Making a TRX450 into a better all-around trail & dune quad
How good is the stock Honda TRX450R? Good enough to be a perrenial top choice for off-road racers and trail riders all across the country. But even good machine can always be made better, right? As Bill Murray in Stripes would say, "That's a fact, Jack. "
So, to prove this theory right, we took a 2007 model 450R, which we had access to, and set about transforming it from a 'standard' looking and 'standard' running TRX450 into a veritable roost-rocket, fully blinged out 500R dunster!
As a boy, every day was filled with adventures around the farm. A daily trip through the woods was seemingly required as well, either on foot, by bicycle, on a little Suzuki dirt bike, or eventually, on an ATV. No weather was too formidable, and no chance to explore was missed.
Without a doubt, ATVs have greatly expanded the acceptance of off-road recreation. For many riders that were either uncomfortable with the sometimes schizophrenic nature of a dirt bike, or did not want to be confined inside the cab of a vehicle, ATVs were the perfect choice for outdoor fun and exploration. Entire families could ride into areas too remote to be seen on foot and experience nature first hand, and they could do it safely at their own pace.
Rural Indiana is known for being one of the most productive agricultural regions on the planet. A back roads drive on a sunny, fall day will display endless fields in every direction, with soybeans drying in the sun, and brown corn leaves rustling to the slightest breeze, waiting to be harvested. Scattered along the roads and in between the practically endless corn and bean prairie, giant, silver, grain bins dot the sky and mark the small towns that are, for all intents and purposes, a Midwestern oasis.
Let's face it, finding extra money in the budget for our toys got a lot harder in the past year. By no means does this mean we will go without (I believe in some circles they call this an addiction), but it does mean that we are going to research our purchases better and make them do more for us. Here is our story...
As UTV manufacturers continue the process of refining and evolving their product lines, the mid-size segment of this market especially keeps getting better and better. Among the major players in the 4x4 mid-size segments are the Mule 610, the Ranger 400, the Club Car XRT950 and the new Husqvarna 4414. Husky's entry is the poster child for the philosophy of "less is more", but it offers all the goodies that mainstream UTV owners desire, such as four-wheel independent suspension, “shift-on-the-fly” four-wheel drive, sealed CVT, tilt-bed and a rugged brush guard.
For 2010, Polaris has refined and polished almost every aspect of its 6x6. Polaris says that it appeals to farmers, outdoorsmen, land owners, contractors and municipalities that need massive storage capacity with unmatched terrain capabilities. We couldn’t agree more. Except to add that as UTV standards go, the six-wheeled beast is thunderously quick, both from a standstill and at speed. The 6x6 retains all of the key components that are so convincing to these buyers, but with significant improvements. “Just doing what the customer asks,” Polaris says.
It’s easy to overlook the smaller displacement models in a manufacturer’s ATV lineup. It’s the big bore models equipped with the latest bells and whistles that get the lion’s share of attention, but the fact is many ATV owners don’t necessarily need or want a 70 horsepower, 70+ mph capable ATV to simply tow a trailer around the yard or cruise through the woods on a weekend trail ride. They look for reliability, “rideability,” comfort, and price (not always in that order), and we’ve found one ATV that fits the bill.
Simple bolt-on Upgrades to make the Honda even better
In a way, Honda’s voyage into the world of big-bore, IRS sport ATVs could be compared to Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World. Both embarked on a journey that few others had the courage to attempt, and for the most part, both journeys were a success. Columbus stumbled onto the New World, but then had to live with the problems that came with it. Honda developed an all-new engine and a unique chassis that could rock your world on two tracks, dunes, or desert …typical conditions on the western side of the country.