A few years back, Former MX Champion Gary Jones built a Honda 450R for his son Justin to race. With only a few changes, it fit into our parameters perfectly. First on the list was the width. Walsh A-arms were installed that were two inches wider than stock. The kit came with tie rods and ball joints. Brake lines are another issue; the stockers aren’t long enough to deal with wider A-arms. PEP came to the rescue with brake lines that are rated much higher than stock. To get the rear end to the same width, we used an RPM Dominator 2 axle, which is currently discounted at the factory level–normally it’s the most expensive axle you could have bought.

We love the stock Honda motor as a trail ATV, but to get it up to race speed we took a few steps. First was a Motoworks stainless steel exhaust system. Then we installed a new Yoshimura cam. We were somewhat involved in the development of this cam, so we knew it would have good results. For the intake, we removed the airbox lid and installed a Pro Designs Pro Flow filter, and all of that required the switch to an NCVQ needle in the center position, a 55 leak jet, a 45 pilot and a 170 main jet. The next mod was the cheapest of all. We disconnected the green wire on the ignition, which raises the rev ceiling. Cost: nothing.

For the clutch we tried something new. Most of the Pros are running Hinson BTL slipper clutches, but we didn’t have enough money in the budget for that. So we tried the new Hinson single-spring clutch, which lightens the clutch pull and provides a more solid engagement.

Stock handlebars on the Honda are somewhat embarrassing, so those had to be upgraded. And we installed DG nerf bars with built-in heal guards. For the steering damper, we installed a Precision Pro Series. Like all the other quads in the shootout, the Honda got a set of Fox Float Evol shocks up front and a Podium X in the rear. The Douglas wheels and Gold Seal tires were on the Honda too.

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