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2008 Honda CRF230L, TRX700XX & 2009 Honda Big Red

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on May 1, 2008 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Honda Motor Company

Honda has introduced a slew of new products for '08. Heck, they've even offered a sneak peek at a rockin' new '09 side-by-side. With a desk full of choices, we couldn't decide which one to feature so we decided to spotlight three of what we think are the coolest new products from the folks at Honda.

For those of you who prefer four wheels (and want a rig that bridges the gap between utility and race ATV), Honda has trotted out this new machine that it says redefines the Sport ATV category. It features a rockin' 686cc SOHC liquid-cooled fuelinjected four-valve single-cylinder four-stroke engine that generates the highest peak output of its class. Power is routed through a unique, centered five-speed transmission with reverse and a heavy-duty clutch before it's carried via a chain final drive system to the rear axle. The TRX700XX boasts a front and rear double-wishbone independent suspension that features front dual-spring shocks with adjustable preload and rear adjustable preload piggyback shocks. The front boasts 10.5 inches of travel and the rear 9.3 inches of travel. Stopping power is provided by a triple-disc brake system. Other cool stuff includes 11-inch-diameter rear wheels, removable mud scrapers, electric starting, cowl-integrated headlight with dual 30-watt bulbs, rear LED brake light, polyethylene pushbar, polypropylene rear A-arm protectors and a sculpted seat. The TRX700XX has a base price of $7,899.

Joining the Honda lineup is this compact and lightweight 223cc fourstroke street-legal dirt bike that's perfect for zipping around town or exploring backcountry trails. It's based on Honda's successful off-highway-only CRF230F, but with a number of tweaks. The air-cooled engine with aluminum crankcase is topped by a 30mm CV carburetor that Honda says generates crisp throttle response. Firing the engine is easy thanks to electric start. It has a smooth-shifting six-speed transmission with heavy-duty clutch, and this translates to smooth, progressive engagement. The semi-double-cradle high-tensile steel frame is light weight. Up front there's a 37mm leading-axle Showa fork with 9 inches of travel and out back is a box-section aluminum swing-arm with heavy-duty Showa shock. The rear suspension boasts 9 inches of travel. A 240mm front disc brake and 220mm rear disc brake reign in the 267-pound curb weight of the bike. Race-inspired bodywork and graphics complete the package. The CRF230L has a base price of $4,499.

At the time of this writing, limited information was available on Honda's first entry into the red-hot side-by-side market, but we do know that the Big Red will feature an OHV liquid-cooled fuel-injected 675cc engine. It will have an automatic transmission with reverse, three selectable drive modes, and front and rear independent suspension. Honda says it will have a roomy cab with rubber-mounted bucket seats and adjustable backs. It will also have a specially designed, high-durability tilting cargo bed. The Big Red will hit showrooms this summer. No pricing was available at press time.

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