Bennche Bighorn 700X Crew & Spire 800 Review **UTVUnderground Exclusive**

Discussion in 'UTV Industry News & Product Reviews' started by JoeyD23, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. JoeyD23

    JoeyD23 UTVUnderground Is Full Of WIN!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    North County San Diego
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    Bennche Bighorn 700X Crew MSRP $9250.00


    Ok so I know what you’re thinking, why is UTVUnderground.com doing a review on Bennche? It’s not Kawasaki, Yamaha, Polaris, Arctic Cat, Can-Am, or Honda. Well we are UTVUnderground.com, not just “big manufacturer underground.comâ€. With that said I will admit, I was a little hesitant myself to test and review this new line of Bennche UTV’s but when we were approached by Bennche to do this review in conjunction with sponsorship to cover the 2011 High Lifter Mud Nationals who was I to say no? I feel obligated to offer UTVUnderground.com readers and member’s diverse and unbiased content and reviewing unknown products and machines is part of the program here. With that said now that I have had the opportunity drive these machines a little in Texas while at the High Lifter Mud Nationals I have been able to generate a real honest opinion on the machines vs. just what I had assumed it was before setting eyes on them first hand. First impression is it looks like a couple of Rhino and RZR copies, which I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it had some obvious design characteristics resembling the Yamaha and Polaris product line. However once you get up close you can see that beyond the outer shell is a product unique in its own right and you find that Bennche who is based out of Carrollton, TX truly is trying to introduce a product which stands on its own feet. Not only is Bennche based out of Texas but their products are also fully assembled and inspected in their new Texas plant which should ease some concern of them just being another “made in China†UTV.

    Jon Crowley of UTVGuide.net and I headed to the 2011 High Lifter Mud Nationals without a UTV in tow. Bennche’s rep and manager Johnny Tai said he had us all taken care of once we arrived. We would have our choice of products to drive all weekend which was a very nice gesture and one we were very appreciate of. Had we not had some wheels out there we would have not been able to go and collect the photos, info, and provide the coverage we had planned on providing all along for this event. This also gave us the opportunity to put some miles on the machines and see what they were all about. Troy Merrified of UTV Off-Road Magazine also traveled with Jon and me to Texas so it was only natural that we would commandeer the Bennche Bighorn 700X Crew which safely seats 4 adults while still retaining a large bed to carry our equipment and cooler.

    First impression is it looks like that Rhino concept we saw leak out a year or 2 ago from Yamaha but as you look closer you find details unique to Bennche, and unique to the UTV industry. First such detail is the street legal equipped features on the machine including working automotive blinkers, hazard lights, horn, full windshield, and mirrors. The center steering column is a design strait out of a car with turn-key ignition, blinkers, and headlight toggles all in an easy to use and familiar driving location. The horn is a handy feature and we used it for fun mostly doing our week long trip in Texas. The windshield was not too friendly in the dust. We promptly removed it after only a few minutes of driving the machine due to the extreme dusty conditions which only worsened without the air flow passing through the cab. The windshield removed with a Phillips screwdriver and 10mm socket and took 2 of us about 5 minutes to take off. On the street that large windshield would save you from the bugs, rocks, and wind associated with driving on surface roads. Our Bennche also came equipped with a full plastic molded roof which provided shade and kept the sun off our heads during the day. It did not hinder visibility which can be a problem with some roofs and for me that was a huge benefit when climbing hills.

    Now while the Bennche does come with a front bumper mounted winch one should consider the terrain you choose to drive the 700X Crew in. While the machine has strong capability in traversing basic off road terrain I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending the Bighorn 700X Crew for the extreme minded UTV enthusiast without modification. The suspension is dual a-arm front and rear with sway bars also located on the front and rear ends. While the machine did not have any body roll and remained stable it was also a stiffer than typical ride for a UTV. I could see this being beneficial on surface streets however. As for the power department, I would love to see the Bighorn Crew receive the Bennche 800 V-Twin engine out of their 2 seat Spire which produces a peppy 55HP. The Bighorn 700X Crew and 700X is a single cylinder EFI engine producing 33HP which coupled with the longer wheelbase and power consuming drive train leaves the Bighorn Crew with little power to play with. We found even breaking the tires loose on dirt a challenge with the Bighorn Crew. I will say however the Bighorn never left us stranded and did have the power to get us through some thick and slick mud. It is still a very capable work machine in standard operating conditions and for use as a machine around the house or ranch you would find plenty more that the machine could and would do vs. couldn’t or wouldn’t do.

