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Thread: Barn find: 1985 Honda "Racing 3 Wheeler"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    North East Arkansas
    --
    16

    Barn find: 1985 Honda "Racing 3 Wheeler"

    I was at my local auto parts store and the owner was telling me about a 85/86 ATC250R that was in a barn for the last 20 years and was supposed to be a mint condition time capsule that was put away when the clutch started slipping. I got the go ahead to contact the owner. He had been told it was a rare racing 3 wheeler and it was worth about $1500 in its current condition and I was prepared to pay that for a 85+ 250R. I go to the bank and get the money out and head to the man's house to see this beauty. After some small talk we head to the barn and walk in and I see this "racing 3 wheeler" for the first time and my heart sank when I found out it was just a 200x with cracked front and rear fenders. The clutch cover was removed and the new clutch was still in the package and all the bolts and foot peg was in a coffee can. A 200x is still a very cool find but not when you're expecting to see the big daddy 250R. I made the owner aware this bike was not the holy grail 250R "racing 3 wheeler" and I was not really interested any more. I know the 200x was used for racing and it was probably the biggest segment of 3 wheeler racing back in the day but you know what I mean. He asked if I would be interested at a lower price and he threw out $1000 as asking price and I told him honestly that I would maybe give $400 If I wanted it but I was too disappointed and still didn't really want it. He did say he would take $400 but I left and kept looking for an R.

    This took place over 2 years ago and since then, I never did find my barn find R but I remembered that 200x and decided to see if he still had it. I decided a 200x would be fun to play with and certainly less maintenance and quieter than the R. After All, I am 46 now and the 2stroke life just ain't for me anymore. I tried calling and left a message but didn't hear anything back so 2 weeks later I sent a text message and he responded to that saying he still had it and still wanted to get rid of it. I offered $200 and he immediately texted back with "Ok"........I said to myself, "damn......maybe I should have offered $50!" Oh well, I went and picked it up later that day.

    I got it home and proceeded to remove the tank which had minimal surface rust and filled it with vinegar and rinsed it out the next day. Looks perfect now. I filled the cylinder with wd40 and let it sit overnight and It turns over fine now. I just got the 20/24mm locknut socket in the mail to remove the clutch and get the new one installed. Still waiting on the clutch cover gasket to come in. It was actually not ridden a whole lot. The forks are dry and feel like new as well as the rear shock. Everything is still tight like the head bearings, swingarm bearings and axle bearings. I flushed the front are rear brake fluid and they feel perfect.

    I have ordered a Maxxis M9803 22x7x11 front tire and 2 Kenda Klaw XCR 20x11x8 rear tires for it. I freaking hate those big, heavy, goofy looking Wooly Booger tires in the rear and must get rid of those awful things asap!!! Why do people put that garbage on ATV's?

    Anyway, nothing is real without a picture so here is my barn find "racing 3 wheeler" 200x for 200 bones. One dollar per CC ain't too shabby.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    PS. It came with rather unique, homebuilt front and rear racks. I will be removing them. Anyone wanna trade for a decent original or DG grab bar?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Schigara; 02-08-2020 at 03:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    --
    111
    Your story is kinda funny the exact same thing happened to me. I was talking to a co worker about trike fest and she said she had a trike she bought cheap in the 90's. She said it was a Honda and a 2 stroke. She wanted to sell it because her son had flipped it and had not ridden it since. So I went through pictures of every generation of 250R. she said it didn't look like a 1st or 2nd gen. When I pulled up the pic of the 3rd she said that was it. I asked her how much she wanted for it and said she would ask her son and get some pics. about 2 weeks later she sent me pictures of the trike and it was a 200X. I was kinda upset because I had spent 2 weeks thinking about a 250R. When I showed her it was a 200X and not as desirable she said she just wanted what she paid for it in the 90's $275. Funny thing is later she said she was going to sell it to me for what she paid even when she though it was a 250R.

    The 200X has become one of my favorite trail trikes it's not as fast as a 250r but the power is in the right place and the suspension is adequate. I did upgrade the rear spring though. I am a bigger guy and didn't want it to bottom out.
    1982 ATC185s
    1982 Suspended ATC185s
    1984 ATC70
    1984 ATC 250r
    19?? Motorcraft Three wheeler
    1974 Pacesetter 3
    1984 kawasaki 185
    1977 Atc 90
    1983 ATC 200x

    My suspended ATC185s build thread.
    http://www.3wheelerworld.com/showthr...s-Build-Thread

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    CT
    --
    124
    Wow that rack is serious lol. The OG wanted a Big Red bad.

    Those rear tires are the dreaded Trail Pro's, that's actually a swear word around here.

    Great find for $200 though, I'd have gladly paid $500+

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    N.E. WI
    --
    77
    Are original 250r's still out there? How much do they run?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    stonecreek ohio usa
    --
    581
    That's a good price and a nice looking 200. I wish I could find them this cheap still.

  6. #6
    6bt's Avatar
    6bt is offline At The Back Of The Pack Arm chair racerAt the back of the pack
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    near Syracuse NY
    --
    303
    Too funny. A couple summers ago, I was at a garage sale in town. Bought a Yamaha generator for $40. Talking wheelers with the guy, he says he knows of a "racing 3 wheeler". Gives me directions, I show up to a guys house. He's cocked, starts talking up this 3 wheeler. And what to you know, it's an 83-85 200x. I might have paid $100 for it. He's going on and on how it's worth $500 all day long. Motor is blown up and in a recycling bin, broken plastics, bald tires, etc. I told him I'd think about it, but never went back.

    Back in 1998? The people down the street had a 2 stroke 3 wheeler. I had to do some research on it as I had never heard of an air cooled 250r. I ended up with it and that's what got me started.

