Honda ATVs

Filed under: — Mat on February 14, 2011

From the very early days of motor sport, off roading has always had a special appeal. There seems to be some deep rooted need to take on nature at some time and get down and dirty on the path less trodden.

Of course it helps to have the right equipment to be able to do this, but before the late 60s there were only four wheel drive vehicles such as Land Rovers or motorcycles. The latter were unstable, especially in bad traction conditions like mud and snow, and the former were large and heavy giving them limited access. Something new was needed for recreation use.

It was in the home of the great outdoors that American dealers requested Honda R&D to come up with a machine for the recreation market and it was Osamu Takeuchi, a Honda research engineer, who came up with the concept for the first Honda ATV.

He considered numerous wheel, engine and suspension configurations but eventually came up with the three wheel ATV that was to become so popular. This Honda ATV had a 90cc Honda 4 stroke engine and 22inch balloon tyres at a working pressure of only 2.2 psi, giving a soft ride that made minimal impact on the ground that did not churn the ground up like a bike or truck.

The units were renamed and marketed as the ATC 90 and they quickly caught on in the sport recreation market as they were stable and easy to ride. They were also great fun. But Honda ATVs quickly moved beyond just the sport market and started to find a use in agriculture where they could get to places a tractor or truck could not.

Today’s four wheel all terrain vehicles are far more sophisticated than the relatively simple early Honda ATVs, but they still do a job and some farmers wonder how they could cope without them. Honda ATVs also fulfil their primary job of being fun to ride too!

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