JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

Our ATV Project this month..A UTV pro builds a quad 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Honda came up with a great package for the TRX 250R. Over 30 years later it is still popular and very fun and effective to ride. Modern suspension and more power help.

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

If you look on the contact page of the Jeffries Performance website, it says, “Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to make your dreams come true.” RJ Jeffries has worked hard and grown his Phoenix, Arizona-based Jeffries Performance into a nice business that sells UTV parts, accessories and performance. The company also does full builds for customers looking to have a UTV that is something special. When we met RJ at Glamis, he was parked in a group with the Evolution Powersports crew. Not a surprise since Jeffries is an Evo dealer and helps with product testing.

Their camping area was packed with some very trick UTV builds. Some of those builds were seriously fast and hoping to win at the sand drags. The camp area also had a sweet lineup of hopped-up ATC 70s and this Honda TRX250R build.

We often hear of quad fanatics getting the UTV bug and building something cool. We don’t often hear of a UTV builder putting together a quad, and especially a vintage two-stroke quad pushing 35 years old!

Between the boosted performance and the Skat-Trak Hauler paddle tires, the TRX takes some effort to turn hard under power, but it accelerates hard.

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

HOW IT HAPPENED

In the case of this very clean 1988 Honda TRX250R, the dream that RJ was making come true was his own from his teen years. “Growing up riding quads,” RJ explained, “and watching the Huevos Grandes series, I would always see the trick, racing TRX250Rs. I wanted to build one, but I never had the financial capability to do it. I certainly couldn’t build one the way I wanted to build it.

I always wanted a Roll Design 250R. When I was at a position in life where I could afford one, I set out to build my dream quad with all the best parts available. It was a bucket-list item for me, and I believe the finished product embodies the nostalgia of the 1980’s Hondas. It also represents the newest and best parts available to make these machines not only look the part, but function at the highest possible level. It was an amazing project that proved to be extremely hard. Parts for the 1988 TRX250R are becoming scarce. In the end, I was extremely happy with the result.”

Fast and smooth dune ripping is where this quad shines. It has the stability, power and suspension it needs to supply big fun.

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

A GREAT FOUNDATION

Honda’s chassis geometry was ahead of its time in 1988. The machines handled very well, and the quality of the machine was excellent for the most part. Honda chose to construct the chassis mostly of square tubing, and the frames do crack. RJ was able to find a 1988 with a good main frame. That was important. The rest of the rolling chassis didn’t matter as much. Not many stock parts were going back on the finished bike. The chassis and parts were coated in black or brilliant red by Specialty Coatings.

While not a study in perfection or a show quad, the Jeffries Performance TRX250R is a sweet-looking machine. It is a quad that should and will be ridden.

To start, the entire front end, including the A-arms, was replaced with Roll Design’s Lobo II front suspension kit. The kit includes tie-rods, but RJ opted to use TRX450R front spindles and hubs. The stock stem was set aside, and a Roll stem and anti-vibe handlebar clamp were joined with a ProTaper handlebar and a Precision Racing Products Elite steering damper and mount. Elka Stage 5 shocks, DWT wheels and Skat-Trak sand tires round out the front end.

This is the end that sprays sand. The Lobo swingarm is very nice, but may be hard to obtain. The wide stance makes for a planted and stable ride.

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

In the middle of the bike are Roll Design footpegs. At the rear of the machine is one of the parts that RJ said was hard to find. Roll still makes swingarms for the Honda TRX450R and the Yamaha YFZ450, but no longer lists the Lobo no-link TRX250R swingarm on the website. RJ rounded one up, and then added the Elka Stage 5 rear shock and an RPM Dominator axle with an OEM bearing carrier. Getting the chassis up and rolling required black, rolled bead DWT A5 wheels for the rear with more Skat-Trak tires.

Finishing up the chassis required a variety of detail parts. An example is a F4 Series Pro Model lever Pro Pack from ASV and ODI TLD Signature Series lock-on grips. For safety, he fitted AC Racing nerf bars. Wrapping up the look is a full plastic kit from Fullbore Innovations. To avoid the bare plastic look, a Duncan Racing graphics kit covers everything.

