by Jon Crowley on 03/09/08 at 6:49 pm
09/03/2008 – Torrance, Calif.– Imagine a Side-by-Side that features Honda’s legendary fit and finish, innovations developed by the same company that invented the ATV, technologies that blend Honda’s vast automobile expertise with new ideas designed to revolutionize the Side-by-Side category. Now add unprecedented utility capabilities with a healthy dose of recreational ability, and you’ve scratched the surface of what Big Red is all about.
What sets Big Red apart from other SxS vehicles is Honda’s focus on quality and convenience features, which makes Big Red more enjoyable whether you’re running a farm, ranch or worksite or heading to your favorite fishing hole.
Space and convenience to spare
Big Red’s roomy cab features rubber-mounted seats with adjustable backs designed to comfortably fit a wide range of body types while also reducing fatigue on long drives. The design of the three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seat belts are similar to automotive type belt systems. The belt deploys from a housing that features a topside slot narrow enough to resist entry of debris, and the bottom has a port to allow debris to exit and reduce accumulation within the belt housing. Net result: consistent operation and longer seat belt life.
An automotive-type fuel system shut-off, plus Big Red’s uniquely designed, four-pillar, six-piece 41.3mm-diameter (1.6-inch) Occupant Protection Structure (OPS) provides occupants with peace of mind. Big Red’s interior also features thoughtful touches such as a waterproof accessory socket ideally placed between the bucket seats for easy access to 12-volt power, a glove box and dash storage for quick access to small items.
Honda engineers paid particular attention to minimizing maintenance chores on Big Red as well. In addition to equipping Big Red with a maintenance- free battery and shaft final drive, Honda engineers located the engine oil-filler and dipstick under the driver’s seat, which detaches quickly. Access to the air filter is as easy as lifting the tilt-bed, which reveals the high-mounted air filter box.
Powered by a 675cc fuel-injected four-valve engine that features shaft drive and three different selectable drive modes, Big Red boasts a spacious tilt bed measuring 33.0 by 52.6 by 10.3 inches, fully independent front and rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a wide track for confidence-inspiring handling and a host of available accessories designed to deliver long-lasting durability for commercial and recreational applications.
At the very heart of Big Red you’ll find a powerful four-stroke liquid-cooled OHV 675cc engine that feeds power to the wheels through a three-speed automatic transmission. This big-bore single-cylinder powerplant features a bore and stroke of 102mm x 82.6mm. To reduce engine height, lower the center of gravity and enhance handling, the camshaft is located adjacent to the cylinder head and pushrods are employed to actuate the valves. This four-valve cylinder head design provides a broad powerband for plenty of grunt. In addition, a liquid-cooled oil cooler aids heat dispersion in Big Red’s engine. The liquid in this system warms quicker than the engine oil, so it also helps to speed the warm-up process on cold days. And by cooling the oil on hot days, this system helps to maintain optimum engine operating temperature over a wide range of climate conditions. Additionally, Big Red features a high-mount radiator located behind the front grill where mud is less likely to clog the fins, reducing the effectiveness of the radiator.
Fuel injection: built for the real world
A key element in this engine’s consistent and convenient performance is Honda’s programmed fuel injection system (PGM-FI). Big Red’s PGM-FI system uses a 40mm throttle body and a high-tech 12-hole fuel injector to maximize fuel atomization.
In general, fuel injection provides Big Red the ability to adjust to real-world variables in a seamless, automatic fashion- all of which make the driving experience that much more effortless. Beginning with a marked increase in power output, some other benefits include crisp throttle response; improved fuel consumption; the elimination of the choke circuitry for easy cold starting; automatic altitude compensation to 12,000 feet; automatic temperature compensation from -13o to +104o Fahrenheit; faster engine warm-up; and smoother idle control, thanks to the Idle Air Control Valve (IACV), which establishes a basic idle setting of 1400 rpm, plus or minus 50 rpm.
Essentially, this system monitors several variables to control the injected fuel quantity. PGM-FI is a mapped injection system, meaning that the basic variables of engine speed and throttle angle are used to determine mapping. Based mainly on those measurements, the system looks to the Electronic Control Module (ECM) for precise fuel delivery. The ECM adjusts fuel delivery according to four additional variables: intake-port pressure, engine-coolant temperature, intake-air temperature and atmospheric pressure. This fuel-delivery recalculation process is repeated many times per second to ensure the correct mixture for conditions and to provide optimal performance and remarkably crisp throttle response over a wide operating range.
True automotive-style automatic transmission
For a familiar driving experience, Big Red incorporates an automotive-style transmission. This system features a hydraulic torque converter, three hydraulic clutches and an ECM to automatically select one of three forward gears or, as you choose, reverse.
