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Mule FX Pro Ranch Edition Vs Honda Pioneer 1000

Plumber101010

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So I recently bought the above Mule because even though I like the Honda I was still missing something and wanted the best of both worlds. And yes, I still own the Honda Pioneer 1000. What I was missing was seating capacity as well as comfort.

Rather than write a new review i'll post the review I posted on the Kawasaki forum because somebody had asked if anybody had experience with both of those machines because they were trying to decide which one to buy. I'll change a few things here and there. Here is my comments I copied and pasted here and hopefully will also help anyone who's on THIS website trying to make that same decision.

OK let's start off first by saying they are totally and different opposite machines from each other, which can do their own "special" things better than any other UTV in my opinion, which is specifically why I bought both, to have the best of both worlds. To say both they are at the top of their field in their own special abilities.

Now please try to keep in mind that these comments are made on a comparison and not on their own. To say if a comment is made about the Honda being rough, it's rough COMPARED to the Mule, not necessarily rough on its own.

So, If you want PURE performance, something that will climb up the side of a tree, rocket up a STEEP, slippery rugged mountain side like it was on flat asphalt, and race down the roads at 65 mph, faster than anything else, no doubt the Honda Pioneer 1000 is your obvious choice.

It has a locking front axle which gives you a true blue 4 Wheel Drive.

But...be prepared to be on a bumpy roller coaster ride the entire time. Being shaked and jerked around with a lot of engine/tranny whine and noise.

The six speed shaft driven transmission really is an amazing thing and that in and of itself is what gives it the speed, power and climbing ability. But as anything else, the trade-off is the jerking when it shifts. This is NOT shifting like your car transmission. Not even as smooth as a motorbike transformation. When it shifts you know and you feel it.

Highly recommend only getting the three seater because in my opinion the five seater is a joke compared to the Mule. The jump seats are small, crammed, and very hard to get in and get out of. For all practical purposes you should only look at them as children seats at best. The concept of folding backseats sounds great but the reality is not practical!

The rollbar also covers the cargo bed / seating which makes any kind of possible construction use, such as using an excavator to dump rock in the bed impossible.

The Mule is an entirely different beast and I want you to look at them like you would a Cadillac Escalade vs a Military Jeep.

The Jeep will take you through hell and back but in a MUCH noticeably less comfortable manner "compared" to a Cadillac Escalade.

The Mule is a Hotel suite compared to the Honda. Its smooth, wide, spacious, big and comfortable. Seats SIX full-size adults like you were all in La-Z-Boy chairs! The operation is smooth and quiet and belt driven and basically if you are trying to carry people and or a load of stuff on a ranch or construction site the mule is your baby and the way to go!

One is luxury and one is utilitarian. Now that is NOT to say the Mule cannot carry its own when it comes to trailing or climbing. But it's simply not in the same league as a Honda 1000.

But again don't think that means it is not capable, as it is a VERY capable machine and will do what it needs to do, it just won't do it to quite the extremes the pioneer will. It does not have a front locking axle so you will only get 3 Wheel Drive at best. It's also wider which may prevent you from getting through some tight obstacles.

It does 45 miles an hour top speed driving downwind, on a very windy day, and also gets there rather slowly, but goes more than fast enough for my own personal uses regardless.

But when it comes to a comparison on acceleration and speed, forget-about-it, the pioneer so out classes the Mule that it's acctually an insult to the 1000 to even be included in a comparison. Now i will say to me, the Honda feels a bit unstable doing 65 and I have only once got it up to that speed, as 99.99999% of my driving is done at speeds of 35 to 45 so the Mule is more than fast enough.

But the very aggressive plus taller tires I am using on the Honda is what leads to a lot of the instability at 65 and I think if you had regular tires it would feel much more stable!

The Mule WILL handle steep inclines going up and down. The gentleman at the dealership who gave you that advice on the Mule, is, well stupid!!!

