1986 Honda FourTrax 250 Specs and Review TRX250 2022

1986 Honda FourTrax 250: It is renowned for its ergonomics as well as reliable handling The 1988 Honda FourTrax 250 was among the pioneers of the segment known as sport-utility in the auto industry. 

This four-wheeler was lightweight sturdy, tough, and drove like a pro on dirt tracks and sand. 

1986 Honda FourTrax 250

After only four years of production, TRX250R’s demise in 1989 was a surprise and left loyal customers to wonder about the reasons behind its production stoppage.

Dubbed “ATV of the Century” by 4-Wheel ATV Action Magazine, the 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 (a.k.a. TRX250) set the standard for the current ATVs that are high-performance. 

Honda created this four-wheeler not just to be a match for Suzuki’s Quadracer but also for those who are enthusiasts and experts who want to take on in the most powerful quad.

Not just could it make the Honda FourTrax TRX250R come to existence during its “golden era,” but it also had a significant impact on the development of all-terrain vehicles. 

This guide will go over the specifications and features of the TRX250R and design enhancements which made it among the top Honda ATVs ever.

1986 Honda FourTrax 250

The Rise of the FourTrax(TM)

Its name refers to the Honda FourTrax 250 (or TRX250R/X) is a sport-oriented ATV made by Honda from 1986 until 1989. 

The model was the predecessor of the top-selling ’88 FourTrax 300, the quad was equipped with a 246-cm3 air-cooled 4 stroke OHC engine.

with the ability to adjust suspensions, up to 71 mph top speed, and nearly 20 horsepower power output. 

The 250-class model bolstered Honda’s line of rec-utility and sports vehicles and helped put the FourTrax name onto the map.

The TRX250R is light and agile. TRX250R was introduced to the ATV world along with the TRX200SX. It was the response of Honda to Suzuki’s Quadracer of 1985. 

Certain of the 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 parts were copied from the classic ATC250R, such as the front suspension and powerful. However, the FourTrax didn’t copy what was known as the “Holy Grail of Racing” throughout the way.

Instead of being a pure-sport model The TRX 250 had front and rear racks for utility. In addition, its engine was tuned by reducing compression, making the porting of the cylinders less than aggressive. These modifications helped ensure the durability of the car despite its weight gain.

The Entrepreneur’s Bread and Butter

Only having six parts available from the manufacturer The TRX250R was regarded as an excellent choice by numerous parts dealers and manufacturers. 

The latter part of the 1980s was when the majority of parts that were available from aftermarket were designed for the 250-cc FourTrax and the other ATVs just a distant second.

Since it was the case that TRX 250 was mostly used for racing, manufacturers emphasized the remaking of components that were subject to abuse from this activity or any other form of intense riding. 

With the 1996 Honda FourTrax 250, businesses that supported off-roading along with well-known race outfits were in business.

Highlights

A few examples of mass-produced FourTrax components include its aluminum clutch basket that is die-cast. 

The basket appeared particularly weak especially in the case of increased power (often this is the case during races). 

The first versions that were available for aftermarket use that comprised the clutch basket (view on Amazon) were made from machined steel pieces. They were replaced with billet aluminum in the year 1991.

Another example is the car’s frame. The chassis that came with it (made from mild steel) appeared to be more suitable for recreational riding than for racing because it was more likely to crack in races. 

CT Racing was the first company to create more durable, race-appropriate frames for wheelers.

Parts made for aftermarket specifically designed for FourTrax 250 were widespread not only in its peak but also through the 2000s. 

Numerous companies provided replacements for various TRX250 components made of aluminum/steel and with standard or altered design.

Although parts were available for quite a long time the actual four-wheeler was not. It was the Honda FourTrax 250 that only lasted four years in the spotlight before being replaced by the larger-displacement version, a 4-stroke model.

1986 Honda FourTrax 250 Specs & Features

1986 Honda FourTrax

Engine

There are some differences between the manual for service and non-manufacturer-supplied resources regarding 1985’s Honda FourTrax 250 carburetor (view on Amazon). 

The manual states that it’s 27mm, however, it is listed as 34 millimeters in Wikipedia. Also, there is a significant variation with respect to the quad’s compression ratio as well as information about the cooling system.

On the internet, the engine has been described as being a water-cooled balanced, reed valve engine. 

What hasn’t changed is its jetting needs that require adjustment between #128 and #22 for the primary jet (1/4 screw) at high altitudes of more than 5 000 feet (1,500 meters).

However, the information on the gas mileage of the four-wheeler isn’t exactly clear. 

However, since the 300-class model can go 25 miles on the reserve fuel that it has left, it’s reasonable to expect that the same efficiency of fuel is available from this 250-cc FourTrax.

Engine Type 4-Stroke OHC
Cylinder Arrangement Single cylinder, inclined 20°
Cylinder Compression 12.5 ± 1.0 kg/cm2 (178 ± 14 psi)
Carburetion System 27-mm dual-valve carburetor x 1 (manual)
34-mm Keihin PJ05A/PJ07B, oval-slide x 1 (Wikipedia)
Engine Cooling Air cooling (manual); Liquid cooling (Wikipedia)
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline of at least PON 86 or RON 91, containing MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitor
Fuel Capacity 2.6 US gallons (reserve – (0.5 US gal)
Bore x Stroke Ratio 74 x 57.3 mm (2.9 x 2.3 in)
Compression Ratio 9.0:1 (manual); 7.5:1, 7.7:1 (Wikipedia)
Displacement 246 cm³ / 15 in³
Valve Clearance Cold Intake 0.08 mm (0.003 in)
Valve Clearance Cold Exhaust 0.08 mm (0.003 in)
Horsepower 19.3 hp/19.6 PS (14.4 kW @ 7,000 RPM)
Maximum Torque 19.9 Nm (2.03 kgf-m, 14.7 ft-lb @ 6,000 RPM)
Top Speed 71 mph (114.3 km/h, Wikipedia)
Starter System Forward kick start mechanism
Lubrication Forced pressure (wet sump)
Engine Oil & Quantity 2.1 L (2.2 US quarts) – at draining; 2.5 L (2.6 US quarts) – disassembly
SAE 10W-40 4-stroke engine oil w/ an API grade of SJ meeting JASO T903 MA
Alternatives: SAE 5W, 10W-30, 20W-40, 20W-50 w/out graphite or molybdenum additives

Drivetrain

Like its 300-class cousin The Honda FourTrax 250 transfers power to the wheels using five-speed semi-automatic transmission, which consists of the reverse gear as well as a super-low 1st gear (this was later changed to a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission in subsequent versions).

It features a maintenance-free shaft drive directly aligned to the wheels, a ball-and-race-bearing steering system, and a gear-driven counter-balancer that lends to the FourTrax’s improved drivetrain efficiency, superb handling, and seamless power delivery.

Clutch Wet multi-plate, semi-automatic, centrifugal type
Transfer, Transmission Type 5-speed constant mesh w/ reverse (manual)
6-speed sequential-shift, no reverse (Wikipedia)
Gearshift Pattern Left-foot-operated return system
Forward: N-S/L-1-2-3-4; Reverse: N-R
Drive System 520 O-ring chain and sprocket (13/39)
Primary Reduction Ratio 2.407 (65/27)
Final Drive Ratio 5.684
Transfer Gear Ratio S/L – 4.083 (49/12)
1st – 2.389 43/18)
2nd – 1.609 (37/23)
3rd – 1.179 (33/28)
4th – 0.906 (29/32)
Reverse – 5.397

Ignition

In terms of its charging system for charging, the TRX250R features an entirely transistorized regulator, powered by a 12-volt 12 Ah YTX12-BS battery (view on Amazon) with the assembled dimensions as follows (not comprising wiring harness or mounting equipment). 

This system of ignition is a perfect complement to the kick-starter feature of the vehicle.

As opposed to other 4x4s unlike other 4x4s, the FourTrax doesn’t require a separate spark plug for extreme cold or high-speed rides. However, it might require the use of a trickle charger, as new battery models could have slightly less amperage than the stock.

