Linhai Bighorn UTV Specs and Review

Rising in popularity, the Linhai Bighorn UTV is no second-fiddle utility quad. The design of this purpose-built 4×4 had true adventurers and hardworking folks in mind. It may not carry the brand names consumers are more familiar with, but it does boast a slew of features that can rival the best in its category – as you will later learn in this guide.

Launched in 2011, the Linhai Bighorn UTV (a.k.a. Linhai Bighorn 28) is an entry-level mid-size four-wheeler produced by the Jiangsu Linhai Group. Simple yet highly capable, it features a 28-hp power mill, 1,200-lb towing capacity, torque-heavy mannerisms, and an automatic belt-driven transmission.

A simplistic, no-frills vehicle, the Linhai Bighorn was able to create for itself a positive reputation by successfully meeting (if not exceeding) expectations of both skeptics and patrons. Consequently, consumers appreciate the side x side’s many competencies, making it ideal for multiple work-oriented and recreational applications. Read on to get acquainted and discover more about the Linhai Bighorn.

Tire Tracks Mud

Breaking the Stereotype

A Yamaha Rhino clone,” “another Chinese junk” – Being Chinese-made, the Linhai Bighorn UTV is not safe from these monikers and conclusive statements. But these so-called tags did not stop the four-wheeler from differentiating itself from the stereotype. While the quad still has its share of naysayers, more and more riders are discovering the capabilities of the Bighorn on the farm and off-road.

Calling the vehicle a Rhino clone may not be as detrimental as it seems. After all, Linhai Group did have a joint venture with Yamaha in the early 2000s to produce multi-purpose engine models. If anything, knowing that the Bighorn resembles a Yamie UTV that much should be good news, as it would signify the product’s level of reliability. Although in reality, the Bighorn does have its own engine and parts. So, being a replica of an iconic quad is very unlikely, if not impossible.

The aesthetic of the Linhai UTV is work-oriented and very straightforward – no fancy add-ons, no flashy doors or light bars, and no electronic power steering. And these qualities are what patrons love about the quad. It is so simple that it caters to riders of all skill levels, even elderly ones. The 4×4 is as easy to operate as it is to service and maintain. Overall, it is a bare machine that is fun to personalize and even more enjoyable to take outdoors.

Linhai Bighorn UTV Specs & Features (400 IRS and 400 LX)

Linhai released three models throughout its production run – the 400B, 400 IRS, and 400 LX. The 400B is the base model with the straight rear axle, while the rest are IRS-equipped and upgraded versions of the standard trim. This section will cover the last two models, including similarities and differences in their specifications.

Engine

A 32-mm Keihin CVK carburetor with a compression ratio of 9.8:1 and pressure of 1,400 kPa (14 kg/cm2, 203 psi) handles the air-fuel mixture and pairs with a 4-stroke, SOHC engine. This configuration puts the Linhai UTV on par with big-name brands such as Suzuki and Yamaha in terms of power output, delivering a horsepower of 28 hp for the Bighorn 400 IRS and 19-23 hp for the long cab version. It also lends to the vehicle’s 253 g/hp-h fuel consumption.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Engine Type 4-stroke, single-cylinder SOHC
Carburetion System Carburetor, Keihin CVK32 x 1
Engine Cooling Liquid cooling
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline w/ rating of at least PON 90, containing < 5% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors
Fuel Capacity 26.1 L/6.9 US gal
Bore x Stroke Ratio 3.15 x 2.75 in
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Displacement 352 cm³ / 21.5 in³
Compression Pressure (Sea Level) 1,400 kPa (14 kg/cm2, 14 bar – std); 1,120 kPa (11.2 kg/cm2, 11.2 bar – min)
Valve Clearance Cold Intake 0.08-0.12 mm (0.003-0.005 in)
Valve Clearance Cold Exhaust 0.16-0.20 mm (0.006-0.008 in)
Horsepower 28 hp/28.4 PS (20.9 kW @ 6,500 RPM) 23 hp/23.3 PS (17.1 kW @ 6,500 RPM);
19.8 hp/20.1 PS (14.8 kW @ 7,000 – 7,500 RPM)
Maximum Torque 27 Nm (2.77 kgf-m, 19.9 ft-lb @ 5,500 RPM)
Top Speed 42 – 50 mph (68 – 80 km/h) – depending on load
Starter System Electric
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil & Quantity 1.4 L (1.5 US qt)
SAE 10W-40, API grade SJ or higher, meeting JASO T903 MA, MB standards
Alternatives: 10W-30, 20W-40, 20W-50, “Energy Conserving I” or diesel oils w/ “CD” labels are prohibited
Final Gear Case Oil SAE 15W-40 or 85W-90 GL-4 (gear lube)

