Shouldn't this thread be a sticky too?
Hello Mike, and welcome to the board! If its any consolation, due to a few die hards on this board, amateur 3 wheeler motocross and harescrambling is alive and well in Ohio!!! We usually have to run in quad classes, but at least we get chance to put on a good show! There are pictures posted all over this board and others for some of these events but viewing them may give you some flashbacks and reignite "the bug". Im just just finishing my seventh year of ATV MX and Harrescrambling, mostly on my TriZ, and even though I should retire, there's always "just one more season".
Again, welcome to the board.
Shouldn't this thread be a sticky too?
.030 Over Wiseco
FMF Pipe/Answer silencer
Magura hydraulic clutch
OMF swingarm skid
Three Wheelin' Since '84
Did you ever get to race the 83R?? Have you ever ice raced??
lol..I think it should be a sticky too
1983 250R ~ 1984 125M ~ 1990 POWER WHEELS!! trike
Hey Mike, I got a couple questions for you when you get a chance.
What other race team did you feel was Honda's biggest threat over the years?
Did they have anything you wished you had? I mean, parts wise, support, ect.
Did you ever get to ride Steve Wrights 200R? If you did, can you share some info about it? Its one of the more mysterious and cool trikes to me.
One can only beat their head up against the wall so often before they get blood in their eyes.
Note to members: Stupidity is a BANABLE offense, mods can decide if YOU are being stupid and WILL ban you!
And you knew Tommy Gain too right? did * ride his 200R? what about the ATC480? Last but not least, did * ride....he 1987 250R? The one with white plastics all around? How bout the 87 350x? Thanks man, hope to hear your stories soon.
Hey everybody! I'll try to answer some of the questions.
I did race the 1983 250R. I raced for the Honda ATC team from 1981-1985. I did all of the photo's for the 1983 Honda ATC brochure's. I never saw any 1987 model ATC's.
Honda DID have a pre-production ATC500 in 1985.
It was very similar to the 250 but had different frame geometry and a few other cool items. The machine handled so well, that they actually measured and copied the frame dimensions and modified our production 250 frames to match. I personally never saw or rode the machine. I believe Honda was already planning my demise and Marty Hart was chosen to do the riding/testing.
The tank and radiators were mounted farther forward. This allowed the seat to be moved forward as well. The fork angle was different (steeper angle) and the trike overall handled better for short course racing.
Other teams as a threat ? I never looked at the racing that way. I believe Honda spent more money that Kawasaki which was the only other "team". Jimmy White was / is a very good rider and was awesome on the starts. I was fortunate that at the best races, the start wasn't all important. But there were many races that were/are one liners and no matter how fast you are, it is nearly impossible to pass. Many of the TT and flat track races were this way. When every turn is a hairpin, how can you pass? Ashtabula has a world class facility, but the only place to really pass is on the straight.
Honda was very supportive UNTIL they hired Paul Turner and brought in Bruce Ogilvie. If it wasn't for the CPSC, Bruce would have single handedly ruined the team anyway (IMHO).
I did ride the 2 stroke 200's. They were light and fast. Stevie Wright really didn't quite have the talent needed to be to be competitive on these ultimate race trikes.
The bad thing about that class (200 2 stroke) is that it didn't have any production counterpart like the 250R or ATC200X. By todays standard (and then too I believe) The 200X's SHOULD have been allowed in the 125cc class. AMA double displacement rule right?
Honda had many trick parts that they COULD use to develop the market, but many felt it would over develop the machines. They were right.
The marketing folks didn't take long to figure out that people would buy ATC/V's regardless of the racing. Unlike motorcycles and auto's, WIN ON SUNDAY, SELL ON MONDAY had NO impact on ATC sales. A racing team was not going to be needed to sell the machines.