    I think the deals are out there still, but not like they used to be.

    In '16, I bought an 86' R on eBay. Not perfect but all original. Not running, for $1550. Replaced missing sparkplug boot, reinstalled original carb and added fresh gas. Have been riding it ever since. Like that rack, mine has a grab bar made out of black pipe. It's ugly, but functional, and well made lol.

    In 18' I bought a 86' 350x from the guy on the road. He had owned it since 88' or so. Not a time capsule by any means but ran well and decent shape.

    Couple months ago, a guy had one listed on Craigslist. 85' R. Sat in a brewery since it was crashed in 85'. Bars were bent, and motor was seized from sitting. $4000 firm.

    Theyre still out there, but people are more aware now of what they're worth. Click image for larger version. 

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    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    --
    1,875
    $3500 86’ in bone stock mint condition down to the tires...low low hr machine. Indoor storage it’s entire life wish I had the cash. Seller doesn’t need to sell as his collection is ALL new like conditions for every R, tri-z, 350x’s, Tecates...it’s a drool fest. He said when you come up with it come on over...like a squirrel I’ve been holding on to my nuts, one day...it’s gonna be mine. So yes there out there but not for a song and dance, that’s for non runners these days.

    I think your going to be pleasantly surprised how much you enjoy the 200X. It’s one of the funnest to ride IMO great manageable power, great brakes, good solid suspension. Enjoy
    Last edited by Tri-Z 250; 02-09-2020 at 06:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    englishtown NJ
    --
    2,665
    In around 03 or 04, I was riding my short track atc250r(kinda unique machine, hard to be confused with a normal 85/86 atc250r) at raceway park. A guy comes up to me and tells me about one of those, he says its nearly the same as the one he has in the shed, same condition too. His story is a guy stored it there, guy left town and never heard from him again. I go there a few days later to find that is a 185 or 200, don't remember if it was s or es. It was beat, didn't have brakes, something was up with the electric and pull start, it had both??? I offered him $150 for it. I was gonna mess with it, never felt interested in it and sold it on this board. A guy came over to my storage unit and bought it for what I paid, he bought some atc250r spare parts I had too. My friends for several months asked me how that mint atc250r is doing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Manheim PA 17545
    --
    5,023
    i had bought a nice 85R 10 years ago for $740. due to a bad civil union go wrong i needed to sell off all 13 machines, a home and business. I have not found a score of a 250R since then. But im ok with letting things go when your worlds turned upside down.
    2002 Blaster
    2015 Rancher 420 dct eps irs

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Soutwestern PA
    --
    1,925
    Quote Originally Posted by Schigara View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It must have been intimidating at the starting gate when he pulled up with the rear rack and gun mount. That's a pretty formidable race machine.

    But this mistaken identification happens to me all the time when I have a trike in my truck bed. Mostly stopped at a gas station:
    (Me with a 350X in my truck)
    Random person: "Wow, we had one just like that when I was a kid"
    Me: "Oh ya, you had a 350X"
    Them "Well not exactly, ours was a 250"

    Which always makes me think they are confused and they actually had a 200X. Then they say something like, "but ours had electric start." That's when I jump in my truck and leave.

    It is even funnier for me if it's a 450 conversion and they had one exactly like that as a kid.
    "Oh really, you had an '06 450 conversion when you were a kid"
    "Yep, EXACTLY like that one!...... except ours was a 200"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    ohio
    --
    1,493
    Lol all red 3 wheelers are big reds. You never know where you will find one or get a lead on one sitting in someone’s barn or garage.
    If its on the internet its got to be true they can't put any lie's on the internet

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    new hampshire
    --
    860
    I own a repair business and I always have three wheeler in the shop. It gets people talking. I always ask do you know where there’s any threewheelers. I have this 60 year old man who bought a 1984 atc 250r new and put a three hundred kit in it. I always ask him do you want to see it run again? I offered him to get it going for free. He mentioned when he’s ready to give it up I get first dibs. Sooo I’m still waiting. Hahaha
    1986 yamaha big wheel 80 (x2) one is a parts bike!
    1983 Atc 70 Xmas special
    1984 atc 70
    1985 atc 70
    1989 hydrostream viper with 115 merc 60+ MPH
    1990 Gw invader 50 HP Merc 48 mph
    2003 zr 900
    2004 kfx 700 xc
    2004 kfx 700 xc
    2005 yfz450f super Motard streetbike
    2006 prarie 700 team green set up for xc racing
    2007loaded Polaris outlaw 525 xc bike
    2009 kfx 50 for my boy!!

    2009 necc vet c 2nd place
    2010 necc open A 3rd place

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    My underwater lair
    --
    4,289
    Quote Originally Posted by big specht View Post
    Lol all red 3 wheelers are big reds. You never know where you will find one or get a lead on one sitting in someone’s barn or garage.
    This is absolute truth

    In Indiana it was (pronounced) "Thray-whiller", "Racin Thray-whiller" or "Big Red" .... Didn't matter what size or model...that's what they all were called.

    Sent from my Z958 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    My underwater lair
    --
    4,289
    Hey Shigara that's a pretty nice looking machine for $200. I'd call that a solid win.

    I like 200Xs. Great machine to trail ride or build up

    Sent from my Z958 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Ohio
    --
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by big specht View Post
    Lol all red 3 wheelers are big reds. You never know where you will find one or get a lead on one sitting in someone’s barn or garage.
    You are correct! I bought a couple antique case tractors from an old farmer and he has an 85 big red in a calf hut. I'm hoping to work a deal on it soon!
    "I'm Watchin' The Herk N' Jerk!"
    3&2moto on YouTube
    Trikefest 10,17,18,19

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