Honda TRX450R Revive Project
If youíve been riding ATVs for any amount of time, chances are pretty good, out of all the machines youíve owned at least one of them has a story or holds some special meaning to you. Maybe because it was your first quad or perhaps you won a notable race on it (maybe even a championship). Iíve had a couple of quads in my lifetime that Iíve made a lot of memories on, and one of those is my trusty old Honda TRX450R.
While 2005 isnít exactly old, when doing a project build it would be customary to start with something a little newer. However, for nostalgia purposes, Iím dusting of my old trusty steed and giving it a bit of a facelift.
From the outside, my ATV looks like any other well-worn, mostly stock TRX450R out there. While Iíve made a few mods to it over the years, it remains mostly stock with the exception of a few bolt-on goodies.
I purchased the quad late in 2008 as my first major purchase after graduating from college. It was a big deal for me because most of my life I rode outdated machines and had a tough time keep them running. While the Honda wasnít brand new, it might as well have been and, technologically speaking, it was leaps and bounds ahead of what I was used to riding.
Around the same time that I picked up this TRX I was also dabbling in freestyle motocross. While riding kind of got put on the shelf for four years while I attended college, as soon as I graduated I was eager to make up for lost time. I had always been interested in freestyle and I continued to follow the evolution of the sport during my years away at school.
Once I graduated, I decided to start down that rode and see where it would take me. Through a series of connections I managed to acquire an old freestyle ramp from a former X Games medalist. Because it was designed for dirtbikes it took some work to widen it out for an ATV, but after a few weeks and with some help from a friend, I had my very own freestyle ramp.
While a stock TRX 450 isnít necessarily ideal for freestyle motocross, this machine provided a platform for me to start down what would become a challenging yet rewarding road.
The first day I was able to hit the ramp was Valentines Day of 2009. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I actually had to scrape ice off the ramp that morning. Despite the conditions, nothing was going to get in the way of me riding that ramp.
Unfortunately, about a week later I went back out to ride the ramp again, over jumped and landed myself in the hospital. Fortunately it wasnít too serious and thankfully my ATV had survived the crash mostly unscathed as well.
That episode started somewhat of a landslide of events revolving around my diving headfirst into the world of freestyle motocross. After I healed up I was able to get back in the saddle and start riding again, only to take another tumble not long after. A concussion was about the only repercussion from that mishap, and yet again, the TRX came through without any damage.
Throughout the rollercoaster ride of learning how to ride ramps and trying to teach myself tricks while avoiding injury, I started talking with the manager of the world-renowned Bomb Squad freestyle motocross team. After growing up with the popular Huevos Grandes video series and watching, from my dorm room, as members of the Bomb Squad pushed the sport to new heights, the thought of being involved with that team of riders was like a dream come true.
After some negotiations and some planning, I finally convinced them to give me a shot at riding for the team. I happened to be working at a bank in central Oregon at the time, so on a Monday afternoon in October of 2009 I quit my job, loaded my Honda in the back of my pickup and headed off to Southern California.
My first year or so in California was nothing short of a dream come true. I had the awesome opportunity to ride at the Bomb Squad's private facility as well as other popular So Cal riding spots like Ocotillo Wells, Dumont Dunes and several motocross tracks.
As time went on, and after a pretty bad crash, I had to sideline the whole freestyle thing while I healed up and life settled down a little bit. Although I wasnít riding much, I held onto my TRX in hopes that maybe one day Iíd be able to get back into freestyle or at least have the time to ride for fun.
Other than a couple of random WORCS races, I really didnít get to ride all that much over the next couple of years. Kind of ironic since I worked for an ATV tire and wheel company and was at events all the time; however, I just never seemed to make the time to ride on my days off.
In the four years that Iíve owned this machine, it has gone with me from Oregon to California, back to Oregon, to Nevada and most recently, made its new home in South Carolina. After not even being started in over a year, I recently took the time to clean the old fuel out of the carburetor and put fresh gas in it to see if it would run. Iím pleased to say that it roared to life on the first kick and I was able to spend an afternoon burning laps on a motocross track.
While itís still as fun as it ever was, the years of freestyle and those WORCS races were tough on it and the TRX is in bad need of some repairs. For this build Iíve enlisted the help of several companies from around the industry that are going to help me put this thing back together and do some of the modifications that I should have a long time ago. Sure itís still running and I had a great time riding it recently, but almost as if to say thanks for its many years of service, itís time to show the old girl some TLC and give her a few upgrades.
Not everything is set in stone but a few of the companies that have committed to being involved thus far include: Pro Armor, Streamline Brakes, Renthal, GPS Offroad Products, Goldspeed Tires and Wheels and SSI Decals. Iíve got a few more goodies up my sleeve that Iím working on as well, but weíll have to wait and see how things take shape. For now, Iím excited to get going with this build and freshen up my trusty old Honda TRX450R. Stay tuned for more updates on our project.