Powersports / ATV / Utility
Honda ATV Model History Timeline, 1970-Present
Featured are a number of milestone models from Honda's legendary ATV lineup.
"What Is It?" asks Honda's advertising brochure. Just a revolutionary off-road vehicle destined to launch a whole new industry that will sell more than 6.5 million machines*. Honda's first ATV is a three-wheel ATC, or All-Terrain Cycle, originally named the US90; the name was later changed to ATC90. The 89cc four-stroke single cranks out 7 horsepower and features such extras as a Swivel-Lok™ handlebar for easy loading in a trunk or a station wagon.
*Estimated industry sales from 1970 to August 1999
1973 ATC70 (shown above)
Honda releases an economical little brother to the popular ATC90 intended for youngsters. Features include foot guards, easy-to-operate brakes and a U.S. Forest Service-approved spark arrester.
With a larger, 105cc four-stroke engine, a dual-range four-speed transmission, a parking brake and an enclosed drive chain, the more powerful ATC110 proves a popular successor to the venerable ATC90.
Introduced as Honda's most powerful three-wheeler, the ATC185 sports a new 180cc engine that cranks out twice the muscle of an ATC110. Equipped with a five-speed semiautomatic transmission with an ultra-low First gear, the ATC185 could be equipped with optional Hondaline® front and rear racks and a trailer hitch to convert it into a workhorse.
The first true high-performance ATC is powered by Honda's air-cooled 248cc two-stroke, complete with an engine counterbalancer to reduce vibration. Designed for experienced riders, the ATC250R wins legions of loyal customers with its adjustable front and rear suspension, front disc brake-both ATC firsts-and close-ratio five-speed manual transmission.
1982 ATC200E Big Red
One year later Honda introduces the first ATC designed for utility, the 192cc electric-start Big Red. With standard front and rear cargo racks, Big Red features telescopic-fork front suspension and a dual-range five-speed semiautomatic transmission.
ATC sales are booming when Honda introduces this XR-type high-performance single-cylinder four-stroke with full suspension and lightweight aluminum wheels. Honda's reputation for performance and durability makes the 282-pound 200X one of the industry's most successful sport ATVs.
1984 Big Red (ATC200ES)
Big Red matures in 1984 with the addition of Reverse gear, a virtually maintenance-free shaft drive and a 700-pound towing capacity.
Honda's first four-wheel ATV is powered by a durable, single-cylinder four-stroke engine running through a five-speed dual-range transmission with shaft drive and Reverse. Front and rear racks make it an indispensable tool for thousands of jobs.
1986 FourTrax 250R (TRX250R)
Honda introduces the definitive high-performance ATV in the FourTrax 250R. Equipped with a liquid-cooled counterbalanced two-stroke single-cylinder engine, six-speed close-ratio manual transmission, fully adjustable front and rear suspension and triple disc brakes, the 328-pound 250R is designed for expert riders seeking the ultimate sport/competition ATV.
1986 FourTrax 4x4 (TRX350)
Honda's first ATV with full-time four-wheel drive features a limited-slip front differential. This powerful workhorse is equipped with a tough 350cc four-stroke engine, a vibration-reducing counterbalancer and a fan-assisted oil cooler as standard equipment.
1987 FourTrax 250X (TRX250X)
The TRX250X is a 246cc four-stroke sport model featuring a five-speed transmission with Reverse and adjustable suspension. It becomes very popular with sport ATV riders. Honda also coins the FourTrax® name in 1986 for its four-wheel-ATV lineup.
1987 FourTrax Foreman 4x4 (TRX350D)
One year after the successful launch of the FourTrax 4x4, the celebrated Foreman® name is born. The 350cc Foreman 4x4 features front and rear racks, a high-output, 310-watt alternator and an 850-pound towing capacity.
1988 FourTrax 300 (TRX300) (shown above)
Honda introduces a totally new 282cc four-stroke-powered ATV that is 42 pounds lighter than the popular TRX250 it replaces. The new 300 uses McPherson® strut front suspension to deliver a plush ride and a tight turning radius.
1988 FourTrax 300 4x4 (TRX300FW)
Honda adds full-time four-wheel drive, double-wishbone front suspension and a limited-slip front differential to the FourTrax 300 to produce the best-selling ATV of all time. The FourTrax 300 series of 2WD and 4WD ATVs enjoys an incredible production run through the 2000 model year, selling a combined total of more than 530,000 units.
