The release of the 2008 Honda 700XX signaled the Japanese manufacturer’s voyage into the world of big-bore all-terrain vehicles. Honda’s entry had an all-new power mill and a one-of-a-kind chassis that rocked the off-roading community. It may have been one of Honda’s short-lived lineups, but it was unmistakably a bold move in the right direction. Let this article educate you on just how the four-wheeler embodied this description.
Released in 2008, the Honda 700XX goes down in history as the sport ATV “King of the Hill.” Its high-quality engine and unique chain drive system redefined sport ATV performance, comfort, and handling. It remains to be a top choice for dunes, two tracks, and deserts.
Superb ergonomics, excellent styling, and steadfast reliability form part of the Honda 700XX appeal. So much so that its launch set standards for versatility and performance that remain unrivaled even to this day. Read on, as this guide helps you discover the Honda 700XX and more.
The King of the Hill
The 2008 Honda 700XX is a high-performance 686cc sport ATV and is Honda’s entry into the big-bore scene. Produced from 2008 to 2009, Honda’s “King of the Hill” had the heart of the XR650R and the largest-diameter single cylinder the firm has ever mass-produced. One of its main highlights was a centered chain drive system that allowed for double A-arms and longer axle shafts. This permitted a more consistent tire contact patch possible and predictable handling – even in straight-line situations, uneven terrain, and cornering conditions (despite the absence of a straight axle).
Good bottom control for transitioning through loops was evident on the vehicle. Furthermore, the 700XX maintained its operating temperature consistent in extreme conditions – thanks to its cooling system. Other stellar features of the Honda 700XX are Programmable Fuel Injection (PGM FI) with a 44-mm throttle body (for excellent cold-weather starting and consistent performance at high altitudes), perfect-fitting handlebars, and state-of-the-art drivetrain and suspension.
Although late by seven years, the Honda 700XX was unquestionably a formidable competitor of the Raptor that started the big-bore segment. Honda was quite confident with the design and specifications of the 700XX that all new units sold came with a transferable one-year, limited warranty. The riding community appreciated what the vehicle had to offer and could not agree more. The Honda 700XX rapidly gained a following soon after its launch.
The Honda 700XX top speed is 86 mph. With upgrades, such as a 15t sprocket, it can get up to 93 or 94 mph.
2008 Honda 700XX Specs
- Engine: The 700XX is powered by a four-stroke, liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that installs transversely – helping reduce overall weight. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 102 x 84 mm (4.02 x 3.31 inches). The engine displacement is 686.4 cubic centimeters delivered by PGM-FI or Programmable Fuel Injection with a 44-mm throttle body and a compression ratio of 10.0:1. Fuel tank capacity is 3.01 US gallons/11.4 liters, with a 3.6-liter (0.95-US gallon) reserve. The quad utilizes a forced pressure dry-sump lubrication system and an oiled Urethane-foam air filtration system.
- Drivetrain: Power comes from a constant mesh, five-speed manual transmission inclusive of reverse. It has a left-foot operated multi-plate wet type clutch system that is cable-operated, and a heavy-duty O-ring-sealed centered 520-drive chain. The primary reduction is 2.027 (75/37), while the final reduction is 0.378 (14/37). The gearshift pattern is R-1-N-2-3-4-5. A gear-driven counter-balancer reduces engine vibration, making for a smooth, comfortable all-day ride.
- Ignition: It has a Full Transistorized Ignition with electronic advance, push-button electric starter motor, and auxiliary mechanical recoil backup. A 12V, 120-CCA (Cold Crank Amp) battery powers the charging system. Spark plugs that work with the Honda 700XX are NGKZFR7F-11 and Denso KJ22CR-L11.
- Lubrication: Oil capacity without filter change is 1.8 US quarts/1.7 liters. At oil filter change, oil capacity is 1.9 US quarts/1.8 liters. And at disassembly, it is 2.5 US quarts/2.4 liters. To achieve top performance, use an SAE 10W-30 Pro Honda GN4 or HP4 (without molybdenum additives) 4-stroke oil or equivalent. It should have an API service classification of SG and meet MA JASO T 903 standard.