    Overall I enjoyed our time in the Bighorn 700X Crew. It could use some refinement in the off road suspension area and in the power department but I give it up a thumbs up as a useful multi-purpose machine to be used both on and off road.

    Bennche Bighorn 700X Crew Specifications

    ENGINE
    Engine Type Four-Stroke, Single Cylinder
    Displacement 686cc
    Bore & Stroke 102 x 84mm
    Compression Ratio 9.2:1
    Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
    Ignition Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
    Transmission Automatic L-H-N-R-P
    Drive Train Shaft Drive; On-Demand 2WD/4WD; Locking Differential
    Cooling Liquid
    Horse Power 33.5 HP
    Fuel Tank Capacity 7.6 Gallons
    Battery 12v 32a

    DIMENSION
    Overall Length 154 in.
    Overall Width 56.5 in.
    Overall Height 73.5 in.
    Seat Height 31.5 in.
    Ground Clearance 13 in.
    Front Tire 25x8-12
    Rear Tire 25x10-12
    Wheelbase 113 in.
    Dry Weight 1540 lbs
    Bed Capacity 400 lbs
    Towing Capacity 1200 lbs

    SUSPENSION
    Front Suspension Dual A-Arm with Anti-Sway Bar
    Rear Suspension Dual A-Arm with Anti-Sway Bar

    BRAKE
    Front Brake Dual Ventilated Hydraulic Disc
    Rear Brake Dual Ventilated Hydraulic Disc

    OTHER
    Colors Black, Blue, Orange, Vista Camo* (*Extra Fee May Apply)
    Warranty 12 Months Limited Warranty




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    Bennche Spire 800 MSRP $8999.00


    Out of the 5 UTV’s that Bennche produces Jon and I due to our hectic schedule during the week only were able to drive 2 of the models. I have already told you about the Bighorn 700X Crew, now I will break down our time in the Bennche Spire 800 which is Bennche’s sport minded model. The Spire 800 is a dynamic UTV in many ways but power is its strong point. Packing a 55HP V-Twin into a chassis that barely weighs in at over 1100 lbs leaves plenty of room for excitement. Stepping from the Bighorn 700X Crew into the Spire 800 was like climbing from a mini-van to a sports car. Its sporty appearance and responsive throttle quickly give you the confidence to aggressively tackle the trails.

    From the instrument cluster to the unique exhaust set up the Spire 800 stands out amongst the crowd. Its V-Twin rumble also quickly tells you this isn’t your ordinary UTV. During my first run in the Spire 800 I was quickly amused and amazed at how quick the Spire 800 was. The light weight and nimble platform allows you to quickly maneuver amongst the trees and rocks while blasting down the trail. The power gives you confidence to easily pull out of the corner and gives you the excitement one should experience when driving a sport UTV. The Spire 800 receives a big 2 thumbs up in the power department, I only wish this motor was powering their Bighorn 700X Crew but you got to leave something to desire I guess!

    Like the other UTV’s in the Bennche lineup the Spire 800 also comes equipped with the features required to make the vehicle street legal. Of course your state must have laws that allow for UTV’s to obtain street legal status but assuming yours does then this can be a really worthwhile feature for you when considering a purchase. Automotive style blinkers, mirrors, horn, hazard lights, and a full windshield all come standard with the Spire 800. High and low beam headlights are also standard as is a creative looking rear taillight design. Side protection comes in the form of nets with quick clip connectors for ease of removing and installing when getting in and out of the UTV. The Spire also comes with a front bumper mounted winch which is a feature I really enjoy seeing on any UTV. Until I had a UTV with one I never knew how handy a winch would become when just messing around the property. Whether you want to pull a log or use it to get yourself up over a rock the winch is quickly becoming an industry standard accessory.

