Ultimate UTV Project – Honda Pioneer


When this project started I had no idea what a journey it would be.  It started easy enough as I wanted to get a machine for a little fun and work, along with supervising my son on his wheeler.  When I did bring the machine home I knew I wanted to change some things, upgrade some things and add some accessories. 

In doing research on which machine to buy I ended up with the Honda Pioneer 1000-5.  This machine ultimately had a lot to offer from the 1000cc motor, transmission, seating for 5, plus a usable dump box for hauling guns and ammo to and from the range to make videos for G&T of course. 

Rather than write more you can see why I chose the Honda here:

When I was talking to everyone I knew who had a SxS or UTV I cam up with a list of all of things I wanted to do and add.  I heard about adding dome lights, reverse lights, mirrors, a windshield and more.  I am the type of guy that likes to buy once, cry once.  I had no idea how much work and expensive this would be.  I ended up putting in countless hours, buying tons of supplies, tools and parts to get this done versus how it rolled off the showroom floor.  Speaking of that, I was lucky enough to buy mine as a previous year model before COVID demand kicked up driving up prices and supply down.  I cant say how happy I am with how this turned out, I have been able to use mine for work, chores, to and from the range and for some great trail rides.

If you are looking to make some upgrades to your UTV having some tools and supplies will come in handy.  Check out this video going over what I found really helpful in my overhaul of my SxS.

At the very bottom of this article you will find a list of links to various parts, tools and supplies used.  

By far one of the coolest mods” I did was add storage room to the Pioneer.  I love compartments and hatches on stuff, once I found out that this was doable it was something that really made buying the Pioneer easier.  Using the voids in the rear doors and under the seat I was able to gain a lot more storage.  They’re somewhat covered, but not water sealed, storage areas are more secure than just using the box plus it helps to keep things out of sight and from rolling around.  If you have a Pioneer you need to do this:

After storage mods, I went down the road of electronics.  Thankfully I had some great Tech Ed teachers back in the day, Mr. Nix if you ever read this I was paying attention.  12 volt DC electrical isnt overly complicated but you can still mess things up.  Take your time, disconnect power sources and do your research.  Things like proper wire gauge, fuse selection, power management, Amps, draw, wire routing are all things that should be planned and thought out ahead of time.  I cant stress enough, have a plan, take your time and have the proper tools on hand and you will be happy with the results.

Speaking of electronics, what I used to manage my power to accessories, switches, and fuses was the all inclusive Switch Pro RCR-Force 12.  This was by far the most expensive component but wow does it deliver.  Pretty nice but you can certainly use traditional fuse buses, relays and switches as well.

Now we are ready to ride, I found having mirrors is really a necessity.  Viewing other riders, trail hazards, traffic when crossing or using roads, mirrors are something you will miss having.  I started with a standard cheap automotive mirror and quickly found out how limited the view was compared to a curved UTV style mirror.  The mirrors from Seizmik have really impressed me, plus they have LED lights and look great!  Check this out for more details.

After getting a little more trail experience with my Pioneer, I have learned what upgrades made the Pioneer more trail worthy.  Truth be told I do think the Pioneer is a little more sporty than it gets credit for, but these additions will help no doubt.  The Pioneer also has a great reputation for helping out several other machines on the trails, in some groups it even earns bragging rights.

If you are looking to use your machine on the trails then this video is for you.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my project, I can tell you it has been an incredibly rewarding journey for me.  Using my SxS has taken me to some great places on the trails that I would not have likely experienced.  Thanks for reading and heres to good riding!

The Top Ten Trail Items:
  1. Macs Tie Down UTV Wheel Nets
  2. UTV 801 Glass Windshield
  3. MotoAlliance Viper Elite Winch
  4. RAM Mounts X Grip Phone Holder
  5. Spare Tire, Repair Kit and Jack
  6. Dirt Road Fabrication Bed Extender Rack
  7. Ryco Motorsports Street Legal Kit
  8. Seizmik Halo and Pursuit Night Vision Mirrors
  9. RAD Customs Back Seat Brackets
  10. ThrottleMAXX Gas Pedal
Tools and Supplies:

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  1. I am a 6.2 220lbs wondering if there was plenty room in the front seat in the Honda Pioneer 1000-3. Do you have a measurement from seat to dashboard on drivers side steering wheel and passenger side? Thanks

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