- Tires: The ATV uses Dunlop tires. Front tire pressure recommendation is 5.1 psi/35 kPa (0.35 kgf/cm2) and 6.2 psi/42.5 kPa (0.425 kgf/cm2) for the rear tires. Honda TRX700XX tires mount on 11-inch-diameter steel wheels with removable mud scrapers. The vehicle wheelbase is 49.6 inches.
- Brakes: The front brakes use 174-mm dual-sealed hydraulic disc brakes, while the rear one is a single-sealed 200-mm hydraulic disc. A left-hand operated parking brake adds to the Honda 700XX’s stopping power.
- Suspension: Enclosed in a steel frame with a removable sub-frame is an independent double-wishbone front suspension with dual single-rate springs that allow 10.5 inches of fully useable travel. The rear suspension utilizes an Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with a tuned, non-adjustable sway-bar and piggy-back shocks with adjustable pre-load that allow 9.3 inches of travel. A polyethylene push bar up front and polypropylene rear A-arm protectors guard the suspension system.
- Dimensions: The overall vehicle dimensions are 71.5 x 45.9 x 44.7 inches (1,815 x 1,165 x 1,135 mm – L x W x H). Ground clearance is 10.2 inches (unloaded), and seat height 32.7 inches. Curb weight is 505 lbs/229 Kg; Maximum weight capacity is 243 lbs/110 Kg. Its turning radius of 8.5 feet makes for smooth cornering.
- Exterior: Composed of a steel frame and plastic body material, the Honda 700XX features a uniquely racy styling. A sculpted, comfortable seat provides excellent riding ergonomics that will fit both leisurely and aggressive riding. The keyed ignition switch, emergency kill switch, and multi-functional handlebar give the rider full steering control. The quad comes in metallic black, silver, and metallic black/red. A Senge Graphics Kit (view on Amazon) can give your torque monster a sportier look.
- Lighting: Two 30-watt headlights mounted on the front fenders use multi-reflector lenses for superior light distribution. It also has an LED brake light and taillight. All other light indicators are 3.4 watts (for neutral, reverse, MIL/check engine, and coolant temperature). Main and sub fuses are 30 Amps and 15/10 Amps, respectively.
- Programmable Fuel Injection (PGM FI): In place of a carburetion system is Honda’s proprietary digital electronic fuel injection system. Honda used this system as early as the ’80s in its sport motorcycles and incorporated it into the Honda 700XX and the Foreman lineup. This feature delivered power and torque needed for tough jobs and enabled the four-wheeler to meet current California Air Resources Board (CARB) off-road emission standards.
This video goes through the specifications and features of the Honda TRX700XX, including some of its highlights and lowlights. There are some detailed variances, though. For instance, the headlight is 30-watt in the manual but is 40 watts in this review. Other than that, the rest of the information is spot-on.
Cost of a Honda TRX700XX
The introductory Honda 700XX price in 2008 was $7,899 and increased by $600 the following year. Nowadays, the price could go anywhere from $2,098 to $6,299, depending on whether the quad is stock or modified. Most of the models for resale are from 2008 and are predominantly found on Craigslist. This vehicle’s average retail price should not cost more than $4,000 unless it is in excellent condition.
Look for secondhand, reasonably priced thumpers in farm and online auctions. Be wary of cheap units as they are typically in poor condition, have suspension problems, and have visible scratches and body damage. These quads may either be overly worked or may not have been taken care of well. Some do come with bonuses such as a power commander (view on Amazon) or a clean title. When buying a pre-loved Honda 700XX, make sure to inspect the condition of the fuel lines and filters (if possible) and clutch basket bearings. Ask the seller about cylinder skirts and the oiling system for the wrist pin as well. These are known weak parts of the quad.
Unleashing the Monster Within
While the 700XX did sport a ton of innovations, its biggest problem was how heavy it was. Weighing over 500 pounds, it was at least 100 lbs more than its closest competition. Not to mention that its weight caused handling and suspension issues. I say this even after the centered shaft-drive system has already done magic on the quad. However, there are areas that you can work on to overcome the four-wheeler’s bulk and increase its top end.
Rider position is one factor that can improve the quad’s seemingly sub-par cornering ability. All you need to do is shift more of your weight to the front. This should help the 700XX turn more precisely. The challenge is with the handlebar, which make it very tedious to put your body weight forward. Installing fat handlebars with a two-inch pivoting riser (view on Amazon) should address this Honda 700XX problem and enable you to fine-tune front-and-back handlebar positioning. It should also make shifting your weight in any direction less tiring.
