Side-by-Sides: New & Improved for 2017

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The new Viking from Yamaha is one of several new utility side-by-sides to hit the market. Each is equipped to do work on the farm or ranch. (Photo courtesy of Yamaha)

Side-by-side manufacturers have been busy releasing new side-by-side (SxS) vehicles for the new, 2017 model year. Here's a look at some of the newest models.

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA (www.yamahaoutdoors.com).

The 2017 Viking and Viking VI (6-seater) now come in a new Midnight Blue Metallic SE (Special Edition) with silver cast aluminum wheels, over fenders and silver seats.

The 2017 Viking line includes a Ranch Edition Viking VI in Copper Metallic painted bodywork with color-matched brown interior and soft sun top, silver cast aluminum wheels, review center mirror, mud flaps, over fenders, under-seat storage, a rear bed grab bar, a heavy duty front brush guard, and Ranch Edition badging.

Vikings' newly reinforced rear steel cargo bed incorporates mounting points on the bed rails and a rubber cargo bed mat to reduce sound and vibration. Large enough for a fully loaded pallet, the assisted dump bed carries 600 pounds of cargo. A standard two-inch receiver hitch is rated to pull 1,500 pounds.

The fun-to-drive 2017 Special Edition SE Wolverine R-Spec in Matte Silver features painted bodywork with color matched seats and springs, convenient under-seat storage, and injection-molded polypropylene over fenders for increased protection from the elements.

The SE adopts a full length, full-coverage aluminum skid plate.

Also new for 2017, every Wolverine R-Spec now comes with Yamaha's Electric Power Steering (EPS) system.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (powersports.honda.com)

Honda's Pioneer 700 and Pioneer 500 side-by-sides include significant new features for the 2017 model year.

Two new Deluxe models are added to the Pioneer 700 line. Deluxe models include aluminum wheels, electric power steering and painted suspension springs. The Deluxe models' fully automatic transmission now comes with a manual mode that can be activated by way of a new dash-mounted toggle switch. The steering-column-mounted paddle shifters changes gears while in manual mode. Or it can override shift points on the fly while in automatic mode.

Honda's 700-4 (four-seat) models include its innovative QuickFlip seating design. The design allows two rear seats to fold down into the bed so that owners can select between two-, three- or four-seat configurations.

Honda's Pioneer 500 also includes fully automatic and manual-electric shift modes. Also new for the 2017 Pioneer 500s are dual-rate suspension springs, providing an easy ride while still being resistant to bottoming.

The compact Pioneer 500 has a narrow 50-inch width that lets customers transport it in a full-size pickup-truck bed and ride it on recreational trails that have width restrictions.

Polaris (www.polaris.com)

Polaris introduces for 2017 a highly interesting new technology it has named RIDE COMMAND. Polaris describes it as a "unique solution that solves the most common experiential problems of off-road riding by connecting the disconnect."

With the RIDE COMMAND app and weather-resistant RIDE COMMAND, 7-in. display, the system connects people to their machines and to other people.

Users are able to map rides in advance and transfer waypoints from their phones to the display via Bluetooth. They plan and share their ride stats by way of social media, and track their friends' locations while riding. In addition, drivers can integrate devices such as mobile phones to receive messages and play music, control their GoPro, and sync Sena headsets (www.sena.com) to talk to passengers, all this through the RIDE COMMAND display.

RIDE COMMAND is available on the RZR XP 1000 EPS Velocity Blue Limited Edition and as an accessory through Polaris Engineered Accessories.

Polaris has also introduced the RANGER XP 1000 and RANGER CREW XP 1000 for 2017. Special editions of the RANGER XP 1000s include two High Lifter mud editions in the three-seat Full-Size and six-seat CREW models.

The RANGER XP 1000 EPS Ranch Edition includes the industry's first gas-powered UTV with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Find this system on the RANGER XP 1000 EPS NorthStar HVAC and CREW HVAC editions.

The Polaris GENERAL—a hybrid mix of the Polaris RANGER and Polaris RZR—comes in a four-seat model for 2017. The Polaris GENERAL 4 1000 EPS runs on a 100-horsepower, ProStar 1000 engine, a 600-lb. dump box and includes electronic power steering.

The 2017 GENERAL two-seat model has a VersaTrac Turf mode. The system unlocks the rear differential with a flip of a switch on the dash, allowing for easier and tighter turns so the vehicle treads more lightly on sensitive terrains such as lawns.

(BAS)

Dan Miller