PROJECT HONDA TRX450R: BACK TO THE FUTURE
A time-traveling DeLorean-inspired desert dasher By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Think back to the 1980s if you can. And if you can’t, then you’ll surely recognize the futuristic film franchises that appeared during this time and still remain part of the fabric of our lives today—from cyborgs bent on creating mass destruction to a battle royal between the Force and the Dark Side. It was an epic time for sci-fi, as everyone was starting to get a glimpse into the future. One of the most iconic films arrived in 1985. A young man named Marty would befriend a great inventor, Emmett “Doc” Brown. Doc transformed a stainless steel DeLorean American sports car into something more spectacular—a time machine! Marty and Doc would travel through time and space with the DeLorean, creating some stellar adventures along the way. The customized DeLorean became the true star and even the symbol of the movie franchise. With its sleek lines and outrageous external features, it was a fan favorite of techies and gear-heads alike. Flash-forward some 30 years and two-time AMA National Hare and Hound champion and theme-quad-builder Colt Brinkerhoff has paid homage to the DMC time machine.
Up front Colt relies on Elka Stage 5 shocks with Teixeira Tech A-arms to get through the rough sections of the racecourse. The Teixeira A-arms offer more ground clearance with a gull-wing design, while the Elka Stage 5s soak up the bumps.
There aren’t many ATV parts that utilize stainless steel or the sleek lines of a DeLorean, so the build was challenging. It started with tearing a Honda TRX450R down to the frame for the powdercoating. The complete chassis (frame, Teixeira Tech A-arms, Teixeira Tech +1 Anti-Vibe stem, swingarm, Rath XC footpegs) was powdercoated in a custom “stainless look” finish from Brinkerhoff’s long-time sponsor, C&J Powder Coating. “I was worried that there wouldn’t be something to match the stainless look,” CB explained. “But again, Richard and Eric at C&J Powder Coating turned up the magic dial on this one. I’m very happy how it came out!” Next, DFR Graphics was tasked with the inventive graphics required for the time machine.
Sam, DFR’s graphic designer, always loves a challenge when it comes to creating what’s in Colt’s mind. “I always know what I am looking for when it comes to these builds,” stated Colt, “but if it wasn’t for the artistic talent of Sam, none of these builds would turn out the way they have.” Looking closely at these DFR graphics, you can really start to see the details—from having Marty McFly nervously checking the time on his watch to underneath the rear fenders where you’ll find DeLorean taillights next to more of Colt’s sponsors. Another amazing feature is the custom FourWerx Wave seat cover. This isn’t just some run-of-the-mill OEM DeLorean seat; this actually has the DeLorean on the sides of it! FourWerx was able to transfer that image onto the seat. Now that is cool!
Staying true to its design, the Goldspeed wheels were done in a gray finish with black Goldspeed carbon fiber beadlock rings. Colt prefers to use 10-inch front and 9-inch rear wheels. One of the perks of the Goldspeed wheels that we really like is they offer Yamaha and Honda bolt patterns in one wheel package. This is killer for anyone that has multiple brands in their garage. One of Colt’s new sponsors is GBC tires. The GBC XC Masters provide plenty of bite and traction. Along with being six-ply rated, they’re very durable. For the best ground clearance and to reach high speeds, 23-inch front and 22-inch rear tires are the weapons of choice. With the gnarly terrain of desert races, including jagged rocks, cacti and greasewood, Tire Blocks are a must to avoid flat tires. Colt mentioned, “I’ve knocked half of my front tire off of the bead during a desert race. Luckily for me, I had my Tire Blocks installed. You know what they say, don’t ride unprotected!”
Since Maier didn’t have any “stainless steel-look” fenders, Colt went with their “carbon fiber-look” fenders as a great substitute. Maier fenders are durable and look great, but they do weigh a little more than OEM. FourWerx helped out with its A57 plastic hood. This hood adds a great look to the Honda and is available in a carbon fiber model.
Even though this Honda looks like a futuristic sports car, it rides like a Cadillac. Long-travel Elka Stage 5 shocks front and rear bring a much-wanted plush ride. With high-/low-speed compression and rebound settings, the Stage 5s have no problem tackling the roughest terrain. Teixeira Tech came on board with their long-travel WX A-arms, long-travel linkage with stainless steel skid plate and +1 Anti-Vibe stem. Teixeira A-arms have a gull-wing design giving the TRX the most possible ground clearance up front. They also offer great handling characteristics with adjustable caster and camber settings. This makes life a breeze when switching your setup around for different types of riding.
Fasst Company Flexx handlebars are an ATV rider’s best friend. They are like adding suspension to your upper body, taking all of the harshness out and giving you a better day on the quad. Colt prefers the 14-degree Quadracer bend, but Fasst Company encourages you to call to get the best ergonomic option possible for your ride. A’ME’s half-waffle grips keep the rider’s hands planted. They are a great choice because they’re very tacky, making it easy to hold onto the quad. Fastway Flak handguards were used for hand protection.
BRING ON THE POWER
Since flux capacitors have been on infinite backorder, this time machine needed something special in the engine department. Fastheads.com created some crazy-fast, reliable power. This thing hits 88 mph in no time flat! The rest of this killer engine package includes a Vertex piston, Stage 2 Hot Cam, Hot Rods crank, 43mm Keihin FCR carburetor tuned by Tokyo Mods and a Pro Design dual-stage air-filter kit. Amsoil handles all of the machine’s fluids. It has a great synthetic formula oil Colt feels is unmatched for long races. Colt has yet to have a mechanical failure using these parts together.