The second thing you may have to change is the suspension (yes, you read that right!). This is because the quad’s impressive, centered chain drive is impeded by partially adjustable shocks. Rider position helps with cornering, but it also overworks both the front and rear shocks. Replacing stock with aftermarket shocks will not only deliver a plusher ride but also better bump absorption. New shocks will likewise keep your vehicle from bottoming.
The Honda 700XX horsepower needs to increase if you want to get the most out of this sport quad. While the 700XX already delivers a massive 53 hp, freeing up its airflow is guaranteed to give you more.
Honda TRX700XX vs. Yamaha Raptor 700R SE
Most of the riding community knew that Yamaha started the big-bore segment in 2001 with its Yamaha Raptor 660. The Honda TRX700XX went head to head with the revamped Yamaha Raptor 700 SE for the King Sport Quad title seven years later. This video by 4WheelDirt sums up their key differences:
- Comfort: For average riders, both offer plush rides. But for drivers above 6′, the TRX700XX feels a bit more cramped versus the 700 SE. However, all-day cruisers would find the Honda a better seat choice over the other quad.
- Drivetrain: The Raptor 700 has a straight axle, and a sport-style built makes for convenient sliding around corners. Whereas the centered chain drive of the Honda 700XX makes for smoother runs on tracks and less slide during turns.
- Instrumentation: The Raptor has more user-friendly riding tools (speedometer, for instance) versus Honda’s array of warning lights.
- Power Delivery: The Honda 700XX is torquier and delivers more top end compared to the Raptor.
- Suspension: The Raptor tops the Honda in this area as the former’s front shocks have rebound and compression dampening, while the latter only has pre-load adjustable shocks.
The testers determined no clear winner even after riding both vehicles. All in all, the Honda TRX700XX and Yamaha Raptor 700 SE are both capable machines. The verdict as to which four-wheeler to hail the champ largely depends on driver preferences. If you want the ability to better fine-tune your quad, then the Raptor will be the way to go. But if you want more power and a comfortable ride, then the Honda 700XX will be the better choice.
Why was the Honda 700XX Discontinued?
Since the last decade, off-roading enthusiasts have been mourning the production ceases of the Honda TRX700XX. And we are not just talking about Honda followers. Many regard the 700XX as one of the most innovative ATVs Honda or any other prominent manufacturer has ever offered in a long time. They felt it was wrong judgment to pull the plug on this 686-class wheeler.
In general, riders speculate that Honda turned its back on the 700XX in favor of the 450cc bandwagon. Either that or discontinuing the big-bore quad was more of a business decision. Building a machine that gigantic and with that level of performance does require serious funding. With Honda’s surplus ATVs in 2009, they cannot afford any more funds going out. This logic makes perfect sense, although die-hard off-roaders would still find it unacceptable.
Another speculation behind the 700XX demise is that Honda taking the road less traveled did not translate positively into sales. Whether this was due to Honda 700XX not sporting an SRA or Solid Rear Axle or some other factor, only the Japanese firm would know. There may even be no need for any guesswork since it was quite evident that the quad market fell out from under everyone during the first decade of the millennium.
Honda Motor Company Ltd. is an industry leader in robotics, AI, mobility, and energy solutions and is the maker of Honda TRX700XX. Since its founding in 1946 under Soichiro Honda, the company has continued to produce a vast array of general-purpose engines, sterling automobiles, and power equipment. It has been the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, and many anticipate its comeback in the ATV scene. To date, Honda ranks 39th out of the Fortune 500 companies and continues to be a global frontrunner in commuter models and fun-to-ride dynamic sports models.
Conclusion – Honda 700XX Specs and Review
It was far from perfect, but the Honda 700XX still became a much-celebrated four-wheeler. Consumers who were fortunate enough to own the quad can only praise the vehicle for its functionality and power. On the other hand, critics can only do so much as point out its flaws (but still have respect for the wheeler). The Honda 700XX will forever be a strong reminder of the by-gone reign of big-bore sport quads. We can only hope for a revival of that golden era soon, for Honda to produce a similar vehicle that will recalibrate guidelines by which sport ATVs will be measured in the future.