Roll Design A-arms are curved to allow a wide stance and long travel without raising the quad up any more than it needs to be for comfort and safety.

MORE MOTOR

Although the TRX250R engine looks amazing, RJ chose to keep it fairly close to what Honda intended. BMF Racing handled the actual engine build. The cylinder is ported, and it breathes in through a Uni pod filter without an airbox and a Mikuni TMX carburetor. Exhaust duties are performed by an interesting combination of a Pro Circuit pipe mated to an FMF spark arrestor and muffler.

This is one quad that is easy to control while jumping. It takes off well, flies confidently and lands softly.

 

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

KICKING SAND

Finally getting the TRX in the sand was satisfying. RJ loves the quad and claims that it is buttery smooth. With the wide stance, thanks to Roll Design and RPM, the TRX is stable and planted with no tendency to stand up or tip in turns. The suspension soaked up small chop and big hits easily. When we found air, the TRX sailed smoothly off the ground, stayed calm in the air and landed smoothly.

Dialing in the rider cockpit and freshening up the control feel were important parts of this build. This quad is meant to ride, so it needs good control effort and feel.

It accelerates hard for a 250cc engine. In fact, with the Skat-Trak paddle tires, it just wants to drive straight through turns when under power. It required a lot of body English to force it into a tight turn under power. On the other hand, we had all the traction we needed to climb long, steep dune faces in a hurry.

A nice bumper is handy, but that Precision steering stabilizer hidden down there is a key part of the handling of this machine.

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

WRAPPING UP

Even with all of the continuing aftermarket support for the TRX, it is still a 33-year-old quad. There’s bound to be difficulties sourcing parts and products. Still, after the work is done, the results are rewarding and the ride is fun. No doubt that is why the TRX250R remains timeless.

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JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE 1988 TRX 250R

1988 TRX250R PARTS AND SERVICES

ASV INVENTIONS: www.asvinventions.com

F4 Series Pro Model lever Pro Pack: $216

AC RACING: (951) 245-4040, www.acracing.com

Honda TRX250R nerf bars 1988-1989: $120

DOUGLAS WHEEL & TIRE: (800) 722-3746, www.dwtracing.com

Black, rolled bead A5 front wheels: $83.95

Black, rolled bead A5 rear wheels: $91.95 ea.

DUNCAN RACING INTERNATIONAL: (619) 258-6306, www.duncanracing.com

Pro Top seat cover: $199

TRX250R Team DRI graphics: $149.95

Front bumper: $229

Crown Series steel braided front brake lines: $119

Crown Series steel braided rear brake line: $39.95

ELKA SUSPENSION: (800) 557-0552, www.us.elkasuspension.com

Stage 5 front shocks: $1,900

Stage 5 rear shock: $1,400

PRECISION RACING PRODUCTS: (209) 365-1850, www.precision-rp.com

Elite damper & mount: $599

FMF RACING: (310) 631-4363, www.fmfracing.com

PowerCore 2: $149.99

FULLBORE INNOVATIONS: (503) 261-1418; www.fullboreinnovations.com

TRX250R kit: $650

JEFFRIES PERFORMANCE: (602) 777- 1237, www.jeffries-performance.com

Final assembly or all components: NA

ODI GRIPS: www.odigrips.com

TLD Signature Series lock-on ATV grips: $29.95

PRECISION RACING PRODUCTS: (209) 365-1850, www.precision-rp.com

Elite damper & mount: $599

PRO CIRCUIT RACING: (951) 738-8050, www.procircuit.com

Platinum pipe: $288.95

PROTAPER: (951) 736-5369, www.protaper.com

Contour ATV mid: $74.99

ROLL DESIGN: (760) 731-5920, www.rolldesign.com

Lobo II front suspension kit (includes tie rods): $1,495

Anti-vibe steering stem: $299

Anti-vibe handlebar clamp: $99.95

Foot pegs: $239

Lobo no-link swingarm: $1495

RPM: (928) 771-9363, www.team-rpm.com

Dominator II axle w/ OEM carrier: $499

SKAT-TRAK USA: (909) 795-2505, www.skat-trak.com

Mohawk front and Hauler rear tires: $799

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