The UTV industry continues to grow, with more and more lesser-known models hitting the market every year.
And then there’s an even lesser-known model in the Bison 400, made by an even lesser-known manufacturer in SSR Motorsports.
This guide will offer a detailed review of the SSR Bison 400, including:
- Build quality and performance
- Design and durability
- Key features and accessories
- Main pros and cons
- How well it handles
- How fast it can go
- Who SSR Motorsports is
- Three comparable models to consider
About The SSR Bison 400
The SSR Bison 400 is a mid-performance utility vehicle manufactured by SSR Motorsports, and was the most powerful of their models until the all-new SSR Bison 500 came along in 2023.
You can read a SSR Bison 500 review to see the two rare features it offers and how it stacks up with the Bison 400.
It is a two-seater that features a compact build, selectable two-wheel and four-wheel drive with rear locking differential, a rear gas-assisted dump bed, and a number of accessories usually considered extras with bigger-name models.
While you won’t find it on the list of best UTVs for the money, it’s reasonable price tag makes it pretty attractive.
But it does have some drawbacks to consider, which will be detailed in this guide and keep it off the list of best cheap side-by-sides for now.
Build Quality & Performance
Powered by a 391cc single cylinder engine, the Bison 4000 is tuned for low-end torque so it offers better acceleration and grunt that it does top-end speed.
While it’s not that fast, it does have enough power to motor up hills within reason and through softer terrains like mud and sand. And it has no problem hauling or towing heavier loads.
For a smaller single-cylinder engine, the engine does run pretty loud. It can be accessed by removing the seat.
|23 HP (6,500 RPM)
|22.1 lb-ft. (5,000 RPM)
|Bore x Stroke
|82 mm x 74 mm
|Electronic Fuel Injected (EFI)
|Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
The SRS Bison 400 is propelled by a fully automatic, V-belt CVT transmission with drive shafts providing power to the front and rear differentials.
The transmission offers both High and Low gears, along with Neutral, Reverse, and Park settings.
It offers selectable two-wheel and four-wheel drive via a switch on the dash, with the ability to lock the rear differential for increased traction when needed.
|2WD/4WD w/ Rear Locking Differential
|Automatic CVT, V-Belt
|Gear Shift Pattern
Tires & Brakes
The SSR Bison 400 comes equipped with 25-inch stock tires in the front and rear, all with a directional tread pattern that should provide sufficient grip in most terrains.
Hydraulic disc brakes in the front and rear work together to provide ample stopping power, despite the lack of an automatic engine braking system.
|25 x 8-12
|25 x 10-12
|Front Brake Type
|Dual Hydraulic Disc
|Rear Brake Type
This model features a Macpherson Strut style suspension up front and Dual A-Arm suspension in the rear.
There are rear shock absorber springs that can be adjusted to increase or decrease spring tension for a firmer or softer ride.
With a ground clearance of 10 inches, the Bison 400 has the ability to tackle smaller rocks and logs on the trail.
|Front Suspension/Wheel Travel
|Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel
Dimensions & Capacities
While the Bison’s overall size does make it able to traverse most trails, its turning radius leaves something to be desired making it tough to turn around in tight areas.
While it doesn’t have power steering, the smaller build makes it easy enough to handle in most terrains.
With a sizable dump bed and solid hauling and towing capacity, the Bison 400 does well at every-day work tasks such as hauling firewood or pulling logs.
|Load Weight Capacity
|Cargo Bed Dimensions
|37 x 50 x 12 inches
|Cargo Bed Capacity
Like most classic utility vehicles meant for work, the Bison 400 is not going to wow you with its appearance. It comes in three colors – red, green, or blue.
But it does offer a number of accessories that give it a more rugged look and make it more capable of getting the job done.
It features a steel-tube front bumper up front, along with two LED headlights with both low and high beams. These are plenty sufficient for driving at dusk or just before first light.
While it doesn’t come equipped with a winch, it does offer a perfect space up front for one and contains a winch switch on the dash for those who choose to add one.
The cab features a removable bench seat with access to the engine and a storage compartment below.
The parking brake release and gear shift are mounted on the dash on either side of the steering wheel.
In the center of the dash, there are seven toggle switches for the:
- High/Low Beams
- Turn Signals
- Rear Locking Differential
Above these toggle switches is a digital display for the clock, mileage, fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, and gear setting.
The cab is enclosed by a hard top roof, front fold-down windshield, and removable netted side-doors. Side mirrors are included as well.
The rear features a sizable dump bed with gas-assisted shocks for lifting. Under this bed is a trailer hitch bracket. Rear tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals round out the back of the vehicle.
Pros & Cons
Plenty of owners of the SSR Bison 400 model seem to be content with the overall performance and reliability of their vehicles for the price.
Even so, both happy and unhappy owners alike are quick to point out some noted flaws with this model.
Here are the pros and cons of the Bison 400:
- One of the least expensive utility vehicles in the industry
- Comes standard with many accessories considered as “extras” with other models
- Standard accessories include hard top roof, side mirrors, fold-down windshield, LED high and low beam headlights, turn signals
- Gas-assist shocks make for easy lifting and dumping of cargo bed
- Ample store space with storage cubby in dash and under seat
- Gear shift tends to stick when trying to shift into Park setting
- When using turn signals or Reverse, there’s an annoying beeping sound
- The loud engine noise in the cab makes it tough to hear your passenger
- Wide turning radius makes it tough to turn around on trails
- Struggles with steep hills or steep soft surfaces
- Customer support from SRR is lacking
- Can be tough to find mechanics familiar with and willing to work on these vehicles
For more on the common issues found in this model and how to overcome them, check out this guide to the SSR Bison 400 problems.
Though it lacks power steering, this lighter model is pretty easy to handle. If driving in four wheel drive the steering may take a little more strength, but it’s not that big of a deal.
The suspension system does a good job of soaking up any chop in the terrain your driving, although they are slightly more noticeable at higher speeds.
While the Bison 400 has enough engine power and low-end torque to perform most work and hauling tasks, it doesn’t exactly handle steep hills with ease.
The owner’s manual recommends steering clear of inclines of more than a 15% grade. While the machine should be able to tackle some steep hills, it may do so at more of a creep.
SSR Bison 400 Top Speed
With its engine tuned more for low-end torque and acceleration to assist with working tasks, the Bison 400 can hit a top speed of between 35 and 38 mph.
SSR Bison 400 Price
The MSRP for a new Bison 400 is listed at $8,499 on SSR’s site. This may vary slightly depending upon where you purchase your unit.
As used models only date back a couple of years, you likely won’t find much of a price break on them.
Online marketplaces have most used models listed at between $7,000 and $8,500 depending upon their mileage and condition.
About SSR Motorsports
SSR Motorsports was formed in 2002 by the Li brothers in China, with a focus on small motorcycles and pit bikes.
That focus has expanded over the years to include a number of scooters, dirt bikes, quads and utility vehicles. SSR also offers a number of accessories for these various vehicles.
The engines and components of SSR Motorsports’ vehicles are manufactured in China, then assembled and sold through a number of dealers across North America.
Three Comparable Models To Consider
For the price, the SSR Bison 400 seems to meet most owners’ expectations and makes for a good light working vehicle.
However, there seem to be some better values in the same class and price range. These models include the Coleman UT400, the Axis 500, and the UForce 600.
For more on these models, check out the following guides: