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  • '88 ATC250ES Big Red?


    If the 1987 ATC models were not rare enough, here is a REAL mind freak for you! We originally learned about the existence of the 1988 model Big Reds back in 2004 from a UK forum member, Jez when he sent me this thumbnail of a brochure (I do not have a full size, sorry. If anyone out there does, PLEASE contact me). For a short period of time, we treated the '88 Big Red about as we do the 1987 350X and 250r. Unlike those models however, our skepticism was quickly erased with hard evidence of their existence.

    A post on the 3WHeeLeR WoRLD message forum by a UK member was the first proof that these machines did in fact exist. And of course, it happened by almost pure chance as you will learn when you checkout the thread and read the details of how he came about seeing the machine and being able to notice it was in fact a 1988 model.





    Checkout the interesting tank decal on the 88 model too! Sort of almost a throw back to the 1982 Big Red 200E. Definitely different than any other model year for graphics. Design, and physically, it seems to be exactly the same from what we can tell.



    And then, not almost a month later, to the day, another forum member atcmatt posted about an '88 model he had found in Australia! The Model/Year decal looks to be exactly the same design as the first one. No doubt it is genuine Honda and not some knock off. Notice it has the same decal on the tank as the one that is pictured above from the UK. As of yet, none of these machines have been found outside of Europe or Australia. It is possible there were Canadian models as they were not subject to the Consent Decree either and were another very large market for machines, but we have not seen any reports of them found there for now.


    I broached this subject of the 1988 Big Red's with former writer of "3Wheeling" Magazine Dean Kirsten a while back and here is what he had to say:

    Strange.... I can only assume that ATC sales were large enough outside of the U.S., that Honda continued on with the Big Red Model.... I know at a time, the "Red" was the largest selling 3-wheeler they had, which out sold the ATC 200X and 200S models. We tend to forget Honda is a worldwide corporation, and not only for the Glamis sand dunes... The only part about riding the 200ES I didn't like, was loading one in the back of a pickup. ugh.
    What Dean says, would lead me to believe that there is a chance these machines are in Canada as well, but only time will tell if one will actually turn up or not!



    These additional pictures of another '88 model 250ES are from a 2nd one that was found in the UK. Last I had heard it was in the process of being restored, but I have not heard anything of it in a few years. Is the member that sent these to me still out there somewhere? Give us an update, let us know!




    Comments 36 Comments
    1. Ely.A.Craig's Avatar
      Ely.A.Craig -
      Thats Cool That There Awsome I Heard Of the Canadians Had Big Reds as Late As Early To Mid 1990's Its True I Have Proof Of a 88 Model Thanks Ely Take Care Of Her For All The Big Red Nuts Like Me David and Mike Worthen,Robert Fair And All Us In Louisiana That Loves Them And Usem Every Day I Have Question Will The 85-87? Fourtrax 250 Engine Mount Properly To A 1986 Big Red.
    1. 1985bigred's Avatar
      1985bigred -
      i got a 1985 big red 250 are they rare?
      i dont care its the best trike ever made!!
      what?!!
      --three wheels or no wheels--
    1. wanda's Avatar
      wanda -
      i have only once seen an 87 big red never ever had i heard of an 88 .all of the big reds are getting rare as time goes on .i was lucky to come across an 83 big red thats in good condition and there really hard to find
    1. Vicki's Avatar
      Vicki -
      We have an 87 Big Red. The kids LOVE it. Of course, we were told by a sheriff deputy today that it is illegal in Ohio and they could confiscate it??? Anyone know if there is truth that? It's an amazing bike and the whole family has a blast with it! I'd hate to have to lose it or give it up???
    1. 250x's Avatar
      250x -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vicki View Post
      We have an 87 Big Red. The kids LOVE it. Of course, we were told by a sheriff deputy today that it is illegal in Ohio and they could confiscate it??? Anyone know if there is truth that? It's an amazing bike and the whole family has a blast with it! I'd hate to have to lose it or give it up???


      if it is registered/insured, then no they cannot. They can't be sold by a corp/business, but that doesn't mean they cannot be owned. Sounds like the officer has the ATC bug and wants one...lol
    1. qazqaz's Avatar
      qazqaz -
      My buddy traded a 1987 250r for a bulldog. worst trade ever
    1. desert rat's Avatar
      desert rat -
      no it no illege to own one but you have to have the dmv stickers on it when you leave your property
    1. davispayne40's Avatar
      davispayne40 -
      i got an 86 big red we took off the back fenders and made it a mud slinger
    1. MrSandman818's Avatar
      MrSandman818 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vicki View Post
      We have an 87 Big Red. The kids LOVE it. Of course, we were told by a sheriff deputy today that it is illegal in Ohio and they could confiscate it??? Anyone know if there is truth that? It's an amazing bike and the whole family has a blast with it! I'd hate to have to lose it or give it up???
      Every states laws are different so I would go online and check for yourself. If you wanna go one step above that print out the law and keep it in a ziplock baggy in big reds trunk so if you get hasseled again then pull it out and tell em off...in the nicest way possible. Three wheelers are illegal to MAKE. Since yours was already made it is "grandfathered" in.

      I have a 1985 Honda Big Red and mine is currently tabbed in the state of Washington and I took it on a atv poker run this last weekend. Only thing people asked me is if it was tabbed and had a spark arrestor. They thought it was neat that it was still running strong.
    1. three_wheelin45's Avatar
      three_wheelin45 -
      Quote Originally Posted by qazqaz View Post
      My buddy traded a 1987 250r for a bulldog. worst trade ever
      Did anyone else catch this??
    1. 3WheelinMan's Avatar
      3WheelinMan -
      Yeah, I recall seeing that bulldog trade in a post here a while back! Stupid hurts for sure! At least the 250R wouldn't ruin furniture or carpets and eat like a horse that slobbers and craps everywhere! That's almost as bad as letting my brother sell his then 4 year old '87 200X for 1000 bucks back in 1991... the last 87 200X I saw on ebay awhile back sold for over $4300 and wasn't as nice as his was either! The deal we really should have jumped on back in '87 was a blowout opportunity to buy 7 brand new 200X's, still in the crates, for only $700 each from the local dealership! I still kick myself for passing on that one and am jealous of whomever took that deal for sure... hopefully they didn't get all their frames chopped and destroyed as federally mandated!
    1. abel.atc's Avatar
      abel.atc -
      Quote Originally Posted by 1985bigred View Post
      i got a 1985 big red 250 are they rare?
      i dont care its the best trike ever made!!
      what?!!
      --three wheels or no wheels--
      i have an 85 bigred to and yes they are bad to the bone...........had mine in watter over the gas tank and it keeps on running!!!!!!!
    1. dllenthe's Avatar
      dllenthe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vicki View Post
      We have an 87 Big Red. The kids LOVE it. Of course, we were told by a sheriff deputy today that it is illegal in Ohio and they could confiscate it??? Anyone know if there is truth that? It's an amazing bike and the whole family has a blast with it! I'd hate to have to lose it or give it up???
      I also live in the great state of OHIO.....and ride my atcs all the time past the law! Most of them were born after they were made and dont know anything about them! I have a 85 Honda 250r,86 Yamaha tri-z and 87 Big-Red but it has 85 decals! Can you send me a good pic of tank and side panel decals? Send to dllenthe@yahoo.com. Thanks
    1. SDJ's Avatar
      SDJ -
      some guy put 1988 200s for sale in denver on craislist but i'm not sure if it's a misprint or not would be cool if it wasnt
    1. Sudesh's Avatar
      Sudesh -
      Hi All,I can also confirm that there was indeed an 88 Big Red here in Ireland/UK, I have seen one myself and the decals are genuine and not some made up version. Infact I have those very decals on one of very VERY late 87 model's and I have been searching for a long time to find the 2 side ones but just no luck.
    1. thestud25's Avatar
      thestud25 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sudesh View Post
      Hi All,I can also confirm that there was indeed an 88 Big Red here in Ireland/UK, I have seen one myself and the decals are genuine and not some made up version. Infact I have those very decals on one of very VERY late 87 model's and I have been searching for a long time to find the 2 side ones but just no luck.
      PICS of the bike and the vin.....
    1. Sudesh's Avatar
      Sudesh -
      Yeah will do as soon as I finish up some bits on it!Another thing I can yell you is, my trike also has heel guards on the left and right side just were the fender finishes, I can see from those pics above that, that one also has the same guards! It is one long piece that runs from left to right and attaches to the frame underneath, its bolted in the middle and also at the sides where the foot pegs are. We also go an option for larger OVER FENDERS as seen in those pics, I also have a very late UK brochure that shows the over fenders and the heel guards.
    1. joshua.terry's Avatar
      joshua.terry -
      i have a big red 250 it a 86 and it has been rebulit but when take the side casing off it looks like it has hair line cracks in it but when i touch them they are soth is that ok?
    1. death by trike's Avatar
      death by trike -
      them 88 big reds pop up every so often on trademe (NZs version of EBay). When the trikes got banned in the U.S a whole lot got shipped down here to NZ so we got a whole lot of late model agricultural units. A mint as 88 big red went for 1500 bucks a few months back.
    1. luis's Avatar
      luis -
      Quote Originally Posted by thestud25 View Post
      PICS of the bike and the vin.....
      Hello guys, I`m new in this forum and glad to be part of it, I just want to show you one of my trikes, it`s regarding your question about 88 big red model, well I own 2 big reds, one 86 and another one is an 88 model, attached is a picture of the 88.
      Attachment 155258
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