— Walker Evans Racing build —

When Honda first introduced the Pioneer 1000, several racers expressed interest in turning that innovative UTV powerplant into a racing machine. We knew Honda was working on its own sport UTV, as we’ve reported on the all-new Talon over the last few months, but Reid Nordin of Walker Evans Racing (WER) couldn’t wait for Honda to release the Talon, so he had Russ Wernimont Designs (RWD), father of the modern-day Trophy Truck, build this RWD/WER Honda.

With a 102-inch wheelbase and 72-inch width, like a Maverick X3 X rs, the RWD/WER Honda 1000 handles predictably at speed. All four WER 15-inch beadlock wheels have the same weight bias, forcing the all-new Milestar Patagonia 32-inch tires to grab traction.
The windshield is from a Toyota Tundra, and the roof scoop supplies cooling air to the cabin. Rigid Industries handles the lighting with a 10-inch LED bar and four LED cubes, and the steering rack is from a Polaris RZR XP. The front torsion bar is from Nelson and Nelson Racing Products.
The only Pioneer frame parts used are the horizontal bars cradling the rear transfer case. Milestar is developing a new line of Patagonia SXT UTV radial tires, with these being 32x10R15s. There will also be 30×14, 30×15, and 32×15 sizes.


Wernimont, who specializes in custom Harley-Davidsons these days, has built Trophy Trucks for Walker Evans, Robby Gordon, Scott Douglas, Scott Taylor and many other off-road legends, so Nordin and WER called upon RWD to convert a Honda Pioneer 1000 into a miniature Trophy Truck with long-travel suspension. Wernimont designed and fabricated the racing chassis, long-travel suspension system and exhaust system. The RWD Honda delivers 18 inches of front and 18 inches of rear travel utilizing Walker Evans Velocity Series 2.5 shocks. The RWD rear suspension is of Trophy Truck design and isn’t that far off of Honda’s Talon 1000R long-travel system.

Nordin started with a 2015 Pioneer 1000, so it doesn’t have the factory EBD or nearly-as-complicated wiring harness as the Talon 1000R. A UMP intake system and RWD custom exhaust are the only engine mods made so far, but Reid is looking to upgrade to Talon performance parts.

The RWD/WER Honda build uses the Pioneer 1000 engine with Dual-Clutch Transmission and i-4WD system. Electrics and the cooling system are Pioneer 1000, but the intake is modified UMP, and the RWD exhaust routes into a Bassani muffler. Differentials are Pioneer, but the axles are by CMI. RWD used the stock Pioneer brake calipers without the LE’s Electronic Brakeforce Distribution System (EBD), but rotors are oversized RWD for the higher speeds and braking forces. Wheels are WER 15×6 beadlocks shod with Milestar Patagonia 32-inch tires.

Paddle shifters and the brake master cylinder are from the Pioneer 1000, and Reid had to lengthen the brake-light wires in the Pioneer wiring harness for the extra wheelbase. The radio and intercom are by Rugged Radios, and the Rugged fresh-air pump rides under the driver’s racing seat.
High-clearance trailing arms were fabricated by Russ Wernimont, and WER Velocity 2.5 needle shocks deliver more than 18 inches of travel. Radius rods and the rear torsion bar are sprint-car parts, and Reid made the auxiliary aluminum fuel cell to augment the gas tank under the passenger seat. Total capacity is 10 gallons.


“King Adam the Great” built the body, with SDI Dzus fasteners anchoring the body panels after San Diego Powder Coating put the finishing touches on the RWD chassis, and the cockpit is full race. MasterCraft HS-1 full-carbon racing seats replaced the Pioneer bench seat, and MasterCraft also supplied the safety harnesses. The steering wheel is by Momo, control switches are by sPod 4×4, and the communications and fresh-air systems are by Rugged Radios. The mini Trophy Truck also has navigation by Lowrance and Lead Nav, along with race lighting by Rigid Industries. LTI did the custom plating. Funco did the roof scoop, and the skid plates are Factory UTV UHMW. Racing graphics are by Platinum Protection.

Reid Nordin of Walker Evans Racing called on Russ Wernimont, the “Father of the Trophy Truck,” to build a 2015 Honda Pioneer 1000 into a long-travel sport UTV. Now that Honda has introduced the Talon 1000R, Nordin is looking for cams and other performance parts to make his 1000 more powerful.


Russ Wernimont Designs

37100 Applegate Road

Murrieta, CA

(951) 698-9495

Walker Evans Racing

2304 Fleetwood Drive

Riverside, CA 92509

(951) 784-7223


You might also like

Comments are closed.