2015 Honda TRX90X

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It’s been a while, so we thought we would take another look at the Honda 90X kids’ quad. What set the 90X from other 90cc kids’ quads out there is that this is the one and only machine for little tykes with a manual transmission. Furthermore, it’s the only kids’ quad in Honda’s lineup. When Honda first got in the youth ATV market, their offering was the three-wheel ATC70, and then later a four-wheel version. That was the smallest Honda you could buy for a kid, so the brand loyalty Honda wanted to build had to start with a kid 12 years old, not at the age of 6.

Although it has more modern styling, the 90X is not much different than that first ATC70. In fact, the engine is almost identical with the extra cc. Powering this 86cc, Honda used their tried-and-true, SOHC, two-valve, air-cooled powerplant mated to a four-speed, manual-shift, auto-clutch transmission.

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POWER UP
Older Hondas of this style used to have a low- and high-range gear, as well as three or four speeds, but this one does not. It actually doesn’t need it. At 262 pounds, it doesn’t take much to get this machine going, and first gear will do it. This model has neutral, too, which helps warm-up time. To shift to the next higher gear, all the rider has to do is pull up on the foot-shifter one gear at a time. The 90X will top out at just under 30 mph in fourth gear. Starting is simple since Honda added an electric start a handful of years ago. This was the last power sports engine Honda produced that was actually started with a pull rope just a few years ago. Parents will appreciate the fact that it does have an electric starter, and a keyed ignition will help keep those latchkey kids from riding it unattended after school. A throttle-screw limiter on the thumb lever can be adjusted as kids improve, and the intake system has a small rubber washer placed before the carburetor will unlock some hidden performance if the need arises. The only feature it doesn’t have that we wish it did was reverse.

FUN JUMPS
In stock trim the little Honda is fun. We had several testers spin a ton of laps around a little mini track, and the motor never disappointed. For a quad this small, the 86cc is all the power you need for casual trail riding. The large 1.7-gallon tank was good enough for about two hours of riding on a small track with our test kids taking turns.

The 90X is not quite the biggest 90 out there. It fits right between the Polaris 90 and the Suzuki 90. It is one of the heaviest at 262 pounds, but probably the strongest you can buy. The suspension will take a pounding. Up front, single steel A-arms only move 2.6 inches, and the rear swingarm moves about the same. You probably get another inch of travel out of the somewhat balloony tires. Those measure 20×7-8 in the front and 19×8-8 out back. MX tires from a 450 quad would make the machine sit a little lower and handle a tad better. The stock tires are really good in the sand, however. They provide good floatation and should keep your kid from getting stuck.

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SANDLOT
The controls are easy to operate with smaller hands, and the transmission only takes a few minutes to master. Having to shift a quad at an early age really helps a kid develop skills faster. Whether they jump up to a 250 or 450 quad in the future, or learn to shift before driving a car, the skill is a useful one.

When Honda finally added electric start to this quad and changed the styling, we really started liking it more and more. It’s still one of the best and most durable quads out there from a major OEM, but we still think Honda could come up with something a little bit more racy. Since they won’t, you easily pick up tons of hop-up kits that are available for the dirt bike motor that crosses over. Plus, quad races have been modifying this machine for years, so the knowledge and knowhow to improve it is available.

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REPORT CARD
We give the Honda 90X a solid B. It can take a beating even by adults and can provide years’ worth of fun, even if all you do is put gas in it. However, if you want to do more with it you can. The only reason it didn’t get an A is that we think Honda can do more with the quad, like adding a couple inches of wheel travel and a double-A-arm front suspension system, which would really catch the attention of some sport riders. We do like that Honda hasn’t raised the $2999 price of this little mini in a few years.

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2015 HONDA 90X
Engine…..Air-cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke
Displacement……………………………..86cc
Fuel system……………………..15mm carb
Fuel capacity………………………..1.7 gal.
Transmission……Auto-clutch, 4-speed
Final drive………………………………Chain
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front…………….Single A-arms w/ 2.6”
Rear……………………Swingarm w/ 2.6”
Brakes:
Front…………………Dual-sealed drums
Rear……………………………Sealed drum
Tires:
Front………………………………………20×7-8
Rear………………………………………19×8-8
Length/width/height..58.6”/35.2”/36.5”
Wheelbase…………………………………38.7”
Seat height…………………………………..26”
Ground clearance……………………….3.9”
Wet weight………………………………262 lb.
Colors………………………………………….Red
Price………………………………………….$2999
Contact………………….www.honda.com

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