Ignition CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
Ignition Timing 13° B.T.D.C @ 1,400 RPM ± 100 – idle
31° B.T.D.C @ 3.500 RPM – full advance
Spark Plug NGK DR8ES-L or NIPPON DENSO X24ESR-U
Gap: 0.6–0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 in)
Tightening Torque: 15-20 Nm (1.5-2.0 kgf-m, 11-14 ft-lb)
Generator Transistorized, non-adjustable regulator
Generator Max Output 13 – 15V 200 W @ 5,000 RPM
Fuse 20 Amp (main); 15 Amp (receptacle, sub-fuse)
Battery 12V (12 Ah)/10 Hr, YTX12-BS format
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 6.00 x 3.44 x 5.12 in (150 x 87 x 130 mm)

Tires & Brakes

Like many Honda ATVs during the ’80s The FourTrax was equipped with Ohtsu(r) tires (front and rear) and later, they switched to Dunlop(r) Radials. The tires that came with it are great knobbies for all kinds of terrain. 

If you’re looking for better grip and better cornering capabilities, ITP Holeshot XCR Sport ATV tires (view the full review on Amazon) could be great alternatives. 

Make sure you don’t go beyond the 17-23 kPa range (0.17-0.23 kg/cm2, 2.4-3.4 psi) for front tires, and 12-18 kPa (0.12-0.18 kg/cm2, 1.8-2.6 psi) for rear tires when inflating them or airing the tires down.

Front Tire, off-road/road air pressure Ohtsu H-trak R/T 101 or Dunlop KT781A AT21 x 7-10, tubeless
20 kPa (0.20 kgf/cm2, 2.9-3.0 psi)
Rear Tire, off-road/road air pressure Ohtsu H-trak P/V 701Z or Dunlop KT885 AT25 x 12-9, tubeless
15 kPa (0.15 kgf/cm2, 2.2 psi)
Rim Size (F/R) 5.5 x 10 DC / 9.25 x 9 DC
Front Brake Type Hydraulic-operated, leading/trailing shoe
Rear Brake Type Cable-operated, leading/trailing shoe

Suspension

In addition to its ample wheel travel as well as its suspension system has a reservoir for a remote damper as well as compression and rebound adjustments. 

In addition, the angle of the caster is a great balance between stability at high speeds and steering control without degrading the vehicle’s performance.

Frame Semi-double cradle
Caster, Trail 8°, 42 mm (1.65 in)
Toe-in 0 ± 7.5 mm (0 ± 0.30 in)
Turning Radius 1.5 m (5 ft) – unverified
Front Suspension Type, Travel Dual A-Arms w/ 5-way preload-adjustable Showa Shocks, 200 mm (7.9 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Single compression rebound & preload-adjustable Showa shock w/ Pro-Link linkage, 231 mm (9.1 in)

Dimensions & Capacities

It’s Honda FourTrax 250’s added weight can impact its durability. It is, however, the reason why it is an athletic UTV and contributes to its amazing ability to haul. 

If that weren’t sufficient, this wheeler comes with an overall rack capacity of 90 Kg as well as a five-pound storage compartment that is located in the rear of the lower fender.

Length 1,875 mm (73.8 in)
Width 1,080 mm (42.5 in)
Height 1,020 mm (40.2 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 765 mm (30.1 in)
Ground Clearance 160 mm (6.3 in)
Wheelbase 1,235 mm (48.6 in)
Track (F/R) 800 mm (31.5 in) / 800 mm (31.5 in)
Dry Weight 212 Kg (467 lbs) – ’85 TRX250; 217 Kg (478 lbs) – after ’85
Rack Capacity (F/R) 30 Kg (66.1 lbs) / 60 Kg (132.3 lbs)
Vehicle Load Capacity Limit 210 Kg (450 lbs)
Tongue Weight 14 Kg (30 lbs)
Maximum Trailer Weight 383 Kg (850 lbs)

Exterior & Lighting

It’s FourTrax 250 has a steel frame and body panels made of plastic that is strong as well as easy to wash. The model also includes the footpegs as well as utility racks a front-facing brush guard that has an option to install a winch and the saddle seat. 

The controls for the front of the handlebars include the throttle and brake levers on the right-hand grip the choke lever steering lock, and the rest of the switches to the left. The light indicators as well as the key switch are located in the middle console.

Fuel Gauge Standard
Indicator Lamps Standard
Engine Stop Switch Standard
Ignition Switch / Start Button Standard
Headlight Dimmer Switch Standard
Headlight Hi-lo beam, 12V 45/45 W x 2
Taillight 12V 3.4 W x 2
Indicator Lights 12V 3 W (reverse, neutral); 12V 3.4 W (engine oil temperature)

Improvements Post-1986

The riders were so demanding of the wheeler straight from the beginning that it was subject to numerous changes despite its brief 4-year production period. Initial upgrades focused on brakes and tires but then involved drivetrain components and the design. Here are a few of them:

  • The tires evened out at 22 inches both for the forward and back.
  • The rear brake was changed to a hydraulic disc using twin-piston calipers.
  • The engine from 1987 was equipped with an extension rod that was 5 millimeters larger, and a piston that was raised to by the same amount.
  • Honda improved the cylinder of the TRX 250R to include a bridged intake.
  • The compression ratio of the 1988 FourTrax was increased to increase performance and to bring it closer to its competitors.
  • The chassis of the 4×4 shed 25 pounds when compared to the model from last year.
  • Its swingarm made of aluminum was cut short while the frame lengthened (thereby solving its “loop out” problem).
  • The headlights’ position was moved between the handles to the front of the hood.
  • The red fenders were exclusive to the Honda FourTrax 250s of 1988.
  • In 1989, the Honda FourTrax TRX250R used a needle bearing inside the plate that holds the clutch’s pressure.
  • 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 plastics included white plastics for the final year of production.

The above enhancements greatly contributed to the Honda FourTrax 250’s enormous success. The quad made an impression on Honda’s affluent fan base that the company reportedly revived the 4×4 in its release in the 2012 Honda FourTrax Recon ES (TRX250TE) versions. With the red body panels and steel racks in black, they were similar to the TRX250R. They included the following features:

  • LCD display
  • 22-mm CV carburetor
  • Change in the displacement of the engine from 246-cc to
  • ESP-equipped, automatic-clutch versions
  • Direct rear drive-shaft

Honda FourTrax 250 Price

The initial price of the 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 was $3,697 and it increased by $500 over the course of its production time and later versions. However, the value of the quad’s resales can vary between $265 and $2,015.

The price will depend on the overall condition of the vehicle and if it was recently serviced or fitted with accessories from the aftermarket. Below is a table that shows what MSRPs are for each of the FourTrax 250 models:

Year – Trim – Model Number List Price Retail/Trade-In Values
1986 Honda 250 FourTrax (TRX250R) $3,697 $265 – $1,570
1987 Honda FourTrax TRX250X $4,198 $265 – $1,645
1988 Honda FourTrax TRX250X $4,198 $265 – $1,705
1989 Honda FourTrax TRX250RK $4,198 $335 – $2,015

It’s not easy to locate a TRX 250 in good condition. If there were any TRX 250s, I doubt owners would ever let the TRX 250 go.

It is a prized four-wheeler. There is a good chance to find rare items on Craigslist and other sites for traders at less than $1300.

 The majority of units offered for resales or auctions are in good and in good running order. But, be prepared for cracks on the fenders as well as other obvious cosmetic damages.

About Honda

Honda Motor Company Ltd. is not just one of the leaders in the fields of AI, automotive robotics, energy, and solutions, but it is also the pioneer to that ATV industry. 

It was founded in 1946 by Soichiro Honda 1986, the Honda FourTrax 250 maker traces its beginnings back to the creation of and selling motorized bicycles that had surplus engines.

In the course of time over time, the Japanese company shifted from piston rings that were mass-produced, the automation of propellers used in military aircraft and race cars to inventing new technologies for individual mobility, medical machinery as well as hydrogen-powered vehicles. 

Due to its early beginnings, Honda has acquired an array of technical expertise which is now used to dominate the global market in the field of commuter and dynamic sports motorcycle manufacturing.

Conclusion – 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 Review

Nearly 40 years since its production ceased in 1986, the Honda FourTrax 250 is still popular in the market for ATVs. 

Whatever the reason – – whether it’s an early production stoppage, its laudable features, or the untapped potential – the majority of off-roaders be sure that the story of this model isn’t yet closed.

This iconic 4×4 continues to amaze adventurers as they get a sense of its power and recognize the four-wheeler as the powerful machine it is.

How fast does a Honda 250 FourTrax go?

45 mph

The Honda Recon 250’s top speed is 45mph. This challenging and reliable machine is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who love to travel. Some have reported speeds of 46, 47, and 50 mph.

Is the Honda TRX 250 automatic?

The TRX was the first bike to feature the SportClutch from Honda. The TRX has the SportClutch.

What is a Honda 250 TRX?

The Honda TRX250 is an entry-level all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for beginning off-road riders. A SportClutch is used on the four-wheeler. This makes it easier for those who aren’t used to shifting manual transmissions.

How many gears does a 1985 Honda Fourtrax 250 have?

Honda produced the Honda TRX250R ATV between 1986 and 1989. The lightweight frame combined with good handling and a liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine was paired with a six-speed close-ratio transmission.

What kind of oil does a 1985 Honda Fourtrax 250 take?

Oil Change Kit with ProHonda GN4 10W-40 Honda TRX250 UTILITY FOURTRAX 1985-1987

How fast is a 1987 Honda TRX250X?

71-mph

This 250-class machine is also known as the detuned ATC250R. It was best known for its 246-cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine, state-of-the-art features, and impressive 71mph top speed.

Why did Honda quit making the 250R?

Honda has stopped making the 250R due to the consent decree act. This is a little-known fact. Honda was the one who was involved with the government. The other manufacturers just followed the leader. Honda sacrificed Trikes and performance quads for a lower tax burden on imported automobiles.

Why are Honda ATVs the best?

Honda ATVs are known for their reliability and performance. The quads of this brand are built to withstand heavy abuse and can withstand any damage without requiring a belt. Honda ATVs are the most loved among Sport ATV racers because of their robust and simple-to-use features.

How fast does a 250 ATV go?

What is the maximum speed of a 250cc ATV? The fastest sports and utility ATVs today can reach 80mph (128km/h). The average rate for moderate-sized bikes is 65 mph (104 km/h).

1986 Honda FourTrax 250 FAQ

1. Is it a 1986 Honda FourTrax 250 4×4?

In 1985, the Honda FourTrax 250 is a sport/rec quad that came prior to that “ATV of the Century” that was that is the Honda TRX250R. The 4×4 had an impressive 246cm 3-liter engine, front and rear cargo racks, and a tough design.

2. How fast will a Honda TRX 250 go?

For instance, the TRX250 model typically has the Honda Recon TRX 250 top speed of approximately 50-51 miles per hour. If one or two of these are present then the ATV could only be able to run approximately 20 miles at a time.

3. What kind of oil does a 1986 Honda Fourtrax 250 take?

Oil Change Kit With Pro- Honda GN4 10W-40 for Honda TRX 250 UTILITY FOURTRAX 1985-1987 – Walmart.com.

4. How much does a Honda TRX 250 weigh?

The Honda vehicle measures 68.5 inches wide, 41.8 inches wide and 42.4 inches high, with a 31.4-inch high seat. The wheelbase of the vehicle is 44.3 inches, with 5.9 inches of clearance from the ground and an angular radius of 9.2 feet. The weight at the ready for riding is 377 pounds.

5. How fast is a 1987 Honda TRX250X?

The ATC250R is referred to by knowledgeable enthusiasts as a tuned ATC250R This machine of 250 horsepower was most well-known for its liquid-cooled 4 stroke engine, top-of-the-line features, stunning speeds of 71 mph at the top, and an adjustable suspension.

Leave a Comment