Among all ATV and Multipurpose Utility Vehicle (MUV) manufacturers, Honda alone boasts the only true automotive-style automatic transmission. Though Big Red’s unit features several innovations that cater specifically to MUV application, the torque converter used in this system operates in principle much like the torque converters used in trucks and automobiles. Basically, it links the engine to the automatic transmission much like a manual clutch connects an engine to a manual gearbox. Both systems drive the vehicle and they also come into play when the vehicle stops.
With a manual transmission, manual actuation of the clutch temporarily disengages the engine from the transmission when coming to a stop. In similar fashion, Big Red’s torque converter performs this connect/disconnect function automatically as needed. A torque converter can accomplish this because it is a fluid coupling, rather than a solid coupling. At low engine speeds, the torque converter slips internally, which allows the engine to spin independently of the transmission. As a result, the engine of the stopped vehicle is allowed to run at idle while the transmission is in gear. When it’s time to roll, the driver simply steps on the pedal to increase engine speed, and the torque converter then transfers power to the transmission to make the vehicle move.
In Big Red, the crankshaft drives the torque converter’s impeller, which uses fins to pump fluid- in this case, engine oil. As this fluid drives the vanes of the torque converter’s turbine, the spinning turbine then powers the automatic transmission to propel the vehicle. Big Red’s automatic transmission employs three hydraulic clutches and the ECM automatically selects one of three forward gears, or Reverse if selected manually. To accomplish this feat, the ECM monitors throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, gear selector position, brake application and engine oil temperature.
Big Red also incorporates a shaft final drive, which in combination with the three-speed automatic transmission, provides positive engine braking that is superior to some electronic braking systems that can result in inconsistent performance.
To make operation of this drive system familiar and simple, there’s a convenient, dash-mounted drive selector. The selectable drive modes include: 2WD with open rear differential for sensitive terrain and lawns; 4WD with rear differential lock for rough conditions; 4WD with all-wheel differential lock, when you need that something extra to get home. As a result, there are plenty of options so drivers can match usage to the specific terrain and circumstances.
Advanced chassis design
The suspension system provides an exceptional 10.3 inches of ground clearance. Independent double-wishbone suspension front and rear incorporates high-quality variable-damping shocks for 5.9 inches of travel in front and 7.1 inches in the rear. And Big Red’s four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes provide predictable stopping power with a good, progressive feeling, and they also feature a balanced automotive-style design that ensures front and rear braking even in the event that one brake line fails for some unexpected reason. Credit again the experience Honda has gained through the years as an automobile manufacturer. The handy automotive-style right-hand-operated parking brake actuates the two rear-wheel brake calipers, and since these brakes employ hydraulic actuation, no parking brake adjustments need ever be made to compensate for parking-brake wear. In addition, all four wheels are the same 25 x 10-12 inch size which aids ground clearance and eliminates the need for carrying multiple spares during extreme use.
Big Red: as hard working as they come
The tilting bed of Big Red is made for working: it boasts a 500-pound load capacity and features a steel frame for strength. The bed is sheathed in a tough, molded polypropylene top plate with no wheel-well intrusions- a standard cargo pallet fits flat with room to spare. This no-rust 6.5mm-thick top plate also features rounded corners for easy cleanup, and four handy D-rings for securing cargo. A tilt-release handle is located on both left and right sides for easy operation, and a progressive-action strut assist system make raising and lowering the bed a simple task. Lifting the bed also yields quick and easy access to the high-mount air filter box. A heavy-duty two-inch receiver-style hitch with 1200-pound towing capacity allows Big Red to take on any number of jobs, and its multi-reflector headlight system and LED brake light and taillight provide optimal illumination should your chores- or adventures- take you into the evening.
Featuring multiple patents and numerous automotive-based technologies, Big Red sets new standards with its work capability as well as its ability to open the door to outdoor adventure. Innovative technology, legendary Honda quality and class leading features- there’s nothing that compares to Big Red…it’s a Honda.
2009 Honda Big Red MUV Specifications:
|Engine Type:||675cc liquid-cooled OHV single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Bore and Stroke:||102.0mm x 82.6mm|
|Induction:||Electronic fuel injection (PGM-FI), 40mm throttle body|
|Ignition:||CD with electronic advance|
|Transmission:||Automotive-style with hydraulic torque converter, three forward gears and Reverse and three drive modes are 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with all-wheel differential lock|
|Driveline:||Direct front and rear driveshafts|
Front: Independent double-wishbone; 5.9 inches travel
Rear: Independent double-wishbone; 7.1 inches travel
Front: 200mm hydraulic disc with 51.1mm caliper
Rear: 200mm hydraulic disc with 30.3mm caliper
Front: 25 x 10-12
Rear: 25 x 10-12
|Ground Clearance:||10.3 inches|
|Turning Radius:||13.8 feet|
|Tow Rating:||1200 pounds|
|Fuel Capacity:||7.9 gallons, including 1.5-gallon reserve|
|Colors:||Red, Natural Gear Camouflage|
|Curb Weight*:||1431 pounds|