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This is an article I found, I thought it was fun to read. The big battle. The major clash. The final showdown. Call it what you will, the annual 250 three-wheeler shootout is one event that ATV riders won't want to miss. Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha laid their best on the line for this high-stakes main event that guarantees slam-bang action, revved-out motors and earth-shattering jumps. And that's just getting them out of the back of the pickup! This year's edition features the Yamaha Tri-Z, the Kawasaki Tecate, and Honda's ever-popular 250R - the meanest, fastest, baddest three-wheelers ever created. So what would anyone even want with a fire-breathin', kick-in-the-pants, white-knucklin' ATV? It's fairly easy to answer that question. A person would purchase any one of these three ATVs to use it for either a) an organized racing event. b) as a high-performance recreational bike. or c) a combination of both. And that's exactly the basis of this shootout. Is one bike best for racing and not so hot for recreational rid-ers, or would another bike flounder on the race track. but be the best on the trails? PAST BATTLES With the introduction of their water-cooled machines several years ago, Honda and Kawasaki were first to put major efforts into a showroom racer Last year Yamaha introduced its first edition of the Tri-Z, a unique machine with an under-the-seat gas tank. Honda has also been coming up with new innovations and has consistently been at or near the top of past shootout battles. The Kawasaki Tecate is famous for its mongo top-end motor and is always a contender. NEW RIDES Simply stated, Honda took a well-deserved vacation in the new-innovations department for '86 and released a machine with no major changes from the '85. Kawasaki and Yamaha, on the other hand, hit the drafting board hard and added sparkling new changes which have improved both over the previous models. The totally redesigned Tecate features a Kawasaki Integrated Power-valve System (KIPS), which was designed to provide a wider powerband and increased compression. Electronic-advance CDI, revised porting, and new jetting for the R-bottom slide carburetor were also added to give the Green Meanie even more beans. A new frame houses the centerport KIPS motor and features a Fresh Air Intake System. Twin frame-mounted radiators re-place the fork-mounted system of old, resulting in a lower center of gravity and im-proved steering. A box-section aluminum swingarm, new Uni-Trak linkages, 41mm forks, more front and rear suspension travel, and lower-profile rear tires complete the list of major changes. The Yamaha gang was out to make the Tri-Z's sophomore year a successful one by adding a six-speed tranny (over last year's five), beefier 39mm forks with a travel increase of 0.8 inch over last year, and 0.3 inch of increased rear travel. New low-profile rear meats. an oil bath for the CD ignition and hot new Team Yamaha colors of red and white round Out the new Tri-Z. The word for the '86 Honda is "refinement" rather than "redesign." Updates on this year's machine include handlebars (different bend), swingarm (redesigned), chain adjustment mechanism (easier to operate), and a slightly taller seat. STACK-'EM-UP ACTION All three machines are powered by water-cooled two-stroke motors, with the Tecate sporting 249cc and the Tri-Z and Honda close behind at 246cc. The 250R and Tecate head the carburetor list at 34mm. with the Tri-Z bringing up the rear with a 32mm. All three machines are powered by electronic ignition systems. Yamaha and Honda both have six-speed trannies, while the Kawasaki is the oddball in this department with a five-speed. Of course, all three have manual transmissions, a must for racing bikes. RIDE 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. MOTOR MOTION 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 ratios. COMFORT CONTROL 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 ride. 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. CORNERING CONCERNS The Tecate, true to its pure race form, turned precisely and, using proper throttle and brake techniques, could be put into a picture-perfect slide. The Kawasaki liked to either slide or go straight, nothing in between, exactly the type of handling a skilled racer might want. One of the few changes on the Honda for '86 was a one-degree kick-out on the fork's rake. The switch was designed to enhance straight-line stability through the rough stuff. Yamaha's Tri-Z couldn't slide as well as the other two, due to slightly taller rear tires. It worked best in sweepers and worst in the hairpins, due to its longer wheelbase. Only positive comments were heard about the Honda's cornering ability. We found it hard to highside or spin out on the 250R. Some of this can be attributed to the excellent stock tires, which rarely seem to grab in midpitch. JAMMIN' ON THE JUMPS Many of the testers noticed the light feel of the Tecate in the air and considered it a good flier. Several riders mentioned that they were able to bottom the suspension, though. We also found the Tri-Z to be a good jumper, and though the suspension was considerably better than last year's, some bottoming was noticed. The Honda flew the skies as well as the other two, but no one could bottom her out. A big plus for the 250R.