I do know Tommy Gaian quite well. I can't remember if he had or liked the 200R. The ATC480 I rode with and won the ATC overall at Riverside in 1983 was custom built by my brother Sam. He also built a few other custom ATC chassis's for Honda at the time. The 480 was built specifically to race in the open class at Riverside, likely THE premier race of the era. It was a CR480 engine grafted into a 250R chassis with aftermarket suspension parts available and pre-production 1983 front end. Honda had a custom pipe built for it because nothing else would fit or work correctly. I reached speeds nearing 100 MPH down "Thompsons Ridge" on that trike. It was fast, but vibrated a bit much. Like most OPEN class bikes and trikes, it was only an advantage on really BIG and LONG race courses. On smaller, tighter tracks, the 250R was easier to ride and had less wheel spin, allowing for faster lap times.
Well, keep bringing the questions. I'll try to answer them. This is fun!
Last edited by CoeShow; 11-04-2010 at 10:37 PM. Reason: typos and punctuation
Did you get to race against any of the Tigers ( the 500 for example ) ? what was your impression of them at the time ?
82 ATC - 200, plain jane, almost mint. ( Sold, 03-17-2005)
84 ATC - 200 ES, Jimmy-Rigged, don't ask.( Sold, 03-17-2005)
85 ATC - 250 SX, Pride and Joy, Bottom-Less Money Pit.
84 125 M - The Mini-SX not running yet. but won't be long.
The more people i meet.. the more i like my DOG !
Any Chance at all that your brother still has some diagrams or pictures of the 480r at all or could describe the modifications need'd to make one.....?
Originally Posted by mywifeknowseverything
Thanks for the replies. It sucks that politics and behind close doors shenanigans have to ruin a good thing. I was/still a Jimmy White fan and it's nice to hear that even though he was a competitor you still respected a great rider. Do you still get a chance to do any recreational riding with your family and if so what are some of your favorite places to roost it? I moved from San Diego (Mira Mesa) last year and definately get sand withdrawls every time dune season starts up. Just one more question. What were some of your favorite places to race?
1985 ATC350X (Original owner for 21 years and counting!)
1986 ATC500R W.I.P.
Other than the 90 you mentioned,what other bikes did you race before riding with honda?
Would this be you on the air fooleR then if you did all the shoots or did I misunderstand? What were your impressions of the 83? Remember any neat tricks you did to it that I could do to give it a little extra or even too look more factory racer style??
1983 250R ~ 1984 125M ~ 1990 POWER WHEELS!! trike
Hi all ! I'll try to answer more of the questions!
The 350X was never a player in open class ATC racing. I know there are many who really enjoy them, and they are excellent 3 wheelers. At the time they would have had to run in the "open" class. They were a little heavy and down on power when compared to a 360- 500cc 2 stroke.
I have ice raced a few times. I was top 5 if I recall at the Lake George AMA National in 1985. I won the New York State Ice Racing championship at Olean New York around that same time. I also raced a Banshee on the ice at the San Diego sports arena back in 1994 or so after racing at Pikes Peak.
That IS me on the brochure you have posted. On the 83's we custom cut and reformed the gas tanks so we could remove the steering stops to allow the forks to turn sharper and reduce the possibility of spinning out. Dean Sundahl made some fiberglass rear fenders that lowered the fender closer to the short course tires we used to race with. These fenders allowed more room to move around on as well. That and major engine builds, pipes, appropriate tires, gearing and that was it!
I did race against the Tigers. There was a small effort from Tiger, but they never seemed to do well for the most part. I don't ever remember anyone even running at the front in any races on a Tiger. I may be wrong here, but that is how I remember it.
My Trike Sucks ?????
My brother never had any blueprints or drawings of this trike. He hand fabricated and/or modified everthing necessary to position the engine correctly into the 250R chassis by cutting, welding, milling, and fabricating all the metals. He is a World class fabricator and Engine builder. He can get 100+ rear wheel HP from a Banshee!