Drivetrain

Both the Bighorn 400 IRS and LX models share the same powertrain – a wet, one-way centrifugal clutch, 2-speed CVT transmission with reverse, and a driveshaft with selectable driveline modes. This setup enables the four-wheeler to sustain more abuse, accumulate less dirt and grime, and be less prone to wear and tear. To add, it is entirely different from similar-displacement Bighorn ATVs, which are chain-driven (Chain drive, DID SC. A-0404ASDH, 108 links).

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Clutch Wet, centrifugal type, automatic
Transfer, Transmission Type Dual-range CVT w/ reverse, automatic
Steering Rack & Pinion
Gearshift Pattern L-H-N-R
Drive System Shaft drive w/ On-Command 2WD/4WD

Ignition

Linhai UTVs are brought to life by an electronic TCI and an electric starter. This system allows for ignition to take place even with the battery disconnected. An A.C. Magneto serves as the vehicle’s charging system and its stock 12V 14 Ah battery aids in powering up electronic accessories.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Ignition Electronic TCI (Transistor Controlled Igniter)
Idle Speed 1,350 ± 1,650 RPM
Spark Plug NGK DR8EA, 0.6-0.7 mm (0.023-0.027 in) gap
Torque specs: 18 Nm (1.83 kgf-m, 13.3 ft-lbf)
Generator A.C. Magneto
Fuse 20 Amp (main)
Battery 12V (14 Ah)/10 HR, battery format unspecified

If you search for compatible battery replacements on e-commerce sites, you will get either a YTX20L-BS, YTX14-BS, or YTX9-BS as a result. Out of the three, the YTX9 and YTX14 formats share the same terminal type, although one is shorter than the other – YTX14-BS battery (view on Amazon) measures 150 x 87 x 145 mm (6.00 x 3.44 x 5.75 in) while YTX9-BS battery (view on Amazon) measures 150 x 87 x 105 mm (6.00 x 3.44 x 4.19 in). You will need to test each out to see which fits better in the quad or get a couple of 20-mm spacers if you already have the shorter one.

Tires & Brakes

Tubeless Nova Mud Gear tires mounted on aluminum rims remained as the factory tires throughout the Grizzly’s production. These knobbies, with an M12 x 1.25 bolt size for both front and rear, provided the Linhai UTV with sufficient grip and reduced body roll on slick surfaces. Brakes are hydraulic discs on all fours, which not only are self-adjusting but also require less maintenance.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Wheel Composition Aluminum alloy
Front Tire, air pressure AT25 × 8-12, 35 kPa (0.36 kgf/cm2, 5 psi)
Rear Tire, air pressure AT25 × 10-12, 35 kPa (0.36 kgf/cm2, 5 psi)
Tire Tread Limit 3 mm (0.11811 in)
Front Brake Type Dual hydraulic discs w/ dual piston calipers Bilateral hydraulic discs w/ dual piston calipers
Rear Brake Type
Parking Brake Independent, driveshaft-mounted disc

