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History of the BIG RED

1982 Honda ATC200E Big Red

In 1982 Honda introduced the model 200E Big Red model. This landmark model was the first ATC designed specifically for utility. The Big Red featured a 192cc 4-stroke motor with electric-start, standard front and rear cargo racks, telescopic-fork front suspension, a storage box, and a dual-range five-speed semiautomatic transmission. The Big Red was chain driven like many previous ATC models. A new sealed rear drum brake survived the muddy fields and water crossings.  The ability to go anywhere on terrain that most other vehicles could not cross soon made them popular with US and Canadian hunters, and those just looking for a good trail ride. Soon other manufacturers introduced their own models. Sales on utility machines skyrocketed. The “E” stands for electric start.

1983 Honda ATC200E Big Red

The 1983 model was basically the same as the 1982 except for some different decals. One notable addition was a 12 Volt 5 Watt auxiliary power port that was added also the front axle support on the fork tubes was changed to a more robust design. 

1984 Honda ATC200ES Big Red

Big Red matures in 1984 with the addition of Reverse gear, a virtually maintenance-free shaft drive, and a 700-pound towing capacity. The “ES” stands for electric start and shaft drive.

1985 Big Red (ATC250ES)

This was the first year the Big Red had rear suspension. The engine displacement increased to 250CC and the sub-transmission (low range) was eliminated. The rear fenders were designed to be flipped up for easier maintenance as compared to earlier models. The headlight is designed to be removed for use as a spotlight/worklight.

1986 Big Red (ATC250ES)

Basically the same as the 1985 model with new decals. Differences on the console – the dash lights had stickers on them indicating neutral and reverse. The swingarm and rear brakes were redesigned. A helmet hook on the upper left hand fork was also included. The seat cover went from black to grey.

1987 Big Red (ATC250ES)

Basically the same as the 1986 model with new decals.

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