One of his latest creations was grafting two CR500 engines together to form a 1000cc twin, and mounted it in a modified banshee frame. Talk about a monster! This thing TRUELY rips!! Not for the unexperienced. Amazingly the thing kick starts easily.
I LIVE IN MIRA MESA. Have for the last 12 years. I respect most of my peers, always did. Jimmy White, Donny Luce, Steve Mendenhall, Jackie Meadows and other Kawasaki racers were all top notch. Many other privateers rode extremely fast as well. I do ride recreationally with my family, but not on ATC/V's. It's motorcycles only at the time being. My favorite race track was Saddle Back Park, hands down. It was closed down in the late 80's. Riverside was another favorite. We never really raced any of the same or repeating venues like the AMA motorcycles do. Only the SCORE off road races and such you could count on year in and year out.
I didn't care as much for the completely flat tracks so much. I felt that the trikes needed to use their suspension. As the sport progressed and the wheel travel increased, the race tracks seemed to get flatter, and more single file and NO passing! This is no slam to Jimmy White or Gary Denton, but many of these races were decided at the start because passing was sometimes impossible. I feel Jimmy White was probably the best starter during the 3 wheeler days. Any of the REAL tracks that used ALL of the suspension I loved. The only flat track stuff I liked were the TRUE ovals and TT races like the AMA flat trackers race, and like Mike Kidd's Boyd Texas race facility. While passing was still difficult, the turns were not all HAIRPIN turns where all you needed to do was stay on the inside and no one could pass. One line tracks = NO FUN.
There were a couple. I raced my brothers 1981 250R. After he purchased it I started racing it and winning against Dean Sundahl and Mark Waxeldorfer at the local race tracks. This soon got the attention of Honda, and after a couple of miscues, they invited me on board as a factory sponsored rider. I thought I was in Heaven those first few years! One race before Honda was (I believe) the 1981 Baja 500. I was invited to race the Team Husqvarna Trike for this event with Tracy Dickson. We were WAY ahead of Honda until the bike suffered some small problem. That 3 wheeler was way trick for the time! I also raced the 3 Wheeling Magazine entry at the 1981 Score Baja 1000! I actually passed and made some time on one of the Team Honda entries. Thats about it before my Honda tenure. I also had a Pro support deal from Suzuki for the year 1986, and had Factory Support from Yamaha through 1987 and 1988. I retired after 1988 season, but came back for the Pikes peak race in 1993 (we won!). That officially ended my Professional ATV racing career.
If I left any one out I apologize. Please bring on more questions. This is cool. Tell your friends!
Last edited by CoeShow; 11-04-2010 at 10:45 PM. Reason: additions
If you're still in contact with any of those old school trike racers, send them a link to this place. I love reading stuff like this.
Mike I just want to express sincere gratitude for your presence here. The fact that you take time to visit this site and answer questions regarding your glory days as an ATC Factory racer means alot to me, as it does to many people here. I only browse the site occassionally due to a busy schedule and demanding career however, knowing you're on here talking about some of the things that were so dear to me during my childhood, makes it that much easier to take the time to check in more often. To you Sir I say welcome, thanks for the sweet memories, your presence is a blessing and I am much obliged. Allan
Mike I just have one question, was Tom Carlson running his 350X's in the open classes, I heard his bikes were radical. Thanks again Mike. Allan
crepa, pezzo di merda....e vai a sucare cazzi su un aereo
Welcome Mike Coe!
I've really enjoyed reading your posts! I started riding on a 70 in '82. Never raced but have always loved 3-wheelers.
I'd love to read your thoughts on your main competition: the Kawasaki Tecate's (both designs) and the Yamaha Tri-Z's.
One other thing, I'm pretty close to Boyd, TX. How'd you like racing at Boyd?
1985 ATC250R (2)
1985 ATC125M (2)
1982 ATC70 - Original Owner
175 TriMoto Frame with Pro-Tec Rear Suspension
3-Wheelin' since '82