• This 1989 Honda Pilot FL400R is a throwback off-roader with racy bodywork, a roll cage, and a solitary-seat configuration.
• It attributes a two-stroke 397-cc one-cylinder engine, a yoke-style steering wheel with hand controls, and a entirely impartial suspension.
• It at the moment has a substantial bid of $4600 on the Provide a Trailer web-site, with the auction established to stop on Sunday, May possibly 29.
Back again in 1989, Tim Burton’s Batman was number a single at the U.S. box business and Glance Away by Chicago was the most preferred song in The us. It would be just about 20 yrs right up until the debut of the 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR (pronounced “razor”), which is greatly regarded as the first general performance-oriented side-by-side ATV. However, persons overlook that in the ’80s Honda was already developing badass single-seat, off-highway playthings. An fantastic example is this Pilot FL400R, at present up for auction on Provide a Trailer—which, like Car and Driver, is section of Hearst Autos.
What began with the primitive Odyssey FL250 in the late ’70s would morph into the additional innovative Pilot FL400R, which was built amongst 1989 and 1990. It featured a liquid-cooled, two-stroke 397cc one-cylinder motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) feeding the rear wheels. The entire matter is reported to have weighed about 593 pounds sans rider.
By present-day standards, the FL400R seems like a glorified go-kart, but the nicely preserved ’89 example that’s at the moment listed on Carry a Trailer has a substantial nostalgia variable and neat characteristics that make it our auction select of the working day.
Just before Honda slapped the Pilot nameplate on a mid-size crossover, the moniker appeared on a rad one-seat ATV. Known as the Pilot FL400R, it’s rated R for gratuitous use of pink paint on its tubular body and plastic bodywork. From the front bash bar and winged fenders to the tall roll cage and staggered established of gnarly tires, it truly is a device that seems to be like a large amount of fun or a great deal of approaches to get damage (mother and father would probably decide on the latter).
The Pilot’s Baja vibes go on with the brush guards on the headlights, the netting driving the driver’s seat, the snorkel air intake, and—most notably—the fully independent suspension. Together with double A-arms and coil-around shocks at every corner, the buggy’s rear dampers have remote-mounted reservoirs, a quite state-of-the-art set up for a individual ATV of the time.
Imagine Tesla was the first automaker to use a yoke-design and style steering wheel? Feel once again. A person of the hallmarks of Honda’s one-seat ATV is its steering yoke, which even predates the then popular Knight Rider Television set show. Even additional intriguing are the hand-operated controls. The hand levers activate the front drum brakes and the one rear disc brake. Its thumb-operated throttle will come to feel acquainted to ATV riders, even if putting on the steering wheel’s wrist straps feels uncomfortable. At least the 4-point harness is there to assist retain the driver strapped in if factors get topsy-turvy.
The Pilot’s other physical controls include an electric starter switch (a pull-start out option is there for backup), a hand brake that is best for drift obligation, and a shift lever with ahead, neutral, and reverse gears. In the party the CVT belt breaks, there is certainly a alternative belt saved in the cockpit.
In the Pilot FL400R’s heyday, hair bands ruled the airwaves and neon Spandex was in vogue. At that time, getting a 450-hp off-street pickup truck like the Ford F-150 Raptor from the manufacturing unit was unthinkable, let alone the 702-hp monstrosity that is the Ram 1500 TRX. The closest issue back again in 1989 would have perhaps been a V-8–swapped Jeep Wrangler, but even that appears to be like a Tonka toy as opposed to the comparatively nuclear 470-hp Wrangler Rubicon 392.
To greater respect how restricted the off-highway solutions were in individuals times, appear no further more than the Geo Tracker that completed second in our desert-themed comparison test. Place in that context, the Pilot was a pretty fascinating bundle. These days, it won’t be able to match the significant-traveling antics and lofty general performance restrictions of up to date side-by-sides. Even now, we might gladly park this pre–Cold War buggy in our garage alongside newer machines.
As of this producing, the bidding has achieved $4600. But we would not be surpised if the last offering cost is a few to 4 instances that a great deal when the auction finishes on Sunday, May well 29.
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