First of all you should NOT be doing ANY climbing that's steep in high gear! Low is what you want to use and will also prevent wear and tear on the drivetrain. Putting it in high on any kind of climbing is not a good idea whatsoever.

A belt drive is not going to work like the six speed transmission so when you're going down a hill the Honda will downshift and the transmission can definitely be utilized in slowing you down.

But a CVT transmission in no matter what vehicle is not going to have much hold back and you're going to use the brakes. Now that's not really a problem unless you have a full load and it's very slippery and then you will slide down versus drive down.

But my point is I wouldn't let that stop you unless you're going to be carrying very heavy loads AND being on inclines everywhere you go.

Again when comparing the two, think of the Mule as a tank. Very slow-moving but it will not stop and the tires WILL keep spinning, even though very slowly, they will keep spinning with six adults and a large load on a steep incline and will get you to the top. Even if it's crawling by the time it gets there...

Mule has a parking / emergency brake and is a very nice added feature BUT does not have park position on the shift.

The Honda does not have any kind of a parking or emergency brake but does have a park position.

One day someone will get smart and simply supply both. Maybe they have already in another brand that I don't know.

The cargo bed is not covered by the rollbar so you can use a machine to load it up.

Mule Ranch Edition comes with a top, a warn winch, LED lights and a couple other things. I highly recommend that version as if you try to add those things on later it will come out to be a lot more expensive.

To summarize: If you want something that can easily carry you AND many passengers around on rough backwoods trails, say you were bringing the family on a camping trip and needed room for a lot of people and a lot of gear but are not going to be encountering anything real extreme on the trail,the Mule is more than able to handle the task and would be your choice.

If you were going to be taking off as a trail buff looking to conquer some pretty extreme stuff, and only had you and a buddy and a lot of gear, wanted to make sure you wouldn't get stuck anywhere, wanted to make sure you wouldn't find any obstacle you couldn't overcome, were not going to go out of your way to bypass rough stuff, the Honda for sure is your choice.

So in the area of performance, the Honda is undoubtedly the king of the road and top in its field. The mule has no business comparing itself to it.

But in the area of comfort and spaciousness, the Mule is the king of the road and top in its field. And the Honda has no business comparing itself to it.

One is a roomy, fun machine for the entire family to have an adventure in.

One is an extreme machine that can overcome any obstacle's.
 
Last edited:
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AZhunter

Active Member
Jan 26, 2017
122
154
43
Peoria, Arizona
Ownership

1000-5
So I recently bought the above Mule because even though I like the Honda I was still missing something and wanted the best of both worlds. And yes, I still own the Honda Pioneer 1000. What I was missing was seating capacity as well as comfort.

Rather than write a new review i'll post the review I posted on the Kawasaki forum because somebody had asked if anybody had experience with both of those machines because they were trying to decide which one to buy. I'll change a few things here and there. Here is my comments I copied and pasted here and hopefully will also help anyone who's on THIS website trying to make that same decision.

OK let's start off first by saying they are totally and different opposite machines from each other, which can do their own "special" things better than any other UTV in my opinion, which is specifically why I bought both, to have the best of both worlds. To say both they are at the top of their field in their own special abilities.

Now please try to keep in mind that these comments are made on a comparison and not on their own. To say if a comment is made about the Honda being rough, it's rough COMPARED to he Mule, not necessarily rough on its own.

So, If you want PURE performance, something that will climb up the side of a tree, rocket up a STEEP, slippery rugged mountain side like it was on flat asphalt, and race down the roads at 65 mph, faster than anything else, no doubt the Honda Pioneer 1000 is your obvious choice.

It has a locking front axle which gives you a true blue 4 Wheel Drive.

But...be prepared to be on a bumpy roller coaster ride the entire time. Being shaked and jerked around with a lot of engine/tranny whine and noise.

The six speed shaft driven transmission really is an amazing thing and that in and of itself is what gives it the speed, power and climbing ability. But as anything else, the trade-off is the jerking when it shifts. This is NOT shifting like your car transmission. Not even as smooth as a motorbike transformation. When it shifts you know and you feel it.

