Honda TRX700XX Mods

Features, Project Quads, Sport ATV — on February 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

2018629_LeadTRX700XXIt was early summer of 2008 when we completed the “Big 5” open-class shootout with five of the ATV industries top big-bore sport quads. Among them was the 700XX which boasted the highest top speed, although it took every foot of our drag strip to get there. However, the 700XX didn’t do so well in the twists and turns. We had to learn to drive it through the corners rather than sliding it. But looking back, perhaps the off-road track we used, which combined motocross-style turns and jumps with desert trails, wasn’t the typical venue this machine was designed for. The 700XX is an off-road sport cruiser, plain and simple.

Since that shootout, I’ve taken the 700XX for a 200+ mile day-long excursion through Mexico, raced it on a 100-mile desert course in Arizona, and blazed numerous open desert trails aboard it. I can now say that my favorite feature about this machine is it exudes comfort. The seating position is perfect and my kidneys love the IRS. Even after a 200-mile trail ride, stiff muscles and soreness were unremarkable. And in a straight line, no stock sport quad sucks up rugged terrain and whoop-de-doos better than this Honda. Needless to say, it’s growing on me. As I spent more and more time on the IRS Honda, I couldn’t wait to make it even better with a few new aftermarket products. I began to collect parts for our 700XX project. For the first stage of this build-up, we turned to FMF, UNI Filter and Pro Armor.

2018629_FMFFactory4.1exhaustFMF FACTORY 4.1 COMPLETE EXHAUST SYSTEM – $680
The 700XX is deceptively fast. With a top speed of 75 mph, it is one of the fastest stock sport machines available, but the smooth ride of the independent rear suspension seems to tame some of that grunt. It actually has massive amounts of torque down low and very healthy mid-range power, but then it begins to sign off after that and takes more time to hit top speed than some of the competative big-bore sport machines. It’s not that the mammoth 686cc engine lacks the power; it just has a very heavy and restricted stock exhaust system.

FMF’s Factory 4.1 complete exhaust system answers this problem by opening up the pipe diameter approximately ¼-inch over stock from the engine exhaust port to the silencer. The header is made of stainless steel. From there, exhaust flows through a lightweight and high-strength titanium muffler, which is far less restrictive than the stock system. The silencer can be had in natural titanium color, or anodized blue, for the same price. If that price is a little over your budget, a Factory 4.1 Slip-on Muffler is also available for $400. The slip-on version utilizes a “reducer” to adapt the larger muffler opening to the smaller stock exhaust header.

Full system installation is literally a 15-minute job, with little more needed than a basic set of metric wrenches, sockets and some high-temp silicone to assure there are no exhaust leaks. Detailed installation instructions are included and even provide information on how to repack the silencer to keep noise down and performance at peak levels.

I enlisted professional off-road racer and ATV Sport test rider Justin Zembo to help me complete the FMF ride test portion of this review. Justin spent plenty of time on the completely stock 700XX during our open-class shootout, and has logged several hours aboard it since then. After a 30-mile lap around a local desert-racing course near Wickenburg, Ariz., Zembo said, “There is a lot more snap at the bottom of the power range, especially just off idle. The throttle is much more responsive now. Acceleration was good before, but now it pulls even harder, and it continues to pull right up until you hit the rev limiter. It doesn’t just sign off at mid-throttle. The upper revs are much more noticeable as you approach the top of each gear.”

Used by factory teams such as KTM, Epic Can-Am and Rath Racing, we should mention that FMF Factory 4.1 exhaust system is meant for competition use, and is excessively loud in the upper revs. It’s definitely over the 96dB stationary test level that is considered acceptable for many public-riding areas. If your riding includes sharing trails with non-motorized users, riding near homes or anywhere that higher sound levels might seem offensive to others, then we insist that you purchase the optional Spark Arrested Quiet Core Insert ($40). It’s easily removed when not needed, and the 700XX EFI system will automatically compensate for any change in exhaust flow. Another option would be FMF’s Q4 Spark Arrested muffler. Both the Quiet Core Insert and Q4 Muffler keep sound well below acceptable levels, while still providing plenty of additional torque and power.

2018629_UNIfoamairfillerUNI TWO-STAGE AIR FILTER – $33
Having personally tested these in the numerous knee-deep silt beds of the Baja 500 and Baja 1000, I can tell you that nothing keeps your engine cleaner than a properly oiled UNI two-stage filter. The outer foam element is more porous and keeps larger dirt particles from penetrating it, while allowing for maximum airflow. Beneath it, a much denser second stage foam element protects the engine from sand and silt contamination. When properly oiled, UNI foam filters will starve the engine of air before they let dirt pass through them.

For the 700XX, the UNI filter includes a far less air-restrictive internal metal/plastic sleeve than the solid steel Honda sleeve. Honda meant for its design to provide additional protection and to prevent the foam from igniting through a possible intake backfire. I can’t remember any stories of air filters catching fire, but if they did, it was more likely caused by improper jetting on a carbureted ATV or an electrical issue.
UNI also manufactures its own foam filter cleaner and foam filter oil. The cleaner easily removes dirt and oil from soiled filters without damaging the foam or adhesive. The cleaner and oil can be purchased separately, or together in a service kit.

2018629_PROARMOR1PRO ARMOR Pro XC BUMPER – $130 (Black $135)
The stock Honda bumper might best be described as lightweight and adequate. Honda calls it a “tough, polyethylene push bar,” but it’s small and doesn’t protect anything beyond the nose of the frame. And if you look closely at the removed stock bumper, it looks just like Batman’s head. Actually, the entire front grill looks like it was swiped from Michael Keaton’s Bat Mobile. I’m not saying it’s ugly, but I prefer a sporty look over the dramatic.

Pro Armor’s brushed aluminum Pro XC Bumper gives the 700XX tougher appearance, and even hides some of that Hollywood glitz. Better yet, it’s much more functional! Protection now extends to the front suspension, the shocks and the radiator. Eight air passages also allow for proper air flow to the radiator, without sacrificing durability.

This bumper also doubles as a front grab bar. The top of the bumper provides anatomically correct hand holds that will allow you to lift the front end up on to your trailer, or out of that mud hole you just got stuck in, with both hands. At more than 500 pounds, this sport quad is a heavy beast, so you’ll need all the help you can get.

Installation is simple, and all of the holes lined up perfectly with the stock mounting holes on the 700XX. However, our test unit did not come with the three bolts required for installation (the stock spacer bolts will not work). Three grade-8 3/4-inch-long bolts will have it installed in less than 2 minutes.

WHAT’S NEXT?
Tires and wheels! The 700XX is the first ATV to come with 11-inch rear wheels, and the aftermarket is already responding with wheel and tire packages specific to this model. Watch for a full review of some of the latest sand and mud slinging offerings for the 700XX in a future issue of ATV Sport.

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    1 Comment

  • Clint says:

    I think Honda and all the other manufactures should start making 3 wheelers again. I had 4 of them when I was younger 16 and I never had a problem tiping over or for that matter I never had an accident. I wish I still had my 1985 Honda 200X and my 250 Bigred. I would also Love to get my hands on a 350X. the Last year of the 200X was 1987 it also had a key

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