Significant Changes for Honda’s TRX250EX


The 250EX looks took a leap into the 21st century with styling taken from the TRX450R. Its more fun to ride than ever with the looks to match.

Changes, updates, and technical stuff
The TRX250EX returns for 2006 with a few significant changes. First off the 250EX received the same styling as the 450R. While we don’t usually look at styling changes as significant, the looks of this machine took a 20 year leap, so we’re giving the cosmetic changes a big thumbs up.

While the motor remains almost completely unchanged, Honda did add a manual clutch to the 250’s power plant. No, the centrifugal clutch is not gone, instead Honda left the centrifugal clutch and added their manual clutch, or SportClutch as they call it, as an override option. Mounted on the left side handlebar just as you would expect, the manual clutch gives the rider who has gained experience the ability to slip the clutch out of corners and gives the ability to drop the clutch for quicker takeoffs. In addition, the reverse system has been changed. The new lever style engagement system is located on the right front finder. Engaging reverse is still accomplished by shifting the machine into neutral, then by pushing the new lever forward, and then dropping the shifter one more notch into reverse.

In the chassis/suspension department Honda slightly increased the diameter of the shocks for more strength and rigidity. The front shocks diameter grew from (25mm to 27mm) while the rear shocks diameter was increased from (30mm to 32mm). Suspension travel remains the same for 2006 with 5.9 inches in the front and 5.7 inches in the rear. Out back, the 250’s shock is now nitrogen charged for better cooling and more consistent damping over long rides.

Clutch it and go, or just go. While the 250EX still retains its easy to ride centrifugal clutch setup. The lever on the left handlebar operates Honda’s new SportClutch, manual clutch setup. The SportClutch makes motocross style starts and clutching out of corners possible after you have mastered the basics of riding.


While suspension travel remains the same for 06, the diameter of the 250EX front shocks was increased from 25mm to 27mm up front and from 30mm to 32mm in the rear for more strength and rigidity.

Ride Time
The 250EX is perhaps one of the greatest beginner level sport machines of all time. It has the magic balance of power handling and suspension to allow beginners to hone their skills without getting themselves into trouble. The motor works best from idle throughout the upper midrange. Yes it revs out well, but the power is centered lower in the RPMs where beginners will make the most of it.

Hondas new SportClutch, (manual clutch override) is genius. Total beginners can hop on this thing and work on the basics of shifting with their left foot, completely ignoring the clutch lever mounted on the left handlebar. As rider skills increase, the SportClutch gives the rider the freedom and control to use the manual clutch for shifting under power, powering out of corners and for those motocross style starts. This is a machine that can be enjoyed by all the members of the family large enough to ride it. While the CPSC recommends machines of this size for riders 16 years and older, we have seen many 13 year olds physically large enough to control it.

While we played with the 250EX on Washougal’s motocross track, it is most at home on the trail. The power delivery and gearbox work flawlessly together. Gearing on the five speed transmission is spot on for any riding situation you can imagine. First and second gear are low enough for some relatively steep climbs and there is enough speed lurking in fifth for some moderately paced fire roading.

The 250 has some of the best suspension in its class. The 250EX suspension is at home on the trail, but it is still a capable leaper as long as you keep it within a few feet of the ground.

ImageThe 250EX is equipped with dual hydraulic disc brakes up front and a sealed drum unit in the rear. There’s plenty of stopping power for any trail situation.The reverse is easy to operate, although it’s a bit hidden in the machine’s bodywork. Shift the machine into neutral, push the lever forward and depress the shifter with your left foot. The machine easily drops into reverse. Shifting out of reverse is as easy as pulling up on the shifter one notch. Don’t worry, once you do it once or twice you’ll have it down.

Handling on the 250EX is a perfect match for the motor. Steering is precise, but not so fast that beginners will be overwhelmed. The machine is confidence inspiring on both climbs and descents and is surprisingly stable in corners. No, its not motocross stable, it’s a solid feeling nimble little tree dodger.

Suspension works well unless you push it too hard. While it soaked up most of the small jumps we put it through, Cody’s massive 150lbs managed to bottom it hard once unexpectedly. As long as you ride within the limits of the suspension, it’s plush and predictable. While it can handle several feet of air, once you go past the limits you will be reminded with a harsh metal on metal clunk. Keep it on the trail or don’t fly too far off of the jumps and you’ll be happy. Beginners will love the plush ride.

Honda has made a great beginner quad even better. While we are used to riding race quads, we can’t help but want one in our garage. It’s the perfect quad for those gaining experience, and its fun factor is undeniable for even experienced riders. With the versatility of Hondas new SportClutch, new reverse system, and minor suspension upgrades, the 250EX returns as a winner for 2006.

The SportClutch manual clutch on the 250EX allows the pilot to take his riding to the next level of speed and aggression. Check out Cody Smith after dropping the clutch in the deep silt on Washougal’s GP track.

The 250EX power and gearing is versatile enough for anything from relatively steep climbs and moderately paced fire roading. The 250 starts pulling low in the RPM range and keeps on pulling until the upper midrange. It can rev, but things don’t happen as

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