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Too Fun, Must Be Outlawed: A Look Back At The Honda ATC200X Three-Wheeler

Too Fun, Must Be Outlawed: A Look Back At The Honda ATC200X Three-Wheeler

An automotive delinquent just doesn’t happen overnight. They are groomed and slowly brought into the world of loud engines, sideways antics and the fun that can be had. For many kids, an ATV or a dirt bike is the logical next step between a bicycle and their first set of wheels and I was no different. After starting out on a Honda 50 minibike and going through a few small-displacement, low power trail bikes, it was a Honda 200 “Big Red” that gave me my first real taste of power. An auto-clutched workhorse, it instead spent most of it’s time in the yard being used as drift trike practice. I churned up the open area enough that you could’ve planted just about anything you wanted after I had ran through a tank of gasoline. There were others…the fluffy-tired Honda ATC185 that my younger brother loved to roost around on, and the ATC200X that we both learned lessons about speed with…I found the upper limit of fifth gear, he found out that all the brakes in the world won’t stop you from hitting the neighbor’s Ford Courier head-on when the tires lock up.

It’s difficult to explain the fun a three-wheeler is compared to a quad to those who don’t know, but I’ll attempt it here. If you’ve seen those powered, specialty drift trikes you can buy now, you’ve got the idea…combine the best elements of a quad, but remove one wheel and learn to shift your weight to kick the ass end out and before you knew it you were a powersliding fool. I never had the Holy Grail, the Honda 250R two-stroker. I rode one, and it allowed me to see God before I was aware that I had only found part-throttle. Towards the end of the trike era, before the government stepped in, it was the master. But the 200X wasn’t far behind…a solid thumper of a four-stroke, it was just as capable and plenty of fun that would leave most anyone else digging for your life insurance policy. Take a look back on the trike here:

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8 thoughts on “Too Fun, Must Be Outlawed: A Look Back At The Honda ATC200X Three-Wheeler

  1. Jason

    I had two of these and one 350x. The bike truly was as fast as they said and there wasn’t much I couldn’t beat. I miss the 80’s! I put a set of flat track tires on one of them and it was even quicker.

  2. jerry z

    I bruised my ankles so many times on those 3 wheelers it wasn’t funny. The sad part is I never owned one, just riding a friend’s Honda and after the third time hurting my ankle, I gave up them. I stuck with my dirt bike.

  3. loufermi223

    woo-hoo they were fun. I had a 200x, and likewise could use a whole tank of fuel just hanging over way out there and sliding forever. I had about a 30 yard gravel driveway that then rounded a corner and opened up into a huge gravel lot, powersliding that thing for like 45 seconds straight. fun fun fun. A friend had the 250R, that was a little too much for my skill set.

    1. Jason

      Nothing like the lean to pitch the back-end into a drift ALL day long. Back then we don’t call it a drift, it was a fish tail with the object to kick as much sand up as you could!

      The funny thing, I was that kid and about 4 of my other friends that used to be forced watch school provide infomercials on dangers of three wheelers, I was probably in 6th or 7th grade, it was hilarious. We would heckle the teacher and bring in our monthly subscription of 3 & 4 Wheel Action to show him how awesome those bikes were.

      My buddy had the fat tire Kawasaki Tecate 250, and it was a beast.

  4. robert

    Heck ya! I had a 350X and I used to ride that thing all over the desert and in the sand dunes. When I got rid of that I got a LT500 Suzuki and thing was also a fun beast.

  5. Brian Davis

    That\’s awesome! I still have my Honda 125 that I got about 30yrs ago. It\’s not Big Red, but it\’s pretty quick… lotsa fun! thanks.

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