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Project Machines

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…

KFX440 PROJECT QUAD

-- BUILDING A KRAZY KAWASAKI -- Today we're going to check out the ride of a Dirt Wheels reader in Massachusetts. Marshawn Garden put a lot work into his 2004 Kawasaki KFX400. He made sure his older quad had all of the latest hardware to run with the newer machines of today. Here's the list: MOTOR: Cylinder Works 440cc big bore kit, Ferrara stainless steel valves, DRZE springs, Dyna Tek CDI, Dyno Jet kit, CFM air box & oil tank, K&N filter, Powerbomb header, DMC muffler, custom clutch cover, Fluidine oversize…

BADDEST MUD ATC

-- Wild machines of Dirt Wheels readers -- We're all used to seeing high-lifted 4x4 quads out in the deepest mud holes. For some reason though, we rarely see 3-wheelers modified the same way. Greg Armbruster in Ohio set out to change that with his unique mud machine here. He saw no reason why his old Honda Big Red couldn't become a swamp monster too. The first order of business was to make sure his 250cc 4-stroke 3-wheeler got plenty of traction while giving it more ground clearance. He accomplished that with these…

HONDA TRX350R 2-STROKE QUAD

-- As close to a new 2019 model as you can get -- What has been considered the greatest high-performance quad of all time? Well, most of the experts agree that Honda's TRX250R set the standard when it first came out in 1986. It handled very well, had good suspension and its 250cc 2-stroke engine provided instant power that helped it get down the trail very quickly. You could buy a new TRX250R from your Honda dealer in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989. Unfortunately it was removed from Honda's lineup for 1990. ATV people were…

PROJECT MACHINE: THE TOMB RZR

-- One man’s dream named after a nightmare -- By the staff of Dirt Wheels Robert Loomis has long been involved in the street car and hot-rod scene. “It has always been a dream of mine to have a machine that was different from what everyone else has,” Loomis explained. “Plus, I had a dream of my car being in a magazine that dates back to my time in the car scene. I’m a big motor-head and have always enjoyed fast cars and off-road machines. So, when I bought my 2016 Polaris RZR Turbo, I started off with a few mods here…

THE VERY FIRST SIDE BY SIDE?

-- The 1970 Lockley Wrangler -- Have you ever wondered which machine can be credited as being the first UTV? That can be rather murky based on how strict the rules are for proper classification. However, many people say the first side by side off-road vehicle was the Lockley Wrangler in 1970. You say you never heard of one before? You're not alone. The older members of our staff only had vague memories of the vehicle with no recollection at all on what it was called. Thanks to Dirt Wheels readers Steven and Kelli Gleason,…