Honda TRX450R Review – | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

Honda TRX450R Review –

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Honda TRX450R Review –
Honda TRX450R

Ride and Race Tested

Jun. 01, 2004 By Colby Turner

Why does Honda bring about this kind of attention? Here in the Southwest, Honda ATVs have arguably always dominated desert racing, grand prixs, and motocross. I’ve been to races where that’s all that was there. Honda simply means success out here.

If you’re in any way associated with Honda, you have instant credibility. And with this credibility comes a little intimidation.

With other brands, I felt secure to call up and say Hey I broke this. quot or quotI need to change this..quot. With Honda, I just bit the bullet. I knew changing the thumb throttle to a twist throttle would make a world of difference, but I was too scared to do it.

Is this Honda’s fault?

I had an interesting opportunity to assist the local fire department with the TRX450R. I received a phone call from them asking if I could go down into a heavily-vegetated area in the Gila River. Apparently a road-grader operator had gotten stuck trying to create a fire line for our firefighters.I was able to use the Honda to maneuver though the deep sand, hills and trees to assess the situation. Fortunately we got the grader and the operator back to safety.

The Honda TRX450R however wasn’t done working. I used the quad to run the fire line and check on the firefighters who lost communications. Everyone returned safely.


When I took the TRX450R out the first few times, I could tell right away that it was an excellent trail quad. It was very comfortable and friendly to get acquainted with. The Honda was very predictable in all but one area – launching steep-faced jumps. The front end of the Honda is pretty light under these conditions.

However, with simple throttle control that issue is easily addressed.

I let both a beginner quad rider and an amateur quad racer take the TRX450R out for a little spin. Both agreed that the Honda TRX450 is the most-comfortable sport quad they’ve ridden. The racer went on to say how much he appreciated the ergonomics of the Honda, especially since he is a larger rider (6’2 200lbs).


The first race test for the TRX450R was the technical, whooped out, mountain-climbing course of Lake Pleasant Arizona. For this race I removed the front and rear headlights and installed front and rear numberplates. That’s it. No custom ergonomic handlebars, no twist throttle, no after-market anything.

At the start of the race I was charging through the pack, picking off a few modified Pro quad racers here and there. By mile fifteen, the thumb throttle was starting to work its voodoo magic.

Other than that, the TRX450 handled very predictably through the whoops and high speed g-outs. What I really enjoyed was climbing up and down the mountain trails. The Honda’s strong, friendly, and usable torque was a welcome trait. It definitely has the edge over its two-stroke competition.

In the end we brought the TRX450R in for a ninth overall and second place Pro Stock ATV finish.

Our second challenge for the Honda was a Grand Prix in Tucson Arizona. It would be a one-hour event filled with mx, trail, and high-speed desert obstacles. I put the front headlight back on just for looks and that concluded my high tech adjustments. With a twentieth position off the start, the TRX450R passed all but two quads at one point.

I noted how well the Honda attacked both large man-made and natural whoops. On the long 1/2 mile and 3/4 mile straight-aways the Honda was no slouch.

Honda TRX450R

We were able to achieve upper 70’s mph. In the motocross section the TRX took on doubles with grace and ease. Even on a larger double in which I came up a little short, the TRX450R was very forgiving and the suspension went to work.

Eventually, the red quad came across the finish line first in the Pro Stock class and fifth overall out of nearly fifty seasoned racers!

The third and final challenge for the TRX450R came in Puerto Penasco Mexico. This would be a true test of the Honda’s durability. With 110-degree temperatures and 112 miles of whoops, silt and sand, we would definitely set a benchmark for motor reliability. The Honda pulled strong all day long, carving through the Mexican sand like any metaphor you’d care to add. That light front end was something of beauty when facing endless miles of sandy whoops.

If I couldn’t get the TRX450R on top of the large whoops, I just floated the front end over the whoops like back in the old three wheeler days. After stopping to help a fallen racer with about fifteen miles to go, the red quad took the checkers with a very respectable first in Pro Stock ATV and fifth overall out of nearly sixty quads.


I only had one problem and one complaint about the Honda TRX450R. The one problem I encountered was when something got into the fuel line system. It took a couple of tries and then high-pressure air to clear an obstruction. What the obstruction was we still don’t know but we’re glad it’s gone. Word of advice; if your TRX450R runs great on a flat road then sputters out in a wash, in whoops or inclines at higher rpms, first check the air filter to see if it’s clean.

Second, up the octane and quality of fuel. Third, change the spark plug. Finally, check the fuel lines and the floats in the carburetor. If this doesn’t fix your problem, you can’t be on a Honda.

My only complaint is that a race/sport quad like the Honda TRX450R still comes with a thumb throttle. With that said, it’s a small price to pay.


Whether it’s technical, high speed, long mileage, or motocross, this quad and the right rider can win it all bone stock . Honda is a conservative entity. They let science and history speak for themselves. Comfort, performance, reliability.

Honda TRX450R
Honda TRX450R
Honda TRX450R
Honda TRX450R

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