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More bite for Honda quad

2007-09-25 08:38

Honda TRX420FM ATV

More power, greater refinement, enhanced user-friendliness and the ability to conquer challenging conditions. Meet Honda's all-new TRX420FM ATV.

Improvements over the previous TRX350FM, which is now effectively replaced by the TRX420FM, include a more powerful engine and commensurate gains in performance, an updated transmission and beefier clutch, a taller stance with enhanced ground clearance, improved ergonomics and rugged styling.

Compared to the previous TRX350FM, the newcomer features a larger, 420 cc four-stroke engine punching out 18,3 kW, while accompanying torque comes to 30,3 Nm.

A revised fuel injection system ensures smoother performance, regardless of altitude, and also improves cold-weather starting.

The new power unit drives all four wheels via a five-speed transmission equipped with an automatic centrifugal clutch. Switching between two and four-wheel drive has been simplified, with the TraxLok selector located within easy reach of the rider.

The upgraded braking system now employs dual front discs to boost stopping power. The rear brake is a sealed mechanical drum unit for ultimate reliability. A user-friendly parking brake is included.

The TRX420FM features Honda's proven independent front suspension with dual wishbones and a full 160 mm of travel for improved comfort and ride refinement. The rear set-up employs a single-damper swing arm, also with 160 mm of travel. Ground clearance has been upped to 165 mm.

To ease steering effort in the rough stuff, the new TRX420FM is fitted with a torque-sensitive front differential. The 3,3 meter turning radius improves maneuverability and agility.

The TRX420FM rides on large front and rear steel wheels, shod with wide off-road tyres.

Aesthetically, the TRX420FM looks the go-anywhere part, thanks to the new, flowing shape of the larger fenders, complete with integrated headlights in front, and built-in rear LED tail lights.

"The new TRX420FM improves on the outgoing model in every key area," says Graham Eagle, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Honda SA.

"With more power, improved comfort, enhanced agility and ruggedly handsome styling, this new ATV should please buyers in both the leisure and agricultural sectors."

Eagle warns that while the market is being inundated with cheap imports, quad bike customers should consider the long-term implications, where proven durability, reliability and service come into play.

Investing in the track record, service excellence and back-up capability of an established brand, and the peace-of-mind ownership that goes with it, easily outweighs any apparent short-term benefit derived from a lower purchase price," he added.

The TRX420FM is equipped with a brand new, single-cylinder 420 cc engine. The liquid-cooled, single-overhead camshaft unit is mounted longitudinally in the TRX frame.

This configuration allows direct driveshaft alignment to both the front and rear axles in the interests of drivetrain efficiency. Rubber engine mounts and a gear-driven counter-balancer reduce vibration.

The engine's OHC layout makes for compact engine dimensions that ensure good ground clearance. It also allows a broader, easy-to-use power band.

The four-stroke powerplant delivers a maximum power output of 18,3 kW at 6 000 r/min, while the torque peak of 30,3 Nm is reached at 5 500 r/min.

A highlight of the new engine is the Keihin programmed electronic fuel injection, which allows more efficient operation at all altitudes, crisper responses and improved starting in cold conditions. The ignition is fully transistorised, with fully electronic advance adjustment.

The power unit is linked to a robust, heavy-duty automatic clutch with a low engagement point to ensure excellent tractability, response and towing capability. A feature that is particularly important in workhorse roles.

The TRX420FM stands on large-diameter steel wheels front and rear. The fronts are 12 x AT 6 rims shod with AT 24 x 8-12 off-road tyres, while the rear 11 x AT 7.5 pressed steel wheels are fitted with AT 24 x 10-11 rubber.

The all-new braking system now consists of dual, hydraulically operated 185 mm front disc brakes for ample bite and superb stopping action. The rear brake employs a single, sealed drum with a powerful, progressive action.

The new Honda TRX420FM is equipped to meet its intended application in both the adventure and agricultural sectors.

Generous cargo racks front and rear are able to carry significant payloads of up to 30kg and 60kg respectively. There is also a heavy-duty trailer hitch with a towing capacity of 385 kg.

The new Honda has a large, lightweight plastic fuel tank with a 13,7 litre capacity to allow long-range operation between refuels. A snorkel-type air intake system ensures that the TRX420FM will cope with water crossings with ease.

"Our research showed that customers of the previous TRX350 wanted improved driving performance, in-gear starting capability, mechanical selection between two and four-wheel drive modes, and higher equipment levels - all at a price reflecting solid value," says John Laurence, Divisional Manager for Marketing at Honda SA.

"We believe that the new Honda TRX420FM not only emphatically meets these expectations, but exceeds them in most instances."

The Honda TRX420FM is on sale now at a recommended retail price of R51 450. The price includes a three-month warranty.

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