In the 1980s, onda was in an intriguing position. The Tokyo-based company’s first major successes in the American market were with the first-generation Accord and Civic, which are currently among the most popular automobiles in the United States (via Honda Global). However, these models were not the economic juggernauts they had become, and according to Hagerty, Honda’s fortunes were still dependent on the vast Asian market for light, inexpensive motorcycles.
In short, Honda had not yet resolved its fate in the American market by the mid-1980s. Experimentation was required. If there’s one thing we at SlashGear know for certain, it’s that when automobile engineering calls for experimentation, strange things begin to occur.
Honda was a brilliant example: it abandoned its reputation for safe, solid engineering, combined automobiles and motorcycles, and introduced the All Terrain Cycle, or ATC. Every ATC model was wild, but the performance-oriented ATC 250R and 250SX were exceptional. Honda ATCs can command hefty sums at auction despite the fact that they were immediately removed from the American market and are still regarded as some of the most deadly vehicles ever produced (via Silodrome).
The Most Dangerous Three-Wheeled Fun Money Can Buy
The Honda ATC and other three-wheeled ATVs were prohibited in the United States for a reason. Between 1983 and 1988, The New York Times documented 1,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries involving three-wheeled ATVs. According to Hemmings, Time Magazine reported in 1988 that the monthly rate of injuries was approximately 7,000. The vehicles had an unsightly tendency to flip over at the worst conceivable times, especially when riders were too light to provide counterweight; thus, it was especially difficult for children.
As usual with prohibited automobiles, though, scarcity caused prices to rise. The high-performance ATC 250R and 250SX are especially liked among motorheads with a nostalgic bent. Recently, a meticulously repaired 250R sold for $26,500 via Bring a Trailer. In Houston, a stock 250SX was able to fetch $6,600 via Classic.com. The Honda ATC’s notoriety for peril, coupled with the brand’s renowned dependability and lengthy service life, further adds to the allure for avid collectors. I hope they are wearing helmets.