Revive Project: Ride Impressions of our Build

Apr. 24, 2014 By Seth Fargher
None of the jumps on our test track were big enough to try any tricks, but I wasted no time getting the quad in the air with our "revived" TRX 450R.

Back in October we released the first installment of our TRX 450R Revive project.  This was to be a fairly straightforward build project in which we sought to bring a pretty weathered and worn machine back to life.  Over the last few months weve outfitted the ATV with a host of new products, as well as replaced several of the more common wear items in an attempt to give the quad a much needed overhaul.  Although we built the quad in stages, we wanted to wait until the entire build was complete to ride it so as to maximize the impact of all of the improvements that have been made.

To give the quad its final shakedown we took it out to a private practice track in South Carolina. The track featured a few tabletops, several small doubles, a whoop section and an off-camber turn that almost got the better of us. The track offered plenty of room to give the quad an adequate shakedown and test out all of the new products.

We replaced common wear items as well as upgraded components on our TRX 450R, and the end result is an ATV with renewed life.

Without even firing it up, I could feel the difference the upgrades made in the handlebars and controls.  The Renthal Fatbars provide a wider and more comfortable grip making turning and controlling the quad much easier.  Knowing the Fatbars feature a thicker 1 1/8 wall also provides peace of mind that I wont have to worry about the bars bending or breaking.

It was easy to operate both the clutch and brake levers with just one or two fingers.

Previous Revive Project Stories
Wrapping Up our ATV Build

Honda TRX450R Revive: Pro Armor and Fourtrax Upgrades

Honda TRX450R Revive Project: Traction Control

I hardly even noticed the locking Streamline grips, as they were comfortable on my hands and didnt cause blisters throughout the day.  The grips hug the bar and are relatively thin compared to other brands on the market, which I prefer because I feel like Im actually griping the bar itself. Although the white is sure to get dirty more quickly, in the meantime it looks pretty cool!

The Reflex clutch and break levers work very well, and I like being able to adjust the levers exactly where I want them. Its easy to operate both levers with just one or two fingers, and at one point I almost got to test out just how well the levers flex as well when I managed to catch a rut on the outside of the off-camber turn and nearly rolled it. Fortunately I was able to save it without going over, but it definitely got me a little excited and had I lost it. 

The most exciting part of the day was nearly rolling it around an off comber turn.

The brakes work excellent all the way around thanks to the new pads, rotors and trick red lines from Streamline. All the red aluminum from the lines to the levers to the grip end caps really adds to the look of the quad and kept with the color scheme consistent.

Performance and Handling
Before I even took to the track, the first thing I noticed after firing the quad up was the deep sound of the FMF exhaust. Ive said before that eliminating that stock-sounding exhaust is almost as important to me as boosting the power.  The FMF pipe more than delivers and the power comes on with just a small blip of the throttle.  There was a small whoop section immediately out of a left-hand turn on our test track, and the instant power made it easy to lift the front end and carry it through the whoops.

The Goldspeed tires get plenty of traction and kick up plenty of roost.

Traction was no problem anywhere on the track almost too good in some places, thanks to the Goldspeed tires.  We had actually received a good bit of rain in the days leading up to our test, so the moist sand just below the surface made for excellent grip but I could still break the back end loose and carry some speed through the corners. The tires worked extremely well in the sandy soil and even in the areas that were overgrown with grass.

While there were no huge jumps per se, I was pleasantly surprised by how simply servicing the shocks improved the performance. Because I like to jump, I tend to run my shocks as stiff as possible to keep from bottom out on hard hits. I would rather deal with a rougher ride through the small stuff and avoid harsh hits when coming off of jumps, so for that reason I run my shocks at max compression.

Even in stock form, after the shocks were freshened up they made a huge difference in soaking up some hard hits and landings.

I could really notice the difference in the smaller bumps, even just making my way out to the track. While the little, choppy bumps were more noticeable, the shocks soaked up several harder hits without my evening knowing it. I actually had no clue just how hard I had hit until I looked through photos later and saw the quad nearly bottomed out. While a long-travel setup would have been fun, now that Ive had the stock shocks serviced Im confident they will serve me just fine in the months to come.

The new bumper, front hood and the graphics kit along with all of the red accents really make the quad look custom.

Despite all the little goodies that make this quad handle better, the things that really made it look like a new quad were all the bolt on accessories that we included.  The bumper and nerfbars from Pro Armor add to the custom look and the wider footpegs kept my feet planted all day.  The turned up ends on the footpegs seem like a simple thing but actually came in handy as they gave me something to push off with my foot when leaning into turns.

One of my favorite products included on this build is the new front hood from Fourwerx Carbon. I think doing away with the bulky stock headlight and adding the hood does more to get rid of the stock look of the quad than just about anything else. Couple the front hood with the graphics kit from SSi Decals and youd hardly believe its the same quad.

I was able to easily lift the front end off the ground and carry it through the whoops, despite a rather short run in to the whoop section.

While some of these products dont really affect the ride quality at all, the goal of this project was to take something old and make it new. I think we more than accomplished that from replacing common wear items like the chain and sprockets, and then upgrading additions like new fenders, graphics, exhaust, tires and wheels.  Im not going to go out and win a national motocross event on it, but the quad served me well as a freestyle bike in stock form and it is much better equipped now than it was way back then. The upgrades that weve made make this a great ATV for both the track or the trail, and wherever it goes Im confident its going to turn some heads.

Below is a complete list of the products we used in this build as well as the companies that supplied them:

Tires Front/Rear
-Goldspeed SX/Goldspeed MXR 2

Goldspeed Universal Beadlock

Aluminum Lug Nuts
GPS Offroad Products

Chain & Sprockets

Renthal Fatbar

Clutch/Brake Levers
-Streamline Reflex Levers

Streamline Locking Grips

Streamline Heavy Duty Brake pads/Blade Rotors/Stainless Steel Braided

Front Hood
Fourwerx Carbon Black Plastic

Serviced by JRi Shocks

Pro Armor Revolution w/heelguards

Pro Armor Dominator Bumper

Denton Racing

FMF Power Bomb & Power Core 4

SSi Decals

Rear Fenders

Air Filter
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