PROJECT ATV: Honda TRX450R Rat Rod Quad

The “rat rod” culture has been around since the ’50s. Back then, guys would take a worn-down car from the early 1900s to 1950s, chop and lower it, remove the fenders and add some serious horsepower, along with a couple of flashy parts. The rusty remnants of years of abuse and weathering on the body usually remain. There are several variations of the styles of rat rods depending on the owner or builder of the car. Some of the more notable trendsetters of the rat rod movement would be artists like Von Dutch for his Flying Eye and pinstriping abilities, along with Ed “Big Daddy” Roth with the iconic Rat Fink! Over the past 10 years that lifestyle has gained popularity again across the country and has now reached the quad scene.

Two-time defending AMA National Hare and Hound champion Colt Brinkerhoff has been known to build some wild-themed race quads, with the help of vice president of Fasst Company Chris Tidwell coming up with all of the themes to date. It started with a green-and-yellow John Deere-themed Honda, then it was “The Tank,” which we featured in the July 2014 issue. Colt, or the Hoff as he likes to be called, has outdone himself once again with the rat rod build. Colt, alongside with Sam Holmes of Dirt Fiend Racing, ran with the idea. “We wanted to build something that Von and Ed would be proud to see in a different market of motorsports. We did just that, and everyone has agreed after seeing the finished product, with over 25,000 likes on social media sites,” stated Brinkerhoff.

IT’S NO RUST BUCKET
With limited funds, Colt wasn’t able to purchase another quad for the build. He had to use the Tank for his donor quad. The frame was the first thing that needed the jalopy treatment. Entrusting C&J Powder Coating of St. George, Utah, to handle all of the powdercoating needs of the build, they decided on a patina finish to make it look rusted. The subframe and swingarm were both done in a satin black finish to keep the color tones down. The stainless steel Rath Racing XC footpegs kept their natural color with the heel guards, as well as a Rath Signature Series grab bar and bumper in a satin black finish. Goldspeed wheels were powdercoated in red, and the beadlock rings are white to replicate a white-wall look. Nice touch! Colt prefers to use 10-inch front and 9-inch rear wheels. Maxxis Razr six-ply, 23-inch front tires and 22-inch rear tires are needed for ground clearance along with highspeed racing. The terrain for most Hare and Hounds is brutal, with a lot of sharp rock gardens and cacti. Tire Blocks keep Colt finishing races over and over again.

Maier has some trick flat-black plastics, what they call Stealth, that helped with the visual aspect of the rat rod. FourWerx Carbon made a stellar matte black plastic hood and one of the coolest hump seats we’ve seen. The seat has brown leather with a black gripper to stick you to the quad and is adorned with red stitching. They nailed the look with that setup!

Adding to the ’50s look, Teixeira Tech came on board with their chromed WX A-arms, black linkage with stainless skid plate and chromed +1 steering stem. Teixeira Tech A-arms have a reverse gull-wing design, giving your quad the most ground clearance possible up front. They also offer great handling characteristics as well. The quad is adorned with Elka Stage 5 shocks to smooth out the ride in the unforgiving desert terrain, and the colors of the shocks pulled the build together quite nicely.

Having the perks of working for Fasst Company, Colt was able to build a fully polished set of 14-degree QuadRacer-bend Flexx handlebars with the help of Kris Edwards and Casey Sheets of Fasst Company. Unfortunately, the public cannot get the Flexx handlebars polished; they are only offered in anodized black. You do, however, have your choice of bar pad colors though. No matter the color, they work great! It’s like adding suspension to your upper body, taking all of the harshness out and giving you a better day on the quad. A’ME half-waffle grips are a great choice. They’re very tacky, making it easy to hold onto the quad.

UNDER THE HOOD
Moto-Xperts handled the cylinder head work, and a Vertex piston, Hot Cam Stage 2, Hot Rods crank, 43mm Keihin FCR carburetor, and a DT1 air filter make this a killer powerplant for desert racing, not a Friday-night street drag. Hinson stepped up in a big way with a full-steel clutch basket, fibers, springs, inner hub, outer hub and clutch cover. This setup provides great clutch feel and is long lasting. A full Works Connection lever/perch setup, along with their trick engine dress-up plug kit, was installed for functionality and great looks. Works Connection also has a great rear parking-brake block-off plate in several colors that went on the build. Streamline Industries red +2 brake lines, standard-length red rear brake line, Wave rotors and pads were used to stop this beast at high speeds.

