You can't keep a good bike down! Honda, Kawasaki,
and Yamaha treated us to their best ever efforts
in '86 with top-of-the-line three-wheelers.
Our Great White North connection, racer Gerald
Audette from Saskatchewan, puts the 250R through
the sand bowl paces. Rave reviews about the
handling and feel of the Honda were heard
from all of the riders who threw a leg over
Smooth-sailin' air time on the Tri-Z was helped
by an increase in suspension travel over last
Handling on the Tecate was described as "racer
tight." In orther words, the Kawasaki preferred
either a full-on slide or a straight-line shot,
with nothing in between.
ON THE WILD SIDE
Our crack crew of 3&4 Wheel Action
testers burned in a good couple days
of riding, taking turns on each machine
in varying terrain. While toweling off
at the end of the final session, each
rider gave input on the motor, gearing,
transmission, comfort, cornering ability,
jumps, suspension, and an overall rating
as either a recreational or racing machine.
The undisputed king of horsepower; the
Kawasaki Tecate, held its crown for
'86 and benefited from the numerous
engine improvements that were made.
We noticed both a significant boost
in the midrange over last year's model
and in Kawie's
always-explosive top end. The bottom
end of the Tecate still suffers and
tends to bog. There was no indication
of stalling when climbing nasty hills.
Most of the test crew found a problem
with power-shifting the Tecate. Full-power
shifts were out of the question.
All agreed that the Yamaha had the mellowest
motor of the three, and that the power
output was smooth and tractable and
one of the easiest powerbands to control.
The gearbox was better than the other
two and would shift anytime, under any
amount of power.
As for the Honda, though we agreed it
wasn't the fastest, many felt that the
motor was the best overall. Described
as being hard-hitting in all segments
of the power-band, the Honda's motor
was controllable and powerful. We also
felt that the 250R had the best gear
Basically, riders of all sizes felt
comfortable on the Tecate. We got several
snivels regarding excessive engine vibration,
wide gas tank, and a front brake lever
which is hard to reach. The rear fenders
still seem to get in the way in some
riding situations, and they rub when
cornering. Testers did notice the extra
room afforded by the longer wheelbase
on the Tri-Z. The Yamaha was not plagued
by any engine vibration, and the extra-tall
safety seat resulted in a very comfortable
Honda's comfort rating was described
as plush, but one of the larger riders
felt that for those over six foot one-inch,
it might be a bit cramped.