Suspension

References to the side x side’s front and rear suspension travel are a bit obscure – not to mention unspecified in the owner’s manual. But what is certain is that its turning radius is comparable with (if not better than) some of the top brands around. The vehicle’s stability on or off-pavement can rival that of Honda or Polaris behemoths. Additionally, the Linhai Bighorn 400 provides a good amount of clearance, with the 400 LX having a cabin raised slightly higher off the ground than the Bighorn 400 IRS.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Frame Steel
Toe-out 3 ± 6 mm (0.12 ± 0.24 in)
Turning Radius 4.5 m (14.8 ft)
Wheelbase 1,805 mm (71 in)
Ground Clearance 266.7 mm (10.5 in) 285.7 mm (11.2 in)
Front Suspension Type Independent McPherson strut
Rear Suspension Type Independent dual A-arms (spring preloaded, oil damping coilover shocks)

Dimensions & Capacities

One of the main differences between the standard IRS and LX versions of the Linhai UTV is the vehicles’ dimensions. The two-wheelers have about five to six inches’ difference in length, width, and height. Naturally, the long cab version is heavier and has greater payload capacity than the base model. The rear dump bed is diamond-plated and also slightly longer.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Length 2,480 mm (97.6 in) 2,683 – 2,692 mm (105.6 – 106 in)
Width 1,335 mm (52.5 in) 1,460 – 1,473 mm (57.5 – 58 in)
Height 1,830 mm (72 in) 1,890 – 1,905 mm (74.4 – 75 in)
Seat Height 850 mm (33.5 in)
Dry Weight 450 Kg (990 lbs) 516 Kg (1,138 lbs)
Cargo Bed Dimensions 1,092 x 900 x 270 mm (43 x 35.4 x 10.6 in)
Payload Capacity 227 Kg (500 lbs) 300 Kg (660 lbs)
Towing Capacity 636 Kg (1,400 lbs)
GVWR approx. 890 Kg (1,962 lbs) approx. 962 Kg (2,121 lbs)

Exterior

The Bighorn has a steel frame and plastic body panels made available in red, green, gray, white, blue, Vista Camo. Inclusions are front and rear fenders, a winch-ready front brush guard, roll cage, hinged doors, and bench seating with storage that later changed to bucket seats. The UTV can be fitted with optional accessories such as windshield (view on Amazon), recovery winch with a wireless remote, soft cab enclosure, or plow blade like a WARN 78954 54″ ProVantage Straight Plow Blade (view on Amazon) – depending on its intended use.

Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS 4×4 Linhai Bighorn 400 LX IRS 4×4
Headlight 12V 35/35 W × 2
Brake Light/Taillight 12V 21 W/5 W × 2
Indicator Lights LED (meter, hi-low beam, 4WD/2WD, water temp indicator)
Instrumentation Multi-functional digital meter w/ speedometer, fuel gauge, RPM, clock/hour meter, odometer/trip meter, parking brake

Trail Proven Technology™

This setup is built into every Linhai off-road product, not just the Bighorn 400 UTV series. Simply put, this means that the Bighorn 400 IRS and LX models are equipped with a heavy-duty, hydraulically-assisted rear cargo/dump box, trailer hitch, selectable 2WD/4WD modes, disc brakes on the front and rear wheels, and IRS or independent rear suspension. All of which are necessary for a smooth ride on different kinds of trails.

Linhai UTV Reviews

Green 2014 Linhai Bighorn UTV

Despite its quality build, many are still not convinced with the dependability of the Linhai Bighorn UTVs, referring to the vehicles as mere knock-offs or clones. On the other hand, owners say otherwise. Naturally, there will be opposing views about the side x side. Hence, it is best to review both the pros and cons of the four-wheeler for an unbiased judgment:

Pros:

  • Both the Linhai Bighorn 400 IRS and 400 LX 4x4s have kept their styling simple and only made gradual improvements to its overall functionality and design rather than rushing out poorly constructed machines in an attempt to meet consumer demand.
  • This utility quad does not slouch in the features department. Despite its basic styling, it does come with aggressive mud tires, on-the-fly 2WD/4WD, and preload-adjustable suspension.
  • The steering wheel is molded for driver comfort, making it convenient for the operator to drive and turn.
  • Its front brush guard has a pre-drilled mounting plate for a winch. Once installed, the winch is hidden from view under the hood.
  • Electrical components such as the battery and fuse box are kept safe in a battery box found under the hood of the wheeler, providing it much-needed mud and splash protection.
  • The hand brake and shifter do not get in the way of the cup holders.
  • Digital instrumentation is located and easily visible on the driver’s side. Depending on driver preference, it can be set to measure in kilometers or miles.
  • Its walk-through cab design makes for easy ingress and egress.
  • These UTVs may look similar to Polaris, but they have their own engines, frames, and other components. Additionally, the manufacturer has nine (9) R&D departments and a big dirt-testing track for their pre-production vehicles.