1993 FourTrax 300EX (TRX300EX)
Honda's FourTrax 300EX replaces the successful TRX250X sport ATV, adding 36cc of displacement and the convenience of electric starting. The 300EX is acknowledged as one of the best trail-riding ATVs ever made.
1994 FourTrax 90 (TRX90)
Honda releases an ATV designed for riders age 12 and older. Roomy ergonomics and a smooth-running 89cc four-stroke engine make this a popular ATV.
1995 FourTrax Foreman 400 (TRX400FW)
The next Honda ATV to proudly display the Foreman name features a torquey, longitudinally mounted 395cc engine designed to minimize frictional losses. A new overhead-valve design shortens the height of the engine, permitting more ground clearance and a lower center of mass. Weighing up to 50 pounds less than its rivals, the Foreman is a nimble machine when the workday is over and the fun begins.
1997 FourTrax Recon (TRX250)
Honda's value-packed, light-utility Recon® is an immediate success. Featuring the same longitudinal engine layout as the larger Foreman 400, the Recon offers full-size ergonomics and dependable shaft drive.
1998 FourTrax Foreman S/ES (TRX450S/TRX450ES)
Honda's largest and most powerful ATV arrives in two versions: the manual-shift Foreman S and the electric-shift Foreman ES. Introduced in a market increasingly drawn to competitors with automatic transmissions, the ES is named the ATV of the Year by ATV Magazine. Honda's Electric Shift Program (ESP™) gearbox offers the convenience of an automatic transmission with the durability and engine braking of a conventional transmission, allowing riders to shift up or down with the push of a button.
1999 FourTrax 400EX (TRX400EX)
Honda's first high-performance ATV in more than a decade immediately awakens the sleeping ATV sport industry. Using an XR400-derived four-stroke powerplant and a cast-aluminum swingarm-another industry first-the 374-pound 400EX is an instant success on the showroom floor and at the track.
2000 FourTrax Ranchers (TRX350TM/TE/FM/FE)
The four Rancher models-2WD and 4WD, conventional or ESP-controlled electric shifting-replace the ever-popular FourTrax 300s. Four-wheel-drive versions feature a new torque-sensing front differential that sends power to the wheel with the most traction. Utilizing Honda's longitudinally mounted engine design, Rancher engine height is further reduced by a dry-sump lubrication system carrying oil in a separate tank inside the engine cases. With more ground clearance and an even lower center of gravity, the multipurpose Ranchers handle as well as some competitors' sport machines.
2001 FourTrax Foreman Rubicon (TRX500FA)
Honda stuns the ATV world with the four-valve liquid-cooled 500cc single-cylinder four-stroke Rubicon™ equipped with the revolutionary new Hondamatic™ automatic transmission. The Hondamatic is compact, quiet, rugged, maintenance-free and sealed against external contaminants, and it features engine braking-all refinements lacking in less sophisticated belt-drive transmissions. Honda's most powerful multipurpose ATV, the Rubicon features many innovative design features found on its siblings: longitudinally mounted, dry-sump OHV engine; torque-sensing front differential; and ESP-controlled shifting in addition to the automatic shifting modes.
2003 FourTrax Rincon (TRX650FA)
Honda introduces the SUV of ATVs-the 2003 Rincon. The world's most comfortable ATV offers up a full host of desirable features, including Honda's largest-displacement ATV engine, a liquid-cooled OHV 649cc single-cylinder powerplant; a radical, new automotive-style automatic transmission; and clean, cool SUV styling cues. Add in Honda's TraxLok® selectable 4WD/2WD, a torque-sensing front differential, fully independent suspension front and rear, plus liberal use of aluminum components to reduce weight, and you've got one of the most sophisticated and luxurious ATVs available.
2004 FourTrax RancherAT/
FourTrax Rancher AT GPScape
The world's best all-around ATV? None other than Honda's FourTrax Rancher. And for 2004 Honda takes the Rancher's strengths to a whole new level. The 2004 Rancher AT features an all-new 397cc OHV single in Honda's proven longitudinal placement in the chassis for superior drivetrain efficiency, mated to a second-generation Hondamatic automatic transmission, plus push-button ESP for manual "shifting." Updated styling keeps the Rancher AT's looks fresh, while the addition of a built-in GPScape® GPS unit extends the Rancher AT's appeal even further.
