P500 For those on the fence regarding the P500

Idahotruckman

Idahotruckman

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2021
83
388
53
Boise, Idaho
Ownership

  1. 500
I have a 2009 Grizzly 700 which I love, but started looking at side by sides due to a bad back and neck. I also wanted something that could be used for maintenance of my land up in the mountains. Saw a couple Pioneer 500s at a campground and knew I had to find out more about them. In the area I live there was not one to be found - a casualty of the Covid Cooties. So I had to travel an hour away to Ontario, Oregon where I test drove one of the two remaining P500s the dealership had in stock.

My first impression test driving the P500 in the back lot behind the dealership was not great. I thought it rode hard, was rather noisy, and was not as "cushy" as my Yamaha Grizzly 700. However, it did have a fairly comfortable seat, and it enabled my wife and I to ride together safely. So I purchased it that day.

Half windshield, bimini top, winch, winch and rotopax were purchased at the dealership. In my opinion these were required items. I soon went on amazon.com and purchased mirrors.

My first trail ride was only a few miles long as I traveled with some atv riders out to a spot in the desert where we hone our shooting skills with some target practice. My appreciation of the machine grew a bit, since the little Pioneer went everywhere the atvs could travel. Hills, ruts, and sharp corners were no problem. However, it felt a bit tippy and still rode hard, especially when I began increasing my speed. Top speed returning to the truck on the gravel roads was only around 40 mph. It's certainly not a sporty machine.

Searching through the internet, I was pleased to find the Honda SxS Forum. Finding the Forum was both a good and bad discovery. Good - because it contained a wealth of information from many helpful and knowledgeable people in regard to the P500, as well as other machines. Bad, because you helpful and knowledgeable people are costing me serious money! ;)

Went to the Honda Forum for answers about tires - Result - I purchased the 26" x 9" x 12" and the 26" x 11" x 12" Bighorn 2.0 radial tires. It improved the ride greatly. Good tires make a difference out on the trail, and radials are worth the cost in my humble opinion. I experimented with the air pressure, and for me nine pounds of air in each tire is about right. It did better on trails but was very tippy to the point of almost flipping on its side on some trails which I probably should not have been on. Heed the advice of the Forum wise-men (or are they wise- guys) - if you go up in height you need to go out!

Went to the Honda Forum for answers about "tippyness" - Result - Purchased 1 1/2' wheel spacers for the front - it helped the stability a lot, but was still a little unsteady. Purchased back spacers in the same size - vast improvement. I began enjoying riding the trails again, although riding at speed I still noticed some bouncing almost uncontrollably on bumps, ruts, and rough trails.

Went to the Honda Forum for answers about the rough ride - Result - Purchased front Walker Evans shocks. They were just making the P500 shocks so it only took me two weeks for them to arrive. I installed them and they made a vast improvement in the ride. So much so that my wife urged me to buy the rear ones, which unfortunately took three months to arrive. After installing the rear shocks, I had a great little trail machine. If you are considering upgrading shocks just pull off the $ band-aid quickly and buy all four.

I took the P500 up into the mountains on some very sketchy trails for an extended ride and OH MY GOSH I had soooooo much fun! It performed flawlessly. It took tight corners like a champ, climbed steep rocky hills with hardly any effort, and soaked up bumps and rough spots on the trail. I love holding the gears by using the manual mode of shifting and love the auto mode for cruising to the trails on gravel forest service roads. On trails and roads with some gravel on them I can still do power slides with no loss of control.

Don't really need power steering but may install it someday. Likewise for a front locker. I don't travel through mud much and have not needed it for rocky trails. Purchased a Trigger Shield recently and look forward to installing it to cut down on the noise. It is a noisy little guy. I don't really notice the heat issue some folks have mentioned. I have had no mechanical issues at all. All I have done is it's first service.

I actually like the rack instead of the dump bed of the P520. It gives me some cargo carrying options. The P500 lacks storage space so I installed a glove box in the cab, and a box and basket on the rack.

The initial purchase price of $8,600 plus the accessories total right around $12,000. Not bad for a fun, capable, and almost bulletproof small UTV. It's not the fastest or smoothest or most refined machine. But traveling technical, tight trails and going up steep hills with the option of carrying a companion makes the P500 worth considering for a small UTV. I am glad I have it.
 
wvupsc

wvupsc

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2021
180
802
93
West Virginia
Ownership

  1. 500
Thanks for the report. I'm on the same journey as you regarding accessories for my P520. I'm trying to unpucker long enough to pull out my credit card buy a new front and rear suspension. This post, as well as aerolite's, are helping me with the decision.
 
Montecresto

Montecresto

Montecresto el segundo
Lifetime Member
Supporting Member
Club Contributor
Jan 17, 2016
22,587
34,173
113
Eastern oklahoma
Ownership

  1. Other Brand

  2. 500

  3. 1000-3

  4. 1000-5

  5. Talon X4
but started looking at side by sides due to a bad back and neck.
So do I and the travel and suspension on the P5 is not suited to those problems…After one group trail ride I suffered for 6 months and had to end up getting three rounds of Cortisone shots. I’d recommend the Talon X4LV…

Otherwise there’s not a thing wrong with the P5, I still have mine and use it on the tame stuff……

JMO…..😊👍
 
Tom_C

Tom_C

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2021
141
446
63
Virginia, USA
Ownership

  1. 500
Hello, and glad you got a nice machine. I had a 2008 foreman 500 ATV, and my wife planted the seed that we should get a SXS. So, I sold the ATV thinking I would buy a 520.... then found inventory was non existent. I panic bought a used 2015 500 with a snow blade, winch, windshield, 27's all around, top, and some other stuff for 8K. Long story on my post-purchase adventure, and that's for another post.

