Wiseco products are not only made for racers, they're made by racers. Steve Toutant is a member of the Wiseco Team with a passion for dirt track ATV racing. Recently, he built a one-of-a-kind 1988 TRX250R. Here, we'll take a dive into everything that went into this stroked, big-bore two-stroke beast.
Wiseco was started by a family of racers and riders who not only wanted to build quality performance parts, but lived and breathed the lifestyle. After 76 years in operation, the amount of dedicated Wiseco team members that share a passion for powersports has only grown. Steve Toutant—15 year Wiseco veteran—is one of those people.
While Steve has always had a passion for riding and racing ATVs, he unfortunately had to take a 17-year hiatus, simply because life happens, and sometimes it happens a lot.
After claiming victory in a battle with cancer in 2015, Steve knew he needed to revisit his passion for ATV racing to feel at home again. After a quick word with his wife, he began the hunt for the machine he knew like the back of his hand.
Only two days went by before Steve found a 1988 Honda TRX250R—not running, of course—for only $1,200. Within a matter of days, Steve got the TRX home, stripped it down to the frame, and sent it off for sand-blasting.
Here, we’ll take a dive into the complete overhaul of this purpose-built TT TRX.
The frame showed its aged with typical wear issues and stress from being around since 1988. Before having the frame powder coated, Steve had Bud Fisher of Fisher Racing work his magic to bring the frame back to like-new, structural condition.
While that was being worked on, Steve began selling usable parts he took off the machine and stashing that money into his piggy bank marked “TT-TRX Fund.” In fact, the only parts he actually reused from the initial purchase were the frame, gas tank, nerf bars, and seat pan; that doesn’t leave a whole-lot of ATV left to work with. But, Steve had a vision of how he wanted his final product to look, and this is what it took.
With the frame ready for assembly and many new parts showing up on the doorstep, the first task Steve tackled was handling.
The front end of the TRX received a set of Burgard +2 +1 A-arms guided by custom-valved TCS shocks, which have been freshened up by Blommel Motorsports for 2018. Following the A-arms, Steve initially used spindles, hubs and brakes off a 2005 TRX450R, but has now restored the spindles and brakes to freshened up 1988 TRX250R parts, and has added LSR Micro Lite hubs.
In the controls department, Steve decided to go with a Laeger stock-height steering stem, Mika Metals bar mounts, CR woods bend bars, and a fresh set of ODI grips.
Moving to the rear suspension, Steve went with a -2 Laeger swingarm, a Durablue +2 / +2 axle, and a rebuilt TCS shock to complement the front. The rear brakes were upgraded to a PRP Antifade and 450R setup. To get her rolling, Steve bolted on a set of DWT A5 wheels wrapped in Maxxis Orange TT tires.
When it comes to the power plant, the engine that came in the TRX was a ported 250 that was “blown to bits,” according to Steve. When you’re doing a frame-up rebuild, you might as well do it right, so the former 250R originally got plans to be fitted with a 363cc setup, which is what Steve ran for the 2017 season. The ported 363 came from BHP, and utilized a new, welded +4 stroker crank. The new crank played host to a Wiseco forged piston with custom-coated rings, tasked with the job of sealing compression for the big-bore, stroker two-stroke. This build setup treated Steve well during the 2017 race season. However, when the 2018 season was approaching, he felt he needed to step it up even more.
We asked Steve what changed on his engine package for 2018:
“I teamed up with Arlan Lehman of LED Performance, a big name in the 2-stroke game. Arlan built a 390cc top end for TT that was aimed to have usable power throughout the RPM range. Of course, a Wiseco piston was added to the new build. The bottom end also received fresh Wiseco main bearings and another fresh clutch utilizing the famous “Neil Mod" from Neil Pritchard of C-Leigh Racing. The motor needed more air, so an LED Performance intake was added to support the 39mm PWK feeding the 390cc 2 stroke. The exhaust is also taken care of by an LED Performance 350G pipe and silencer combo. The ignition uses a 2001 CR250R setup, making for super-fast revs.”
To get that power to the wheels, Steve went with an LED billet transmission complemented by a Wiseco forged clutch basket, Wiseco fibers, and OEM steel plates, all housed in ESR cases. He even added a quick-change clutch cover for ease of maintenance at the races.
Find Wiseco components for your machine here.
The engine wasn’t the only area that got some additional attention for 2018. Daryl Rath of Rath Racing built a set of Monster Peg nerf bars, a front bumper, and a sway bar for the TT.
The TRX also received a custom seat cover from Fourwerx to complement the new look with the green Maier plastic, which were fitted with new graphics done by Spider Graphix.
Steve turned to ProX Racing Parts for all-new, OEM-quality brake pads, cables, and a chain for 2018.
Steve currently races the quad in the New East Extreme Dirt Track series, and is very involved in supporting other Wiseco riders while he’s there. Wiseco is proud to have Steve as part of the team and part of the Wiseco family.
Find out more about the NEEDT race series here.