SSR Motorsports is one of a number of smaller-name manufacturers looking to carve out a piece of the pie in the UTV industry.
Their models are even less well-known than models like Hisun’s UTVs and Massimo’s UTVs.
But a review of the SSR Bison 400, which used to be SSR’s signature UTV model, shows that it’s just as good quality.
But SSR has upped their game in 2024, with the introduction of the brand new SSR Bison 500 which includes a couple of awesome new features rarely seen in the UTV industry.
We’ll review the Bison 500 in this guide, detailing all of the good and bad around the following:
- Build quality
- Unique features that set it apart in the industry
- Included accessories
- Main strengths and weaknesses
- Who SSR Motorsports is
About The SSR Bison 500
The Bison 500 is SSR’s newest addition to its line of UTVs, and is now the most powerful model among them.
While it’s the highest-performance SSR UTV you’ll find for this year, it also comes equipped with some unique features that help to set it apart including a built-in dash-controlled heater and a full-assist electric lifting rear dump bed.
It also features an appealing build style and three color options that include red, blue, and green.
Considering its reasonable price tag of $10,099, this model may not be far from making the list of best UTVs for the money.
Despite all of the good, the SSR Bison does have some drawbacks you’ll want to consider before opening your billfold.
Build Quality & Performance
The Bison 500 is powered by a 498cc single-cylinder engine with a max power output of 34 HP.
This is a working vehicle, so the engine features good low-end power with a focus on performing working tasks.
Throttle response and acceleration is solid, but don’t expect to win any races in this model.
But it has no problem on the trails or tackling most rough terrain including mud, snow and steep hills.
The engine is nice and quiet at idle, but similar to a drawback with the Bison 400 models, the engine noise really ratchets up as you accelerate.
|34 HP (6,300 RPM)
|29.5 lb-ft. (4,800 RPM)
|Electronic Fuel Injected (EFI)
|Electronic Control Unit (ECU)
The Bison 500 offers selectable 2WD and 4WD via a switch on the dash, but also gives you the option of a 4WD with front differential lock.
A separate switch on the dash enables you to fully lock or unlock the rear differential.
This gives you “turf mode” when you unlock the rear differential, enabling you to make sharp turns on your grass or driveway without leaving tire marks.
The engine is mated to a fully automatic CVT transmission which makes for easy shifts, with drive shafts sending power to the front and rear wheels.
A dash-mounted gear shifter gives you the option of selection between both Low and High range, as well as Neutral and Reverse.
|2WD/4WD w/ Locking Front & Rear Diffs
|Gear Shift Pattern
Both the front and rear suspension feature Double A-Arms.
You’ll also find adjustable piggyback shocks in all four corners that enable you to adjust for both the compression and rebound to make the ride firmer or softer.
This is really convenient in that you’re able to select the best settings for the terrain you’re in most and your riding style.
An impressive ground clearance of 11.4 inches gives the Bison 500 plenty of room to maneuver over obstacles and ruts without the fear of bottoming out.
|Front Suspension/Wheel Travel
|Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel
Tires & Brakes
As a bigger machine than the Bison 400, the Bison 500 gets bigger 26-inch diameter tires in both the front and rear.
The tread pattern offers sufficient grip for most off-road riding, though you may start to run out of traction on steep, soft inclines.
Each tire is mounted on a 14-inch aluminum wheel.
Hydraulic disc brakes in the front and rear provide good stopping power, though this model does lack an engine braking system.
|26 x 9-14
|26 x 11-14
|Front Brake Type
|Rear Brake Type
Dimensions & Capacities
The Bison 500 weighs in at just under 1,400 lbs which is about average for its class.
Unlike the Bison 400, this model comes equipped with power steering which makes it a breeze to steer and control.
It also offers a good-sized rear cargo bed that can fit and haul up to 440 lbs.
This model’s towing capacity is solid at 820 lbs, but isn’t quite on par with some of its closer competition.
Either way, between its hauling and towing abilities, it can handle most working tasks you throw at it.
|Cargo Bed Dimensions
|37 x 50 x 12 inches
|Cargo Bed Capacity
Key Features & Accessories
The Bison 500 really stands out from the crowd with a number of included accessories and unique features.
It sets itself apart in the industry with a built-in heater and two vents on the dash, which help to keep you warm on those cold, windy days.
You control the heater via a switch on the left side of the dash.
Electric Dump Bed
Additionally, this model features a fully automatic electric dump bed that can be lifted or closed with a switch on the dash.
You won’t find this feature in many other models across the industry, much less among the lesser-known manufacturers.
The dump bed lifts at the pace of a snail, but it tilts to a nice high angle so you won’t have to use any man power to dump your cargo.
Accessories That Come Standard
The Bison 500 also includes a number of accessories that make it more driveable in any terrain or condition right out of the box:
- 3,500 lbs front winch
- Steel front bumper
- Hard top plastic roof
- Side mirrors
- Rearview mirror
- Digital display
- LED headlights, tail lights, brake lights
- LED running lights
- Turn signals
- Hazard lights
- Two-inch rear hitch receiver
- Trailer outlet to sync electrical
- Good engine power helps this model tackle most any terrain.
- Suspension is adjustable and provides a smooth ride.
- You can unlock the rear differential to put the model in “turf mode”.
- The bench seats are recessed for added comfort.
- There’s a fold-down center console with cup holders and a phone holder.
- By the hitch is a trailer receiver where you can plug in the electrical to sync it with the Bison, which is a rare feature in UTVs.
- There is a good bit of storage space with a storage cubby on the dash, deep glovebox, and good-sized storage compartment under the seat.
- A fully automatic electric dump bed is a rarity in a model for this price point.
- An in-cab heater provides warmth on colder days.
- The LED digital display provides your speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, gear and drive mode indicators, etc.
- Tilt-up adjustable steering wheel is convenient.
- The seat belt safety feature restricts this model to 5 mph if the driver’s side belt isn’t buckled, which can be annoying when doing stop and go work tasks.
- A beeper alarm sounds loudly any time the machine is in Reverse which is hard on the ears, but can be unplugged under the front dash to eliminate it.
- The battery is a little under-sized meaning it will have a hard time supporting added electronics without draining quickly.
- The engine noise in the cab while accelerating or at high speeds can be loud enough that you can barely hear your passenger.
- The turning radius on these vehicles is nothing to write home about.
- It can be hard to find a mechanic or service center to work on these lesser-known machines once out of warranty.
- SRR customer service can be frustrating to deal with.
About SSR Motorsports
Founded in 2002 by the Li brothers in China, SSR Motorsports got its start with a focus on pit bikes and smaller motorcycles.
Through the years they’ve expanded their line of vehicles to include UTVs, dirt bikes, and scooters. They also offer various accessories that can be added on to their vehicles.
The engines and most of the other parts and components that make up their UTVs are manufactured in China, and then sold through a small but growing number of dealers across North America.
The Bison 500 is in direct competition with a number of similar models, including the Axis 500, the Coleman UT400, and the CFMoto UForce 600.
But it really stands out from those models with its unique features and load of standard accessories.