Highly recommend only getting the three seater because in my opinion the five seater is a joke compared to the Mule. The jump seats are small, crammed, and very hard to get in and get out of. For all practical purposes you should only look at them as children seats at best. The concept of folding backseats sounds great but the reality is not practical!

The rollbar also covers the cargo bed / seating which makes any kind of possible construction use, such as using an excavator to dump rock in the bed impossible.

The Mule is an entirely different beast and I want you to look at them like you would a Cadillac Escalade vs a Military Jeep.

The Jeep will take you through hell and back but in a MUCH noticeably less comfortable manner "compared" to a Cadillac Escalade.

The Mule is a Hotel suite compared to the Honda. Its smooth, wide, spacious, big and comfortable. Seats SIX full-size adults like you were all in La-Z-Boy chairs! The operation is smooth and quiet and belt driven and basically if you are trying to carry people and or a load of stuff on a ranch or construction site the mule is your baby and the way to go!

One is luxury and one is utilitarian. Now that is NOT to say the Mule cannot carry its own when it comes to trailing or climbing. But it's simply not in the same league as a Honda 1000.

But again don't think that means it is not capable, as it is a VERY capable machine and will do what it needs to do, it just won't do it to quite the extremes the pioneer will. It does not have a front locking axle so you will only get 3 Wheel Drive at best. It's also wider which may prevent you from getting through some tight obstacles.

It does 45 miles an hour and it goes more than fast enough for my own personal uses. I can honestly tell you that the pioneer feels a bit unstable to me doing 65 and I have only once got it up to that speed, 99.99999% of my driving is done at speeds of 35 to 45 so the Mule is more than fast enough. But the very aggressive tires I am using on the Honda is what leads to a lot of the instability at 65 and I think if you had regular tires it would feel much more stable.

It WILL handle steep inclines going up and down. The gentleman at the dealership who gave you that advice on the Mule, is, well stupid!!!

First of all you should NOT be doing ANY climbing that's steep in high gear! Low is what you want to use and will also prevent wear and tear on the drivetrain. Putting it in high on any kind of climbing is not a good idea whatsoever.

A belt drive is not going to work like the six speed transmission so when you're going down a hill the Honda will downshift and the transmission can definitely be utilized in slowing you down.

But a CVT transmission in no matter what vehicle is not going to have much hold back and you're going to use the brakes. Now that's not really a problem unless you have a full load and it's very slippery and then you will slide down versus drive down.

But my point is I wouldn't let that stop you unless you're going to be carrying very heavy loads AND being on inclines everywhere you go.

The Mule has a parking / emergency brake and is a very nice added feature BUT does not have park position on the shift.

The Honda does not have any kind of a parking or emergency brake but does have a park position.

One day someone will get smart and simply supply both. Maybe they have already in another brand that I don't know.

The cargo bed is not covered by the rollbar so you can use a machine to load it up.

Mule Ranch Edition comes with a top, a warn winch, LED lights and a couple other things. I highly recommend that version as if you try to add those things on later it will come out to be a lot more expensive.

To summarize: If you want something that can aptly carry you AND passengers around on trails, say you were bringing the family on a camping trip and need room for a lot of people and a lot of gear but are not going to be encountering anything real extreme on the trail,the Mule is more than able to handle the task and would be your choice.

If you were going to be taking off as a trail buff looking to conquer some pretty extreme stuff, and only had you and a buddy and a lot of gear, wanted to make sure you wouldn't get stuck anywhere, wanted to make sure you wouldn't find any obstacle you couldn't overcome, we're not going to go out of your way to bypass rough stuff, the Honda for sure is your choice.

One is a roomy fun machine for the entire family to have fun in.

One is an extreme machine that can overcome any obstacle's.
Very well written review. Lots of good information. Thank you for taking the time to post this comparison. Hopefully there will be one on the 2018 1000 RANGER vs 1000 pioneer.
Nice job!
 

