2019 ATC363R TWO-STROKE
— A new three-wheeler you can buy today from TPC —
the staff of Dirt Wheels Action photos by Ashley Calvo
Bill Casey is a man that simply couldn’t settle for riding four-wheeled machines. He started out on motorcycles in 1976, but traded with his friend who owned a Honda ATC, and the rest was history for him. Three wheels has always been his passion, and that extended into creating TPC Trikes. Casey founded his company in 1998. He concentrated on vintage ATC restorations, modifications and repairs. However, the increase in two- and four-wheel technology over the years spun gears in his head, and he wanted to bring a modern flair to his favorite type of off-road toy.
Bill specializes in creating new three-wheeler-specific frames for his TPC Trikes. There are many dirt bike frame conversions, but simply put, a dirt bike frame is exactly that. His custom frames are built with ATC ergonomics in mind, and his turnkey TPC 450 became the machine Casey is most known for. He didn’t want to settle for only one engine size, so we introduce to you the two-stroke TPC 363R! The Honda-style-hearted machine that we had the pleasure of testing comes at a pretty penny of $20,000, but any diehard trike enthusiast can see it’s worth its weight in gold.
BUILDING THE TRIKE
Bill began this build with one of his TPC BBR kits, also known as the Big-Bore R kit. The BBR frame can accept anything from a 310cc to a 500cc engine. The importance of the TPC frame in comparison to a dirt bike conversion is big. Generally, a dirt bike’s frame would be taller and have a larger degree of rake. This would cause the trike conversion to push in corners and bottom out on the frame before the full use of the suspension travel. Bill also generates more parts for the kit, including triple clamps, front hub, front axle and a front brake rotor adapter.
The first thing to go into this TPC frame was a very powerful Eddie Sanders Racing engine. The engine cases, most transmission parts and the cylinder casting are all created by ESR. A 363cc big-bore ESR cylinder with a built-in power valve makes its home on this motor with a Wiseco piston inside. A Hot Rods 4mm stroker crank was implanted in the bottom end. ESR provides a water pump and cover and many more parts. A Hinson clutch basket with an OEM clutch was utilized.
This meaty motor needed to suck down a larger volume of quality gasoline, so Bill installed a 38mm Keihin short-body carburetor and jetted it properly. A Clarke CR250 fuel tank and Outlaw Racing Products radiator provide fuel and cooling to the engine. An ignition from a 2002 Honda CR250R dirt bike keeps the trike running right. Finally, a full exhaust system from 333 Motorsports was mounted up to the 363R.
TPC Trikes have the advantage of much longer suspension travel than was ever available as production back in the three-wheeler era. The front fork on this beast is a 47mm, twin-chamber, inverted Showa that was massaged with Factory Connection Works upgrades and .52kp internal springs. They have an impressive 12 inches of travel and have 22-position compression and rebound adjustability. TPC provides a front axle in their kit that works with a DWT front wheel.
The rear suspension started with a swingarm from an ATC250R that was outfitted with a Lone Star Racing linkage. Next, a Stage 5 Elka rear shock was installed that has high- and low-speed and rebound adjustments. The combination of the LSR linkage and Elka shock provide 11.5 inches of rear travel. A LSR bearing carrier received a DuraBlue +2 axle. DWT wheels and tires found their place on the rear of this build.
Bill went with ProTaper for the handlebar, chain and sprockets for the 363R. A set of Wicked Metal Designs footpegs were bolted up to the BBR frame. The brake systems are comprised of many different components. The levers and cables come from Sunline. Honda HCR made the handlebar clamps, front master cylinder cover and brake line clamp. The rear brake caliper, master cylinder and brake hub all come from a Honda TRX450R, while the front caliper and master cylinder were taken from a Honda CR450F dirt bike. Outlaw Racing Products offers the front and rear rotors for this trike, along with a front steel-braided brake line.
ROUND IT OUT
Bill provides the TPC 363R with a modern look by utilizing parts from newer Honda dirt bikes and quads. The rear subframe, plastics and the seat are all derived from the legendary TRX450R. The seat was provided a custom seat cover by Cosmic Quads with “363R” embroidered on the sides. Rath Racing makes a very useful rear drop-down grab bar for the TRX that gained a home on this trike.
The TRX rear travels forward smoothly to the CR tank and shrouds. Bill had TDS Customs perform the powdercoat and plating, while Blackheart MX Graphics did a great job on the rest of the look with an old-/new-school twist.