    When talking sport UTV’s you cannot leave out a good discussion or review for that matter on suspension. If you have the power to go fast than you need the suspension to safely allow you to travel those speeds. For the Spire this is an area where some aftermarket modification could help improve the off road experience for the machine. The Spire 800 sports a dual upper and lower A-Arm suspension design much like most of the UTV’s on the market. It also has front and rear Anti-Sway bars which give you the feeling of being on rails when riding on tight and narrow trails. Problem is it may also be hindering a little of the suspensions wheel travel which makes the Spire feel a little stiff when cornering at speed on those larger or sharper turns. Some aftermarket shocks and long travel suspension could really wake this machine up and take it to the top in terms of sport UTV performance and handling. When discussing this with Bennche’s representatives they seemed very responsive to the idea of more wheel travel and a wider stance for the Spire 800 to improve it as an overall sport machine.

    In the end I really enjoyed the time I spent driving this machine. Its quick, nimble, and standard features make it a really solid machine especially for the price. With an MSRP under $9000.00 you need to take a close look for yourself and consider all you get for a very reasonable price!

    Bennche Spire 800 Specifications

    ENGINE
    Engine Type V-Twin, 8 Valves
    Displacement 800cc
    Bore & Stroke 91 x 61.5mm
    Compression Ratio 9.5:1
    Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
    Ignition Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
    Transmission Automatic L-H-N-R
    Drive Train Shaft Drive; On-Demand 2WD/4WD; Locking Differential
    Cooling Liquid
    Horse Power 55 HP
    Fuel Tank Capacity 7.6 Gallons
    Battery 12v 32a

    DIMENSION
    Overall Length 103 in.
    Overall Width 52 in.
    Overall Height 74 in.
    Seat Height 30.5 in.
    Ground Clearance 13 in.
    Front Tire 25x8-12
    Rear Tire 25x10-12
    Wheelbase 76.2 in.
    Dry Weight 1165 lbs
    Bed Capacity 400 lbs
    Towing Capacity 2000 lbs

    SUSPENSION
    Front Suspension Dual A-Arm with Anti-Sway Bar
    Rear Suspension Dual A-Arm with Anti-Sway Bar

    BRAKE
    Front Brake Dual Ventilated Hydraulic Disc
    Rear Brake Dual Ventilated Hydraulic Disc

    OTHER
    Colors Black, Blue, Orange, Vista Camo* (*Extra Fee May Apply)
    Warranty 12 Months Limited Warranty





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    Bennche UTVs, ATVs, LSVs & Motorcycles
     
  2. JoeyD23

    JoeyD23 UTVUnderground Is Full Of WIN!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    North County San Diego
  3. Brian B

    Brian B Red Rotax - UTVUnderground Approved

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Rotax Your Bennche coming right up!
     
  4. tatum

    tatum Hans Solo - 2009 UTV Baja 500 & 1000 Winner - UTVU

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    arizona
    LMAO
     
  5. JoeyD23

    JoeyD23 UTVUnderground Is Full Of WIN!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Location:
    North County San Diego
    the 800 Spire V-Twin I think is based off of the Rotax 800. It hauls balls for sure. The Bighorn, not so much. But if it had that 800 in it I would totally rock it.
     
  6. culcune

    culcune New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    I found this forum from Bennche's Facebook page. I am totally new to UTV's although I have ridden in a Polaris something or another 700 as a passenger on a friend's property.

    However, living in Yuma, Arizona, I have had an interest in these vehicles due to them being street legal, and wanting to one day do a big loop of the state (I used to live and work on the Navajo Nation reservation and would love to go 'play' on the hundreds of dirt roads up that way) ending up back in Yuma. Or head into Baja.

    My question with these vehicles is how good of mileage do they get? Not so much for economy, but how far I could get. Then again, if the mileage is really bad, then my trips would be made with an enduro.

    So, give me the lowdown. Are these more for weekend play in the Imperial Sand dunes or Glamis, or can they become a viable alternative to a pickup truck?

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  7. DUNE DUMMY 29

    DUNE DUMMY 29 OG Sticker Man - UTVUnderground La Familia

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    EL CENTRO
    I ONLY CAN GO AROUND 90 MILES ON A TANK OF GAS IN MY RHINO. OTHERS SAY THEY CAN GO 100 TO 120 MILES. MOST UTVS ARE ONLY 8 GALLON TANKS & WITH FUEL INJECTION YOU WILL GET BETTER MILEAGE. THESE ARE BRAND NEW MACHINES SO NO DATA YET. IN ARIZONA DRIVING AROUND TOWN WOULD BE GREAT. NOT REALLY MEANT FOR LONG ROAD TRIPS.
     

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