With the introduction of this all-new high-performance four-stroke sport model, Honda set the class standard for superb handling, excellent power and durability. The purpose-built 450cc liquid-cooled four-valve Unicam™ engine is based on the powerplant found in the award-winning CRF450R motocrosser. Fitted in a round-tube steel frame with a removable aluminum subframe and sporting independent double-wishbone front suspension with fully adjustable Showa shocks and a lightweight, one-piece, cast-aluminum swingarm with Pro-Link® rear suspension, the 450R becomes the platform of choice for ATV racers everywhere.
2005 FourTrax Recon ES/
The best-selling mid-sized ATV gets a complete makeover with more power, new suspension settings, more comfortable ergonomics and updated styling. The popular ESP version remains in the lineup along with the conventional-shifting model.
2005 FourTrax Rubicon/
FourTrax Rubicon GPScape
The popular Hondamatic-equipped Rubicon now sports SUV styling and comes standard with TraxLok and front disc brakes with a patented scraper system that removes mud and snow from inside the front wheel to help prevent buildup of debris between caliper and rim and ensure consistent braking performance. A GPScape version is also available.
2005 FourTrax Foreman
Honda's mighty Foreman receives a completely new air-cooled OHV 475cc four-stroke engine in an all-new frame. Three variations are offered: an affordable two-wheel-drive version with conventional shifting, a manual-shift four-wheel-drive model (Foreman 4x4), and four-wheel-drive with ESP (Foreman 4x4 ES). All three models share a brand-new super-heavy-duty automatic clutch and a patented new dual oil-cooler system. The chassis boasts next-generation shocks, new styling and dual front disc brakes with Honda's patented built-in scraper system. The 4WD models also feature TraxLok and Honda's torque-sensing front differential.
Honda's smallest TRX gets big changes for 2006, including an electric starter, TRX450R-inspired bodywork, new suspension settings, a new handlebar design for increased rider comfort, and a host of other refinements.
Honda's sporty, fun-to-ride TRX250EX gets even better with TRX450R race-inspired styling, new front and rear suspension and a revolutionary innovation called Honda SportClutch, which enables the rider to experience manual clutch actuation with the advantage of no engine stalling.
The TRX450R is all-new from the ground up and features more power, sharper handling and an electric-start option. A forged slipper piston, lighter than a conventional design, revs quickly to the 9850-rpm redline while maintaining excellent high-rpm power, thanks to a 12.0:1 compression ratio. Other features include new transmission ratios designed for competition; new A-arms, knuckles and spindles; and a longer swingarm and a new linkage ratio for improved turning.
2006 FourTrax Rincon/
FourTrax Rincon GPScape
In 2004, the top-of-the-line Rincon added GPScape. For 2006, the Rincon models leap forward with an engine that grows in displacement from 649cc to 675cc. In addition, the Rincon now sports a new camshaft for added power, a new exhaust system to ensure quiet running, a rollover sensor that cuts engine power in the event the machine overturns, plus another Honda ATV first-a programmed electronic fuel injection system (PGM-FI) that delivers optimum power and lower emissions in all riding conditions.
2007 FourTrax Foreman 4x4
ES with EPS
Honda rolls out its revolutionary Electric Power Steering (EPS™) system on the FourTrax Foreman 4x4 ES. First announced on June 23 by Honda R&D Japan, the breakthrough represents the world's first EPS system for ATVs. The EPS system monitors steering torque and vehicle speed to adjust the levels of steering assist and feel. When stopped or at low speeds, it requires a light steering effort. As speed increases, the amount of assist is adjusted to provide the appropriate level of feedback. An added benefit is the system's ability to act like a steering damper, reducing undesirable kickback through the handlebars-which dramatically reduces rider fatigue.
2007 FourTrax Ranchers
The completely redesigned 4WD FourTrax Rancher 4x4/FourTrax Rancher 4x4 ES and 2WD FourTrax Rancher/FourTrax Rancher ES now come with 420cc of fuel-injected, stump-pulling power. The Rancher series provides all the features that Honda ATV riders have come to depend upon: longitudinally mounted engine for maximum drivetrain efficiency, low center of gravity for ease of maneuverability, beefy cooling system, super-heavy-duty automatic clutch, powerful 343-watt AC generator, corrosion-resistant stainless-steel exhaust header and muffler, front wheel disc brakes and available ESP with simple-to-use push-button upshifting and downshifting. Four-wheel-drive versions also offer TraxLok for selectable 4WD/2WD operation.