Thriving off of a long tradition of excellence and a reputation for extraordinary accomplishments, Honda has hit the dirt yet again with another innovative ATV. But the question is, How is Honda doing these days? More importantly, how has red done with its newest release, the TRX700XX? And that's what we're here to find out. After much anticipation, Honda has finally unveiled the latest in open-class technology. The company calls it the TRX700XX, but maybe Honda should've added another X to the name. The reason: This new ATV is fairly large and weighs in at a monstrous 505 pounds. The only sport quad (if you want to call it that) that we can think of that claims a heftier poundage is the Kawasaki KFX700 that lists a scale-tipping weight of 516 pounds.
Unfortunately, we only had the opportunity to spend four to five hours testing, riding and snapping great photos of the new XX, so we hope that you'll understand that this isn't a full-blown evaluation or even the final say. Fortunately, we were able to grab a handful of throttle, click through some gears and get a feel for what this new beast is all about. Honda took us to California's Dumont sand dunes, which are in fact a great place to ride, but we concluded that this location might not have been the best choice to show off the abilities of the new 700XX. We felt that the 700XX might be better suited for the extreme rocky desert surrounding Dumont rather than in the soft, powdery power-robbing sand. We ended up spending the majority of our time evaluating it in the surrounding desert areas.
Honda's all-new TRX700XX is...
Honda's all-new TRX700XX is unique with the combination of a 686cc motor, a fully independent rear suspension system and reverse gear.
This quad was engineered from the ground up to be what it is, a competitor in the world of offroad recreation. Honda didn't stuff the venerable XR650 motor in a beefed-up 450 chassis and create an open-class racer (although we think it should have). In fact, this motor package borrows very little from the XR650 motor, basically just the top end. The motor was engineered for Honda's new independent rear suspension (IRS) chassis. What Honda did was add a shaft into the gearbox to allow movement of the countershaft more to the center of the motor. The reason for doing this with the countershaft sprocket close to the centerline of the engine, is the frame could be narrower at the back, allowing for longer A-arms and rear axles. The longer A-arms give higher-quality travel and the longer axles give less severe angle on the CV joints.
The new TRX700XX houses a 686cc single overhead cam, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, dry-sump engine and a five-speed gearbox with reverse. The bore and stroke of this new powerplant is 102mm by 84mm. Fuel is fed to the motor by a Keihin PGM-FI with a 44mm throttle body fuel-injection system. Fresh air is delivered to the throttle body via Honda's industry-leading airboxes and air filter systems.
Excited to ship out and get some ride time in, we hit the trails with a fierce amount of speed. Right off the bat, we felt that the horsepower output on this new 700 felt a bit on the soft side. It's billed as the most powerful ATV in its class, but it certainly didn't seem that way to us. It may well be, but with the added weight and drag of the independent system, it's certainly not the fastest! We're confident that the Raptor 700 is going to cover it pretty easily in a drag, and the Raptor isn't the fastest quad in this class, either. The XX has good torque, but it won't knock your socks off. We're most confident that, like the 450R, Honda intends to drop an HRC kit on the market to give it the added oomph that it's lacking. And we feel that this would be a much-needed modification for this motor. We found that in the sand you really had to run the rpm up in third to pull fourth gear going up any kind of grade. The power was smooth, and the throttle response was crisp and quick due to the new electronic fuel injection (EFI) system. Bottom line, we weren't left in awe as we thought we would've been with this motor, but it does the job.