BLAST BEYOND THE PAST
To perform the test of this impressive TPC trike, we spent time in some rough desert terrain. The machine was set up for motocross, so it ran on 18-inch rear tires, which slightly hindered ground clearance. However, our tests proved that the 363R has smoother and more supple suspension than any other three-wheeler we have had the pleasure of testing. Back when the Honda ATC250R was at the top of its game, it was never pushed to the limits that current sport quads get pushed to. The jumps became far larger and speeds have increased through the years. TPC Trikes proved that it is up to the task to run with the current fast machines.
The front fork has much better bottoming resistance and adjustability than any period trike, as does the rear shock. The travel numbers are longer, which means there is a more progressive stroke to provide a smoother ride at high and low speeds. The ESR engine breathes fire and puts out a ton of power. Breaking the rear end loose is an easy task with a quick twist of the throttle. Power output, before the big two-stroke hit, is smooth and linear. Once the engine is on the pipe, you best have a strong grip and a ready hand on the clutch. Bill did a great job of making the seating and cockpit ergonomics pretty comfortable.
Daryl Rath of Rath Racing is currently piloting a TPC Trikes 450 in a few race series. Some of his thoughts on the machine include that the power increase allows it to corner and slide better than an old 250R. The front forks are large diameter and have less flex in them, which offers a more planted feel. The rear end highly resembles the feel of a long-travel TRX450R rear end, and Daryl counts on it to provide a controllable and smooth ride.
One of the best perks of working for Dirt Wheels is getting to test out many different machines. We would have to say this TPC trike is one for the memory bank, and we hope to get another chance to swing a leg over a different version one day!
Acerbis: www.acerbisusa.com, (800) 659-1440
‘02 CR250R radiator shrouds $55
Fork guards $34.95
Blackheart MX Graphics: www.blackheartmx.com, (570) 339-2938
Custom kit $155
Clarke Racing:www.clarkemfg.com, (800) 232-2002
02’ CR250R fuel tank $240
Cosmic Quads: www.cosmicquads.com, (330) 435-8027
TRX450R seat cover $75
DuraBlue: www.durablue.com, (949) 770-5533
TRX250R Eliminator axle $613
DWT Racing: www.dwtracing.com, (800) 722-3746
Front wheel/10×5 2/3 offset $73.99
G2 beadlock rear wheels $119.95 each
MXR V4 rear tires $92.94 each
Eddie Sanders Racing: (805) 489-1999, www.eddie-sanders-racing.com
363cc engine $6000
Elka Suspension: (800) 557-0552, www.us.elkasuspension.com
Stage 5 Factory rear shock with track system $1,450
LoneStar Racing: www.lsracing.com, (800) 457-7223
Rear bearing carrier $199
Rear hubs $236.99
Caliper mount $75
Fourwerx Carbon: www.fwcarbon.com, (262) 501-9696
Titanium hardware/all engine/chassis bolts $900
Honda Racing Corp.: www.hondaracingcorporation.com
CRF450 front brake caliper $181.22
CRF450 front master cylinder $182.85
Handlebar clamps $97.97
Master cylinder cover $34.95
Front brake line clamp $34.95
Rear brake caliper $125.80
Rear brake master cylinder $145.96
Rear brake hose $12.11
Rear brake lever $127.45
Rear brake pivot bolt $12.96
Rear brake hub $56.80
Rear fenders $235.18
PWK38MM short body carburetor $329.95
Maier Mfg.: www.maier-mfg.com, (800) 336-2437
Front fender (‘87 200X model) $79.32
Motion Pro: www.motionpro.com, (650) 594-9600
Twist throttle $35.12
Wicked Metal Designs: (540) 665-7032
TRX footpegs $135
333 Motorsports: (503) 769-8888, www.facebook.com/333motorsports,
Full custom exhaust $550
Outlaw Racing Products: www.outlawracingproducts.com, (866) 447-6773
‘02 CR250R radiator $150
‘06 CR450F front brake rotor $69.95
TRX rear brake rotor $69.95
CRF SS front brake line $59.95
Pro Design Racing: (714) 534-0620, www.prodesignracing.com,
ATV kill switch $34.95
ProTaper: www.protaper.com, (951) 736-5369
Front sprocket TBA
Rear sprocket TBA
Rath Racing: www.rathracing.com, (320) 234-7223
TRX450R rear drop-down grab bar $79.95
Showa 47mm fork $2400 (Factory Connection upgrade $600)
VDX clutch $149.95
VDX brake $79.95
Throttle cable $22.95
Clutch cable $22.95
TPC Trikes: www.tpctrikes.com, (607) 222-1234
BBR kit $3400
TDS Customs: (805) 748-6578
Powder coating $500
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