Honda’s SUV of ATV’s beats the pure-sports machines to the finish line

At the 2002 Baja 1000, the world’s most famous off-road race, the winning ATV looked a lot like a Honda Rincon with some number plates slapped on because that’s exactly what the winning machine was. That’s right, Honda’s new sport-utility Rincon, the SUV of ATV’s, won the ATV class in the 35th Tecate/SCORE Baja 1000, beating all the pure sports machines in the process!

The winning Rincon, ridden by Reuben Martin, Arnold “Cono” Ramirez MacFarland, Arturo Salas and Gilbert “Kiko” Santana, finished
the race in 23 hours and 20 minutes, averaging 43.58 mph.

The third place machine ridden by John Gregory, Doug Eichner,
Alberto “Q” Marquez and Marc Speath, was leading the race until a low
speed crash in a silt bed broke a front wheel spindle. Rather than waiting for his chase crew to reach him, Eichner decided to crawl to the finish line on 3 wheels.

“We [the Rincon teams] were 1-2 going into the last hundred
miles, Gregory reported. “Third place was probably an hour and a half back [at the time].

Gregory also spoke highly of the Rincon’s ability to soak up
the rough stuff over the 1017-mile course from Ensenada to La Paz.

“It didn’t tire you out. It was so deceivingly fast; you think
you’re cruising along, but you’re moving, you’re passing people, and
it doesn’t tire you out. It just worked really good.”

Honda’s remarkable new ATV left no doubt that sport shares
equal billing with utility, at least when the name on the tank is Rincon.

See the complete story in an up-coming issue of Dirt Wheels Magazine

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