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UTV TEST: Hisun Strike 250

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December 16, 2015
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The UTV world is booming from the top down. The 1000cc machines get the most fanfare. The 50-inch-wide ones are the best sellers, and dealers can’t keep the utility models in stock. One segment that has been primarily ignored by the major manufacturers other than Polaris is the youth UTV, or SxS, segment. We call these models “side-by-sides,” as they are only 2WD. We have to thank Polaris for starting the segment and continuing the development of the machine. The only competition Polaris has in the market is from lesser-known companies like Pitster Pro, Bennche and Hisun.

Hisun is actually a company that rivals Polaris in size and has been quietly hiding in China. Now they have expanded their name globally and, more importantly, to the U.S. The brand has full-sized UTVs and ATVs, with a V-twin powerplant similar to Can-Am. Hisun’s youth SxS has a distinct RZR look with a ton of features the larger RZRs don’t even have.

Turning radius on the Strike is sharp enough to get around small tracks but not too tight to get kids in trouble. The Strike is one of only a couple SxS’ that come with a winch as standard equipment
Turning radius on the Strike is sharp enough to get around small tracks but not too tight to get kids in trouble. The Strike is one of only a couple SxS’ that come with a winch as standard equipment

STRIKE 250
Hisun markets the Strike for drivers 12 years and over. It’s a two-seater with two-wheel drive and reverse. To power the little SxS, Hisun uses a scooter-type CVT engine that requires no shifting and easy operation. The engine is a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 229cc mill mated to an automatic transmission with high, low, neutral and reverse gears. Starting is electric and offers a keyed ignition. The engine is fuel injected, as is the new RZR 170, but has liquid cooling, something the smallest RZR does not. To separate itself even from a RZR 170, the Strike has a much bigger frame. Physically, it measures 4 inches longer at 89 inches. This allows the machine to fit larger adults so they can join in on the fun, or at least sit next to their pre-teen as they are teaching them to drive. The driver’s seat is adjustable enough to fit a person from 4 to 6 feet tall. Large adults have a hard time squeezing into the driver or passenger seat of the youth RZR, but they can fit comfortably in the Strike. The driver’s seat has four adjustment settings, and an adjustable passenger side gets a quick-adjust grab handle.

A usable cargo bed is supplied on the back of the Strike. We could see kids in some small towns using their Strike to drive to school.
A usable cargo bed is supplied on the back of the Strike. We could see kids in some small towns using their Strike to drive to school.

Small half doors keep both passengers securely inside the machine, as does four-point racing harnesses. The Strike is 1 inch wider at 49 inches than the RZR, but still fits easily in the back of a full-sized pickup truck. Tire size on the Strike is 2 inches taller at 22 inches than a youth RZR, helping suspension action some. What helps even more is a set of dual A-arms up front, whereas most of the competition only uses a single A-arm. On the Strike it allows for 6 inches of wheel travel up front, and a solid swingarm moves another 5 inches out back with two shocks controlling movement. Inside the two-seat cockpit a full complement of switches and gauges fill the dash. This machine has turn signals, a horn, headlights and a 2500-pound winch. The digital gauge provides all the pertinent info that a driver needs to make sure the machine is running properly, in addition to showing speed.

Teaching kids at a young age the proper techniques of being behind the wheel will make them a safer driver when they get their license.
Teaching kids at a young age the proper techniques of being behind the wheel will make them a safer driver when they get their license.

PLAYGROUND
We had a long line of pre-teen testers ready to take the Strike 250 for a spin. We actually put this thing through just as grueling of a test we do all of our machines. Over the course of a couple days, our testers racked up nearly 100 miles in the little SxS. The Strike starts up easy using the keyed ignition, but the driver does have to put his or her foot on the brake to get it to fire up. Having a neural gear allows the driver to get the machine revved and warmed up before take-off. The gas pedal is within good reach, and so are the brakes and the steering wheel. Smaller drivers did not complain that anything was out of reach, nor were the wheels hard to turn. The machine does turn fairly sharp, so tight woods or track riding is a blast. Steering is as predictable as a full-sized UTV. You can turn sharp, and then coming out of the corner let the wheel spin back to straight, gliding along your fingers back to center to grab it and go. On straights, it’s not twitchy or have noticeable bump-steer.

