000 now available with dual clutch transmission.
Honda’s range of all-terrain vehicles has been expanded with the addition of two new models to the Pioneer family and — unique in its sector — dual-clutch transmission (DCT) technology is one of the most prominent upgrades. The 2016 model year line-up sees the Pioneer 1000 and 1000-5 added, promising to “raise the bar in terms of power, performance and capability in work and recreational applications,” according to the Japanese manufacturer.
The addition of the DCT — which represents the sector’s only fully automatic mechanical transmission, according to Honda — goes against the grain. The market is typically dominated by a foot-activated manual shift setup, or automatic transmissions. Honda, however, having deployed DCT technology across a number of its ATV and motorcycle models, believes that it will prove to be a popular choice.
Honda points to five main advantages for adopting a dual clutch transmission in the Pioneer 1000: durability; improved engine braking; more efficient transfer of power; versatility; and reliable performance in mud and water. “Ultimately it wasn’t much of a debate,” revealed Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications at American Honda. “We chose DCT because it was a superior transmission for side-by-side users and consistent with Honda’s reputation for innovation and quality.”
The Pioneer 1000’s DCT features six forward speeds plus reverse, and two gearing ranges (high and low). There is also the option of paddle shifting and three shift modes (standard, sport and manual), depending on the model. Honda says it wants to provide the smoothness and seamless changes of an automatic, while at the same time allowing drivers the option of taking total control of the vehicle’s gear shifting.
The Pioneer 1000 features an inline 999 cc engine, alongside the DCT.
Elsewhere, Edmunds maintains that the range is strong. “The Pioneer 500 has a manual transmission with paddle shifting, while the Pioneer 700 is an automatic transmission, with an automotive-style torque converter,” he says. “The torque converter system has many of the same benefits as DCT in terms of reliability and efficiency.”
The new DCT transmission — developed solely by Honda — works alongside an inline, twin-cylinder Unicam 999 cc engine, and is the first time such a technology has been used by a side-by-side ATV. “With steel gears, the DCT offers true engine braking, seamless shifting and a smooth, reliable transfer of power,” adds Edmunds.