*Look back at Zac Willet's cool '97-'98 Honda Mini 80


Zac Willet has been riding ATVs for over a decade, start­ing out on a TRX70 in ’88. By the time he was ten, he had stepped up to a new TRX90. He also had an oc­casional spin on his dad David’s Four­Trax 250X. It was at that time that his dad saw the potential for a racing ca­reer in Zac’s future. Thus the Honda Championship Mini 80 was born.

The father/son team from Henderson, KY, began racing Suzuki LT80s in the south­eastern part of the country.

By the time Zac was 12, he had raced in well over 100 events and won four different 80cc quad series in three different states.

In ’97, Zac campaigned the AMA Nationals on one of the cool­est-looking minis we have ev­er seen, a custom-built mini mo­to­crosser with a hopped-up Honda CR80 en­gine inside. Zac races in the 85cc Mod­ified class, where wild machines abound since stock-based quads can’t cut it against the tricked-out racers that the wide-open rules allow. Un­fortunately, a leg in­ju­ry forced him to miss several races, put­­ting him out of contention for a run at the championship.

“For ’98, we plan on running the en­­­tire series, and we’re currently build­ing a special quad for the TT rac­es,” says Zac.

“My MX machine is awesome ’cause it can do just about anything a 250 can. It has about the same amount of wheel travel as a 250 and handles a lot like one—the only trouble is that it’s certainly down on pow­er when compared to a 250!”

“As far as jumps go, it can soak up just about any landing. The shocks have saved me quite a few times when I’ve messed up—I’m really happy with the PEP Limited Mass shocks. I’m hoping to at least finish in the top three in points in the 85 Mod class this season.” Check out this closer look at Zac’s MX racer for ’98.



Engine: ’93 CR80 liquid-cooled two-stroke with stock bore and stroke. EP Racing porting and re­shaped head, ’96 CR80 ignition, FMF reed cage, 28mm Keihin carb, custom airbox, K&N air filter, stock TRX250R radiator, and Pro Circuit pipe and silencer. The team runs Turbo Blue fuel with Bel-Ray oil at 32:1.

The trick-looking chrome engine is from a Honda CR80 motocross bike and features Baldwin Racing porting and head mods.


Frame and suspension: Laeger Mini frame (46-inch wheelbase), Lae­ger 48-inch A-arms, stock TRX 250R spin­dles.

PEP Limited Mass front shocks (10.5 inches of wheel travel), Lae­ger steering stem, and PEP steering stabilizer. In the back, there’s a Lae­ger 17-inch aluminum swingarm, RPM +2” axle, Baldwin Racing carrier, and a PEP Limited Mass shock with 11 inches of wheel travel.

Drive system: Hinson Racing clutch basket,  Barnett plates and heavy-duty springs, stock Honda tranny, RK chain, and Sprocket Specialists sprockets (14/46).

Tires, wheels, hubs and brakes: In the front, 145R10 Riken radials (11 psi), Douglas Red Label rims, stock 250X hubs, stock 250R calipers, and brake pads and Fast Line Steel Braided brake lines.

In the rear, 18×9.5-8 Turf Tamers (5 psi), Champion beadlocks on Douglas Red Label rims.

Nac’s Racing hubs, stock 250R cal­i­pers and brake pads, and Fast Line Steel Braided brake lines.

The PEP Limited Mass front shocks offer a whopping 10.5” of wheel travel. The front A-arms are 48” chromed Lae­ger units with stock TRX250R spindles.

Handlebars/controls: Renthal CR­80 bend handlebars, CR80 throttle and cables, CR250 clutch lever, Scott Hur­ricane grips, and Pro-Design kill switch.

Miscellaneous: DG Performance nerfs,  front bumper and rear grab bar, custom skid plate, Clark plastic TRX125 fuel tank, stock ’88 TRX125 plastic, TRX125 seat with Graves custom seat cover, powder-coated frame, front hubs, and brake lever, chrome swingarm, A-arms, tie rods, clutch cov­er, Kickstarter, flywheel cover, axle and steering stem, polished airbox, cylinder head, and rear master cylinder cover, Nac’s Racing Brake Block-Off, and Nac’s Racing Handlebar Clamp.

Quad weight: 220 pounds wet.

Sponsors: DG Performance, Nac’s Rac­ing, White Bros., Graves Motorsports, Honda of Troy, Maier Plastics, EP Racing, Pro Art Works, Motion Pro, Southern In­­diana Honda, Wiseco, Spy Optics, River City Racing, J & J Powdercoating, WD-40, Sprocket Specialists, Doug­las Wheels, Outerwears, Cometic Gaskets and K&N Engineering (filters).     Clink the link below to see a mini ATV hop-up Guide:

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