Up front dual A-arms move 6 inches. A standard sway bar helps eliminate body roll. The headlights work, as do the turn signals.
Up front dual A-arms move 6 inches. A standard sway bar helps eliminate body roll. The headlights work, as do the turn signals.

Over the bumps the 5-plus inches of suspension travel do a good job softening the situation. You can find the limits of the rear end a little sooner than up front, but bottoming is seldom. You do bottom on jumps higher than 2 feet only if the landing is flat, but that’s okay, because teaching youngsters to drive within the limits of the machine is important. We never felt the machine should perform better in any situation.

A 229cc, liquid-cooled, single-speed scooter engine is stuffed in front of the swingarm. That suspension moves 5 inches and has two preload-adjustable shocks.
A 229cc, liquid-cooled, single-speed scooter engine is stuffed in front of the swingarm. That suspension moves 5 inches and has two preload-adjustable shocks.

In fact, the Strike blew us away with how fast it went. With the throttle stop completely removed, the Strike could reach 50 mph in high gear and 40 mph in low. It is easy to limit top speed as well just by loosening a bolt and nut right behind the gas pedal. Gearing in low range gave a little more torque out of the corners and got to top speed quicker. We had the kids keep the transmission in low range most of the time, unless we were doing speed runs.

The dash is fully equipped with an assortment of winch controls, turn signals and headlight switches. It comes with a working horn too. We wish that Hisun made a machine without all these features with a significantly lower price.
The dash is fully equipped with an assortment of winch controls, turn signals and headlight switches. It comes with a working horn too. We wish that Hisun made a machine without all these features with a significantly lower price.

THOUGHTS
Every one of our testers loved the Hisun Strike 250. There were several kids who just wanted to ride as the passenger all day and they, too, loved it. We had zero complaints from the kids and even less from the parents, as there was zero time spent working on the machine. It started every time and never even hiccuped. The horn stopped working for a couple days after a heavy rain, but once it dried out, then we were back up and blaring.

Solid half doors do a great job keeping debris away from the driver’s feet.  On the downside, we wish Hisun would drill some drain holes in the floor of the cab and the cargo bed to make washing it easier.
Solid half doors do a great job keeping debris away from the driver’s feet. On the downside, we wish Hisun would drill some drain holes in the floor of the cab and the cargo bed to make washing it easier.

If you compare it price-wise to the RZR 170, the two machines are only $50 apart and the quality seems to be identical. However, you get items like a winch, taller tires, higher top speed, doors, a working storage box and room to fit adults, making it a great deal. On the other side of the coin, we would like to see a machine like this without those features, possibly a 150cc, liquid-cooled engine for significantly less and that would impress us even more. But for the price, the $4559 Hisun Strike 250 is a great buy just the way it sits now. Locate a dealer through www. hisunmotors.com or give them a call at (909) 989-3366.

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SPECS
HISUN STRIKE 250
Engine type……………….Liquid-cooled,
single-cylinder, OHV, 4-stroke
Displacement……………………………229cc
Bore x stroke……………65.5mm x 68mm
Compression ratio………………………9.7:1
Starting……………….Electric no backup
Fuel delivery………………………………..EFI
Fuel capacity…………………………3.5 gal
Transmission……Fully automatic CVT
w/ high/low & reverse
Final drive……………………..Chain 2WD
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front……………………Dual A-arm w/ 6”
Rear………………………Swingarm w/ 5”
Brakes:
Front………………..Dual hydraulic disc
Rear……………..Single hydraulic disc
Tires:
Front…………………………………….22×7-10
Rear…………………………………..22×10-12
Length/width/height…..88.9”/49.6”/59”
Wheelbase…………………………………68.2”
Ground clearance……………………….5.8”
Claimed dry weight………………..688 lb.
Cargo bed capacity………………….50 lb.
Colors…………..White, black, blue, red,
orange, Vista Camo
Price………………………………………….$4500
Contact…………www.hisunmotors.com

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