Honda Goes Independent
Honda has loaded its guns and hit the ATV market with an all-new model that signals the company’s determination to take back the turf it has been defending in the Sport category. The new TRX700EX features a powerful 686cc single overhead cam mill, plus (and this is a complete departure for Honda), independent rear suspension.
Although Honda isn’t first into the market with an IRS Pure Sport ATV (Polaris has been offering the Outlaw for nearly three years), the addition of this very desirable feature to the Sport ATV market puts Honda on the cutting edge.
The double A-arm design at the front delivers 9.3 inches of travel using hydraulic shocks and the independent rear wishbones stroke a full 10.6-inches. These kind of travel numbers open up all kinds of trail riding opportunities and the best part is the excellent ground clearance (9.9 inches) riders will gain, especially at the rear. Our experience with IRS Sport ATVs is you can go nearly anywhere without getting hung up on rocks and stumps the way you do on a straight axle ATV.
The engine is all-new and features a 4-valve design and Keihin throttle body style EFI (44mm throttle body). This mill should rock hard when you squeeze the flipper plus deliver the kind of smooth throttle tip-in, flawless fuel delivery and quick starting trail riders need. The whole package weighs in at a claimed 508 pounds dry, including reverse, electric start and a 5-speed manual tranny.
Obviously, Honda is looking to rock the 700 Raptor’s world with this exciting and innovative entry – and we wouldn’t bet a dime against it happening.
Honda Big Red UTV
Although not available until next summer, Honda has surprised the press with the intro of a new side X side called Big Red. The company is dead serious about this entry and has added the kinds of features UTV riders want most.
It sports fully independent double wishbone suspension at both the front and rear and a fuel-injected 675cc overhead valve single for motivation. Obviously this power package is borrowed from the Rincon, and that’s a very good thing.
We’re unsure of details but it looks like the Rincon’s torque converter style 3-speed automatic tranny is put into service here, as well. One feature we really like is the adjustability of the driver and passenger seats.
No more stretching to reach the pedals or just to get comfortable. The high volume, tilting cargo box provides a good excuse to your spouse for buying one of these.
With selectable 4×4 and plenty of ground clearance, you can expect Big Red to go just about anywhere. The 680 power package is a really good move, getting the attention of UTV owners with a power package that can deliver tons of torque for fun riding and decent power to do chores, too.