The Honda ATC250R was the hottest 3-wheeler of the 1980s, with a 2-stroke screamer of a motor, manual clutch, and air-assisted suspension. The machine was designed for ATV racing, and has come to represent all that was so thrilling and dangerous in the three-wheeling glory days of the 80s, before the Consumer Product Safety Commission put a stop to production after thousands of accidents and legal cases. The wide-haunched rear tires, big as balloons, and stubby front end of the ATC250R is nothing short of iconic, and ATV enthusiasts now whisper of barn finds and ’87 models whose frames were not cut to prevent sale.
Enter BJ English of Brick House Builds LLC, who decided to build…
“…a bike that Honda Racing would have built if they wanted a street version of a wild 250R.”
His platform was another strange child of the 1980s, the Honda CX500. Aka the “plastic maggot,” the CX offered a V-twin mounted in the Moto Guzzi fashion, flanked by a shaft drive and fronted by a stubby, short-rake front end. The CX500 has become a favorite of custom builders in recent years, but we have yet to see anything even close to Brick House Builds’s nostalgic build, nicknamed the CX500R.
Below, we get the full story from BJ English on the build.
Brick House Builds LLC CX500R: In the Builder’s Words
This bike is inspired by the infamous Honda ATC 250R three-wheelers of the 80’s that made a name for themselves wherever they went. Those machines were loud in style and high in performance so I tried to build a bike that Honda Racing would have built if they wanted a street version of a wild 250R.
Starting with a 79C model I chopped the rear off to do a monoshock using a 650R Kawi schock setup and then began to fab the layout of the bike like the seat mount, tank position, and headlight design. I used a Honda XR650 dirtbike headlight assembly for the square look while keeping the width down. The fender is from a Honda dirtbike for the correct looks as well.
Exhaust is a MAC header that I cut and welded into the position you see here. Sounds simply amazing. The bike is piloted through a set of renthal bars and simple controls for a no-BS approach.
Final detail include a set of CR500R tank graphics to tie in the theme as well as some bright red paint the way Honda would have done it. Gold wheels, bars, and fuel cap contrast the blue vinyl seat, fork boots, and graphics throughout for the authentic color combo found on the original ATC 250R bikes.
This machine is about 50 pounds lighter than stock, has modern suspension, and is extremely nimble. It gets ridden hard.
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CX500 Street Tracker: More Photos
Below are some non-professional shots of the bike, which show some different angles.