I installed the superatv power steering. Worth the price. And 1" spacers all around.

I wanted the tilt bed, but I can live with the rear rack, for now.
 
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P

pappyo

Well-Known Member
Dec 19, 2013
593
2,376
93
You have been busy having Fun & lowering your net worth at the same time.
Pictures are proof.
Power Steering reduces the Strain on everything you & SXS. THEN look out the wife will drive you will be riding or maybe walking?
What year is this P500 those before 2021 had rear swaybars (some have removed & like the ride without )

FYI:
A nother Ride Quality Improvement to consider.
polaris rzr 1000 Bucket Seats ( Have Bolsters & hold you more Stable ). rzr decal removal is REQUIRED.
Less Bobby rock & roll increasing Ride Comfort especially on the Longer Rides ( A LOT LESS Ride FATIGUE )

Trigger & I have both done this ( using different methods ) & I'm sure others -- just do not know who!
I have done this on a couple P500's & 1- P700.
The P700 & Fox Shocks with (rzr bucket sears ) Rides better than most tow vehicles ( real baby carrage ride ).
PICTURE: rzr seats with Seat Heater Kit installed.
ALL wires hidden in plastic ammobox under storage arm-rest & cup holder.

DITTO: Absolutely Glad about HAVING a PIONEER 500 Fits my needs Nicely.

20200725 123016
 
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Montecresto

Montecresto

Montecresto el segundo
Lifetime Member
Supporting Member
Club Contributor
Jan 17, 2016
22,587
34,173
113
Eastern oklahoma
Ownership

  1. Other Brand

  2. 500

  3. 1000-3

  4. 1000-5

  5. Talon X4
You have been busy having Fun & lowering your net worth at the same time.
Pictures are proof.
Power Steering reduces the Strain on everything you & SXS. THEN look out the wife will drive you will be riding or maybe walking?
What year is this P500 those before 2021 had rear swaybars (some have removed & like the ride without )

FYI:
A nother Ride Quality Improvement to consider.
polaris rzr 1000 Bucket Seats ( Have Bolsters & hold you more Stable ). rzr decal removal is REQUIRED.
Less Bobby rock & roll increasing Ride Comfort especially on the Longer Rides ( A LOT LESS Ride FATIGUE )

Trigger & I have both done this ( using different methods ) & I'm sure others -- just do not know who!
I have done this on a couple P500's & 1- P700.
The P700 & Fox Shocks with (rzr bucket sears ) Rides better than most tow vehicles ( real baby carrage ride ).
PICTURE: rzr seats with Seat Heater Kit installed.
ALL wires hidden in plastic ammobox under storage arm-rest & cup holder.

DITTO: Absolutely Glad about HAVING a PIONEER 500 Fits my needs Nicely.

View attachment 289191
Wow, your cab looks really nice…😊👍
 
infyx

infyx

Active Member
Jan 26, 2023
62
105
33
Maine
Ownership

  1. 700-4
Hate to revive this older thread...but is there a how to on putting those seats in?
The seats are probably the only thing I don't like about my new 700-4.
I looked under the bench and it didnt look capable of any aftermarket stuff.

Would love a howto on this...
 
trigger

trigger

Old Ironsides
Vendor
Lifetime Member
Supporting Member
Feb 13, 2016
20,937
154,975
113
Bay City, Michigan
www.quickshieldutv.com
Ownership

  1. 500
Hate to revive this older thread...but is there a how to on putting those seats in?
The seats are probably the only thing I don't like about my new 700-4.
I looked under the bench and it didnt look capable of any aftermarket stuff.

Would love a howto on this...
Yeah, there's no plug and play for that one. It can be done but it's a custom mod and a bit involved. I show pics in my thread of how I did it in my P5 but not measurements and all that. A handful have done it and each one did it a little different.

 
P

pappyo

Well-Known Member
Dec 19, 2013
593
2,376
93
Have New take off set of 2 RZR 1000 seats DK grey & Black with White stitching
Converted bases to fit pioneer 500.( after converting never installed ) all fitting was done before I sold the machine.
You will Need the rubber plug from P500 bottom seat.( then is plug & play )
That plug fits into the converted base locating it to fit same bench seat mount you just took if off.
Front is made to fit & use bench seat mounting slot in the frame may have to trim a little plastic here.
Next : I purchased a set of seat Heaters for these seats ( never installed ) still in box.
I intended to put all wiring & switches in a plastic ammo box with a false bottom cover, upper portion storage & Arm rest.
I have done this 1 other time it Does work


View attachment 235598 View attachment 235599 View attachment 235600 View attachment 235601 View attachment 235602

Hate to revive this older thread...but is there a how to on putting those seats in?
The seats are probably the only thing I don't like about my new 700-4.
I looked under the bench and it didnt look capable of any aftermarket stuff.

Would love a howto on this...
Revived a old post </> see pictures of a P500 I did ( MODIFIED rzr seat bases )
Reused OEM front Honda mount & rubber bushings 1 OEM BOLT to hold position.
Requires some fabrication to rzr seat bases Not that Dificult
Takes time / maeasuring / welding.
Done several - P500 </> 1 - P520 ( All the same set-up )

1 P700 </> simular method
1 ranger 6x6
 

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