Racing on a Budget
Project Budget Racer Part II
April 19, 2013
By Jason Zittel
Quite some time ago, as in about 15 years ago, ATV Scene's John Pellan wrote an article on how to purchase a race-worthy quad for far less money than you might think necessary. The feature demonstrated how to find deals on good used components, even if the major component wasn't intended for four wheels at all. John used the engine and a few other parts from an out-of-commision ATC250R to power his FourTrax. It was a very informative feature that helped many people see that you didn't have to be rich to race a quad.
Yes, a lot has changed over the years, I certainly haven't heard of anyone using ATC parts to power their four-wheeler, that's for sure, nonetheless I feel it's still possible to put together an affordable modern-day race-worthy machine for far less money than you might think.
John's Project Budget Racer inspired me and I feel I can do the same for someone else with this one. Granted at the time I read the article I was only 13 years old, but I was transitioning from a Blaster to a 250R. At that time it was hard to even find a stock 250R for under $6,000. Honda didn't make them, yet just about every racer had one. By the time you modified one to where you could race at any level, you were looking at about a $10,000 project, and in the late 90’s and early 2000’s many national riders were spending double that for the ultimate pro-level machine.
Here we are in 2012, prices have skyrocketed, however, thanks to an extremely unstable economy, ATV resale values have plummeted. So my goal for this project was to build a motocross ATV that, in fact can be raced competitively at the National A/B level for well under $10k. There are many options when it comes to racing on a budget these days, mine is just one way that this can be done.
The first thing I knew I needed to do was find an ATV that would be easily modified, reliable and have top of the line parts readaly available. Anyone that has years of experience in ATV racing, like I do, will agree with my easy choice, a Honda TRX450R. Yep, that's the obvious choice for this build without a doubt.
I happened to come across a low-hour 2005 TRX that was completely stock with the only modification being an HRC engine kit, (which includes a cam shaft, jet kit, air filter and air box lid). It was perfect for my intentions. I purchased the 2005 TRX for $2500 from a guy that was moving to a newer race quad. As I said earlier the used quad market is very affordable. It's definitely a buyer's market, so I'm confident you can find an impressive deal just like I did.