Hard Parts for Project Kicker Honda TRX450R
Holz Racing Suspension, Fox Float Evol Shocks, Maxxis Razr Tires, Hiper Wheels, and Temecula Motorsports Bars
Suspension - it was about time we addressed this issue, especially considering all the new-found power that we gained with the new engine combo (http://atv.off-road.com/atv/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=367543&ref=25 ).
I was eager to get the components on this animal so we could see how they would all work together. Being from the Northwest, a great option for aftermarket suspension products happens to be practically right out my back door. Holz Racing Products in Linden WA happens to build some of the finest parts on the market today. Founder Mark Holz has a long history of building top notch racing products for a variety of motor sports. The name is synonymous with winning in the snowmobile industry, and for the last several years, HRP has been focusing a tremendous effort on their line of products for ATV’s.
Basically, set up of a WORCS bike is the same as MX except, you need a little more ground clearance. So we opted for the HRP +2 ½ “ A-arms. This puts the width of the quad out to full 50” with the use of 4-1 offset wheels. This kit comes with A-arms, adjustable camber, replaceable high-quality, heavy duty PFTE lined stainless steel ball joints, 2 1/2" added travel over stock with 18 3/4" shock, sealed wear-resistant delrin pivot bushings with greasable hard coated pivot sleeves and a variety of color options to choose from.
The next item I obtained from Mark's bag of goodies was a +1” steering stem. These are zinc-plated for corrosion resistance and the tie-rod mounts help reduce bump steer. The stem is also equipped to accept an anti-vibe style bar clamp, so we opted for the HRP Billet 1 1/8" Handlebar Clamp as well.
Another must-have item from this little company up north is their over-sized stainless steel foot pegs. These things grab on to your boots and won't let go. They are pretty ornery looking and one should take extra precaution when mounting them up or working around them. The teeth are sharp and they seem to stay that way for quite a while.
Not too many people know about these pegs. But once you use them it will be hard to switch back to stock or any of the aluminum pro peg scenarios that you have tried in the past.
The last item I acquired from HRP was their XC linkage. It works with the stock swing arm, has good ground clearance and it is also equipped with its own little stainless steel skid plate that is pretty trick as well.
Next it was time for shocks, and this is were it gets really cool. The shocks that went on this bike are just about in a league of their own. None other than the Fox Float X Evols up front and the Podium X on the rear. These shocks are pretty unbelievable. The Evol fronts are what all the buzz is about. They have no external coil over springs, so the job of the springs is done internally by air. They have two air chambers - the main chamber and the Evol chamber. These two air chambers with each other to ultimately give you the plushest ride you can imagine (and then some) in the choppy stuff and the bumps, but still can handle the big hits with ease. Each set of Evols comes with two air pumps - one high pressure and one low. And with these pumps you can pretty much revalve your shocks in the pits or whereever you may be in a matter of minutes. In addition to the air adjustments they also have the traditional compression and rebound adjusters. So with all the adjustability of these shocks a person can get a customized ride for virtually any type of riding or track condition. My suggestion, as with any shock, always take good notes so that you can track your changes for specific conditions. Not to mention if you make a bad change it's much easier to get back to where you started from.
Another all important item we needed to address was traction. The suspension components have a lot to do with this. However ultimately the tires do the final transfer of power to the ground. My personal choice for an all around great tire combo is Maxxis Razr II up front and Razrs in the rear. This tire combo can realistically tackle virtually any type of condition. Fortunately Maxxis has a great line of tires to select from for a variety of conditions but if I were to have a choice of only one tire combo for the whole year this would be it.
As for wheels to wrap those meets around. I opted for the carbon fiber selection from Hiper Technology. The reason being is that they have a double bead lock in the rear and you don’t have any added weight as a result of it. So they are in fact lighter if you are comparing apples to apples. The double bead lock is also much nicer when breaking down and changing out tires. For you don’t have to have any special tools for breaking the bead. They also have a slight flex to them so they give a bit and bounce back in certain impact situations.
So we now have the majority of the quad done as far as the suspension and hard parts go. There were just a few finishing touches left in this department. For an axle I went with an always trustworthy RPM. As for Bars and Brakes I called up buddy Mike Cafro at Temecula Motorsports and he hooked me up with a set of Universal tapered bars with the CR low bend and a set of Galfer wave brake rotors and steel braided brake lines. I tossed a GPR stabilizer on and threw a set of A3 Spider Grips on it and this thing was a roller.
It was finally time to ride this thing and what a ride it was. After initial adjustments to the bars and levers I spent a little time getting used to the characteristics of the machine. My only problem was, where to start.
The engine ran great! It had great pull right out of the hole and kept strong throughout the power range. The thing I noticed the most after riding it awhile was the ability to clear something with a last second decision. With a simple blip of the throttle the thing would seemingly effortlessly just go into the air.
Now back to the suspension. This machine is well powered and the suspension combination compliments it nicely. The A-arms feed back minimal bump steer and added travel is great for the big hits and the rough stuff.
Speaking of rough stuff, the front shocks almost get that part out of the equation. They are pretty much unlike any shocks you have ever ridden on. They are nearly half the weight and it is definitely noticeable in the front end while riding. They are very progressive as well so the nasty choppy breaking bumps are something you can just roll through and they still have plenty left over to soak up the big hits. The more I ride on these shocks the more I like them. Adjusting them does take a little trial and error. But like I said before if you keep a good log of what you are doing then you will get the hang of it a lot faster.
As for the rear end. The linkage is a huge improvement over stock. However it still needs a little refining for the 06’. I have the same shock and linkage on my 04’ and it works awesome. The problem that I just can’t get away from on the 06’ is that it still wants to loft a bit over the square edged stuff. Not terribly bad just not as good as the 04’.
The rest of the components were mostly for comfort except for the GPR stabilizer and it does its job, but is a cable routing nightmare. It is a constant battle with these things, to keep the control cables and brake lines out of pinch points or from getting rubbed raw an the set screws that protrude out from the mount.
As for the comfort components. The Grips are as good as it gets in my book. I have had minimal blistering sense I have switched to them, even on the roughest of tracks. The HRP pegs are a must have. The keep your feet were they need to be. They are a little rough on the boot souls, but absolutely worth it. Oh and the brakes. It’s hard to believe that they can get much better from stock on the TRX, for Honda certainly hasn’t fallen short in this department. But the Galfer wave rotors and Steel braided brake lines definitely stepped it up a notch. This is good thing, considering the power this thing is getting to the ground.
So all in all I think it has been a fairly successful project so far. Next thing to come will be the body work and the rest of the parts that can catch the eye. In addition to that, an up date on how this quad is holding up after a severe beating.
And once again please check out the links below to the sites of the contributors of this project.