Cons:

  • Information on parts is not easy to find – the same goes for a complete and comprehensive owner’s manual. There is no servicing data in the existing manual that lists all odds and ends of the utility quad. (The battery type is not even specified).
  • The front driveshaft is not welded correctly and is out of line.
  • Clutch problems were prevalent in earlier Linhai Bighorn models.
  • Some units come stock with LA batteries that are reportedly poor in performance.
  • The machine only has four (4) tie-down points in the rear cargo bed.
  • CVT belt is prone to melting if used often in sticky mud and other hard-to-escape situations.
  • Some riders experienced a whining noise when riding the four-wheeler.

Linhai Bighorn Problems and Workarounds

The most common problems with the Linhai UTV circle around its clutch assembly, stock battery, and starter system. That said, here are a few workarounds from owners regarding these issues:

  • If your secondhand side x side does not have Dr. Pulley clutches yet, then get one. According to Linhai owners, this clutch gives the quad a noticeable performance improvement while eliminating most Bighorn clutch problems.
  • Whichever stock battery the 4×4 comes with, replace it immediately. SLA, gel, or lithium phosphate (LiFePO4) battery formats are preferable. Lithium batteries, in particular, can handle at least 80% discharge depth or more without their longevity being adversely affected.
  • Starting difficulties accompanied by whining noises could indicate plugged jets inside your carburetor, bad or contaminated fuel in the gas tank, or a sticking starter clutch. Either way, you will need your service manual and a flywheel puller if access to the starter clutch is required. If you are not comfortable inspecting the probable causes by yourself, it would be safest to take your quad to the dealer.

Linhai Bighorn UTV Price

Depending on whether you have the base model or the long cab version, the list price of the Linhai Bighorn UTV could range from $6,295 to $6,949. Standard IRS models would be the most inexpensive but could go up to $6,899. Meanwhile, Bighorn 400 LX trims cost from $6,599 to $6,949. Both 400 IRS and LX models are available in any color option, with Vista Camo trims costing at least $200 more than units with monotone body panels. As for auction listings, they could fall anywhere between $1,860 and $4,660.

About Linhai

Jiangsu LINHAI Group (a.k.a. Jiangsu Linhai Power Machinery Group Corporation) is a Chinese manufacturer with over 65 years’ worth of experience in manufacturing and developing small engines and power machinery. Founded in 1956, the Linhai Group worked its way up to become China’s largest motorcycle engine enterprise through different initiatives, including a joint venture with Japanese magnate Yamaha in 1994.

The venture, called Linhai-Yamaha Motor or LYM, aimed to create multi-purpose engine models – with Yamaha gradually transferring 100% production of the same to China. At present, Linhai Group continues to produce quality vehicles like the Linhai Bighorn UTV, establishing itself as a credible brand while rising above the competition.

Conclusion – Linhai Bighorn UTV Review

While choosing between a used big-name brand and a Linhai Bighorn is ultimately based on personal comfort zone and taste, one cannot deny the vision that goes with the production of the Linhai Bighorn UTV. Over time, the utility quad has proven that a UTV need not overboard styling and a ton of accessories to get the job done. Instead of on a fancy exterior, the manufacturer spent more time on the beefy frame, easily serviceable parts, engine, and overall functionality of the 4×4.

As a result, the Bighorn successfully changed many an off-roader’s perceptions of Chinese-made vehicles. It is also becoming one of the go-to brands for practical consumers looking for a robust, entry-level four-wheeler that does not disappoint.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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