Hinson Clutch Components added their BTL (Back Torque Limiter) inner hub and pressure plate assembly for this build. The BTL allows less back torque on deceleration, which helps tremendously with the rear suspension of the quad. It takes most of the rear-wheel hop out, allowing the rear shock to work through the chop and settle into the corners. However, it is a little tough to bump-start your quad with the BTL if you were to kill the engine. Our riders were able to figure out how to bump-start it after some time on the quad. Hinson also provided its Momentum steel basket, which acts much like a flywheel weight. It smooths out the power of the four-stroke and provides great traction! Even the Hinson clutch cover has an added benefit for the Honda. It allows you to add 150cc more oil than the stock cover. Special note: not all Hinson clutch covers offer this option; it’s only available for the 2004–2016 Honda TRX450R, 2002–2008 Honda CRF450R and the 2002–2007 Honda CR250R.
A full Works Connection lever/perch setup, along with its 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’ +2 brake lines, a standard-length rear brake line, and Wave rotors and pads were used to stop this beast at high speeds. In desert racing you need a great-working stabilizer like the Fastway Stage 3 system. High-/low-speed adjustments and return to center make this system an obvious choice for damping hard hits.
A Rad Manufacturing bearing carrier and trick axle lock nut are used on this machine. The bearing carrier has a grease zerk that makes it great to keep lubed. A Lonestar extended axle and steering-stem clamp were installed for strength and great looks. CRF poly frame and sprocket guards, along with a Hess Motorsports billet rear rotor guard, are installed to keep critical parts protected. 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. Fasst Company’s rear brake clevis and rear-brake return spring take up any slop out of the stock parts, along with adding incredible rear-brake feel.
IN THE PRESENT
So, how does the quad work? Since this is the same basic setup as CB’s championship-winning desert machines, but refined with the Hinson Back Torque Limiting clutch, it works great. Every modification is designed to make the TRX450 faster, smoother and more reliable in desert racing.
PARTS AND SERVICES
ENGINE: Fastheads head work Price varies, Vertex Piston $214.95, Hot Cam Stage 2 $269.95, Hot Rods Crank $319.95, Cylinder Works standard-bore cylinder $289.95, FMF MegaBomb titanium head pipe with Factory 4.1 RCT anodized carbon end-cap silencer $700, Hinson basket $249.95, Hinson fibers and steel clutch plates $170, Hinson BTL inner hub/pressure plate Race Version kit $1500, Hinson clutch cover $159.95, VP T4 $10 a gallon
SUSPENSION: Teixeira Tech long-travel WX +2 front A-arms $985, Teixeira Tech long-travel linkage with stainless steel skid plate $500, Elka Stage 5 long-travel shocks $3100
WHEELS AND TIRES: Goldspeed beadlock wheels with carbon fiber rings $650, GBC XC Master front 23×7-10 $74.25/ea, GBC XC Master rear 22×11-9 $102.63/ea
BODYWORK: Maier Manufacturing plastics $553.37, FourWerx A57 hood $129.99, IMS oversized quick-fill $500.51, DFR custom set Price varies
CHASSIS: Sprocket Specialists/EK X-ring full kit $200, FW Carbon custom seat cover Price varies, CRF frame protector $110, CRF plastic sprocket guard $50, Hess Motorsports billet rotor guard $150, Teixiera Tech +1 anti-vibe steering stem $340, Fasst Co./Flexx handlebars 14-degree Quadracer bend (part #FL-1003-14-31) $359.99, A’ME half-waffle grips $9.99, Works Connection clutch lever $195.85, Pro Design kill switch $33.99, Fastway Flak guards $49.99, Rath Racing bumper $125.99, Rath Racing grab bar $79.95, Rath Racing XC pegs/heel guards $264.95, Streamline front brake lines $89.99, Streamline rear brake line $39.99, Streamline front and rear kit $269.97, C&J Powder Coating Price varies, Fastway System 3 stabilizer $499.95, Lonestar Axcaliber +2 axle $449, Works Connection engine plugs $39.95, Pivot Works Bearings Price varies, Fasst Co. rear brake clevis $39.99, Fasst Co. rear brake return spring $19.99, Tire Blocks flat preventive foam $550 (complete set), Amsoil engine oil Prices vary
Fasst Company www.fasstco.com 877-306-1801
Fastheads www.fastheads.com 435-668-7776
Pivot Works www.pivotworks.com 515-402-8000
Lonestar Racing www.lsracing.com 800-4LSRACE
Hinson www.hinsonracing.com 909-946-2942
IMS Products www.imsproducts.com 800-237-9906
Teixeira Tech www.teixeiratech.com 209 833-9160
GPS Products/Goldspeed www.gpsoffroadproducts.com 855-643-8473
Maier Plastics 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
Hess Motorsports www.hess-motorsports.com 940-759-4597
Works Connection www.worksconnection.com 530-642-9488
Rath Racing www.rathracing.com 320-234-7223
A’ME 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 Powder Coating www.cjpowder.com 435-673-6565
Tire Blocks www.ridetireblocks.com 360-951-2903