A Retro Survivor Gets New Racing Upgrades: Honda TRX250R

A Retro Survivor Gets New Racing Upgrades: Honda TRX250R
A Retro Survivor Gets New Racing Upgrades: Honda TRX250R

There is some debate about who invented the first true sport quad, but it’s undeniable that many people regard the Honda TRX250R, manufactured from 1986 to 1989, as the first true sport quad.

It all started in the early ‘80s, when Honda decided to create a powerful and lightweight high-performance ATV. After years of research and development, Honda’s engineers came up with a machine advanced for its era. The TRX250R didn’t take long to become a benchmark in the manufacturing of ATVs. That’s why when you look at it, you will find many similarities with modern quads.

The TRX250R featured an independent front suspension with A-arms and a rear suspension with a swing arm. All the units left the factory with adjustable Showa shocks, allowing users to tune the suspensions depending on the surface and driving style. The frame was made from a strong, lightweight aluminum alloy, designed to provide the vehicle with a low center of gravity and keep its weight light to help improve its handling and stability and to reduce the power-weight ratio.

The Honda TRX250R heart was a 246cc water-cooled, two-stroke engine with CDI ignition. It was a powerful engine that, combined with the vehicle’s low weight, provided incredible acceleration and a top speed of 71 mph, making the vehicle one of the fastest ATVs of its time. Unfortunately, Honda had to discontinue the TRX250R due to environmental concerns and emissions regulations that forced them to stop using 2-stroke engines to replace them with 4-stroke engines, marking an early departure for this legendary ATV.

Honda TRX250R Racing Upgrades:
It didn’t take long for users, mechanics, and tuners to discover that they could easily improve the TRX250R and unleash its potential. The stock unit was an excellent starting point for a much more aggressive and powerful machine and aftermarket parts, and kits started to be available for the TRX owners. After almost 40 years, the TRX250R is one of the most wanted and praised quads among collectors and fans of the 2-stroke engined ATVs. Thanks to the model’s popularity, many performance parts manufacturers still make excellent mods for tuning the Honda TRX250R.

There are many great parts for restoring the vehicle and upgrading it at the same time, such as the Elka Suspension Legacy Series Front & Rear Kit, a great option to replace the old, worn shocks with a great set of modern shocks.

In the engine department, the intake is one of the first and easiest mods to make. Replacing the OEM internal air filter with an external intake like the Fuel Customs Intake System for the TRX250R not only helps to squeeze about 2 to 4 HP from the engine, but it’s also a great way to give the TRX250R an even more aggressive sound and look.

Another quick and great mod for the Honda TRX250R is to replace the standard clutch basket to help dissipate heat better, extending the clutch’s life and improving its performance under extreme conditions. One of the best products to achieve this is the Hinson Billetproof Clutch Basket.

The TRX250R’s stock suspension is quite impressive for the time; however, it has ample room for improvement. Swapping the A-arms helps to improve the vehicle’s handling and stability. High-performance parts manufacturers like the Lonestar Racing Sport Style A-Arms offer an excellent upgrade over the stock a-arms, making this ATV even better and fun to drive. Talking about improving the driving experience, the Lonestar Racing Steering Stem and Clamp Kit is great for reducing driver fatigue and improve handling.


Final Thoughts:
After almost four decades, the Honda TRX250R is an iconic ATV still used by many fans of adventure. Thanks to its modern design and 2-stroke engine, it remains a wonderful and exciting machine. Besides, the availability of aftermarket parts and performance kits allow users to restore it and even upgrade it to make it a real beast. Tuning the TRX250R is a fun and rewarding experience that extends the vehicle’s life for many years to come.

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