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What are the Best Honda Odyssey Go-Karts?

Honda produced the Odyssey ATV from 1976 to 1985, not to be confused with the Odyssey Van. As three-wheeled ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) gained popularity, Honda advanced their line of leisure vehicles by introducing one of the few four-wheel ATVs or dune buggies to be mass-produced.

The Odyssey was a special type of ATV. It was a hybrid of a go-kart and a tiny dune buggy, with sand-friendly high flotation knobby tires. Roll bars and seat belts were included with the single seat. Its brakes were cable-operated, like motorcycles. The Odyssey had lights fitted on the front and back, despite not being a street-legal vehicle.

The Honda Odyssey ATV defied convention by being the first mass-produced four-wheeled dune buggy ever created at a period when three-wheelers were popular.

Honda significantly improved the appeal and enjoyment of leisure riding with the launch of the Honda Odyssey ATV. The company’s efforts were so sincere and clear that they were sufficient to cover up the four flaws, wheeler’s including transmission issues.

Before the Honda Pilot ATV, which many off-roaders deem the best single-seat buggy ever made, the Honda Odyssey ATV is a line of all-terrain vehicles made to travel into the dunes. It should not be confused with the Odyssey vans made in the previous 20 years. The Honda 44 ATVs were produced from 1977 to 1985.

Continue reading to see why the Odyssey ended up being more than simply a dune buggy for the riding community and why it continues to be so cherished today.

First generation FL250 (1977 – 1980)

The Odyssey had two classifications, a 250-cc and a 350-cc displacement, and three generations. The first model Odyssey FL250, which was built between 1977 and 1980, may be identified by its yellow body, black roll bar, and lack of a front bumper. The headlamp was relocated to the top of the roll bar in the 1980 model. Riders viewed this ATV as being weak since its absence of a rear suspension caused frame cracks and poor handling on rocky terrain.

In 1980, the 6-volt system was replaced with a 12-volt system, and the headlight was relocated from the front rack to the top of the roll bar. The extras were available: a rear tote rack, chevron-patterned tires, and a trailer hitch.

Second generation FL250 (1981 – 1984)

The Honda Odyssey of the second generation debuted in 1981. Honda updated the Odyssey’s appearance even though the vehicle’s basic components were unchanged from the first version.

Before releasing the Odyssey to the public in 1981, Honda made modifications to the second generation to solve the shortcomings of the original model. These modifications comprised: Improvements to the shoulder harness padding and the belt converter’s water resistance, a 60-watt headlight installed on a roll bar, a bigger fuel tank, a capacitor ignition using electronics, a smaller turning circle, a complete roll cage, a revised steering geometry that permitted more substantial front shocks. Additionally, the body’s color changed from yellow-black to Honda’s distinguishing red.

FL350R (1985)

The FL350R was supposed to debut in spring 1984, but it wasn’t until early 1985. Honda increased the two-stroke engine’s displacement to 342 ccs (20.9 cu in), which was then reduced in size as part of a recall to 329 ccs (20.1 cu in). The engine had 6.7:1 compression, capacitor discharge ignition, a 32 mm (1.26 in)-throat Keihin carburetor, and additional electric starting. It was positioned behind the driver.

The track was expanded in 1985 to 42.5 in (1,080 mm) front and 47.2 in (1,200 mm) rear to increase stability. Front-wheel travel is 4.3 in. (110 mm), while rear-wheel travel is 5.9 in. (150 mm). In addition, single hydraulic disc brakes at the back were installed in place of the mechanical disc brakes.

A variable-pitch torque converter transmission with one forward and one reverse speed served as the transmission. The fuel tank held 3.1 US gallons (12 l) of fuel, plus a reserve of.7 US gallons (2.6 l). The FL400 Pilot took the place of the FL350 in 1989.

A robust roll cage, a triangle headlight positioned on the roll bar, a high-mounted air intake, a padded bucket seat with a competition-style safety belt, and independent four-wheel suspension are some of its other standout characteristics (changed from the rectangular ones on older models).

The FL350R’s rear suspension was installed in 1985 to increase the quad’s stability because the Honda Odyssey ATV’s first two iterations were prone to tipping over. The outdated mechanical drum brakes were replaced with hydraulic disc brakes on the front and rear wheels. For the 1985 model, fuel capacity also increased.

Differences Between FL250 and FL350

All three models upheld Honda’s illustrious history of building enduring machinery. They may have occasionally had certain shortcomings. But with the advancements made to the quad over its 8-year lifespan, the Japanese manufacturer addressed all these issues. These improvements eventually resulted in the 1989 release of the acclaimed Honda Pilot ATV.

The engine components of the Honda Odyssey FL250 and FL350 differ relatively little from one another. The cylinder configuration saw a few minor changes, and the carburetor’s size went up from 28 to 32 millimeters.

Power is delivered by a three-speed transmission for both Odyssey versions. The primary distinction is that the Honda Odyssey FL350R’s transmission had reverse, a first for UTVs in the 1980s.

The Honda Odyssey ATV’s first two models were built without a CDI ignition. In addition, models introduced in Canada had a different lighting voltage than those sold elsewhere. Later, when the Odyssey FL350R debuted in 1985, it became standardized.

Along with modifications to the rear suspension, the Honda 44 ATV’s width and ground clearance were raised to improve stability. The buggy’s dry weight increased significantly as a result, rising from 407 to 602 pounds. For corners, the turning radius was made smaller. The rest of the changes were few.

Long Travel Suspension

Because the Honda Odyssey ATV is a great base vehicle for experimenting, many owners enjoy rebuilding and upgrading their vehicles. These include suspension modifications ranging from minor spacer lifts to crazy pre-runner style modifications that make your four-wheeler essentially unrecognizable.

The middle of these improvements, long trip suspension, is a favorite among dune buggy owners. Some enthusiasts specifically search down Odyssey ATVs so they may modify the suspension.

Long travel suspension enhances your car’s vertical travel and track width, making it ideal for sand-dune races and dirt mile excursions. Your suspension system will become much more capable with this update, and you’ll feel more confident tackling a variety of terrain.

The trade-off is that your suspension will require more upkeep, sharper senses to detect problems, and better concentration on the road to keep things under control.

Additionally, this suspension improvement necessitates larger axles, and custom axles are difficult to get in shops and through parts distributors. Off-road vehicle-specific shops are quite uncommon because most mechanics avoid working on modified or non-manufacturer-specified systems.

Take Away

Both the FL250 and FL350R have garnered a devoted following – thanks to their lightweight construction, solid girder-type chassis, and retro-style roll bars – three and a half decades after its last manufacturing run, there is still great demand for the Honda Odyssey ATV.

The line’s floppy tires, skeletal space frame, and exhilarating, unsteady riding experience are what riders adore most, not these outward aspects. This timeless vehicle ensures you’ll have a blast whether it’s stock or modified.