In the world of ATVs and off-roading in general there are tons of fanatics. There are Banshee loyalists, Jeepers, UTV lovers and three-wheeler nuts. Furthermore, we know of guys who only bleed Honda red or will ride two-strokes forever.
We recently ran into a guy in Southern California who does just that only rides Hondas. Dale Quarton is the premier buyer and seller of Honda two-stroke 250R quads and parts. Dale not only buys and sells the sought-after pieces, he rides them too. One of his most unique acquisitions is an aluminum-framed 1989 Honda 250R that he let us ride.
Dale basically lives right in the middle of the world's largest collection of 250R parts and complete quads known as The Dirt Factory. Actually, this is a virtual store you can find on eBay, where he buys and sells everything from rolling chassis to complete quads and lug nuts to brake lines. The Dirt Factory does have a selection of Suzuki Quadracer 250 and Quadzilla 500 components, as well as 400EX and 450R parts.
Dale did not actually buy the machine we tested in the condition you see on this page. After the initial purchase of the LRD aluminum-framed quad, he set out to make it his own “daily driver,” so to speak. The frame itself is probably the most unique part of this build because of its history. Just over a decade ago, when Honda 250Rs were still the quad of choice (pre-Yamaha YFZ450 and Honda TRX450R), a company called LRD produced these tubular aluminum frames that accepted the popular Honda 250R engine and suspension components. LRD tried to sell the idea to other chassis makers and the public but was not successful.
Although light and unique, the frames never proved to be strong enough for anything but moderate trail riding, sand dunes and drag racing. The idea was scrapped, and only a couple dozen frames were ever made. LRD is no longer in business, either.
Those facts didn't deter Quarton from hanging on to this machine. He's not an abusive ride, nor did he plan on racing motocross or desert on the old smoker. His plans did include building a powerful, reliable engine and installing top-of-the-line suspension that will help the frame last.
If you look in any Dirt Wheels issue from 10 years ago, you would find that every engine shop was advertising 250R engine upgrades. It was the machine of choice for races, trail riders and duners. Today, that list has dwindled, but some of the bigger names like Duncan, CT Racing, Curtis Sparks, ESR and Trinity still offer parts and service for this machine. Dale instead went with an engine shop that was just as fanatic about the Honda 250R as he is and contacted BDT Motorsports at (909) 466-9152. This shop, located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, specializes in complete engine services for 250Rs, and they carry body and chassis components for Honda three- and four-wheelers.
For this build, BDT (http://www.bdtmotorsports.com) installed a Sphynx cylinder on top of a 5mm Hot Rods stroker crank. All of the porting was done by Rob Selvy, and the exhaust system was hand-made by Kenny Roberts, with an Eddie Sanders silencer slipped on the back. All three guys are well known for their work on Honda two-stroke engines. To add more fuel flow into the big bore, a 40.5mm Keihin carb was installed with the help of BDT's own intake manifold. BDT also custom-built an airbox eliminator that accepted a K&N pod-style air filter. Furthermore, 110-octane race gas was contained in a 4-gallon IMS tank. The power package costs about $4500 for the average customer. They do sell complete engines too, or they can modify your engine.
Ignition pulses were modified by adding a dirt bike electrical system, and a Pro Design kill switch was used to turn things off. The clutch used a secret variety of Honda dirt bike and quad components to keep it strong. And with a claimed 68 horsepower delivered to the rear wheels, you need a good clutch to keep the power to the ground. To keep things running cool, Dale mounted up a Walsh radiator.
When LRD built the tubular frame, they incorporated all of the stock suspension and body mounts, so any aftermarket products would bolt right on. On this machine, Gibson +3 gull-wing-style A-arms were paired with a Gibson no-link swing arm for the rear end. Out back, a Custom Axis long-travel shock was installed, while Dale relied on Baldwin Motorsports-built PEP long-travel shocks up front. A simple Denton stabilizer was connected to a Roll.
Design 2-plus-inch steering stem equipped with Fasst Co. Flexx handlebars on top.
Stock Honda hubs were used on all four corners, while Galfer steel-braided lines helped keep a solid feel on the brakes in the front and back ends. That back end did have a Lonestar (LSR) 2-plus-inch axle installed, along with an LSR anti-fade nut and parking brake block-off plate.
Further out on the four corners of this machine, OMF beadlock wheels were bolted up with paddle tires installed. Up front, 20x10-10 ITP Sand Stars were used and 22x11-8 Sand Tire Unlimited V-shaped paddles were found.
It's a given that any quad built for the dunes has a lot of extras. Whether it is chrome, neon or carbon fiber, the accents you add to your quad is what makes it stand out. On this machine, Dale went with the clean carbon fiber route.
A company called FourWerx ( 501-9696 and http://www.fwcarbon.com) supplied the tank cover, radiator shrouds, front hood, rear master- cylinder cover and the custom graphics kit. The handful of components really helped the orange Full Bore bodywork stand out, as did the matching Quad Tech seat cover. A Moose Racing billet throttle housing was used, and ASV clutch and front-brake levers were also mounted to those Flexx handlebars.
The uniqueness of this two-stroke came out even more the moment we reached for the kickstarter. Kickstart quads are not even made anymore. This one fired up easily. The 225 pounds of compression is strong but not difficult to kick. The sweet two-stroke sound brings back fond memories and is rarely annoying or overly loud.
This quad has a very comfortable feel in the rider's compartment. From the position of the Fasst Co. Flexx bars to the extra-thick Quad Tech seat, things are built for comfort and all-day riding. Speaking of all-day rides, the huge carbon fiber-covered, 4-gallon IMS tank does not get in the way. A set of trick stainless steel foot- pegs were fabricated to give the rider a solid platform. We did, however, wish this machine had a set of heel guards.
Our dune ride was awesome. The 363cc of power wasn't too jerky or unmanageable. It pulled smooth on the bottom end and kept pulling hard through the revs. Shifting was almost buttery smooth. The clutch pull was a little stiff but not uncomfortable. The guys at BDT tell us they used a secret combination of Honda dirt bike and quad clutch springs and plates to help get the power to the ground. It worked; there was no slippage or fading during the test. There was so much power on tap, you could start in second gear in a drag race even with paddle tires. The power output is right on par with any 500cc four-stroke Honda or even a modified Raptor. In fact, we plan on putting this machine in a shootout with a modified 450 four-stroke soon.
Through the dunes, the rest of the machine performed as well as the engine. The PEP shocks soaked up the ripples great and big jump landings smoothly. This Honda floated over the razorbacks and witches' eyes and threw massive roost with ease. About the only thing lacking on this build to make it a great all- around duner was a set of lights. But, we could ride it all day long and have as much fun as we do on modern-day four strokes, if not more.
If you are thinking of building up an old Honda two-stroke 250R like this, look up The Dirt Factory on eBay and consider letting BDT Motorsports ( 466-9152) do the engine work. They know what they are doing, especially when it comes to Honda 250Rs.
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WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially dangerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear. Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Console Login