In desert racing, you need a great stabilizer like that of the Fastway Stage 3 system that works great. High-/low-speed adjustments and return to center make this system Colt’s choice for dampening the hard hits. Fastway Flak handguards were used to keep his hands protected.

Out back, a RAD Manufacturing bearing carrier and trick axle lock nut are used on this machine. Furthermore, the bearing carrier has a grease Zerk that makes it easy to keep fresh lube inside. A Lonestar extended axle, front hubs, rear hubs and a steering-stem clamp were installed for strength and great looks. CRF Poly frame and sprocket guards, along with a VGR rear rotor guard, are installed to keep those critical parts protected.

Glann Innovations has some really trick parts that Colt installed for this season. He went with their case guard, swingarm chain slider, tie-rod end/castle nut upgrade kit, and rear chain slide. Glann products provide superior protection for your most important parts, making it virtually impossible to destroy your case. Sprocket Specialists handled the gearing with a 14-tooth counter sprocket and a 40-tooth rear sprocket. An EK X-ring chain was used to keep everything rolling. Rounding out the build, Fasst Company’s rear brake clevis and rear brake return spring take any slop out of the stock parts, along with adding incredible rear brake feel.

FORM AND FUNCTION
Colt knows racing is an expensive sport and wins alone aren’t going to get you the best publicity. His themed quad builds probably do more for getting attention and sponsors than anything. In a sea of red Hondas, yellow Suzukis and blue Yamahas, something that stands out makes people stop, look and listen to what the Hoff says about what gets him to the winner’s circle. In addition, he is a great ambassador to the sport and knows what it takes to get noticed. We sure did when we first spotted his John Deere build a few years back. The rat rod quad is no different and really works well and surely stands out. We are not sure if Von Dutch and big daddy Ed Roth would approve of adding so many sponsor stickers on top of the artwork, but they would probably understand.

CONTACTS
Fasst Company…………….www.fasstco.com…………………………………….877-306-1801
Moto-Xperts…………………..www.moto-xperts.com……………………………765-230-0514
Vertex Pistons………………..www.pivotworks.com……………………………..515-402-8000
Lonestar Racing……………www.lsracing.com………………………………800-4-LSRACE
Hinson……………………………www.hinsonracing.com………………………….909-946-2942
IMS Products…………………www.imsproducts.com……………………………800-237-9906
Elka Suspension……………www.elkasuspension.com………………………800-557-0552
Glann Innovations………..www.glanninnovations.com………………….515-528-9056
Teixeira Tech…………………www.teixeiratech.com……………………………209-833-9160
Goldspeed…………………….www.gpsoffroadproducts.com……………….855-643-8473
Maxxis Tire……………………www.maxxis.com
Maier Plastic………………….www.maier-mfg.com……………………………..800-33-Maier
FourWerx Carbon…………www.fwcarbon.com……………………………….262-501-9696
Dirt Fiend Racing………….www.dirtfiendracing.com………………………888-777-8068
Sprocket Specialists………www.sprocketspecialists.com…………………800-782-8200
Stitch Craft Seats…………..www.stitchcraftcustomupholstery.com….435-673-0783
CRF Skid Plates & Guard………………………………………………………………..435-669-8563
VGR……………………………….www.vanillagorillaracin.com………………..336-608-8091
Works Connection…………www.worksconnection.com……………………530-642-9488
Rath Racing…………………..www.rathracing.com……………………………..320-234-7223
A’ME Grips……………………www.amegrips.com……………………………….702-835-0681
Fastway/Pro Moto Billet..www.promotobillet.com…………………………866-466-4762
Streamline Brakes ………..www.streamlinebrakes.com…………………..909-987-4213
C&J Powdercoating………www.cjpowder.com………………………………..435-673-6565
Tire Blocks……………………..www.ridetireblocks.com…………………………360-951-2903

ATVATV TestColt BrinkerhoffdesertDirt WheelsElkaFasst Co.FourWerxHondaProject MachineQuadRat Rod QuadRathSport QuadTRX450R