Plumber101010

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Thanks everyone!

One other thing I should have brought up and cannot believe I left out. Especially as it was the actual selling point for me personally!

Another BIG Mule advantage is that even with 6 seats, you STILL have a nice size cargo bed area thats totally separated from the seating area. The Pioneer when utilizing the jumpseats leave almost nothing left such for such things.

And when or if you need a full-size cargo area, the backseat simply pushes forward and the cargo bed opens up to a full size, "seamless" floor area as large if not larger than the Pioneer 3 seater or 5 with seats closed.

It's an ingenious design where the back seat is already sitting on top of a one piece floor of the cargo area.
 

Plumber101010

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Good review.

I would only disagree with your comment about hearing and feeling the Pioneer shift.
After about 300 miles mine is much smoother and quieter.
You have a 16 or 17? Just curious if maybe it's something that was changed in the later model? As mine drives me batty. And many others have complained about the jerking as well.

I heard also that it would get better especially if you used synthetic fluid's and I have done it all but still have it.

Truth is I would never trade it in though as having the six speed transmission with paddle shifting is just so radical and fun its worth any amount of jerking when I am climbing up mountainsides!!!
 

Plumber101010

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Just found this comparison on YouTube between the 2017 Honda and Mule!

Only difference is these are both single seat 3 seaters in the video.

 
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Ragnar406

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@Plumber101010 how many miles do you have on your Honda? I noticed a significant reduction in shifting noise a little before or around 100 miles in high. In low I had the same change but it was after driving in low for a period of time.
 

Plumber101010

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@Plumber101010 how many miles do you have on your Honda? I noticed a significant reduction in shifting noise a little before or around 100 miles in high. In low I had the same change but it was after driving in low for a period of time.
650 miles. But now I do drive in low, at low speeds, 99% of the time because almost everywhere I go is steep!

It's funny because in that video I posted he too made note that the Honda was very rough or jerky, I forgot the phrases used but it was not smooth lol
 
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Plumber101010

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But in the video he also said there was no under seat storage and that's absolutely false. The entire seat is removable and there is tons of storage under it! I wouldn't think there's any storage difference between the 3 seater and 6 seater but maybe there was.
 

swsebek

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Honda is better looking
I have nothing bad to say on Kawasakis
They hold there own on everything
You get that mule slopped in deep mudd, the pioneer ain't pulling it out.
I was surprised the price was lower than I thought would be
 
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Treeman1942

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Jul 18, 2020
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Well, I guess I'll resurrect this thread. I've owned one Mule, a new 1997 2510 which was a bullet-proof reliable machine, then a new 2013 Kubota RTV900 which I just sold because the noise was just too much. I 've been looking at 2021 Pioneer 1000s and am impressed, mainly because I've always enjoyed Honda quality in the ST1300's, Gold Wing's, scooters, cars, etc. I'm 78 years old and will mainly be using the new machine for utility, tree work, etc, with some trail riding. I'm now teetering between the 2021 Honda Pioneer and the 2021Kawasaki Mule Pro FXR which has not yet been announced. I would appreciate any input from members who've owned both.
 

Russ989

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Well, I guess I'll resurrect this thread. I've owned one Mule, a new 1997 2510 which was a bullet-proof reliable machine, then a new 2013 Kubota RTV900 which I just sold because the noise was just too much. I 've been looking at 2021 Pioneer 1000s and am impressed, mainly because I've always enjoyed Honda quality in the ST1300's, Gold Wing's, scooters, cars, etc. I'm 78 years old and will mainly be using the new machine for utility, tree work, etc, with some trail riding. I'm now teetering between the 2021 Honda Pioneer and the 2021Kawasaki Mule Pro FXR which has not yet been announced. I would appreciate any input from members who've owned both.
If you’re riding any trails, you want the Pioneer 1000. If you were using it for pure utility, I’d have to lean towards the Mule.
 
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