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Project Machines

2019 HONDA ATC250R?

-- The latest version of the famous two-stroke three-wheeler -- Ever since Honda dropped their ATC250R after 1986, people have wondered how one would look today if it suddenly returned to the line up. Well, that has not happened yet, but what we have here is probably the closest thing to a 2019 ATC250R that Honda would build. It has an aluminum frame, inverted front forks and a 2-stroke engine with a power-valve, raising and lowering the exhaust port to make a broader power band. So, how did this modern ATC250R come…

SUZUKI QUADRACER 250

-- Custom rebuild on the first 2-stroke performance quad -- Honda's TRX250R gets most of the attention, but it actually owes its existence to Suzuki. The Quadracer 250 came out in 1985 while Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki were focussed only on 3-wheelers. At that point Honda set its engineers on building a high-performance 2-stroke 4-wheeler to compete with the Suzuki. Granted, Honda did a good job with their very first effort, but that wouldn't have happened without using the Quadracer 250 as a reference. Here is Jay…

MONSTER RZR

-- XTC's superhero of UTVs -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels You never know what will set a person on a path to success. The trip to this scratch-built, 450-horsepower not-a-Polaris began many years ago when Chris Leaming’s father Rob gave him a new Yamaha Tri-Zinger 50cc three-wheeler for the SoCal deserts. The little Yamaha ignited a lifelong spark of off-road passion. The father-son duo are now partners in Gilbert, Arizona-based XTC Power Products. They moved there to grow the company that specializes in UTV…

POLARIS RZR XP 1000 PROJECT BUILD

-- RANCHO RACING'S RADICAL RZR -- By the staff of Dirt Wheel UTV racer Adrian Orellana didn’t drift into the sport by buying a recreational car and gradually adding to it. He bought a brand-new Polaris RZR XP 1000 and immediately tore the entire car apart and delivered the frame to Fabwerx. Fabwerx had no qualms about cutting nearly the entire stock frame away. Basically, Fabwerx started with the two main-frame rails and constructed a new racer from that starting point. Orellana’s race team is Rancho Racing. Rancho…

THE MIGHTY RAPTOR!

THE HISTORY OF YAMAHA'S BIG SPORT QUAD -- The 1990s maintained a stagnant state of limbo for ATV manufacturers of sport quads. Of the potential manufacturers, Yamaha was the strongest player with the famed Banshee 350 and Blaster 200 two-strokes and the Warrior 350 four-stroke. Yamaha had a strong hold on the market, but it also knew that those beloved two-strokes would slowly be forced from the line-up by increasingly strict emissions standards. The fight to stay ahead of the competition lit a fire beneath…

1985 HONDA ATC250R

-- A man's dream comes alive -- Here is the classic Honda two-stroke three-wheeler that the fast guys used to ride back in the day. This one belongs to Mike Peterson and we'll let him describe it in his own words... Hi Dirt Wheels, I’ve always enjoyed reading your magazine! I’ve been riding on the Oregon coast for over 40 years. Started riding on a 1970 Honda ATC 90. Then a 110, 200 & finally bought a new '86 ATC 250R. Later bought an '85 ATC 250R. I was a long holdout of the quads. I liked the three-wheelers…

CONVERTING A QUAD INTO A SNOWMOBILE

-- Adding skis & a trax system to a Banshee is not a new idea -- Ever since our very first issue back in 1980 the Dirt Wheels crew has been into hopping up machines for more power and better suspension. When it comes to ATVs we've also been known to try some wild and crazy things. We liked riding in snow and we wanted to improve our quads for that. Back in 2001 we found a company that specialized in setting up quads with skis and a trax system. They put their conversion kit on a Yamaha Banshee and a Yamaha Warrior, so…

25 YEARS AGO IN DIRT WHEELS

-- Remember the Mickey Thompson Grand Prix Series? -- It was quite a sight as you sat there watching from a comfortable seat. A pack of quads and riders lined up on the starting line, revving the engines of their finely tuned machines. Then, they'd all take off in a roar racing to the first turn. A little bumping and shoving might send a rider or two over the berm, but the rest would go sailing over jumps, flying across the whoops, roosting around the turns and fighting to be first to the finish line. This was the exciting…

HONDA FAT CAT 650

-- A fast sand dune machine -- It's kind of like a dirt bike, but it's also like an ATV too. The fat tires allow it to carve across the sand better than skinny tires. If you've ever ridden a normal dirt bike at the dunes you had to deal with the front tire cutting in deep in the turns and the rear tire spinning wildly trying to find traction. This Fat Cat 650 is an effective solution to that problem. Although the Fat Cat 650 is a custom build, its concept was based on the original Honda Fat Cat 200 that was available…

TWO-STROKE YFZ300

-- Checking out a great quad conversion -- Gerald Tramble is a Dirt Wheels reader who lives in France. Just like many of us in the USA, he has a strong passion for ATV racing. ATV motocross is very popular in Europe too. As expected, Yamaha's YFZ450 is a machine many Europeans choose to race. For Gerald though, he wanted his YFZ to have a two-stroke power plant. So, he set out to remove the 450 4-stroke engine and replace it with something else. KTM is a company that still puts two-stroke engines into a lot of its dirt…

PROJECT YAMAHA YXZ1000R

-- A manual-shift Yamaha that works! -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels -- What do you do if you already have a high-powered Polaris RZR XP 1000 punched out to 1100cc? If you are Brian Carle, you buy a stick-shift Yamaha YXZ1000R to add to the stable. He is fortunate to live where he has plenty of room to drive. He stays with his trusty RZR for slow and technical outings and turns to the YXZ for faster, more open conditions. He lives in a rural desert area and has many opportunities to hit the trails, and he is often out…

YAMAHA WARRIOR 396

-- Great updates for an older quad -- Yamaha first introduced its Warrior 350 back in 1987. The production run lasted for 20 years, so there has been many sold in that time. The four-stroke engine was virtually bullet-proof and has proven to  offer Warrior owners with a long, trouble-free life. Therefore, there are plenty of these machines still out on the trails today. However, as with any older quad, they could use some refreshing to get back to the same shape of their younger days. Or, it doesn't hurt if they get the…