Powersports / Heritage
Honda ATV Model History Timeline, 1970-Present
"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 extras such as a Swivel-Lok™ handlebar for easy loading in a trunk or station wagon.
*Estimated industry sales from 1970-August 1999
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 new 180cc engine cranks out twice the muscle of an ATC110. Equipped with a five-speed semi-automatic 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 the super-trike into a super-mule.
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 a 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 semi-automatic 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)
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 tight turning radius.
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 smooth-running 89cc four-stroke engine make this a popular ATV.
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.
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
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 power plant 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
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 multi-purpose Ranchers handle as well as some competitor's sport machines.
FourTrax Foreman Rubicon (TRX500)
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, sealed against external contaminants, and features engine braking-all refinements lacking in less sophisticated belt-drive transmissions. Honda's most powerful multi-purpose ATV, the Rubicon features many innovative design features of 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
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 2WD/4WD, 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 Rancher AT/FourTrax Rancher AT GPSCAPE (TRX400FA/TRX400FGA)
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 '04 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 Electronic Shift Program (ESP) for manual "shifting" SUV-influenced 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.