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Honda Sportrax ATV 250EX - Off-Road Alternitives

Side Shot
Mike Finnegan | Writer
Posted September 1, 2003

The '03 Honda Sportrax ATVs

There's a thrill-seeking, adventure-loving dirt fanatic in all of us, and no matter how deep that part of your own personality is hidden, a Honda Sportrax ATV will bring it out. You have to be excited about a line of ATVs designed around having fun. These aren't workhorse, utility bikes attempting to strike a balance between hauling a load of lumber and roosting through a tight trail. No, the Sportrax line of ATVs are here to satisfy the wants and needs of the thrill seeker in all of us.

The 250EX is the lightest bike in the line and is packed with features to make you smile. The 250EX is motivated by a 229cc air-cooled, OHV single-cylinder engine that is longitudinally mounted in the chassis. At the core of this rev-happy four-stroke powerplant is a 68.5mm cylinder with a 62.2mm stroke. An electric start is standard equipment on the 250EX, and a solid-state CD ignition system with electronic advance fires in the hole.

Another owner-friendly aspect of the 250EX is the automatic transmission. The automatic five-speed tranny makes this bike an easy ride for even the most novice of riders, and the Reverse gear makes backtracking a breeze. Power is transferred to a direct rear driveshaft.

The front suspension of the 250EX features an independent double-wishbone design that is capable of cycling through 5.9 inches of travel and is damped by a pair of coilover shocks. The rearend is also suspended by a single swing arm and damped by yet another coilover shock. The rearend is capable of pulling 5.7 inches of travel, which is perfect for moderately deep trail ruts.

Stopping is equally as important as going and the 250EX does an excellent job of keeping up in the braking department thanks to a front disc and rear drum brake combo. The brakes are teamed up with a set of knobby tires that work well in various conditions. The front tires measure in at 22x7-10 inches and the rears at 22x10-9 inches.

The 250EX weighs just 349 pounds, which makes it very easy to whip around and maneuver for most riders. And with a fuel capacity of 2.7 gallons plus a 0.7 gallon reserve tank, you'll be riding until the cows come home.

Next up in the Sportrax line is the 300EX, a bike that is big on features and performance. When you step up to the 300EX you'll be blessed with 282cc's of four-stroke thumping power. The 300EX also features an electric starter, but this time a fluid five-speed manual transmission is on board for maximum performance. The fun never stops, though, because the transmission also has Reverse, and the power is transferred through an O-ring sealed chain.

The front suspension is set up for maximum performance right of the box. At each side of the bike, dual-rate hydraulic coilover shocks are found and have five positions of spring preload adjustability. The front and rear suspensions have 6.7 and 7.9 inches of useable travel, respectively. The bump in performance between the 250EX and 300EX doesn't grossly up the weight of the bike, but it is up about 28 pounds. Obviously with that weight comes much more power, so it's not as noticeable, but this bike is geared more toward experienced riders.

At the top of the Sportrax line of ATVs is the 400EX. The 400EX has power to burn, and it will put a smile on balls-to-the-wall thrill riders everywhere. The fun starts with a 397cc RFVC air-cooled, dry-sump, single-cylinder four-stroke powerplant. This high-end sport ATV has the technology and power to take intermediate and advanced riders nearly anywhere they wish. The engine features a 85mm cylinder bore and 70mm stroke. Once again, a solid-state capacitive discharge ignition system is in play, and the starter is also electric. This is the only bike in the Sportrax line, though, that doesn't have a Reverse gear. It does have a five-speed manual transmission that has gear for any situation and works well with the engine's natural powerband.

With all of the power at the rider's disposal, a suspension system that could soak up the rough stuff at high speeds was needed. The fully independent front suspension pulls 8.2 inches of travel and is damped by Showa adjustable coilover shocks. The five-position adjustable units make stuffing the front end of the bike into hairy situations less dangerous and improve the handling characteristics of the bike. The rear Pro-Link suspension features a single Showa shock and cycles a whopping 9.1 inches of travel.

Hydraulic-actuated disc brakes are on both ends of this extreme machine and put a halt to the speed beautifully. Even with its beefed up performance, handling, and braking systems, the 400EX still weighs in at less than 400 pounds. The dry weight of the bike is 375 pounds, and fuel capacity is 2.6 gallons with a 0.4-gallon reserve system.

All of the Sportrax ATVs are available in red and black or yellow and black color combinations. They not only look great but also put all of the fun of off-road racing and exploring at your fingertips. For more information on these bikes or any other Honda products, visit the American Honda Web site at www.hondamotorcycles.com.

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