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1986 Honda ATC200X Project

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Came out pretty cool, so thought I’d share…


I’ve been on motorcycles since I could walk, and took a break from 2-wheeled motocross long enough to win a couple of regional ATC championships back in the day.  Even though that was on ATC250Rs (that 90-foot ATC jump led Team Honda managers at the time to call me “absolutely insane”…), I think I had more fun on the 200X.  I sold all the ATCs after moving to Florida and finding nowhere decent to ride.  I soldiered on with two wheels for several more years, picking up a cherry 200S in Colorado for my wife to ride (she loves three-wheelers, too…) and to pull kids around in the snow.  Great fun!


Fast forward to Nevada… Still have CRs for the track, XRs for the desert and CBRs for the street – but nothing cool for the sand.  Several buddies here make regular trips to the dunes, but I had nothing to tag along with.  Quads never interested me – too heavy and too easy to ride – and Side-By-Sides are just stupid expensive.  So I started looking around for a 200X to rebuild. 


All my previous 200X experience was with the 1983-85 models, and I know them pretty well.  But I always liked the updated looks of the redesigned 1986-87 models – along with the slightly bigger motor, more suspension travel, cool square-tube frame and the 6-speed tranny.  They’re quite a bit harder to find, but I finally located a suitable project trike.


It was in pretty rough shape, but mostly from neglect – not abuse.  The oil was free of contaminants and the chain, sprockets and front tire were all original.  Not a whole bunch of hours on this baby.  Good compression, started on the second kick, and ran through all the gears smoothly.  The guy wouldn’t budge off $600 – he knew what he had.  I did get him to throw in a nice pair of Sand Geckos on ITP rims, though…


After a year and half, here is the end result.  After complete disassembly, every single piece has either been replaced, or cleaned and painted.   New plastic, seat foam and cover, tires, chain & sprockets, aluminum handlebars, twist grip conversion, brakes, fork boots, fork rebuild, shock rebuild, and more.  Found a brand new DG exhaust on eBay!  I like the looks of the ATC250R front fender better, so that was modified for installation on the 200X.  New tank shrouds are not available anywhere, but I was able to adapt Maier’s “Super Scoops” for the 1983-85 ATC 200X.


My objective was to make the whole thing look like a big toy.  Of course, graphics kits for ATC are pretty much non-existent, but CRF50 stuff can be adapted with patience and an Exacto knife, and there are tons of choices.  Since I built it only for daytime dune-running, I wanted it to be as light as possible.  Leaving off the lights, toolbox, skid plates, parking brake and airbox saves at least 15 pounds.


I’ve had it out a couple times, and I have to say I had forgotten how much fun three wheels in the sand can be.  It runs great and gets more looks than anything else out there.  It’s different, it’s fun, it kept me out of the house for 18 months, and it didn’t break the bank.  That’s all good.  Now I gotta find something else to work on…

ATC 90-footer.jpg

1986 200X.jpg

200X start.JPG

200X frame.JPG

200X swingarm.JPG

200X tank.JPG

200X chassis 4.JPG

200X chassis 5.JPG

200X motor left 2.JPG

200X left.JPG

200X left close.JPG

200X front.JPG

200X rear 2.JPG

200X right.JPG

200X right close.JPG

200X rear.JPG

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'88 trx200sx motor 1st overbore, '86 200x frame, 86 front w/ rebuilt forks, '84 200x swinger and I haven't decided on a rear shock. Probably an '86 200x.

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I have one, actually 2.  86 atc200x 83/84 250r front end, 86 350x tripples, trx250r roll pegs, trx250r rear bake put on, WER steepind dampener, 27mm carb, cobra head pipe w/ 350x suppertrapp shorty muffler, braided front brake line, motion pro cr250 twist throttle, +4 83/84 atc250r axle, 400ex lsr hubs and some kind of rear shock that suspension guy got me(2" more travel and much better).  A good motor is on its way getting built now, it has a fairly stock motor right now.


then comes the atc250r......custom made hre atv frame, +1 swingarm, Lrd "310" pv, cr250 igntion, cr reeds, 39 pwk, aluminuim airbox, elka trx rear shock, lsr axle, antifade and carrier, ktm 105sx front end with custom triples, ktm front brake, mods to use stock front hub, braided brake line, short track honda racing kit(getting rare to find), pwr radiators, flex bars, motion pro cr250r throttle, Led pipe(wasn't cheap) w/ trx silencer, WER steering dmapener, maier plastics and DC plastics radiator shrouds.  Its a rocket and handles very good, but will throw you off very quickly if you aren't on your game.  

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